ArtRage 4 is an easy to use natural painting package that lets you create realistic artwork on your computer.
User reviews:
Very Positive (90 reviews) - 94% of the 90 user reviews for this software are positive.
Release Date: Feb 12, 2013

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About This Software

ArtRage 4 is an easy to use natural painting package that lets you create realistic artwork on your computer. It has a wide range of artistic tools that let you get right down to the creative process without forcing you to learn complex or technical controls. It's like real paint without the mess!

ArtRage simulates real world painting tools including oils, watercolor, and more. Because it tracks the physical properties of your paint such as how much is on the canvas and how wet it is, your paint strokes create natural color blends and leave bristle textures as you go, giving you the appearance of a physical canvas without you needing to apply special effects.

ArtRage includes 20 painting tools and a wide range of features useful to basic and professional artists alike. If you're new to painting and drawing you can take advantage of the Tracing Image system to import a photo as a guide while painting. Let ArtRage pick colors from the image for you and you can focus on your brushwork and developing your skills. If you're a traditional artist who has avoided digital art tools, you'll find ArtRage pleasantly familiar as you can take many of your familiar techniques and work with them inside the software. If you're a digital artist who wants to add some natural paint to your images, you can still work with layers, blend modes and other digital tools. ArtRage Studio Pro offers selection tools, flood fills, and text to make the workflow easier. Support for Photoshop images imported and exported with their layers, groups, blend modes, and text layers intact makes it easy to use ArtRage alongside your other applications.

Painting tools

  • Natural Painting Tools: Oil Paint, Watercolor, Palette Knife, Paint Tube, Airbrush, and Paint Roller.
  • Sketching & Drawing Tools: Pencils, Inking Pen, Marker Pen, Pastel, and Eraser.
  • Special Effect Tools: Gloop Pen, Sticker Spray, Glitter Tube.
  • Utility Tools: Cloner, Selection, Transform, Eyedropper, Flood Fill including Pattern and Gradient Fills, Editable Text Tool.
  • Paint behavior simulates real world media. Oil paints smear and blend, tracking how much paint is on your brush and on the canvas. Lay down blobs of paint with the Paint Tube and smear them out with the Palette Knife. Watercolors diffuse and blend wetly. Pencils smudge.
  • Tools support user Presets.
  • Real Color Blending mode replaces standard digital RGB blending with a simulation of real paint to create more realistic color gradations.
  • Advanced stylus properties such as Barrel Rotation and Airbrush Thumb-Wheels are supported where available.
  • Stylus recognition is supported where available, allowing you to allocate specific tool settings to specific styluses.


  • Canvas texture provides an underlying surface for your paint to interact with. Other properties such as color and metallicity allow you to customize the look of your painting surface.
  • Rotate, scale, and pan the canvas so you can work at the most comfortable angle.
  • Layers and Layer Groups allow you to manage your work easily. Layer Blend modes mirror standard Photoshop blend modes.
  • Layer locks let you prevent specific types of changes being made to layers you want to safeguard.
  • Color bitmaps can be used to generate full color canvases.

Tracing and References

  • Import an existing image as a Tracing Image to guide you as you work. ArtRage can be set to draw color from the Tracing Image automatically so you can focus on your brush strokes.
  • Import existing images as References which are pinned to your canvas as visual guides while you paint.
  • Create Scraps, floating canvas pieces that can be used as mixing palettes or for testing ideas before painting.
  • Views lets you create floating viewports that display all or part of your canvas independent of the main canvas window.

Stencils and Rulers

  • Add stencils to your canvas to block out areas for masking. Multiple stencils can be added at once and interact with each other like they would on a real canvas.
  • Any stencil can be converted to a Ruler which can be used to create precise lines or curves at any angle as part of a natural stroke of the brush.


  • Peel individual sticker images off Sticker Sheets to apply to the canvas. Comes with a wide range of sample stickers.
  • Spray a stream of stickers from a sheet on to the canvas using the Sticker Spray. A wide range of variables can be used to control how the flow works, including stylus pressure, underlying image properties and more.
  • Post-Edit stickers applied with the Sticker Spray. You can move, scale, rotate, or delete individual stickers that were sprayed with the tool. Spray a tree-full of leaves then delete the ones that don't look quite right, or tweak any of the thousands of pebbles that make up a beach. Post-Editable stickers remove the random chance from image spray systems.


