ArtRage Studio Pro tools have various settings depending on the media each one replicates. Tools include oil paint brush, watercolor brush, airbrush, a paint “roller,” crayon, pencil, chalk (or pastel), ink pen and felt pen. Several additional tools are a bit more unusual and fun. A “Gloop pen” blobs color onto the canvas, a palette knife mixes and blends existing color, the glitter tube sprinkles particle shapes, like glitter, the paint tube applies a thick stream of color which can then be spread, blended or textured on the canvas, and the sticker spray drops small images into the painting. Other tools include an eraser, selection tool, transformer tool, dropper for picking color samples from the image, flood fill and text.
Colors may be selected according to Hue/Luminance/Saturation values or digital RGB values. Although ArtRage Studio Pro does not offer CMKY color, it does have a “real color blending” mode in which colors will mix and create new shades in the same way that physical paint pigment does on a palette. You can also set color selections for a greater or lesser metallic, or reflective, value. You can build customized color palettes of tones for a single painting or to reuse for multiple projects. Most other functions, such as stencils, stickers and filters, also allow you to create your own customized libraries of “favorites.”
Like PhotoShop®, ArtRage Studio Pro allows you to build your image up in multiple layers, each of which can be edited and manipulated individually, set to various levels of opacity, made visible or invisible and so on. I rely heavily on layering in my digital art and ArtRage Studio Pro offers full layer functionality. ArtRage Studio Pro also offers “stencils,” which are called masks in other programs and allow you to apply effects to your image such as fading and shaping. A “reference” function allows you to post small images on your workspace to use as visual models as you draw and paint, like you would thumbtack photos to your easel. If you need a bit more guidance, a “tracing” feature will place a transparent image on your canvas to use as a direct guide for your hand, without affecting your final image.
The painting canvas itself can be set to a variety of textures, simulating different kinds of paper or canvas as well as such interesting surfaces as concrete, tin foil and “plastic dossier.”