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ArtRage Review

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Professional artists often find that working with digital art software is not as fluid as working on a natural canvas. ArtRage is doing its part to rectify that with its drawing software. With this sketch and paint application, you have the tools and features setup to create great looking pieces that could just as easily have been painted on a canvas. This software works especially well if you use a pen tablet or have a touch screen for pinpoint accuracy.

ArtRage may not have all the tools that other sketch software has, but the tools it has are utilized to their full extent. The default setting of the tool wheel makes it appear in the bottom left of the window, though it can be completely hidden or placed anywhere you please. There is a wide variety of brushes and pens available that are clearly defined. The opacity is unique. It doesn't show up on a slide rule as it does in most programs, but you can actually see how thick each pen or brush stroke appears in your tool wheel.

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With this drawing software, it may take you some time to memorize what each icon is used for. Because it doesn't have a standard paint interface, there is a learning curve. Once you learn the basics, though, this program becomes a joy to use. Its attractive interface helps to focus your attention on particular segments of your artwork. The application's bleed setup allows you to draw off the page without extending the size and format of your project.

Two particular strengths of ArtRage are its tracing and reference tools. If you want to trace a favorite photograph or drawing, the program will place a light layer underneath your tracing layer to help you easily re-create the image. The reference tool functions as if you were clipping a picture at the top of your canvas. You don't have the distraction of clicking out of your art at any time and can re-create the picture in any style you choose.

Much like the tool wheel, there is a corresponding color wheel on the bottom right side of the screen. Here, you can pick from basic colors, customize them and take it one step further by specifying how metallic you want the color to look. The pressure sensitivity with a pen tablet is extremely effective and creates realistic brush strokes that help digital art look more natural.

This art software does offer FAQs and online forums in case you run into any problems. Because of its unique interface, what this software really needs are video tutorials. Their absence is noticeable and forces you to look elsewhere for help.

ArtRage looks great. Its attractive interface keeps the process interesting and intuitive, but it may take you a few practice runs to become familiar with how to customize and best use each tool and feature. This unique drawing software has easy-to-use tracing and reference tools to help you hone your creative skills.

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