Sumopaint

Website review by
Jacqueline Rupp, Common Sense Media
Sumopaint Website Poster Image
Great image-editing tool for all ages; skip the interaction.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 9 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Educational value

Kids can learn several broad concepts, including artistic expression and being creative. Sumopaint's tools can also help them develop new digital skills that may strengthen their understanding of WYSIWYG web design tools. Sumopaint offers a surprising amount of cool features, and kids should be able to figure the tools out quickly. But they won't get much info on artistic guidelines or other practices. More guidance on design principles would make this solid image editor and creation tool a stronger learning resource.

Positive messages

The creators of the site wanted to allow anyone to express themselves and create art without having to study the subject for many years or invest in costly photo editing software.

Violence

Pictures of guns, swords and fighting, along with bloody images can be found in the gallery of user submitted content.

Sex

Although it takes some hunting and use of the search field to find, users can locate pictures that show bare butts and fully exposed breasts. These user-submitted pictures are definitely in the minority within the gallery, but are still there for all to see. It is common to see art that includes kissing, but nothing too sexual.

Language

A few of the images in the gallery include words like "s--t" and "bitch."

Consumerism

The free site can send out email promotions from advertisers to registered users.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that everyone in the family can and should enjoy Sumopaint's image editor. However, the site's community gallery pages are definitely not for little ones. The site's separate community pages include public galleries, interaction and profile pages a la Facebook. This feature's  dicey content includes the occasional inappropriate picture and the ability to freely interact with other members. When in dount, just enjoy the image editor, which opens in a separate window, and ignore the shared content pages all together.

User Reviews

Parent of a 4, 10, and 13 year old Written byRedMelD January 27, 2011
Parent of a 8, 11, and 14 year old Written byGilson January 26, 2010

Not for Kids!

Personally it's pretty fun for me but definitely NOT for the kids.
Kid, 12 years old February 12, 2011
Teen, 13 years old Written bydanni1 April 27, 2012

Really Confusing...

I went there because it sounded fun. I was really dissapointed because it was really confusing.

What's it about?

SUMOPAINT is a free browser-based application with capabilities often found in more expensive image manipulation programs, including tools that subtly smudge, tint, and alter images and filters that blur and create other effects. Users can also perform basic edits like cropping photos, and can draw their own images. Kids should be able to easily figure out how to use the application and can also share their creations.

Is it any good?

Move over Photoshop, Sumopaint lets you in on all the effects that up to now have been reserved for the pros, or those who wanted to drop a few hundred bucks on imaging software. With this site you can do it all, from painting a pretty picture to creating mesmerizing effects with tools like the symmetry brush and kaleidoscope filter. These tools are sure to bring out the kid in everyone. Forget about the possibilities for wowing audiences with school reports, cartoons, and professionally done design work, this online application is just plain fun to experiment with. The computer app does all the work, making you look like a design pro without even trying.

Users can post comments on profile pages that exhibit artwork. Sometimes (though rarely) users harshly criticize pieces. Gallery comments aren't filtered, so parents may want to watch out for questionable posts. The profile pages are like social networking profiles and users can collect "contacts" like friends, but the only way to connect is on the profile page.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about experimenting with technology. Are you intimidated to try new programs or do you dive right in? How do you think technology helps you to express yourself? Do you think there will still be a need to learn how to draw and paint if computers can help us to mimick these talents so easily? Is there value in learning how to draw and design away from the computer?

  • On this site users can post their creations and recieve feedback on the content. How would you react if someone criticized your work? Do you think it is wise to open yourself up to the opinions of millions of users or should you reserve sharing your pieces with people you know who support you? How can online criticism veer into cyberbullying territory?

  • Because there are social networking elements on this site, it's important to know some safety rules for using interactive sites like these. What is information that's safe to share, and what info is off-limits? At what age is it Okto begin interacting on social networks?

Website details

  • Subjects: Arts: drawing, painting, photography
  • Skills: Tech Skills: digital creation, using and applying technology
    Creativity: imagination, making new creations
  • Genre: Creating
  • Price: Free-$19
  • Pricing structure: Free, Paid

For kids who love plugged-in creativity

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