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Corel Painter 2016 Review For Windows & Mac (With Videos)


Corel Painter 2016 Review In Few Words (Mini Review)

Corel Painter, the art software that does a great job emulating traditional media. Is now much better than before, with even more brushes type to emulate more traditional media, like ink splatter. Audio expression, which is a good way to add randomness to your strokes. As well as many user interfaces tweaks. From changing the user interface theme. To a better way to save custom palettes.

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Pros Of Corel Painter 2016

  • An easy program to paint in a way similar to traditional media.
  • Contains too many brushes that simulate all sorts of traditional brushes.
  • Has tons of customization abilities to brushes.
  • More affordable to comparable software, like Adobe Photoshop. (Though Painter doesn’t do image-editing work).
  • Can produce files in PSD format, which is useful in order to send the file to printers or to open it in Photoshop for further tweaking.

Cons Of Corel Painter 2016

    • Sometimes the brushes feels a bit slow, even on a strong computer.

Corel Painter has gone through a lot of development since it first came out, and Corel Painter 2016 is no different, as it introduce a wide variety if improvements compared to the previous versions. I will cover each of these features in details below, so hopefully this will help you get the bigger picture on what this version can do.

What Are The New Features In Corel Painter 2016

The New Welcome Screen


Every time you open Corel Painter 2016, and until you choose to disable it, the new welcome screen will appear to you. If this is the your first time using Corel Painter, you will like this screen, as new users may feel overwhelmed from the huge user interface that Corel Painter has. And needed something to help them getting started on their own.

So, this new screen contains many things that can make it easier for you to start working with the Corel Painter. Both if you are a user of a previous version, or a totally new user for Corel Painter.

The new welcome screen contains the following four sections:-

    • Learn:- Contains lessons to help you learn how to use Corel Painter 2016, this is both useful for new users and older ones who want to learn the new features in Corel Painter 2016. These videos are from Corel’s Discovery Center.
    • Get Contents:- Get new brushes directly from Corel. Some of these brushes are very good like the flame or fur brushes. Note that you need to buy those before you could use them.
    • Get started:- This tab makes you choose among some common tasks, like creating a new image. Or to switch to some pre-made workspaces. And so on.
    • Get inspired:- This section is nice, it shows you artworks done by different artists. With a link to the artist site. That’s a good way to see what artists are creating out there, though I recommend that you surf the Internet to see even more artworks once you have the time for that. :D

Note:- The welcome screen can always be opened by selecting Help->Welcome from the main menu.

Rotating Paper Texture & Flowmaps

In Corel Painter 2016, you can rotate media texture, so that the flow of your strokes goes along the new direction of the paper. You can also do the same to flowmaps as well.

Audio Expressions

A brush stroke with Audio expression associated with the size parameter.

Now in Corel Painter 2016, Corel has provided a nice feature to add more randomness to your brushes. Audio Expression, which works by associating the value of a brush parameter, like the size. To an audio source. And while you paint, the louder the sound from the source is, the bigger the brush size, and the lower the voice is. The smaller the size gets. Of course, many parameters other than the brush size can be linked to an audio expression, like the hue or saturation of your brush. Here is how the hue changes based on a sound file I played:-


The audio source you can use with audio expression can be either your computer microphone, or a sound or song file stored on your computer. If the audio source is too loud or low to produce effect correctly to you, you can augment or decrease how sensitive Corel Painter respond to the sound file.

User Interface Colors


You can now choose among different color themes for Corel Painter 2016’s user interface. These themes are Dark Grey, Sepia & Frost. As well as the default grey that has always been there.

Besides the interface theme, you can also change the background of the Interface to any color you want. These changes can be made from the “Interface” section of the Preferences dialog (to access that, choose Edit->Preferences->Interface from the main menu).


Dynamic Speckles


According to Corel, Dynamic speckle aims to simulates the controlled randomness of painting with a brush made up of many individuals brush hairs. This feature works with the Bristle, RealBristle and Particle brushes types.

An easy way to understand how Dynamic Speckles work is to think of the brush as if it consists of various dots. Dynamic Speckles makes it easier to create different type of random painting by controlling the size or number of dots, along with many other parameters. To give you an example, here are what I could paint with Dynamic Speckles by changing the Count parameter:-


There are many things to try & do with dynamic speckles, so trying this feature extensively yourself is the best way to see how this feature works. Also, the following video from Corel explains this feature very well:-

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Document Views

Corel Painter 2016 has two new document views, the Single Document View, and the new Presentation Mode. As well as the default view that has always been there:-

  • Default View:- The view that displays all the open documents, this is the default view mode in Corel Painter 2016.
  • Single Document View:- This mode displays only one document at a time. You can still switch the active document any time you want.
  • Presentation Mode:- This mode should have been given a better name like Full screen mode or something. It hides Windows taskbar and do what any fullscreen mode does, which is allowing you to focus on your work. :D.

