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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

Creating Mockups for Art Portfolios

Mockups are an easy way to help your Portfolio stand out among the thousands being reviewed (by your prospective client or university). The idea is that instead of just slapping your latest creation in your portfolio, you insert the image into a stock photo so it looks like it's displayed in real life. This is a pretty popular idea and if you search for "Art Portfolio Mockups" you will find a whole bunch of sites that offer PSD templates that you can add your images to.

Only problem with this process is it's way too time consuming - you need to find the right template, edit it in your chosen software, insert your image, tweak the placement so it makes sense and so on. Surely you don't want to spend more time staging the piece than it took you to create it. But there's an easier way! 

There are a lot of Print on Demand sites that let you upload an image, preview it on available products, and place an order for the customized item. There are also sites that allow you to create your own storefronts and offer your art on their products. These are perfect to create portfolio mockups in a matter of minutes.

While there are different sites that offer these features (Redbubble, Zazzle, Threadless), I decided to go with Redbubble because it had better editing tools. Here's the link to the store if you want to see the designs live.

This was my first design and took me less than 10 minutes to apply it to 40+ products including editing the placement.

Once the design is live, you can click in to specific products and get additional images. These are made available for free to help you promote your store.

This looks great for black and white art pieces too! Interesting to see the different crops of the same image.

Even seemingly simple designs look a lot better when they are placed on a product.

If you are interested in trying this out, make sure your images are high resolution. Some of these products require a 4k px resolution, 300 dpi at a minimum to show up well. Definitely read the Terms of Service of whatever site you use to make sure you retain the copyright of the uploaded images.


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