ArtRage on the iPad: natural media painting is here

Benjamin Rabe

AmbientDesign has just released Artrage for the iPad, and if you already know the desktop version, then you might have high expectations. I had. And I didn’t get disappointed at all when I was lucky to join the beta test phase just in time to take it with me to the beautiful tuscany.
ArtRage beta splash 3

The Tools

Artrage for the iPad comes loaded with a set of tools, including oils, watercolors, pencils, pastels and inking pens.

The interface is similar, though not exactly same as the desktop version.

All tools got their own settings, and the app comes also with some generic presets but let’s you save your own, too.

The canvas

ArtRage is the first app on the iPad to support canvas textures. You get to choose from different presets:

The textures have a ‘real’ effect when painting, you can also choose the roughness of the texture chosen.

Layers and blending modes

The app gives you an unlimited amount of layers and virtually every blending mode you can think of. Even one called watercolor, which goes well with another unique tool, the watercolor brush, which comes pretty close to the real thing, as you can see in this example:
ArtRage beta splash 6

Painting aids

ArtRage for the iPad also helps you to get started. You can import any picture from the library and paint over it in a color-copy mode, meaning the tool will pick the color from the super-imposed picture. If you don’t like copying, you can also clip other artwork to the canvas:

Conclusion

This app is one serious step towards realistic painting, though you can tell it’s really pushing the hardware to its limit. When using complex brushes in bigger sizes, like the watercolor brush, the app does lag a bit. But I found that’s something I can live with very well given the sheer amount of unique features, ArtRage gives me. I touched only some of them, for a full set, visit the ArtRage page.
ArtRage is 6.99$/5.49€ in the App-Store.


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