  • Simple and intuitive interface gathers controls in to appropriate groups and presets the most important ones in an easy to access first tier, while lesser controls hide away in Pods until they are required.
  • The interface gets out of the way as you paint. If you paint stroke approaches a panel, it vanishes so that you can see what you're doing, then reappears when you're done.
  • Scale the interface up or down to suit the size of your working environment.
  • The Toolbox panel lets you gather together appropriate resources in to a single panel for quick access to the tools you need for your current painting.
  • Workbench Mode collapses the entire interface in to a slim toolbar that lets you work with the full screen in a compressed environment. The Workbench Pinboard lets you pin important colors, tools, layers, stencils, and other user objects from your toolbox to the toolbar for quick access to relevant resources for the work you’re doing right now.


  • The ArtRage Scripting System allows you to record your paintings for playback later. Playing a script reconstructs the painting stroke by stroke and can be shared with other users.
  • Annotations can be added to scripts as they are recorded, allowing you to highlight techniques or areas of your painting that others might find useful or interesting.
  • Scripts can be played back at any resolution: Paint your masterpiece then recreate it stroke by stroke at larger size for printing.
  • The ArtRage Scripting Language lets you control almost every aspect of the application via a text script file. Edit scripts directly or create them from scratch utilising a C-like programming language.

Paint Symmetry

  • Turn on the Paint Symmetry system and ArtRage automatically replicates your strokes around the canvas as you paint.
  • Adjust the type of symmetry (Rotational or Mirrored), the center of symmetry and the number of axes you want.
  • The entire symmetry system can be controlled from a single ‘puck’ on the canvas.


  • Support for multi-core or multiprocessor machines speeds up almost every aspect of the application.
  • Customizable keyboard shortcuts.
  • Internal filters provide Noise Addition, Blur and Color Adjustment control. ArtRage also supports a wide range of Photoshop Filters.
  • ArtRage supports Perspective and Non-Uniform transformations for layer contents.

File Formats

  • Import and Export standard image file formats including PNG, JPG, and TIFF.
  • ArtRage can save automatic incremental backups of your paintings, storing previous generations so that you can recover older versions when you need them.
  • Import and Export Photoshop PSD files, keeping Layers, Layer Groups, Blend Modes, and editable Text Layers intact.
  • The ArtRage Package File format lets you package together custom resources such as presets, stickers, and stencils in to a single file that can be shared with other users and installed with a double click.
Note: The Mac version of this software does not support Steam Cloud at this time.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS:Windows Vista
    • Processor:1Ghz
    • Memory:512 MB RAM
    • Hard Drive:120 MB HD space
    • Additional:Also supports Graphics tablets such as Wacom, including support for pressure sensitivity and stylus properties where available. Supports Touch Inputs that support Microsoft's Realtime Stylus standard.
    • OS:Windows 7 or later
    • Additional:Also supports Graphics tablets such as Wacom, including support for pressure sensitivity and stylus properties where available. Supports Touch Inputs that support Microsoft's Realtime Stylus standard.
    • OS:OS X 10.6
    • Processor:Any Intel Processor
    • Memory:512 MB RAM
    • Hard Drive:120 MB HD space
    • Additional:Also supports Graphics tablets such as Wacom, including support for pressure sensitivity and stylus properties where available.
    • Additional:Also supports Graphics tablets such as Wacom, including support for pressure sensitivity and stylus properties where available.
Customer reviews
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Very Positive (90 reviews)
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64 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
63 of 64 people (98%) found this review helpful
711.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2013
Probably the best natural media emulator I have used, having used almost all of them, It might not have overly complicated features, but what it does it does perfectly fine and then some.
combined with a drawing tablet the possibilities and creative doors it opens cannot be surpassed.

It works with layers, slections, masks, and every traditional media you can think of.

A must buy for any artistic creative endeavor!
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37 of 37 people (100%) found this review helpful
229.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 23, 2013
Fantastic tool for doing stuff. I've had more fun in this than I've had in Photoshop or any other digital painting program. I think it might be because it perfectly simulates a painterly feel, whether your thing is pencils, markers, paints, or any other thing you can think of. But the best friend here is the palette knife. I've used a palette knife in real life before, and swore off it because of its dificulty. Here however, I see it's advantages clearly, and absolutely cannot do without it!

The program is better with a drawing tablet, but found it work pretty well with mouse since you can mess with the sensitivity and flat out tell the program to ignore your scribbly mess and make it a straight or curved line easy.

So final verdict: This is one of the best digital painting software out there, and if you are even remotely interested in a cheap alternative to photoshop, you need to take advantage of it.
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19 of 19 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
110.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 22, 2014
This is hands down the best digital art software that I have used. It has a diverse set of tools/mediums and by far the best blending tools out of all the software I have used. Between this, and Manga Studio 5 (regular) I am sorted for either realistic painting, or comic book style art. Feel free to check out my uploaded pieces created in Artrage to get an idea of what it is capable of.
Another great feature of Artrage is that you have the ability to record your painting process as a script, which can then be sped up and recorded with an open source program like Camstudio in a lossless format and uploaded to youtube for people to see. It's a very cool feature.

