Corel Painter Essentials 5

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If you are new to digital painting, then Corel Painter Essentials 5 is exactly what you need to help you draw beautiful images in no time. Not only this is the easiest and most powerful tool around to create a virtual painting, but it's also the most affordable solution you can find.

More Tools, Less Money to Spend!

I was already the owner of Corel Painter Essentials 4, so I was not sure that purchasing the fifth version would be a good deal. I paid $99 for Corel Painter Essentials 4, so I was pleasantly surprised to see that version 5 was on sale for only $29 in a huge retail store (the regular price was $49).

Not only is the software more affordable, but you also get your hands on new tools that are practical and fun to work with. 

Particle Brushes

One of these new tools is the possibility to work with particle brushes. It is truly amazing to see these new brushes at work. These new brushes are the Flow Flare, the Flow Fur, the Gravity Bristle, the Gravity Lazy Sketch, the Spring Rainbow Silk and the Spring Silk Flower. Other cool particle tools are also included in the "Blenders" section.

Although these new tools are able to create cool effects, remember that particles are hard to control. Randomness is very present and creating something really beautiful is often the result of luck. 

Mirror And Kaleidoscope Painting

Mirror painting is perfect if you need a tool to create something symmetrical. You can see the result in real-time, but some brushes are not rendered identically on each side. You can also use the kaleidoscope mode to create unique piece of art. It's a fun tool, but it is probably not something that you will use on a daily basis.

Other Nice Improvements And Additions

Corel Painter Essentials 5 also comes with enhance paper textures. You also have access to a 2 in 1 mobile interface and the application is now working exclusively on native 64-bit for Mac and PC. This means more power and more speed, but it also means that older machine won't be able to run this application.

Smart Photo-Painting Tools

If you don't feel like drawing a whole painting illustration using brushes and special effects, Corel Painter Essentials 5 can do the job for you. Indeed, you also have access to the Auto-Painting tool that literally does the drawing from a photo in real-time. 

First, you need to select a photo from your computer. Then, you can select from 11 different styles. Once you have made your choice, simply click on the "start" button. The software starts painting and you can stop the process whenever you are satisfied with the result.

Once this is done, you can also make some modifications using your own brushes, but these modifications are not always easy to create. The whole process takes a few minutes, but the result is usually quite fascinating. You will need to experiment a little bit to end up with something really fascinating.

The Conclusion on Corel Painter Essentials 5

No doubt that if you are interested in creating beautiful digital paintings without having to spend $399 (the price for the complete solution), Corel Painter Essentials 5 is a logical choice. A graphic tablet is needed to fully enjoy everything this software has to offer. 


  • Cheap compared to the previous version (only $49).
  • New particle tools are fun to work with.
  • Mirror and kaleidoscope painting are a nice addition.
  • Auto-Painting tool does the job for you.
  • Nice variety of brushes.
  • Layers and other cool options are still available.


  • You need a graphic tablet to enjoy all the possibilities.
  • Not as complete as Painter 2015.
  • Some effects are difficult to achieved.

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