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Painter Essentials 4 (Windows/Mac)

The easy-to-use home art studio for drawing and painting from scratch, and turning photos into stunning paintings

Easily sketch, paint and turn your photos into paintings with this creative home digital art studio. A wide selection of brushes, paints, pens and paper textures lets you add unique touches to photos, create cards and scrapbooks, and complete other fun projects.

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Painter Essentials 4 is based on the world's most powerful painting and illustration software, Corel® Painter™

If you want to do more than just edit and print your photos, Corel® Painter™ Essentials 4 is the ideal way to get started with digital art. Create a painting from a photo in just 3 easy steps. Sketch or paint on a blank canvas to produce an original image, and add creative elements to any digital project. With handy tools, brushes, paints and effects, you'll find new ways to work with photographs and express your vision.

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Create a painting from a photo in just 3 steps

  1. Open the photo you want to paint in the Source Image palette. Your photo will be saved with the Painter Essentials file format, so it's easy to return to a project later.
  2. Choose one of the preset painting styles from the menus on the Auto-Painting palette to get the look you want.
  3. Let new Smart Stroke™ technology help you create stunning paintings with brush strokes that follow the natural lines and contours in your photo.

Discover a completely redesigned workspace that improves color selection and helps you explore different brushes, media and paper.

On this page:

Photo Painting

New! Redesigned Workspace

Work within a tailored environment that includes all the tools you need to paint your photos.

New! Smart Stroke™ Technology

Quickly achieve impressive paintings or sketches with intuitive tools. Built into the Auto-Painting palette, Smart Stroke technology paints with brush strokes that follow the shapes and contours in your original photo. It dynamically changes brush size, stroke length and pressure, based on the detail and focal areas of the original photo.

New! Updated File Format

Quickly return to a project for further editing. Corel Painter Essentials 4 now saves the source image with your painting so you can continue working at any time.

Drawing and Painting Tools

New! Brush Drawer

Easily select brushes by previewing brush stroke samples and quickly access your most recently used brushes. You can also easily add your favorite brushes to the Brush Drawer column.

New! Mixer Palette

Get the exact color you want every time. In addition to the traditional Color Wheel, the new Mixer palette simulates the traditional experience of mixing colors on an artist's paint palette, making it easier for you to blend colors and get precise results.

New! Colors Palette

Pick a color with a single click.

New! Tablet Support

Easily navigate with a tablet thanks to redesigned workspaces that feature larger icons, buttons and sliders.

New! Magic Wand Tool

Easily select specific portions of a photo or painting.

New! Paper Selector

Enjoy quick access to a greater selection of paper textures that accurately reproduce the feel of using traditional art materials. You can even control the texture of the canvas to achieve the results expected from using traditional media on a given surface, like pencil on watercolor paper, felt pens on cotton paper, or chalk on the sidewalk.

New! 32 Undo Levels

Go back to earlier versions of your work to view or undo portions of your painting.

New! Online Print Services

Order prints of your artwork on canvas, watercolor paper and other fine art materials directly from the File Menu.

More Natural-Media® Tools

New! RealBristle™ Brushes

Authentically reproduce the natural movement of your brush, right down to the individual bristles.

New! Pens

Expand your artistic range with Scratchboard and Smooth Edge Calligraphy tools, which are perfect for inking comic books or doing calligraphy.

New! Charcoal Brushes

Apply realistic charcoal drawing effects to your artwork with new brushes that range from pencils to hard or soft charcoal sticks. As with other dry media brushes, the opacity is linked to pen pressure.

New! Sumi-e Brushes

Create flowing sumi-e-style brush strokes. Sumi-e is a style of painting that is characteristically Asian, and has been practiced for well over a thousand years. Literally ink painting, it is an art form that strives to distill the essence of an object or scene in the fewest possible strokes.

New! Sargent Brush

Paint in the style of Master Artist John Singer Sargent.

Enhanced! Brush Ghost

Receive unprecedented visual feedback of brush stroke behavior and enjoy better control as you apply brush strokes.

New! Nozzles

Apply special images to your canvas with handy Effects brushes, such as Nozzles. These are special image files that work with Image Hoses to "paint" images instead of colors. Each nozzle file contains multiple images.

New! Pattern Pens

Apply unique patterns to your images, and vary the size and transparency of the pattern.

Learning Resources

New! Tutorial-based Guidebook

Learn to use Painter Essentials 4 while completing fun, instructional projects.

