ArtRage - Colors, Media Tools, Layers, Blend Modes
Once you have blocked out the basic shapes of your subject, you are ready to add color. ArtRage has two ways to work with color; Trace Color and Normal Color. Trace Color is a feature which takes all the hard work out of choosing colors. As you paint with any of the tools, the software chooses the colors for you, based on the trace image. If you prefer to choose the colors, you can switch to the Normal Color mode and ArtRage has several color pickers including a Numeric Color Picker and the basic RGB and HSL color pickers.
With the Custom Color Picker feature, you can narrow your color choices in the color picker panel to a smaller group of colors such as complements, warm colors or cool colors. Finally, ArtRage comes with several preset Color Samples. You can even create and save your own custom color sets and color samples.
Natural Media Art Tools
Now that we have our digital colors, we are ready to paint or draw. Each of the natural media art tools in ArtRage can simulate traditional art media including oil, pencil, palette knife, airbrush, chalk, glitter, paint roller, paint tube, felt pen, crayon and eraser. The realism and amount of custom control over the tool's properties such as wetness, pressure, hardness and angle, are surprising for the price. The natural media tools can also be used with the Metallic Paint option which gives a metallic characteristic to the media and to the canvas. In the Papers Settings Panel, you can choose a preset paper type and control several aspects of the canvas such as grain, roughness, color and opacity.
Layers and Blend Modes
Another feature that one would expect in only high end software is layers. ArtRage's Layers panel rivals its competitors'. As in Photoshop, you can work on individual areas of your painting on separate layers. You can also copy, group and merge layers. Each layer has its own properties, such as opacity and blend modes, and can be moved, scaled and rotated. As in Painter, you can control the characteristics of the paper or canvas for each layer. ArtRage also supports transparency for layers, Photoshop's blending modes and has the ability to retain layer information when you import or export your artwork in PDS format.
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