Having a computer would help to make art with no cost to the artist, but having a computer to work with, and there are enough free programs to make art, so digital art don't need to cost anything. Some people that can read this might be reading this with a smart phone or a tablet. It is hard to find a program to work with them, but digital art might be the cheapest way to make art, and animations without spending any more money. I have had the same version of Photoshop for 17 years, and I am still using it.
A lot of people give old computers away, or donate them to schools or places there people can get them cheaply. They might be out of date, but they still work. If you can learn to fix computers, you might get a lot of them for free. Someone have 4 computers they could not fix, and they gave them to me, and one needed a new drive, and one chewed up by a dog had a good drive, and I fixed one. Then on had the ram halfway in because the ram was a little too, thick, and I pressed it in all the way, and had two working computers, and the last one just have a newer version of Windows it could not handle, and no drivers for it, so I restored the factory install. It is just knowing what keys to use, to make the computer go back to the factory setup. That was 3 out of 4 computers, and the dogs chew computer could not be fixed, but it was used for parts.
That is something I'm sure all noob artist would love to know. I've done similar things. However now I live in the country & I barely see anyone let alone have anyone to ask if they have a broken electronic. That is why I have to budget now, womp womp.
I use to live 20 miles from the nearest gas station, so I had to have a quarter tank of gas to not be stuck. I had to move because people didn't want to hire me anymore, and turned over my house to Well Fargo after 5 years of payments. When I moved, I found a place close to a town, and would not want to live very far away from town again. It cost more to go to work, and work could be 60 miles away. I lived over 700 feet from a road with cable, and a year after I asked a girl in the cable office asked if I still wanted cable, and I said yes. I wanted to take care of my domain name, because it was stolen after I could not reply to my host to stop them. They did a work order to put the main cable by my house. For the cable company it was a costly mistake, but I guess I had a fan, or it could have been the lady I screamed to run towards me. A hurricane dumped 1 inch hale stones and covered the ground 2 inches deep on the highway. I sat two cars stopped and swerved towards the wide grass, or at the time wide white area. My van slid until it hit the ditch, and then the side touched the bank and back on its wheels. The steering almost broke my fingers off it hit so hard. So I was on the side trying to get everyone off to the side of the road with me. A few people stopped to ask if I needed help and I told then to hurry and get going again, because it was a bad area to stop. Then a lady did the same thing and she was at her rear bumper with I was a big rig sliding through the fog like a pirate ship. I yelled to get her to run towards me, and she took her time as I was screaming hurry. She cleared her bumper with the big rig hit the center over to the driver side, and she was about 7 feet away, and then she ran.
I called 911 from a mobile phone, and everyone was talking to 911 while the lady was roaming around too wound up to answer the 911 operator. I found out she worked for the cable company, and I guess I might have saved her life, because there was no time to get back into her car. Then channel 8 came by and asked was anyone hurt, but since everyone was safe and off the road in the in a 12 car pile up with a rig plowing through everyone, he channel 8 camera away and left. It was not one the news. I is possible she is the one that make up the work order to give me cable. I only used it for the internet. After that I was back to working for media companies all over the world, while my day job was a factory worker. At the time I saw a lot of companies getting rid of their old computers to put in newer computers. They ran databases and most were just regular computers that they used for maybe 5 years, and would have sold what they could, then give away the rest so they didn't have a problem with disposal. This was about 2003, and they are still doing that. They don't just replace a few at a time they replace them all, and some of them replace parts in a few laptops, while the laptop I got was so old it had Windows 95 on it in 2003. The newer laptops were used by company executives, and most of them were 5 years old. Right now my current computer is about that. I bought it refurbished in 2013. The first day someone thought the screen folded all the way around to the bottom and broke it. It is still holding, but no screws in the back, so I taped it with scotch tape. Some day I will get a new one, but I have not worked since 2008, and this was bought from what was left over from the pell grant, for college, and now I can't get the pell grant to cover the extra fees added, so I stopped going to college, and because teachers are coaches not teachers. I can learn more online for free than spend thousand to get f's, and I was an A student.