For such an inexpensive piece of software, it is easily my favourite. I can't wait till the Android version comes out for use with tablets.
If you are interested in digital art and have some kind of graphics tablet, then this is a fantastic art tool to have at your disposal. Been using it for years now and can't recommend it enough.
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13 of 13 people (100%) found this review helpful
323.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 28, 2014
I started with Sketchbook Pro. The program is good but very old. Sketchbook Pro is stuck in the past as the programmers spend more time on the mobile app. Please AutoDesk, work on Sketchbook Pro!

Up next is Corel Paint. Painter is a bad knock-off of Photoshop. I tried to like it but the interface was like sandpaper. I worked through the interface only to find it buggy as hell. Every day, every hour or so the prgram would crash. Corel promised the next patch would fix things. Thanks but I'll move on.

I found Artrage and loved it. It was everything Sketchbook Pro was supposed to be. Clean interface, guides, selections (try to select something in Sketchbook without moving it. You can't use selection as a paint border!) Artrage has become my tool of choice. The many blending tools are amazing. For all the blending tools alone is worth it.

One downfall of ArtRage is no perpective rulers. Hopefully in the next update it will.

Understand that this program is not Photoshop. It's not a photo editing program. This is a Sketch/Draw/Paint program. Because it's focused on Illustration it's better then photosohp. Have they added a color wheel to Photoshop yet? How's that canvas rotation? I'm sure in the next update they will get it right. For the price of renting Photoshop for a month or so you can own Artrage.
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11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
165.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 12, 2014
Great-great software, lot of fun with it. Has one of the most heart-warming community, with almost enthusiastic support and development (i enjoy my morning coffe reading the fresh posts) It works with a great variaty of graphic tablets, not only Wacom. I currently use a TRUST Canvas wide tablet (1024 pressure levels -4000 lpi) and a Hanvon Artmaster II large tablet (2048 pressure levels and 5080 lpi), and works seamlessly with both. I would say it's like having a whole artsore at your fingertip without selling an arm and leg for it.... Now woks of 64 bit OS, and is moving forward to Android platforms as well. A graphic tablet+AR4 = maybe one of the best gifts for a digital savy kid
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11 of 11 people (100%) found this review helpful
18.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 3, 2015
Last time I've drawn anything serious was over 20 years ago when I was still at school (yeah, I'm *THAT* old :p). And though I had good rates on school, I didn't continue on drawing...

Last year during the summer sale I bought ArtRage to pick up drawing again. I also bought a Wacom Intouch Pro (small) tablet to get things started again. But that didn't really work out well - drawing with a tablet is so much different than pencil & paper. Not to mention, I didn't know where to start again.

To get started I bought 'Manga for Dummies' (always loved manga & anime so that choise was pretty simple), and it was only this week that I finally picked up the digital pencil again. With that it was time to explore the possibilities of ArtRage as well.

Though not totally using ArtRage's potential at this moment, I see that it offers a lot. Even at the 'noob' level I'm using it, it's filling all my needs. Rulers and stencils are already what I'm using and honestly, I think they are a must (even for the advances artist).

I've also player around a bit with all other stuff ArtRage offers. Inking, paint, scrapers and all that kind of stuff. The use of all different kind of drawing tools ArtRage gives feels like you're actually drawing on paper. Ink flows pretty natural, scrapers used on paint gives very good effects where one color mixes naturally with an other. It looks like ArtRage offers almost every drawing technique that there's available at this moment!

One thing though that's a real *MUST* when using ArtRage (or any other art program for that matter): a good tablet that has different pressure levels. Your mouse only offers 2 (on paper and not on paper), while a pressure sensitive tablet gives you the ability to make very soft lines through extremely hard lines...
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
206.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2014
Prior to getting ArtRage, my only experience with digital art creation came from the Adobe Creative Suite, which is fantastic for image editing and anytime you need to work with vector shapes, but I could never really get the hang of it for more "artistic strokes" and creating non-vector art; I found Photoshop's interface too inaccessible and disorganized (using the free CS2 version, anyway. And for a recurring monthly payment, I wasn't crazy about subscribing to the most current iteration of Creative Suite). ArtRage, on the other hand, makes digital drawing and painting feel as accessible as the real world experience. Your ability to create great art exists independently of your ability to master all the tips and tricks of the software, allowing you to spend more time just drawing and less time putzing around menus. Even if your artistic interests are more in graphic design, making web pages, creating usable spritesheets, etc. if nothing else it's a great concepting tool that produces results that can be combined or layered in Photoshop/Illustrator/etc. for final drafting later on.

