Quote Originally Posted by CMDesign View Post
I'm curious what the major differences are between these two programs and why there is such a massive price difference.

I have been using Artrage for a long long time and love it. But I see Painter 2019 is in a Humble Bundle along with some other programs for $25. Wondering if it has any features or differences that would make it worth the extra expense? What does each do better or worse than the other?

Also I'm currently using AR5.
Consider Corel's Painter (Originally a Co. called Fractal Design) the premiere, industry standard traditional media (oils, pastels, watercolors, ink, ect.) - digital art software. Very much like many would consider would consider Adobe Photoshop, for Photo & Raster design, or Adobe Illustrator for Vector design, as industry standards. for their respective primary functions in artistic design. Corel actually makes or has bought up (like Adobe), several design & other software companies. However, in the digital art world for a digital based traditional art media, Corel's Painter is regarded as the overall best software. That's where & why you have a big price tag. That all said, Painter isn't expensive considering you "own," the software vs. having to rent it, as you do with Adobe. When you could still buy Adobe software (some years ago), I can assure you, it was just as expensive (if not more), than Corel Painter. Consider Painter Corel's flag ship software these days too, for many professional artists.

In the last several years, you have seen a revolution (so to speak), with many new Software companies like Ambient Design, Seriff, Escape Emotions, Ect., creating some fantastic art/design software. This is do to several factors. Cost of software (like Corel's painter) and Adobe's "rent our software." In particular, Adobe has received a huge backlash to their pricing. This was evident a couple of months ago when Adobe attempted to increase the price of their Photographers Package. Reasons already explained, plus a bunch of other little things have also contributed to this revolution of new and in some cases art/design software that is beginning to challenge Adobe & Co. from dominating the Design Industry (from painting, to editing photos, videos, website design, on & on). Don't get me wrong... Adobe, Corel, Autodesk, ect., still dominate and that won't end anytime soon. However, so long as these new Art/Design software company's like Ambient Design, don't get too greedy, they will increase in popularity. Seriff (who makes the Affinity line of software) is probably doing the best job, of the new art/design revolutionary companies. Affinity is actually really good... all 3 programs.

Now that you have your history lesson (haha) and understand why Painter is so much more, I'll rank some software in tiers of: best, solid & fair "overall," (for painting & drawing only). Now just because Painter is and should be ranked #1, that does not mean other software is "entirely," less than. Example: Rebelle is by far the best software for digital watercolors. Both Artrage and Painter have really good watercolor functions but, Rebelle is again... the best when it comes to digital watercolors. Another example: don't think for a second that you cannot produce professional art in Artrage and that you have to have Painter.

Best - overall: Painter - there are pros & cons with all software however, no software offers the control, tools, options upon options within tools, brushes, ect., as Painter

Solid - overall (in no particular order): Artrage, Rebelle, Affinity Designer, Sketchbook (old but still awesome & now free), Clip Studio, Leonardo (this is technically should
be in the fair tier but, it is wonderful to sketch on, when using a tablet like a Surface Pro, as well as it has so much potential). There's certainly a few more I could
add to this list but, you should get the point.
* I should mention Concepts, which is unique. This is a vector based app however, you draw & paint with this app as you would do in Artrage. Only downside with
Concepts: they want a 25/30 yearly subscription fee, for some of the best tools and brushes. The Copic Color wheel will wow you.

Fair - all listed have potential & could be big in a couple of years or sooner: Krita (tons of features, really needs to be cleaned up, high learning curve also), Gimp (which
is Open-Source), Medibang (wow, is this fun to sketch in). Again, there's plenty of other software I could mention but, there's enough listed to make my point.

What I use... I all of the software listed from time to time. I have a lot of knowledge and experience using the software listed. Even though I oddly just bought Artrage 6, I have used it years ago. I finally feel like it's at a stage where I'll use it more consistently. Save your money for now, if you don't have a ton of digital painting experience, for an eventual digital art digitizer/screen, like a Wacom Cintiq or a cheaper competitor in the meantime. A Wacom is expensive like Painter also but, it's less subjective to opinion as 99.9% of users will say " its worth every cent, in the long run. My best advice with Painter vs. Artrage: use what you're comfortable with. There isn't a wrong answer to this question.

This is "my opinion." However, I base it on 25 years of tradition & digital painting. Name any art software and chances are I've tried it. I also teach, tutor and freelance. I'm also a Adobe Photoshop Certified Expert. At the very least, I hope this helps you and anyone else with similar thoughts or questions.