Back when I was a kid, my goal in life was to grow up to be a cartoonist. I could spend countless hours with a pencil and paper creating my own little characters inside my own little world, and nothing made me happier. Sadly, though, life does not always work out the way you saw it in your childhood dreams. As I grew up, I learned that an artist's life might not always be easy, and so my future began to lean towards a more "practical" line of work.
Since then I've always had something in the back of my head that kept pulling me back towards art, but I never thought that I had enough room, enough time, or enough extra income to get back into it as a hobby. Until now...
I recently read about a little program called "ArtRage" while I was browsing an online forum and I decided to check it out. What an awesome little program it turned out to be!
First of all, this program has one of the best inferfacees I've seen. It's so simple yet so functional. All of your drawing and painting tools, layer options, color pallette, and tool settings are logically located inside of little panels around the screen, and these panels can be hidden, shown, or moved around the display as desired. The coolest part about these panels is that they're "smart." If you are drawing a line that's going to run into one of the panels, it will automatically hide itself allowing you to access al of your "canvas" behind it. Once you're done drawing the line, the panel will automatically reappear.
ArtRage also offers a wide variety of artist's tools, including a pencil, a paintbrush, a pallette knife, an airbrush, a marker, a pen, a paint roller, and more. And, each of those tools can be modified to simulate different sizes and different levels of pressure. If you happen to own a pen tablet that can sense pressure, the settings inside ArtRage should work perfectly in conjnction with it to give you an even more engrossing experience. The tools themselves are pretty realistic too, allowing you to draw, paint, erase, and blend and mix paint colors as you create your own little masterpieces.
A program with all of these features must cost quite a bit of money, right? Not this one! They actually offer a free version, but if you want to unlock all of the features that the program has to offer, the full version will only set you back $25. And that includes free automatic updates for life!
So what does this have to do with my story? When I found this program, I also rediscovered a little part of my childhood. This program allowed me to find a way to fit art back into my busy life. Now I can take a few minutes here and there to doodle, draw and paint like I did when I was a kid, only with this program, having an artistic hobby doesn't require any extra room in the house, and I can save my work in progress and come back to finish up my drawings as my time allows.
If you have kids, or if like me, you're a still a kid at heart, do yourself a favor and check this program out. I highly recommend it!