Painter 2018 blurs the line between traditional and digital art

Thanks to its powerful painting tools and workflow features, Corel Painter has become one of the key players on the digital art scene. Part of its appeal is that the software's passionate user base actively feeds into the development of the program.

Today's launch of Painter 2018 is no exception, with the digital art studio revealing a range of amazing new and enhanced tools that bridge the gap between traditional and digital art. Aimed at everyone from concept artists to illustrators, as well as fine artists and photo artists, Painter 18 promises to be a vital asset to creators of all levels.

Thick Paint tool

The headline feature of Corel Painter 2018 is the new Thick Paint tool. Building on the software's already famous collection of painting tools and brushes, Thick Paint pushes the envelope by accurately mimicking the look and feel of viscous paint. The result is a tool that allows you to build up large volumes of paint that behave just like the real thing.

Create true to life paint layers with Thick Paint

Thanks to a range of brushes and palette knives that accompany Thick Paint, you can blend, build up, push, pull and scrape the paint just like you would on a canvas. The pressure of the stylus accurately imitates your tool of choice and allows you to create ridges of paint that pop thanks to shadows in the canyons of the stroke.

Elements of 3D functionality are one of the stand-out updates to Painter. While it doesn't deliver a total 3D modelling experience, the software does give you the opportunity to play around with shadow strength and ambient lighting to create a sense of depth in the brushstrokes. Combine this with adjustable paper texture and an array of realistic painting opportunities have just become available to digital artists.

Thick Texture Brushes

Craggy terrain will benefit from the Thick Texture Brushes

Texture Painting has long been a popular tool on Corel's Painter as it gives you the chance to create work that looks like it's leaping off the screen. As part of the latest update, Painter 2018 has taken this tool to a whole new level.

With the new 2.5 Thick Texture brushes, you can now apply strokes that look tactile and loaded with depth. This is perfect for creating surfaces that rely on depth to communicate their texture in a way that's true to life. And thanks to adjustable directional lighting, you can amplify textural depth to your heart's desire.

Natural-Media brush library

This artwork by Deborah Kolesar showcases the power of the Natural-Media brush library

One of the biggest ways Painter 2018 will help you transition from creating traditional to digital art is through the new Natural-Media brush library. This library delivers digital brush effects that reproduce everything from pencils and pastels, to oils and pastels, plus a whole lot more. Chances are, if you've got a traditional tool in mind, you'll be able to find a digital equivalent in this library.

Selection Brush tools

As well as improving how artwork looks, Painter 2018 also upgrades how you work. Thanks to the Selection Brush tools, you can save time by creating a selection just as easily and precisely as applying a brushstroke. By displaying a colour overlay as you lay down a stroke, you can easily distinguish between selected and protected areas.

Texture Synthesis

The Cloning workflow has been updated in Corel Painter 2018

By capturing and synthesising selected areas of a textured piece of artwork, the Texture Synthesis tool gives you the opportunity to reproduce the elements on a larger scale. By randomising the properties of the texture, you can then paint with a brush that is loaded with the same settings.

Rounding off the update to Painter are a set of enhancements to pre-existing tools. These include improvements to the Drip and Liquid Brush technologies, plus an upgrade to the Cloning workflow.

Corel Painter 2018 is available to new users for £359.99, or as an upgrade for £179.99. For full details of all of the tools and ways to buy, be sure to head over to the Corel Painter 2018 homepage.

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