First off congratulations oon saving a dummy, everyone knows you don't stand iin the middle of the highway when it's bad outside. Now as far as everything else, you are a spitting image of budging & successfully obtaining a goal. I only have 200$ & all I am aiming to do is better art. I need a computer or tablet that can use the application that best suite my style. I saw a few things ln ebay & a few other sites that'll work. I am sorry to hear that you had to quit college. I have to live in the country because it's cheaper out here.
Companies don't say when they are upgrading, but some computer shops might know when they are getting rid of old computers. So if you know someone working on computers in the area then you can ask them. I think a computer within 5 years old can run Krita, and it can do anything, and it would be the program that would have the most problems because it need a good computer to run it.
If you want one that is kind of new, and refurbished they would be cheaper, because they could have anything the the factory didn't want to fix but only effects the looks, like a scuff or string flash having out from the plastic getting trimmed. My laptop was a refurbish laptop from 2013, and it is still working an it can run Krita. I use it to make 3D models and have Photoshop 7 open with Poser 7, Hexagon 2.5, Daz Studio 4.6, Notepad++, when I work on a model to work with all parts of the models like hierarchy, UV, maps, rendering samples, and painting maps and textures, and making sure the script can find the image files. I have a 2.2 Ghz processor, and 8 Gb of ram, and I have a 720 Gb hard drive in it. I replaced it with a terabyte drive to divide it to have two versions of Windows.
This has a little smaller screen with a 14 inch screen, but it seems like the small screens have a lot more detail than a larger one. Mine is a 15.5 inch screen so it is not much different. When I bought mine it was $600 refurbished, and it has a touchscreen. I rarely use the touch screen, and it don't work with art. If you touch a spot too long it is like a right click on that part of the screen. Some computers at the same price didn't have a touchscreen or an i7.
If that computer has a problem with any function it will be fixed by Dell. It looks like it is $60 more than you want to spend.
I have been checking them out & I think I found one I'll settle on. Now what I would like to know is what does it take to run (Krita) you said that you need a computer to run the program. Why do you run 2 versions of Windows?
I like Windows 8.1, but I am working to setup a server on it and Windows 8.1 is excluded from the MySQL install, so I can't install the database to run my website on my computer as a testing ground for the one I run online.
I was learning to do programming with Python, and I started to do programming with it, but it is just programming that I look and see it does something, but I really like to see it do something real, like make an artificial intelligent database, that goes out to seek information, and used it in the database, and I can ask it to show me movie information, and it shows me all it found and setup actor information that plays a role in the movie. Or just something I can see it doing itself, to be useful. I don't think I can learn a program without actually using it with real things.
The other version of Windows is Windows 10, and I don't like it because it shuts down programs I paid for and want to use. It will not let me run Photoshop 7, so I got Photoshop CS6 and run on it.
I could run Photoshop CS2, but that version of Windows can be changed to Linux for something I want to do to learn more of programming and setup a server on Linux. I will alway had Windows 8.1. but the I can run anything I want and still have that program. If I get hacked from a security high jack I just replace the other version of Windows with version 8.1 and then delete the old version when I move or copy what I need from it. Then I might be down for a day.
I have heard that for old computers it is better to run the 32 bit version of Krita, but I am sure you can run a 64 bit version. I am a pretty good artist, but at first it was not easy to paint high quality details, and make everything look smooth and great. I started by selecting an object from a scene and starting a new canvas that I made 3 times larger, like an 8x10 at 100 dpi became an 8x10 at 300 dpi. After I painted everything I removed the flaws in my brushing with making it a smaller version and add it to the original scene, and some times I keep the larger version in case I wanted to enlarge the original image for printing. Now I just paint everything complete on the small canvas and only enlarge it when I want more details, and I only add the details to something I want the focus to be on, and let everything else stay a little out of focus. Art need something to be in focus while everything else. Painting everything highly detailed just looks wrong, and has no focus point.
If you look for Krita download, you can select the Windows 64 bit version, and install it. Then there is a hand book that can help explain everything about it online. That will help a lot, because you can do more when you know more and Krita seems to be able to do anything you could ever need to do.
Irun a light version of Windows 8 on my Surface RT but it's no good to me. I can't even get Adobe Photoshop on this thing & it's limited to the Microsoft store. However it is good for transfers between devices. You seem to know quite a bit