You don't need to fear art software with Essentials in the title. Yes, Corel Painter Essentials is a scaled-down version of Corel's professional Painter application, but for an introduction to digital drawing and to hone your skills, Painter Essentials is a great place to start. This software is for people who want to edit and create professional-looking digital art but don't want to pay too much for software and don't mind the absence of some of the expert features in professional-grade graphics software. Essentials is a functional art program at a fraction of the price of Corel Painter.
Corel Painter Essentials' toolbar selection is quite substantial. You can determine the opacity of each pen, pencil and brush with a scroll bar. When you choose a drawing tool from the left side of the application window, an additional toolbar opens up that allows you to choose from additional varieties of the brush or pen. From there, if you create your own size or style of drawing tool, you can save it and access it again later.
There is a lack of advanced features in Corel Painter Essentials. As a pared-down version of the company's superior product, that is to be expected. It's essentially a basic paint program, but one that is enjoyable and easy to use. The features it lacks include the ability to choose from a library of clip art and an event log to play back each step you take while creating specific art projects.
The best feature of this program has little to do with drawing at all. Half of this art software is dedicated to editing your photos. Specifically, you can open any photo in your library and sit back as the program automatically turns that picture into a painting using various styles or art genres. It can turn any picture into a work of art; we only wish that Corel had placed that much effort into the drawing features.
There is a small learning curve to using this sketching application. To answer our questions and concerns that arose during our tests, we found several avenues of support. A major positive is the quick accessibility to Painter Essentials video tutorials that cover most issues you might have with the program.
Based on its name and comparative dearth of features, Corel Painter Essentials is a basic version of the professional program. For novice digital artists who want experience with Corel software at a fraction of the price of the professional product, Painter Essentials is a good place to start.