I’ve found stark differences between Inkscape and Gimp, the two different graphics editing programs that I’m learning.  First off Gimp is more pixel focused, and therefore more helpful in adjusting photographs.  Inkscape is for vector graphics, and is better in terms of scaling (going from an image 128 by 128 pixels, to 500 by 500, back down, and so on).  Therefore for shapes and vectors, it’s the preferred open-source option from what I can tell.  

Gimp, as I’ve read, has been around for years.  I’ve personally found it’s easier to begin using without tutorials, in comparison with Inkscape.  This is partially due to the similarity in organization.  For someone who was used to MS Paint, I’ve found that Gimp seems to organize their different alteration items in the same manner.  Therefore, if you don’t want to read tutorials, Gimp would be the program to start with.  I emphasize this as I’ve found the Gimp tutorials to be difficult to follow.  This particular comment is specific to the tutorials on their website.  Those tutorials make assumptions on where different commands are, and what different things do, assumptions in knowledge types that I don’t currently possess.  It made me do a lot of head scratching, at one point making me worried I had lice...      

Luckily that wasn’t the case.

Now for the other program, Inkscape.  Honestly, for those who like quick key combos on the keyboard, Inkscape tutorials are amazing.  They list it all out along with giving you tons of great simple ways to make your work easier to do.  It’s well put together, and much easier to follow.  It doesn’t have as many pre-created filters as Gimp however, and that is kinda a bummer.  Well, at least at first.  I am quickly falling in love with Inkscape and would recommend it to anyone who wants an open source program to use in computer graphics creation.  However the best combination is using both.  Start with creating your image in Inkscape, export it to a .png, and then edit it further if needed (along with applying various pre-made filters) in Gimp.  Gimp has many more options when it comes to exporting and saving in various file types, which is why I tend to do final editing within it.

One last note.  These were the two main open source graphics editing programs that I’ve found.  I’m always looking for new open source graphics editing programs, as I find it simply intriguing.  Please let me know if you’re aware of any out there I can take a look at.