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Corel Painter Essentials 4 (Win/Mac)

by Corel See the Amazon Page for this brand
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews) 3 answered questions

List Price: $99.00
Price: $67.95 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Features

  • The simple-to-use home art studio that makes it easy for you to draw, paint or turn your photos into paintings--
  • The ideal way to get started with digital art
  • Tutorial-based guidebook and accompanying video tutorials/sample files teach you the application while you complete fun, instructional projects

System Requirements

  • Platform:   Windows
  • Media: CD-ROM
  • Item Quantity: 1

Frequently Bought Together

Corel Painter Essentials 4 (Win/Mac) + Wacom Bamboo Capture Pen and Touch Tablet (CTH470)
Price for both: $141.93

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Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 8 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 ounces
  • Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
  • ASIN: B000WCQCE4
  • Item model number: PE4ENPCM
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: June 17, 2003
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,895 in Software (See Top 100 in Software)

Product Description


Corel Painter Essentials 4 is the simple-to-use home art studio that makes it easy for you to draw, paint or turn your photos into paintings. Two new workspaces put the tools you need at your fingertips, whether you're turning a photo into a painting, or drawing and painting on a blank canvas. Plus, Corel Painter Essentials 4 includes an incredible selection of brushes, paints, pens and paper textures for adding unique touches to photos or creating cards, scrapbooks and other fun projects. Based on the world's most powerful painting and illustration software, Corel Painter, it's the ideal way to get started with digital art!

Discover an Expressive, Natural, and Inspiring Home Art Studio
For Corel Painter Essentials 4, the application workspace has been completely redesigned to improve color selection and the discovery of brushes, media, and paper. The new workspace is also easier for users to navigate, especially if they work with a pen tablet.

Corel Painter Essentials 4 is the simple-to-use home art studio that makes it easy for you to draw, paint or turn your photos into paintings.

With Corel Painter Essentials 4, it's now even easier for users to turn photos into expressive, natural, hand-painted portraits.

New--Redesigned workspace:
Corel worked closely with its customers to find out how they were using Painter Essentials. The result is a redesigned and simplified environment with two distinct workspaces: Drawing & Painting and Photo Painting. Each workspace is easily accessible from tabs within the application, and each presents users with the tools specifically needed for the task they've selected.

In the Drawing & Painting workspace, users can access relevant tools, such as the Colors, Color Wheel, and Layers palettes. In the Photo Painting workspace, users are provided with the Source Image, Auto-Painting, and Restore Detail palettes. Both workspaces offer a reconfigured toolbox that makes it easier to identify and select brushes, media, and paper.

New--Brush Drawer:
With Corel Painter Essentials 4, a new Brush Drawer has been added to the toolbox, making brush identification and selection easier than ever before. The Brush Drawer opens with the click of a flyout button. Redesigned icons for each brush category are displayed on tabs along the top of the Brush Drawer. The list of available brushes changes depending on the selected brush category. When closed, the Brush Drawer displays a column from which users can quickly access their most recently used brushes. For convenience, users can also easily add their favorite brushes to the Brush Drawer column.

New--Mixer palette:
In addition to its traditional Color Wheel, Corel Painter Essentials 4 now provides the Mixer palette. By simulating the traditional experience of mixing colors on an artist's paint palette, the Mixer palette makes it easier for users to get the precise color they want. Users can apply two or more colors to the Mixer pad, and then blend the colors together until they are satisfied with the result.

New--Colors palette:
Corel Painter Essentials 4 provides the new Colors palette, which lets users choose a color with just one click.

New--Easier pen tablet navigation:
With its new workspaces, Corel Painter Essentials 4 makes it easier for pen tablet users to navigate. Many of the application's buttons and sliders are larger and easier to grab. In addition, the controls for frequent actions, such as Undo and Redo, have been better exposed so that users can access them without using a keyboard.

New--Professional prints:
Accessible from the File menu, the new Online Print Services option lets users get professional prints on canvas, watercolor paper, or other fine art materials.

In the Drawing & Painting workspace, users can access relevant tools, such as the Colors, Color Wheel, and Layers palettes.

In the Photo Painting workspace, users are provided with the Source Image, Auto-Painting, and Restore Detail palettes.

The Corel Painter Essentials 4 Guidebook provides step-by-step tutorials that help users discover the application while completing fun projects.

Turn Photos into Paintings
With Corel Painter Essentials 4, it's now even easier for users to turn photos into expressive, natural, hand-painted portraits.

