Paintstorm's key selling point is the huge amount of control it gives you over its brushes. There are so many, that upon launching the program for the first time your screen will be overwhelmed with panels of options, obscuring the majority of your canvas!
Fortunately the panels are customisable, so you can scale down the interface and make them less opaque, and more tolerable. Once you've got the UI under control, you'll find the surfeit of customisable options available to you in Paintstorm is a blessing and a curse.
It's an unusual experience to have to organise a workspace in a painting program before you can start painting. It also feels odd that despite the appearance of the tabs, you can't nest them behind each other as you would in Photoshop.
The lack of intuitive controls is problematic when you're offered as many options as you are here. The absence of tool tips is another small frustration.
On the other side of the coin, the ways you can customise your brushes is staggering. Paintstorm gives you considerably more options to alter your brush behaviours than Photoshop, and often a category will have numerous subcategories within it, which you can also edit, giving you complete control over the brush engine.
With this in mind, we strongly recommend that you view the tutorials from within the program, so that you can make the most of the plethora of tools available.
If you're the kind of artist who loves tinkering with custom brushes to see what fun results you can achieve, then Paintstorm is definitely worth trying out. However, if you prefer opening a program and just start painting, this one probably isn't for you.
Reviewer: David Cousens