Corel ships Painter Essentials 6
Corel has released Painter Essentials 6, the latest update to the entry-level edition of its natural media painting software, revamping the UI and improving interactivity when working with very large documents.
A capable natural media painting package for under $50
Although Corel’s marketing material presents Painter Essentials as a tool for beginners, it’s actually a fairly fully featured tool for creating illustrations or concept art.
As well as more hobbyist-friendly tools for stylising or tracing photographs, it comes with a good range of brush types from Painter 2018 itself.
That includes both conventional natural media brushes, including oil, acrylic, watercolour, chalk, pastels and markers; and newer procedural tools including particle brushes and ‘pattern pens’.
You also get a standard basic range of image-manipulation tools, plus mirror and radial symmetry painting modes, and the software can import or export layered PSDs in order to exchange files with Photoshop.
New in version 6: revamped UI, better performance on large canvases
New features in version 6 include a revamped UI – there’s a new welcome screen that provides access to training and preset document layouts, plus the option to buy new brush packs from within the software.
Other than that, the changes are under the hood: Corel says that performance is better, particularly for memory-intensive operations like working on large canvases, but it doesn’t put a figure on the speed boost.
Pricing and availability
Painter Essentials 6 is available now for Windows 7+ and Mac OS X 10.10+. It works with both Wacom-compatible graphics tablets and Windows devices that support the Real-Time Stylus API. It costs $49.99.