New & Enhanced! Photo Painting System:
The Photo Painting System has been redesigned and enhanced, reducing the complexity of turning a photo into a painting. With Corel Painter Essentials 4, the streamlined Photo Painting System is now available as a separate workspace. All brushes within the Photo Painting workspace act as cloners and take their color from the source image.

The new Source Image palette makes it simpler to choose a clone source, and includes controls to adjust the opacity of tracing paper and to toggle tracing paper on and off. In addition, the source image is now saved with the painting, meaning that users do not have to keep a separate photo open. The enhanced Auto-Painting palette now includes Smart Stroke technology, which provides more intelligent brush behavior during the auto-painting process.

New & Enhanced--Smart Stroke technology:
Built into the Auto-Painting palette, the new Smart Stroke technology paints with brushstrokes that follow the forms of the original photo. Smart Stroke technology dynamically changes brush size, stroke length, and pressure, based on the detail and focal areas of the original photo, which helps users quickly achieve impressive paintings or sketches.

New--Source image saved with file:
Previously, if users wanted to continue working on a Photo Painting project, they needed to remember which image file had been used as the source. With Corel Painter Essentials 4, the source image is now saved with the RIFF file, making it easier to return to a project later.

Try the Broader Selection of Natural-Media Materials
Painter has always led the way with its unrivaled selection of Natural-Media materials. With Corel Painter Essentials 4, users get access to an even greater selection of Natural-Media brushes, pens, and paper textures.

New--RealBristle Painting System:
First introduced by Corel Painter X, the new RealBristle Painting System heightens the responsiveness of the brush for the artist and represents a major milestone for digital painting. With Corel Painter Essentials 4, users get access to several RealBristle brushes in a variety of brush categories. Brushes that use RealBristle technology are identified by the prefix "Real" in their name. By authentically reproducing the sensation of the interaction between the paint, canvas, and brush, RealBristle brushes take realism to a whole new level.

New--Charcoal brushes:
The new Charcoal brushes range from pencils to hard or soft charcoal sticks. As with other dry media brushes, the opacity is linked to pen pressure.

New--Sargent brush:
The new Sargent brush in Corel Painter Essentials 4 helps users paint in the style of master artist John Singer Sargent.

Corel Painter Essentials 4 introduces pens in the Pencils & Pens brush category, such as the Scratchboard Tool and Smooth Edge Calligraphy, which are perfect for inking comic books or doing calligraphy

New--Sumi-e brushes:
Corel Painter Essentials 4 has added Sumi-e brushes, which let you create flowing sumi-e-style brushstrokes.

New--Paper textures:
Corel Painter Essentials 4 includes a greater selection of paper textures that accurately reproduce the feel of using traditional art materials. Users can control the texture of the canvas to achieve the results expected from using traditional media on a given surface--for example, pencil on watercolor paper, felt pens on cotton paper, or chalk on the sidewalk.

Explore Learning Materials
Getting started with Corel Painter Essentials and digital art has never been simpler. Users can take advantage of inspiring, tutorial-based videos and a companion guidebook, in addition to the application's Help system.

New--Tutorial-based guidebook:
The Corel Painter Essentials 4 Guidebook provides step-by-step tutorials that help users discover the application while completing fun projects. With projects ranging from beginner to advanced levels, the guidebook introduces various Corel Painter Essentials media and provides tips that introduce some of the elements and principles of art.

New--Video tutorials:
Corel Painter Essentials 4 includes video tutorials that are accessible from within the application. Users benefit by learning from the experience of Painter Master and Ambassador John Derry. The video tutorials guide users through a variety of projects, including those in the guidebook.
Brushes--The Heart and Soul of Corel Painter Essentials.

Enjoy Compatibility
Users who work with the latest operating system from Apple or Microsoft can rely on the compatibility features of Corel Painter Essentials 4. The application is designed to work with the industry-standard software and hardware that digital artists and hobbyists use every day.

New--Universal binary:
While still providing a great experience with PowerPC processors, Corel Painter Essentials 4 is optimized for use with Intel processors.

Enhanced! Windows Vista support:
Corel Painter Essentials 4 Works with Windows Vista.

Enhanced! Support for Wacom products:
Corel Painter Essentials 4 supports the entire Wacom product line, including the Graphire pen tablets, the Cintiq 21 UX interactive pen display, the Intuos3 pen tablet, and the Wacom 6D Art Pen.

Natural-Media Brushes
Brushes are the heart and soul of Corel Painter Essentials. The following sections explain how brushes and media are organized within the application.

Thick Paint
Thick Paint brushes let users simulate painting with thick, sticky paints, such as acrylics and oils. All Thick Paint brushes cover underlying brushstrokes. Many of the brushes can produce multicolored strokes, and others interact with underlying pixels to create realistic effects. The Thick Paint category includes Acrylics, Artists' Oils, Impasto, Oils, Palette Knives, and RealBristle brushes.

