Elements Of Passion

Art, Interaction Design and User Experience

Rediscovering the line with ArtRage

Posted by meero on April 4, 2007

A couple of months ago, I downloaded a trial version of ArtRage to play with it on my tablet pc. I liked the program so much that after less than an hour of using the trial version, I purchased the full copy. This has been the best $20 I have ever paid for a piece of software. IMHO, ArtRage beats Alias Sketchbook 2.0 hands down. There is a great entry on Cartoon monkey comparing them, hence I will not get into much detail about the comparison.

What’s really fascinating about ArtRage is the simplicity and integrity of the design. The application is elegant and takes full advantage of tablet pc capabilities (although not to the extent of full use of gestures for marking menus as in SketchBook). My favorite feature is the ability to press the tablet enter key (present as a hardware key on almost all tablet pcs in tablet mode) to go full screen after the tool has been set. The program, through its simplicity, does not provide much of the fancy tools you find in Photoshop or Painter, yet it provides an excellent substitute for my expensive set of art supplies, especially the dozens of pencils and sketchbooks that I have lying around in my studio.

Few weeks ago, I started watching the Vilppu Studio Lectures on Figure drawing, which is very well explained by the way. To my pleasent surprise, I found another feature in ArtRage that allows pinning (and manipulating) a reference image to the canvas to copy from. Honestly, this feature made my day.

If you are looking for a cheap program to replace your fancy photoshop or painter when you want to just sit and draw, I highly recommend ArtRage! (By the way, this application won the Microsoft “Does your app think in ink” contest a couple of years ago).

Here are some of my early experimentation with figure drawing on ArtRage as well as some weird abstracts 🙂




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