So, I own a Mac. I don’t come from a history of Macs either. I have been a PC person all my life. You can imagine how disappointed I was when I bought my Mac and found out it didn’t come with any sort of native Paint style program. I mean, that’s not saying that Paint is some groundbreaking program; clearly it’s the bare basics of the painting program world. However, it still would have been cool to have something similar.
So what’s a fella to do? I’m too cheap to spring for Photoshop and a lot of the Paint-esque programs on the App Store are freaking ridiculous and ludicrously expensive. You can imagine that when given the opportunity to review ArtRage 4, I naturally jumped at the opportunity.
What’s ArtRage 4, I see some of you are asking? Good question, reader. ArtRage 4 is, according to the product’s official website, “a powerful, intuitive painting package that makes it easy to produce natural looking artwork on your computer.” It’s also only 50 dollars.
So, does that description do the program justice? Is it truly a powerful and intuitive painting package? I sat down with ArtRage 4 over the past few days to find out just that and in short, I cannot say enough about how truly impressed I am with the program.
When you first load up the program, you’ll notice the amount of different tools available. On the lower left side of the screen, you have all you different brush styles (watercolor, oil, airbrush, etc.). On the lower right side of the screen, you have your color wheel where obviously, you can choose whatever color you want. Finally, spaced around the canvas there are other little tool boxes for such things as stencils or stickers.
I’ll be honest. I was a bit intimidated by everything on the screen at first. Luckily, the way ArtRage is laid out is extremely user friendly and easy to learn. Deciding that I should get a feel for the different brush styles, that’s just what I did. I dove in and gave every brush style a try to see how it looked.
As you can see, each brush style is unique and each one has its own look. What was really cool was how realistic each option looked. I mean, you can actually see the brush strokes in the oil painting mode. It says natural looking art work right there in the description and they weren’t kidding. This program allows for very realistic art work.
It wasn’t long before I was painting all kinds of randomly offensive pictures.
Another really cool thing included in ArtRage 4 that caught me a bit off guard with how useful it was, was the tracing feature. Basically, you import an image onto your canvas and are able to trace over it.
You can control the opacity of the background picture (how clearly you can see it) and you can rotate it. You can even temporarily remove the background picture to see how your tracing is coming along.
Simply put, the tracing feature is done perfectly and is very convenient.
Another thing I particularly loved about the program was the inclusion of different stencils. They were incredibly easy to do as well. You just click the little stencil box, pick out a stencil and then place it on your canvas.
You can adjust the angle of the stencil. You can adjust the size of the stencil. You can even hide it to see what your creation looks like while you’re stenciling.
Oh, the program also supports drawing tablets and I must say that if you have one, that’s the best way to use ArtRage 4. I have a Wacom Bamboo and it made it so much more fun to use the program. Don’t just take my word for it. The best way to learn how awesome this program is, is by doing. And you need to do.
In closing, the more I fiddle around with ArtRage 4, the more I realize I have literally zero complaints about the program. If you are in need of a painting program, you need to pick up ArtRage 4. Straight up, no excuses. It’s easily one of the best painting programs on the market.