Better Blending, Say Bye To The White Fringes You Used To See In Older Versions Of Painter


Now, with the new Enhanced Layer Blending checkbox, no white fringes will appear when you blend colors. A good look at the following picture demonstrate how painting is different with & without the Enhanced Layer Blending checked:-

To see how the Enhanced Layer Blending works, kindly check out this video:-

Better Setting Restoration

Now when you restore your program settings, Corel Painter 2016 gives you the option to restore part of the settings instead of restoring everything. To do that, hold the Shift key on your keyboard and double click on Painter’s icons. Then you will get this dialog, which allows you to specify which settings to restore while maintaining the settings you want to keep. This is useful in case you had a workspace from a previous version of Corel Painter that you want to keep some things like the brushes.


You can keep all the following settings if you want:- (The list were taken from Corel Painter 2016 help files)

    • All other libraries (papers, scripts, nozzles, etc.). This option lets you save all papers, flow maps, patterns, gradients, nozzles, looks, weaves, images, selections, and scripts.
    • Custom palettes. Note that palette location and icon settings will be lost.

The following customizations are lost after Corel Painter and are always restored to its default settings:

  • Palette Layout(s).
  • Color Sets.
  • All preferences (Preferences dialog box).
  • Customized keyboard shortcuts.
  • Brush tracking and calibration settings.
  • Recent brushes.
  • Color Management presets.
  • Perspective Guides, Layout, and Divine Proportion presets.

Saving Custom Palettes


If you have a custom palette, which contains brushes, menu command, papers, or whatever things that help you work better. You can now export this palette to a .BOX file. And move the file to another computer and import it there. This feature is also a good way to share custom palettes between Corel Painter users around the world.

To export or import a custom palette you have, simply select Window-> Custom Palettes-> Organizer from the main menu.

Special Media Brushes. New Dab Types To Simulate Liquid Ink & Watercolor Brushes


Corel Painter 2016 offers 6 new dab types for your brushes. These two new types are mostly about emulating Liquid Ink or Gravity Particles. The new dab types are:-

  • Liquid Ink Gravity Particles.
  • Liquid Ink Flow Particles.
  • Liquid Ink Spring Particles.
  • Watercolor Gravity Particles.
  • Watercolor Flow Particles.
  • Watercolor Spring Particles.


Importing Photoshop Brushes

Now you can import Photoshop from ABR files, which mean the huge variety of brushes will be usable in Corel Painter 2016. But bear in mind that when importing ABR brush file, not all the brush attributes are imported. The part of the brush in the ABR file that gets imported is the brush dab shapes, which are also known as brush stamps. The other attributes are kept in the ABR file and not imported to Painter.

New Brushes Hint


Now every time you choose a brush in Corel Painter 2016, you will get some hints on that brush type on the Hints window. Which you can view by choosing Windows -> Hints from the main menu. This is a very useful way to learn about every kind of brushes for new Corel Painter users.

Faster & More Stable

According to Corel, Corel Painter 2016’s brushes are faster up to 3 times than Corel Painter 2015. And up to nine times faster than Painter X3 brushes.

Visual Tooltips


Now, every time you hover your mouse cursor over one of the settings inside Corel Painter 2016. A visual tooltip will be displayed, which shows you what that settings does, instead of just showing you a plain text description. That’s one more feature both old & new Corel Painter 2016 users will appreciate. As it will help you understand some of those parameters that were not exactly clear.

Should You Upgrade To Corel Painter 2016?

The accurate answer to this question depends on your needs, and which version of Corel Painter you are currently using. Some artists may not need features like Audio Expressions now, but the elimination of white fringes and the new brushes is a fix they are likely going to appreciate. That also goes for the performance improvement as well.

And Finally

With the new brushes capabilities, performance gain, and an annoying bug fix. It is easy to see that Corel Painter 2016 is the best Painter version to date. In case you are using an older version of Painter, there could be at least one version you may want to try out, if you are new to the program, this may be a very good chance to try it out.

I hope you liked my Corel Painter 2016 review, and see you again in another review. ^^

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I am an anime artist, and huge fan of digital art. I love drawing with pencils too. But I rarely do that anymore nowadays. Since some aspects of digital art can be tricky, I try my best to explain the concepts as easily as possible.

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