I use this with a tablet PC laptop (not touchscreen) that I can draw directly on with a Wacom-type pen, and it's fantastic.
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11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
8.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 23, 2013
So I've tried using both Adobe Illustrator and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro before and found the experience frustrating and unfulfilling. The biggest obstacle with the pro art programs is figuring out the UI. ArtRage has a simple, intuitive UI that rewards experimentation rather than encouraging you to go read a third party manual.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
45.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 17, 2015
I have used this software for personal and professional work and It always is a reliable tool. I wish they add trading cards to Art Rage :)
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
28.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 21, 2014
Highly recommended bit of kit, I have had a lot of fun with this, though I wouldn't have had I not bought a drawing tablet 1st.

There are a lot of free resources to go with it - thanks to a large user base of friendly creative people, with a good website that host them all.
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Recently Posted
0.3 hrs
Posted: July 27
It is a good little drawing program.
It takes a bit of time starting up, but even amatures like me can paint with realistic effects and patterns.

I got it once it was on sale for 30 bucks and I have not regretted it.

Play time weirdly does not represent how long I have used it, I think it confused hours with minutes, or it cuts off a few seconds after starting it up. But that all is steam's fault.
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56.4 hrs
Posted: June 25
This program is a watered down corel painter, interface is bright and fun to work in, however some of that bling can be distracting in doing your project. The icons for the brushes dont do the actual effected of the brushstrokes any justice. the bit bepth of the brush engine is still old, while you can increse the size of the image, and the dpi all you want to but the brushes themselves will still draw in like a 800x600 bit depth revealing stairstepped edges in most all brush strokes, and developers added a filter to disguise it, becuase its outdated software reperpoused for a 64 bit enviorment. and dont buy the android version becuase they butchered it from this version.
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14.0 hrs
Posted: June 22
Great drawing application!
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The Constant Variable
6.3 hrs
Posted: May 20
Thank God for a painting app that works well on the Macintosh platform. 6 stars out of 5!
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37.4 hrs
Posted: March 3
Wow! What a programme. Art Rage was recommended to me by a professional artist who works with both digital and conventional mediums I don't regret this purchase one bit. Worked out of the box with my Huion tablet.

It is the closest to real painting I've found in any art package. My pictures might still be rubbish, but my art-materials bill is zero. Definitely best with graphics tablets rather than a mouse. Supports photoshop images, multiple layers, tracing (with or without auto colour), a full and detailed manual, and its so easy to use. Plus a huge community on the official site and plenty of free resources (brushes etc).If that isn't enough, you can import Photoshop brushes although I have not yet tried this yet.

I'm no artist, and not familiar with art programmes, so I tried everything i could get my hands on. Happily the other two contenders are free anyway, Krita and Howler-8 particularly for Howler's particle brushes (downside = no layers), and Krita's nice brush stabiliser (Krita is a Gimp based programme and 10 years into development) but for pure painting Art Rage is the one to buy. There is a FREE DEMO available.

*note that a lot of people appear to have low hours in Art Rage but this is because the app stopped clocking steam hours for most users some time ago
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3.0 hrs
Posted: March 2
Very intuitive and easy to work with, especially when used with a graphics tablet.
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21.4 hrs
Posted: January 11
Great product. Simple but deep and fun to use
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129.5 hrs
Posted: December 25, 2015
I love this software when it works... WHEN it works.
I've gotten into the habit of saving every five minutes, which many artists know is a really great way to totally break you out of the flow of work. If I get caught up in a line or shading and I forget to save, you can be sure that I'm going to lose everything. I get that telltale freeze for a second followed by the "Art rage has stopped working.." screen, then the "Art rage is restarting" screen. Also maybe it's just me, but when I'm angry about something, getting a window blankly telling you that it's restarting with a loading bar overlaying your work, really pisses me off.. You can see it in the background. It makes you wait whilst it loads the crash and the re-start, and not once has it backed up my work, something that it ADVERTISES doing. I just... I can't really tolerate it.

I've contacted Ambient Designs about this issue several times, their advice has been, every time, to tell me that they wont help as my game was purchased through Steam. I asked if I could exchange my steam copy for an outside of steam copy so that they could help me, and they said no. If you want support from the company at all DO NOT PURCHASE THIS PROGRAM THROUGH STEAM as they will brush you aside and tell you it's not their problem.

I also want to mention that it's installed on my Wacom Cintiq Companion. I'm not sure how stable it is on desktop, but if you also have a Companion, be very aware that it is monsterously unstable.
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The Man From Okinawa
12.0 hrs
Posted: June 17, 2015
Art Rage Enables.
Be Creative, Be Happy!
Has Countless Uses.

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