Adobe may had cornered a large section of the market for photo editing, image manipulation and illustration work, but there's still plenty of space for competition. And one such rival in the field of digital illustration and natural media creativity is Corel Painter 2021. This is a professional level art tool, and it had a price tag to match, but the features and options it offers are pretty much second to none. The powerful digital art materials can be used to replicate anything that can be achieved with a range of real-world paints.
Whatever your artistic style, Painters impressive selection of media and brush types will enable you to digitally recreate just about anything. Brushes are hugely customizable, and there are literally hundreds to choose from (falling to categories such as a Thick Paint, Watercolor, Chalk/Pastel, Particles, Sargent, Pattern Pens and Airbrushes), but if you are unable to find something to suit your needs, there are additional brush packs available for purchase – including the incredible Photoshop brush plugin ParticleShop.
You can use Painter to start completely from scratch, but you can also work with digital photos or scans as a starting point. These can then be stylized, edited, manipulated and transformed into photos. However you start off, there are numerous composition tools and guides on hand to help you to achieve effective layouts.
There is powerful layer support which can be exploited in a variety of way to create striking results. You can, for instance, break out an image onto a watercolor layer, manipulate it with watercolor brushes and tool and, if you're happy with what you come up with, merge back into the normal layer stack. There is also a very powerful clone tinting tools which can be used in conjunction with a clone brush to completely transform the look of an image.
The latest version of the program makes great improvements to performance. This is thanks in part to a large number of GPU-accelerated brush technologies, but there have been lots of optimizations made under the hood as well. Other new features in the 2021 edition of Corel Painter include a new AI-powered Style panel, Thick Paint and Watercolor layer controls (as well as numerous other layer control enhancements), and a new photo art quick palette.
Corel Painter 2021 is, of course, There are very few differences between the macOS and Windows versions of the applications – most notable, perhaps, is the macOS version's support for Sidecar meaning that an iPad can be used as a secondary display, and there is support for Apple Pencil. But on both platforms, there is support for input using a mouse, trackpad, graphics tablet, so whatever you feel most comfortable with, you can use to get creative.
Corel Painter 2021 is Windows 10 and 64-bit only.
Includes a 1-Device perpetual license for Windows 10 computers.