I've never heard of fireworks before . . . programs like Photoshop, Painter, SAI, Open Canvas, Sketchpad (there are lots). Most of the time you use "brushes" to put color on your art . . . some of the brushes are called air brushes (cause they act much like a normal airbrush).
Painting digitally isn't exactly like traditional of course, but many of the basic principles are the same . . . if you like the feel of traditional painting/drawing, I would suggest trying out Corel Painter . . . the program is one of the best I've seen at mimicking traditional media
its a macromedia program, i got it a few years back and got real comfortable with it in past month.. im having to go digital a lot more since finding work through my art but i much prefer not having to stare at a screen for hours at a time as it ruins my eyes thanks for the names of progs, are there any of the ones you mention out for free download? i cant even afford new pencil crayons most of the time.
SAI is hard to find but popular. They are all really expensive, but I think most of them have free trials. Google might also have a program (I thinks its the sketchbook one) that is free. Unfortunately since digital art is on the rise and getting much more popular, the programs have been in higher demand so they are expensive!!
To deal with the eye issues, I went to my eye Dr and found out that I needed a very slight prescription, so wearing those has helped me a lot. Some other things to avoid straining your eyes could be working in a well-lit room, having correct posture (I find my eyes and back/neck are connected sometimes), adjusting the resolution/brightness of your screen (some people can't handle super bright screens/super high resolution), and making sure that your screen at your eye level (looking up or down for long periods can strain them too!).
I try to take a break every two hours and either watch TV or read a book . . . just to give me something else to focus on