For artists with a traditional media background who want all the benefits of working digitally, this is the natural choice
Squarely positioned in the ‘traditional media experience’ class of digital software, ArtRage has come a long way since it was launched as a straightforward oil-painting program way back in 2007. Version 5, released at the start of the year, came with a more developed pastel and pencil arsenal, perspective guides, more options for customisation and an altogether swifter nature – all welcome changes.
Yet the program’s main appeal remains the same. “What sets ArtRage apart is its ability to recreate the flow and texture of oil paint like a malleable medium, right there on the screen,” says
Phil Galloway. “The paint behaves as paint should – and for an artist with a fine art background coming into a digital art world, this is key. ArtRage ticks all these boxes for my loose style, enabling
me to use swathes of colour and natural emotive strokes that other painting programs don’t seem to be able to do without the process feeling a little unnatural.”
Every tool acts differently, all responding to texture and blend in different ways, so picking the Felt pen versus an Oil brush is a much bigger leap than choosing a different-shaped brush. “This is the opposite of most digital art programs,” says ArtRage’s
Uwe Maurer with more than a hint of pride. “Such programs have one ‘ basic’ brush and then go on to create multiple variants based on it, and call them all different brushes.” What cheek, eh?
Yet it’s not just the brushes you can experiment with. You can adjust Thinners in the Oil brush and Watercolour tools to achieve much runnier paint; you can turn on Smoothing for the Ink pen to have it automatically smooth out a shaky stroke; or simply adjust the Softness and Graininess of the Pastel and Pencil tools. We also like the way ArtRage has embraced mobile, linking up iPad or Android with desktops. The iPad and Android and version 5 editions can record script files, which can be played back in the desktop editions to recreate every brush stroke, and it can do so at any resolution, which enables you to scale your mobile paintings up to any resolution for printing larger artworks.
Whether the additions of the latest iteration sound interesting or not, ArtRage remains the leading traditional art painting program.
What sets ArtRage apart is its ability to recreate the flow and texture of oil paint like a malleable medium
classic toolset The default brushes focus on traditional media: oils, pencil, pastel, felt pens, watercolour and palette knives. Each tool comes with a selection of default presets designed to introduce you to the different possibilities, and enable you to jump straight into creating. better use of references Version 5 refines the concept of using reference images as part of your painting process. Now you can pin multiple images to your screen, but also resize, move them around or even zoom right into them, if you only need to focus on one area. Intuitive interface The interface is intended to be instantly easy to navigate, so that it’s straightforward to choose tools and colours. After all, who wants to fight various menus while trying to paint?