New! Video Tutorials

Access video tutorials from Painter Master John Derry directly from the application.

New! Sample Files

Quickly find sample files for the guidebook and video tutorials right in the File Menu.

File Compatibility

New! Universal Binary Support

Painter Essentials 4 is optimized for use with Intel® processors. Enjoy improved performance with PowerPC® processors and Mac® OS.

New! Windows Vista® Support

Enhanced! Support for Wacom® Products

Use Painter Essentials 4 with any product in the entire Wacom line, including Graphire® pen tablets, Cintiq® 21 UX interactive pen display, the Intuos® 3 pen tablet and the Wacom 6D Art Pen.

Enhanced! File Compatibility

Easily share files with major photo-editing applications, such as Adobe® Photoshop® Elements, Adobe Photoshop, Corel® Paint Shop Pro® and Corel® PhotoImpact®.

Art Gallery

Get inspired!

Check out some artwork created with Corel® Painter™ Essentials:

Printing Your Masterpiece

Create, share and celebrate your digital artwork with Zazzle fine art printing services. Upload your masterpiece and choose from a growing list of items to customize, including T-shirts, prints, cards, mugs and stamps.

Your products will be created using a high-quality reproduction and manufacturing processes, and shipped to you within 24 hours.

Frequent Asked Questions:

What is a home art studio?
A home art studio combines a range of digital art tools, projects and resources, giving you several ways to explore your creativity.
If you want to do more than just edit and print your digital photos, Painter Essentials 4 extends your creativity with fun digital art projects that are great to display and share.

Transform digital photos
If you're a digital camera owner or someone who just enjoys taking pictures, use Painter Essentials 4 to find new ways of working with photos to express your creative vision. Try the auto-painting features to quickly and easily convert a photo into a painting. Then use the easy-to-access online services to have your masterpiece printed on a canvas, T-shirt, mug or other keepsake.

Feeling artistic?
Try painting on a blank canvas. Working just like an artist, you can use one of the 90 brushes and mix paint to get the exact color you need. The brush strokes look and feel just like the real thing.

Create your own scrapbooks
Explore the many tools, brushes, paints and effects to add a whole other creative element to your scrapbooks.

Who uses Painter Essentials 4?

People who like to take pictures
Anyone who uses a camera to capture special moments will find new ways to add unique touches to their photos with Corel Painter Essentials 4. The completely redesigned user interface and the simplified Photo Painting System make it easy to add artistic flair to any project. Plus, with new Smart Stroke™ technology, it's even easier to turn a photo into a natural, hand-painted work of art.

Scrapbookers and arts & crafts enthusiasts
For those who love hands-on creative projects like working with photos, sketching and painting, Painter Essentials 4 is the ideal way to get started in digital art. It captures the experience and realism of traditional art while introducing new creative possibilities. Turn photos into painted artwork, draw or paint an original image, and add creative elements to any project. It's easy and fun to make images that are perfect for hanging on the wall, or to add an extra personal touch to your scrapbooks and other creative projects.

Art students and teachers
Corel Painter Essentials 4 gives students and teachers a way to explore the visual arts without the cost and mess associated with traditional art supplies. Whether you're working at home or at school, students and teachers can enjoy an ideal learning environment that combines the techniques of classical art training with the unique possibilities offered by digital media.

System Requirements

Windows® version

  • Windows Vista® or Windows® XP (with latest Service Pack)
  • Pentium® III, 700 MHz or greater
  • 256 MB RAM
  • Mouse or tablet
  • 24-bit color display
  • 1024 x 768 screen resolution
  • CD-ROM
  • 1 GB of HD space for installation

Mac OS® version

  • Mac OS X 10.4 or 10.5 (with latest revision)
  • Power Macintosh® G4, 700 MHz or greater
  • 256 MB RAM
  • Mouse or tablet
  • 24-bit color display
  • 1024 x 768 screen resolution
  • CD-ROM
  • 1 GB of HD space for installation

Adobe® Acrobat&re; Reader
is required for components of Corel® Painter™ Essentials 4.

Safari™ Web browser
on the Macintosh® and Microsoft® Internet Explorer 6 (or greater) on Windows are required for components of Corel Painter Essentials 4.

Training Videos Adobe® Flash® Player version 7 or higher

Related Information

See Painter Essentials 4 in action

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