Corel Painter versus Photoshop
It’s Corel Painter versus Photoshop! Find out which one is best for you and your art style
Many people ask me which is ‘better’, Corel Painter or Photoshop. The truth is that they’re both incredibly useful and work together remarkably well (especially with the Photoshop integration in Painter 12). Nonetheless each one of them does have some advantages over the other.
- Photoshop has more brushes: It’s easy to make Photoshop brushes so there are thousands of homebrew brush sets out there to download, from traditional styles to contemporary ones
- Painter has better real media brushes: Painter has more real-media emulation, meaning that its range of brushes are better at pretending to be traditional tools
- Photoshop has more layer styles: You can add drop shadows, gradient overlays, adjustment layers and many other effects (which aren’t always compatible with Painter)
- Painter has unique layer styles: Painter has the Gel layer style as well as unique Watercolor and Liquid Ink layer types to give a realistic look and feel
- Photoshop is brilliant at image editing: It’s easy and intuitive to cut, copy and paste, create repeating motifs, group and modify layers and adjust colour
- Painter is brilliant at image creation: Many artists prefer to do their initial sketching, colour blocking and final painting in Painter, making Photoshop edits along the way
- Photoshop has its own file type: PSD keeps layers and effects intact across different programs and is an industry standard
- Painter has its own file type: Painter’s RIFF file type keeps unique Painter effects intact but is incompatible with other programs
- Photoshop has lots of added extras: You can create 3D and even animation in Photoshop and buy plug-ins for specific functions
- Painter has painting-specific extras: You can import textures and patterns to create unique brush effects specifically tailored to your painting or illustration
So which one is your favourite? Do you use Painter and Photoshop together – how and why? Let me know in the comments below or over on Facebook or Twitter. Personally, I like to start off sketching either in pen, pencil or with the Inkling, import my work into Photoshop to adjust the composition with Selection and Transform tools, then bounce into Painter to refine the sketch into line art and start applying values and colour. As I create details I’ll bounce back into Photoshop for some copy-pasting and Liquifying magic (particularly handy when you have a lot of repeating subjects like plants) and then back into Painter to work them up, and I’ll keep doing this until I’m basically happy with the image, when I’ll finally pop back into Photoshop to apply a texture overlay and some adjustment layers for the final tweaks. How about you?