[Giveaway] Artrage Studio 3.5 [Forum Exclusive]

Art Rage Studio delivers a lot of power for creating paintings and moderately complex drawings, there is a bit of a learning curve for novice users of painting programs however. Now don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of potential in this program for even beginner artists to get the look of a beautiful hand-drawn masterpiece, but you have to learn a whole new technique of drawing/painting. Even with a stylus it takes a bit of patience to get the tool your using to start and stop where you want it to, so keep your CTRL+Z fingers free.

That being said, the program is a delight to use. The interface is compact but not too crowded and I fell in love with how the program fades out any palettes you have open when you get close to them while drawing, painting, etc. The ability to pin reference images is really a boon, no more switching between your paint program and your image viewer. Once you get the feel of how each tool works, drawing becomes a delight again as this program allows you to mix and blend colors, use rulers and stencils for precise line placement, apply different mediums to the same canvas (i.e. Oils, Watercolors, Chalk, etc.), and offers unlimited undo/redo including being able to wipe the canvas clean in just a few clicks.

This is not a graphics manipulation program like Photoshop or GIMP, rather this little gem is an Image Creation Tool that Picasso and Rembrandt, to name two of my favorite artists, would have fell madly in love with.

The selection of tools include Oil Brush, Pencil, Palette Knife, Airbrush, Chalk, Paint Roller, Paint Tube, Color Sampler, Marker Pen, Crayon, Eraser , Watercolor Brush, Inking Pen, Flood Fill, and a Glitter Tube.
Tool controls however are very minimal in the Basic version of ArtRage Studio offering only a handful of options like Basic Tool Control, Paint Loading on the Palette Knife, Elliptical and Square Selection Tools, Add, Subtract, and Replace Area modes, and User Definable Tool Presets. To get finer control of your tools you would have to upgrade to ArtRage Studio Professional.

Pros

  • Realistic Painting results
  • Pinnable tools and references
  • Multiple Import/Export options, including Photoshop PSD and ABR importing
  • Layers and Layer Control similar to Photoshop
  • Quick Access Control in the form of “Pods”
  • User Definable Tool Presets
  • User Definable Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Multi-Threading Support
  • Extensive Help options including a user’s forum

Cons

  • Freehand and Polygon Select only available in Pro version
  • Filter Support only available in Pro version
  • File Sharing with deviantArt, Facebook and Drop Box only available in iPad version
  • Minimal Tool Controls

All in all this is a fantastic program for novice and experienced artists alike. Novice users will find plenty of options to help them create that masterpiece floating around in their head, while more experienced users will find this program to be great for laying out their vision on a virtual canvas and refining it a bit before pulling out all the supplies needed to secure that vision forever on their actual canvas.

This is definitely a must have tool for any beginning artist’s toolbox, however more experienced artists will want to upgrade to the Professional version in order to have finer control over the tools such as angle locking, tool rotation and opacity levels.

The only suggestion I have For ArtRage Studio’s next release/update is that the Freehand and Polygon Select tools, as well as File Sharing/Upload with at least deviantArt, be standard in both desktop versions. The first because almost everyone who uses their desktop for drawing/painting/etc. prefers using selection tools that give them greater control and are used to both tools being standard in every other type of painting program; why even the highly underrated MS Paint has these tools. The second would make this program stick up even higher over the heads of its competitors by giving its consumers the Time-Saving ability to upload their creations to sites like deviantArt without having to leave the program.

Reviewer: SylverDragonSys

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