Thin Paint
Thin Paint brushes let users simulate the application of thin paint or ink, such as thin acrylic, oil paint, gouache, or Sumi-e ink. All Thin Paint brushes cover underlying brushstrokes. The Thin Paint category includes Acrylics, Gouache, Oils, RealBristle, and Sumi-e brushes.

There are two classes of Water brushes: watercolor brushes and airbrushes. Users must dry both airbrush and watercolor brushstrokes before applying effects. Watercolor brushes produce watercolor effects that react with the canvas texture. With the exception of the Wet Eraser, the width of watercolor brushstrokes is affected by stylus pressure. In previous versions of Corel Painter Essentials, the Watercolor brushes were referred to as Digital Watercolor. Airbrushes apply fine sprays of color. The Digital Airbrush carefully mirrors the feel of a real airbrush. The Wacom airbrush stylus is fully compatible with the airbrushes in Corel Painter Essentials.

Pencils & Pens
Brushes in the Pencils & Pens category are marking tools that simulate pencils, ballpoint pens, markers, and calligraphy pens. Just like their traditional counterparts, the pencils in the Pencils & Pens category interact with canvas texture and are great for a variety of artwork--from rough sketches to fine line drawings. The pencils and the Felt Art Marker build to black and link opacity to stylus pressure. Dragging quickly with a Pencils brush produces a thinner line, while dragging slowly leaves a thicker line. Pens, such as the Round Tip Pen and Scratchboard Tool, create realistic effects without the drawbacks of traditional pens, which can clog, spatter, or run dry.

Dry Media
Dry Media brushes range from charcoal and chalk to pastels and crayons. The opacity of Dry Media brushstrokes is linked to stylus pressure and all strokes interact with the paper texture. These brushes range from hard styles that reveal the paper grain to soft styles that glide on to completely cover existing brushstrokes. The Dry Media category includes Charcoal, Chalk, Crayons, and Pastels.

Blenders brushes affect underlying pixels by moving and mixing them. Blenders can reproduce the effects of blending paint by applying water or oil. Blenders can be used to smooth drawing lines and create shading just like a traditional pencil sketch or charcoal drawing.

There are three types of Effects brushes: Artist brushes, Image Hoses, and Pattern Pens.

Artist brushes let users paint in the styles of master artists, such as Vincent Van Gogh (with brushstrokes that are multishaded), or Georges Seurat (with multiple dots combining to form an image).

Image Hoses are special brushes that apply images, instead of color, to the canvas. The images that these brushes "paint" with come from special image files called nozzles. Each nozzle file contains multiple images. The Variable-Size Image Hose varies the size of images as you paint. The Variable-Angle Image Hose varies the angle at which the images are applied.

Brushes in the Pattern Pens category apply a pattern to an image. Users can vary the size and transparency of the pattern.

Photo brushes are based on popular brushes from other brush categories, but are optimized for auto-painting.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Power for the Price! January 17, 2008
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have children 14, 11, and 9, and I was looking for software that would appeal to their creative side. I am a fairly sophisticated software user, and used to do some programming myself, but had never really ventured into these type of painting/art programs.

Bottom Line: I was blown away by this program, totally impressed!!


#1 It's easy to use out of the box--- many of the controls are easy enough to figure out just by using them, it installs easy on both Mac and PC systems (I installed the program on both an old eMac and a low end Vista laptop successfully).

#2 It's really powerful--- once you really get into the software, it's amazing all the different brushes and textures and effects that you can do to make really impressive art.

#3 The tutorials are first rate--- A thick instruction manual that actually is well written, and actually teaches you about basic principles of art and painting. There are also a whole series of video tutorials included free. You can tell that a lot of hard work and frankly a lot of love went into this, which is a rarity for computer software these days.

#4 It's a great value--- For all you get, the price is very reasonable. And check the company's website, if you're still not sold they were at the time of this writing offering a 60 day free downloadable trial.

One more tip: Get even a low-price graphics tablet to go along with the software--- you'll be glad you did!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpieces the Easy Way May 28, 2008
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Whether you're using a Wacom tablet or just a mouse, you can quickly achieve painterly styles either free hand or with existing art and photographs with a few clicks and create unique pieces of art with minimal effort.

Being a user of Photoshop for about 14 years, I can tell you, this is not a competing product - it is a complementary product. The two do very different things in very different ways. Great for amateur artists or professionals, Painter 4 Essentials has great video tutorials to get you started.

