The needs of digital artists and designers have multiplied over time, and software has had to get more complex to address those needs. That said, it feels like overkill to have so many features readied when you only need a fraction of them for simpler projects.
That’s where Corel’s Painter Essentials comes in, and its latest update has just arrived.
Introducing Painter Essentials 8
Download: Painter Essentials 8 ($49.99, free trial available)
Painter Essentials is exactly what its name implies: Painter, if you were to remove all the bells and whistles. It’s a raster-based digital art application that keeps to the core features and capabilities of Painter.
While Painter is marketed to fine artists, commercial designers, and professional photographers, Painter Essentials prides itself in being easy to understand and use for beginners and hobbyists.
“Our latest release enables you to harness next-generation artificial intelligence and Painter brush technology to give your portraits, landscapes, and sketches a stunning degree of realism and expressive, made-by-hand results,” said Chris Pierce, Corel Senior Product Manager for Photo and Digital Art.
What’s New in Painter Essentials 8
Painter Essentials 8 introduces a painting environment that groups similar brushes together. This makes it much easier for you to select what you need as you work. There are 23 new brushes in various brush categories, including Pencils, Pens, Inking Tools, Particles, and more.
Color tools—namely harmonies and color sets—have been added to Painter Essentials 8 as well for more convenient color picking. If you’re pressed for time, ten more styles have also been added to the AI auto-painting options. Painter can quickly and easily turn any image into a natural-looking traditional painting.
Other new additional features include:
- Improved contextual menus
- More layer adjustment options
- The Image Dialog box, for pre-selected color and paper texture options
- Support for the Apple Vision Framework
- Support for the MacBook Pro touch bar and multi-touch trackpad
- Duplicate canvas function
A Cheaper, Simpler Painter
All the competitors in the multimedia software market are so concerned right now with amplifying the power and functionality of their products. They forget that sometimes… all you need is the basic stuff.
Thankfully, Corel offers exactly that in the form of Painter Essentials 8.
Some critics say that Corel is simply riding on the coattails of Adobe, but in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Corel isn’t a company that’s piggybacking off Adobe’s success; it’s capitalizing on Adobe’s refusal to make its product more accessible. Not everyone can afford $20.99/month for a Photoshop subscription, or $52.99/month for a Creative Cloud subscription.
So even though Painter and Painter Essentials may often be touted as the “best paid alternatives to Photoshop,” both have the potential to become something so much more. Especially if Corel continues to make the right moves.