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Software Review: ArtRage

One of the most versatile tools out there, ArtRage was created with the traditional painter in mind. Instead of boring rectangular panels, your tools are laid out just as you would lay out your palette in real-life. The most recent version does include an option for a more classic workspace in case you prefer that instead. I stumbled upon ArtRage way back in 2008 and was hooked from the first stroke! If you love painting in Oils, this is definitely the tool you should try. You can lay out thick gloops of paint, play around with different palette knives, all without getting a spot of paint on yourself. The Watercolor brushes blend beautifully and have a range of options to control the flow of water.  Some of the must haves in this tool are the stencils (create lovely airbrush art), tracing mode (onion skins/light box for your canvas), and the more recently added, custom brushes. ArtRage also has mobile versions for both iOS and Android. It costs around $4.99 and includes most of the

Software Review: Corel Painter

For a very long time, I didn't even consider Painter because of the cost. I had heard great things about it but the price was way out of league for someone just starting out. Luckily, I stumbled upon the Humble Bundle which included Corel Painter 2019 for $25 and I've been in love with this tool ever since.

This is by far, the best of the lot if you love working with Watercolors. The effect of seeing the "paint dry" is addictive and sometime I just play around with it just to try out the different Watercolor effects. The newer versions have a category for Real Watercolors and Real Oils which mimic the experience of working with traditional art supplies.

Must haves are of course the wide range of brushes for Digital Painting - it comes with a ton of brushes out of the box, plus you have a thriving community of artists creating brushes for it. If you do choose to try it out, I strongly recommend watching some step by step videos and trying to replicate the effect. There are so many features in Corel Painter that it's easy to get lost and overwhelmed. One of the tutorials I found most useful are from Aaron Rutten. Check out the free Landscape Painting course to get started.

Cost: $429
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