Friday, April 7, 2017

At the Beach - An ArtRage Expiriment Page 2

On Tuesday, I shared a the first page of the beach paper doll in color.  I decided to round out this week with the second page because I want to focus on an Easter set next week.

After finishing both pages in ArtRage, I've got a few pros and cons about the program.  First, it's super easy to just pick up and use.  The tools are all pretty intuitive and self-explanatory, especially the fact that it's gesture based.  I can interact with my computer screen the way I use my smart phone.  Secondly, I love the way the program mimics natural media.  I used the felt tipped pen for most of the base coloring. It was fun smearing marker and blending layers of markers! I also liked that there were a lot of functional features, such as selection tools and blending modes.

Right-click to download and print

Now on to the cons.  There aren't a lot, really.  Importing patterns and textures is a little more cumbersome than in Photoshop but totally possible.  I had some problems with palm rejection but I'm not sure if it was the program or my computer so I really don't want to blame the program.  ArtRage 4 doesn't have the ability to add type, but ArtRage 5 does so I can't really complain about that either.

ArtRage 4 DOES have a type tool, as the awesome folks over there were kind enough to tell me!
 The biggest gripe I have is my own fault. I used the metallic paint option and forgot to turn it off. I ended up losing about an hour of work and having to do it over, partly because I didn't notice it was still metallic. And the reason I didn't notice is because it really only showed up as metallic when I exported the file.  ArtRage doesn't render metallic media well and that might - again - be the version I'm using.

Overall, I recommend ArtRage as a natural media program.  It's inexpensive and it's fun (and no, no one paid me to say that! I just personally love the program).

I'll probably play around with it more.  If you also test it out, let me know - I'd love to see it!


  1. this is so much fun! love the little boat and the hat with the pom.

    i need a new computer this spring or summer (soon! i'm just dreading the conversion), and you've convinced me to give ArtRage a try. like you said it's inexpensive and i'm not super happy with the latest PhotoShop upgrades. i'm an old dog and new tricks are hard, though ~ hahaha

    i will always have a love-hate relationship with digital art: love what people create with it, hate trying to create with it myself.

    you always make me want to try again! : D

    1. I'm glad I went back to this set. Of the three kids I drew last year, this was the one I liked the best & always wanted to finish. I love how it came out!

      ArtRage is really fun. The full version of ArtRage 5 is about $80. As far as digital art programs go, that's incredibly affordable. I know that 5 has added a lot of functionality and you can see more on their website. I really should upgrade I just haven't gotten around to it.

      I will say this: it's intuitive, easy to use, but still requires some experimentation. For this set, I used the felt marker and pencil tool. With *real* media, I would have turned watercolors and colored pencils. I also tried the oil brush in ArtRage since I do a fair amount of oil painting but I found that less successful than I had hoped for what I was trying to achieve. Once I stopped thinking about this as "real world" media, my experience improved and I learned a lot.

      I would also say that having a tablet style computer where you can draw directly on the screen helps tremendously. An input tablet like a Wacom is not a bad way to go, either. I would LOVE a new Surface Studio and as much as I've had a love/hate relationship with my Surface, I'll probably continue to buy computers in the Surface line.

      It's gotten to the point where I'm a digital artist who dabbles in real media instead of the other way around. I'm not sure how to feel about that. I think if the work is good, it really doesn't matter what the medium is and I'm coming to terms with that. The techniques you use in watercolor, marker, pen, pencil, etc, translate to digital media, especially when using a stylus.

      I say, dive in!

  2. I love the different wigs. I've not got a tablet, so I don't know if I'll ever try Art Rage, but it does look like a fun program.

  3. Glad to hear you're enjoying ArtRage - I just wanted to mention that ArtRage 4 does actually have a text tool, it's the 'T' on the inner ring inside the tool picker (the grey ring for utilities/editing tools).

    For pattern import, if you haven't found these options yet:
    - pattern fill is hidden in the settings for the fill tool. Use a stencil or selection to limit the area filled.
    - AR5's custom brush lets you 'paint' in a pattern by adding it as a grain and setting grain progression to 100%

    If you have other questions, you can always contact us directly for help!

    1. Thank you for telling me all of that! This was the first project I've taken to completion in ArtRage and I loved it! I'll definitely work with it more.

      And I just upgraded to ArtRage 5. I'm eager to play with it & see what's new.

      This is such a great program, I really can't recommend it enough. It's robust enough for a pro and priced perfectly for a beginner. (And, obviously, customer service is a high priority!!)