Corel Painter Essentials 4 Review

Many of you know that I love to design different things online and I design blogs in my spare time. I am a total geek when it comes to computers, code and especially design software. Corel Painter ImageI was excited when Corel contacted me to do a review on their Painter Essentials 4 program. At first I had no idea what it could really do, but the designer in me really wanted to find out. The write up on Corel Painter Essentials 4 says that it is a great resource for getting started in digital art. And that you can turn any picture into a work of art in three easy steps. When they first sent me the program, they offered a small meeting to learn some of the features of Painter Essentials 4 which I declined. I wanted to see if those three steps were easy to figure out without any help at all. And they were! From the main page that loads, you:

  1. select the image you want to paint (on the right side of the page),
  2. choose any painting styles you want (or leave it on the default on the right side),
  3. click the start button and watch as the program transforms your image

It is really that easy! Baby BirdI used this software to do a painted picture of my daughter which is shown here. On the top of my long list of things to do is put together a DVD of Baby Bird’s first year and I will be using this software both in my DVD cover design and throughout the DVD. I also like that by using the paint feature, it blends the background in a little better. She was just sitting on the couch, but once it was painted the couch just became a nice backdrop. I played around with the different options to create three different textures on the same picture. Below I took the same flower, but gave it a water brush, chalk and bristle brush look. Click on each image to zoom in and see the differences.

Flower1 Flower2 Flower3 There are so many options to what medium to choose. You can use various thick paint, thin paint, water colors, pencils and pens and dry media such as charcoal, chalk and crayon to name a few. You can also do smudging and add different effects.

This program is great for anyone who wants to:

  • add some wonderful effects to favorite family pictures
  • try their hand at digital art
  • add to their collection of great design programs
  • What would you use it for?

The tutorial was very easy to follow and Corel also has a lot of help pages on their site. I use a Mac computer, and Corel is available to both PC and Mac users. Corel Painter Essentials 4 retails for $99.99US but you can try a free download before buying.

Sheri Landry
Sheri publishes, and writes at This Bird’s Day where she shares all of the thoughts in her head without the voices. Sticking mainly with content for Canadians, Sheri shares family stories, product information and anything that fits into her (and her family’s) daily activities.
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14 comments… add one
  • Anonymous Sep 25, 2009, 8:38 am

    I am the family historian and have many pictures that are over 100 years old. I would love to have some of them "brought back to life.

  • Anonymous Sep 23, 2009, 2:09 pm

    I would like to redo some very old pictures of my grandparents, when they immigrated to Canada. I have a very special one that says it all.

  • pippirose Sep 20, 2009, 8:59 pm

    I'd want to spiff up my wedding photo. We used a Polaroid camera for the one and only photo (we were young…and broke).

  • Snug N Luv Sep 19, 2009, 7:32 pm

    I have so many great pics with really bad backgrounds. One in particular has my husband sans shirt in the background. He looks great, but I don't want to put it on the wall. He'd kill me. lol

  • Susan Sep 18, 2009, 2:04 pm

    I would love to use it with a picture of my nieces. I don't see them very often so I would sure put this to good use.

  • Elonda Sep 18, 2009, 7:04 am

    I love to take pictures, so this would be ideal to liven them up a bit! If I had to pick I have a photo of my beloved dog who passed away after 17years and would love to do something really different with his photo so I could enlarge it and frame.

  • Cherie Sep 18, 2009, 5:41 am

    I have a picture of my daughter who is a figure skater doing a beautiful layback spin. Only problem is she has her face all wrinkled up from the effort. I would love to remove the wrinkles and do the spin justice.

  • thesehappydays Sep 18, 2009, 12:37 am

    I have a pic of one of my 2-year-old girls feeding her twin sister a spoon of gelato. My husband took the pic at an artistic angle and, although it is already cute as is, I can see that it has potential to be even more interesting.

  • Debbie Sep 17, 2009, 10:35 pm

    I would change up so many pictures it would be nuts. I would love to see what I could do with my sons grad pics.

  • nadine Sep 17, 2009, 6:30 pm

    Can't pick just one picture, i would use it for all of them!!!

  • audrey Sep 17, 2009, 5:58 pm

    Oh I have a great picture of my two girls that would be perfect for that application.

  • Annie1 Sep 17, 2009, 5:46 pm

    I have a few special pics, but I have one photo of my eldest daughter that was taken when she was modeling in NY (she was 12) and I'd love to be able to play with it!

  • as Sep 17, 2009, 4:22 pm

    Sounds like something I would use a lot! I love what you did with your photos!

    I would love to use this program for particularly a photo of my little guy playing in his jumparoo. So cute!

  • CanadianMama Sep 17, 2009, 3:45 pm

    Oh, I would LOVE to win this! I have a great pic of Chicken on the beach that I would want to use the program for. It's of him playing and it's so cute it's digusting!!

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