Corel’s new digital arts platform Painter 17 is out now, and I’m fiddling around with it this week.
I finished this teaser art piece for the new version of Moro’s Price in about 30 minutes, and that was because I was slowly playing around with some of the new Artist’s Favorites brushes. I should have been able to do it in 15 minutes.
Of course, I’d already photographed the emerald-cut crystal myself, and long ago designed the palm tree insignia. But now it’s a useful bit of art that may or may not end up as a cover design, once I fiddle with it some more.
Painter 17 so far: gorgeous. Controls are more integrated and intuitive. Customizing brushes, filters, etc is much easier. The help menus make sense. Corel seems to finally be listening more to its coveted base: artists who have some real-world skill with drawing, painting, and mixed media, and who want to recreate those looks in digital media. (And go lightyears beyond!) I’m not alone in my esteem.
If you’ve ever waffled about buying Painter as an actual, real, not-Photoshop digital arts platform, this version is probably the best entry into the Painter world that I’ve seen in 20 years. It’s not cheap, but if you are a student, you might be able to score the more affordable Educational Version.
Update 9/27-2017: Time marches on, and Painter 18 is now available. I’ve been playing with it for a little while, but don’t have a full review of it yet. I can say that Corel continues its upward path for intuitive user interfaces and spookily realistic digital paint effects. Painter’s greatest strength has been its ability to create effects *you cannot achieve* in ‘real’ media. I’m looking forward to playing some more. In the meantime, check out Painter 18 in the full bells-n-whistles version disc form. There are more affordable student grade editions for around $100, but the full package gives you the most versatility.