I installed this on two different machines to test it out - once on a one-year-old MacBook that has the older video card w/ 64MB of shared graphics memory and on a new (early 2008) iMac with a 512MB graphics card. The difference is striking on performance. While this product would probably be great on one of the newer MacBooks with 144MB of shared memory, it stuttered and was slow on my older MacBook. It flies on my iMac... and this is clearly due to the graphics memory differences and not because of a moderate processor jump.

I'd recommend anyone trying this new out of the box to sit through the tutorials at least once to familiarize themselves with the interface - to me, it was not initially intuitive.

Fun, affordable, powerful product.
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sadly, unable to run in OS X June 11, 2009
Verified Purchase
I've used previous versions of Painter, long ago. When my kiddo became interested in doing more complex drawings than KidPix would support I immediately thought of Painter Essentials.

Amazon delivered the package quickly, and I've spent the past two mornings working with Corel support trying to get the program to run. I've also spent the past two mornings, while on hold, reading many comments online (the painter factory, etc ) about people recently having troubles with Painter 11 and Painter Essentials 4 running - and stopping running if it had been previously running.

The program displays a its splash screen and then disappears.

From comparing the un-installation instructions, which I've done 10 times or more, to the files installed on the computers hard disk I can see that some of the files which are supposed to be there are not. Support has no explanation for this discrepancy, but has said 'it shouldn't matter.'

as a software developer I find this a curious state of affairs.

I'll be contacting Amazon for a refund.
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54 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun experience, excellent software November 21, 2007
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Length: 0:53 Mins
I am not an artist, not computer savvy and used this product with a mouse. And even with all those disclaimers I can tell you it was not easy to use until I read the booklet and watched the tutorial. So I suggest you watch the tutorial videos that come with it first. After a little practice I was able to produce "paintings" from photos as it promised. This lets you upload a photo and basically paint over it. And expect to be able to improve as I learn more about all that the software has to offer and of course 'Practice'. I cannot imagine how easy and useful this product would be with a tablet.

As you may be able to tell from this review, I mainly wanted this so that I could enhance my photographs. The Photo Painting was quite nice. When you upload an image all you do is select which parts of it you want shown by using the same variety of paint tools available in the Drawing & Painting workspace. And there are a lot of choices; many that I am not using at the moment, but will with time. You are even able to change the texture of the image by changing the paper; you can change the brush type and width, and even use different kinds of paints. It will take more time to learn all that this software is capable of. The Amazon description shows the wealth of options available within this product.

For me this is a big upgrade. I have only used PC Paint before and always found myself frustrated by not having a brush size I wanted to use. Painter Essentials 4 gives you many more options and has greatly reduced this level of frustration I use to feel. Another big plus in my opinion is the undo or unedited, whichever term you are use too, works for many levels. I had gone forward and noticed something I did not like.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Did not come in a box, came in open ...
Did not come in a box, came in open sleeve. Had finger prints on bottom of CD, did not install all of program Tried (4)times, when I clicked on File in the menu the program locked... Read more
Published 2 days ago by buttercup
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Program was not compatible with Windows 7, only Windows XP.
Published 17 days ago by Rhonda Lynch
1.0 out of 5 stars What a waste of a good program
Essentials works if you have XP. Windows 8.1 would not make it compatible, I tried all compatible setting offered by 8.1 for 3 hours. What a waste of a good program.
Published 24 days ago by Raul Salinas
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
obsolete program.
Published 2 months ago by Harold C. Bergh
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
cannot get the software to open up.
Published 3 months ago by Gloria J. Hodgson Brooks
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT
Published 4 months ago by G. A. Hanan
1.0 out of 5 stars Corel Painter Essentials 4
This program has a lot to offer but the basics that I rely on are nowhere to be found. Simple, reliable things like select/delete and shape drawing tools have been overlooked. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jason Doerksen
5.0 out of 5 stars Was just as it was pictured and delivered in good time
Was just as it was pictured and delivered in good time. This program is one of the finest I have ever used. Enjoyed the effects that can be an enhancement to any picture.
Published 10 months ago by Karen M. Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars The reason I bought a laptop!!!!
I love Corel Painter 4 Essentials! I bought it and a Wacom Bamboo Fun Tablet back in 2007 before I purchased an HP laptop in 2008. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Anthony D. Parker
4.0 out of 5 stars Real World Painting meets your Computer
System Requirements
Mac OSX 10.4 or better
Windows Vista/7 or newer, with 1GB available HDD space & at least 256MB RAM
(though I wouldn't suggest using any Windows... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Lena, Massage Therapist
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