I have been playing with ArtRage software lately. I'm a rank beginner when it comes to digital art and I'm not even sure yet how much I like it. This program suits me perfectly. The registered version is a whole $25 US and they have a limited functionality demo that you can download. I discovered it from a mention on Nancy Stahl's blog (scroll down). For me it's an inexpensive way to try out digital art. It works best with a drawing tablet. I have an inexpensive Manhattan drawing tablet that works well. Drawing with a tablet is like starting over again though. I found I had to spend some time just developing my hand-eye coordination. There's some good information on starting with tablets at DaniDraws.com as well as a number of links to tutorials. It's been a fun experiment.