Realistic Paint Studio review: Digital art goes mainstream

For traditionally trained artists, moving to a digital workspace can be daunting. There is an abundance of digital art software out there, but these are often designed to improve the workflow of an experienced digital artist. However, Realistic Paint Studio sought to reduce the technical aspect of digital illustration and create a more traditional workflow in the digital space.

In a traditional room, adding transparency to a watercolor stroke is as simple as thinning the paint with water. For a digital piece, however, you’ll often need to toggle your pen’s pressure sensitivity or make other technical changes to your brush settings. It can seem a bit intimidating. With Realistic Paint Studio, the brushes and tools are fine-tuned for traditional artists who know what kind of strokes they can expect when picking up a round brush loaded with watercolor. This simplification of the user interface unfortunately comes at the expense of the functionality that digital artists have come to expect.

Realistic Painting Studio: Pricing and Availability

Hangmoon Realistic Paint Studio Miniature

Source: Hangmoon (Image credit: Source: Hangmoon)

Realistic Paint Studio is the product of lone developer and artist Alexander Kamarov, who had only released Paintstorm Studio before. As this is a smaller project, it is only available on the Realistic Paint Studio website.

The standard version of Realistic Paint Studio offers 42 different brushes that simulate graphite, charcoal, watercolor, and oil brushes, as well as blending tools and erasers. Drawing surfaces are simulated on 15 types of sketchbooks and canvases, with over 45 different textures to choose from. The VIP add-on pack for Realistic Paint Studio adds 10 additional tools, such as a calligraphy pen and a rhinestone stamper, as well as an elegant album with black paper.

The standard edition of Realistic Paint Studio will set you back $25, while the additional VIP content bumps the price up to $30. There’s a 30-minute free trial if you want to take the software out for a test drive before swiping your card.

Realistic Paint Studio: What’s Good?

Realistic paint studio watercolor workspace

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Realistic Paint Studio’s strongest element is its user interface. Designed to replicate a traditional workspace, the program eliminates modern panels and technically slanted design elements for a cleaner user interface that feels like a cozy and warm office in a private studio. The right side of the screen has a swatch color palette in the bottom corner that actually works as a palette for mixing colors. The upper right corner of the screen also offers a standard digital color gradient wheel.

Simplified icons adorn the top of the screen to customize the workspace by removing palettes and tools from view with a panel for layer management. The left side of the screen features a color selection tool, undo and redo, and a brush size slider. The bottom offers a toggle for removing the UI (although the undo, redo, and scroll bar remain intact for some odd reason), as well as a favorites bar for favorite brushes and tools.

Realistic selection of paint studio brushes

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

When you start painting with Realistic Paint Studio, you’ll have the option of drawing, watercolor, or oil painting. Your choice here dictates which brushes are initially laid out on your workspace, but you can choose to choose different tools at any point in your workflow by selecting the brush box icon. A beautifully designed box of new brushes will then be displayed on your workspace for you to choose from. Each brush features a live demo of its behavior in a small tray attached to the toolbox. The user can also test the brush to see its interactions in the live demo area before attacking their own painting with it.

Realistic Paint Studio: What’s Not Good

Xp pen tablet realistic painting studio

Source: Cole Martin / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Cole Martin/Windows Central)

As much as Realistic Paint Studio’s pared-back user interface may be, experienced digital artists may find the limitations it imposes overwhelming. While the selection of brushes are neatly laid out, there are no settings panels to control their opacity or pressure sensitivity. There is a slider in the menu that allows you to adjust the hardness of the stylus, but it is still limited by being a universal setting instead of being adjustable on a per-tool basis.

Likewise, the usefulness of a particular brush is limited by the software. There is a sponge alone, for example, but it cannot be used to apply color to the canvas. This makes the sponge essentially serving as an eraser tool with a more sophisticated border. There are additional brushes in the toolbox which are limited to blending effects by simulating the addition of water or other paint thinning additives, but like the sponge they cannot be used for depositing colors whereas in actual traditional mediums you can use them in this case. way. This might look a bit misleading in Realist Paint Studio, as these blending brushes seem to be able to provide some interesting stroke effects.

Realistic Paint Studio layer options

Source: Cole Martin / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Cole Martin/Windows Central)

The limitations aren’t just related to the brushes. The creation of the canvas itself only allows for a 6000 x 6000 pixel artwork at most. Once in the workspace with the canvas, it is presented as a static work area and it cannot be rotated, although it can be flipped horizontally or zoomed in and out if needed. Layers also take a hit in the feature department. They have some surprising options such as preserved opacity, reference layers and blending. A notable absence, however, is the ability to move your layers up and down.

Realistic Paint Studio: Alternatives

Rebelle 4 workspace with digital art

Source: Pocketmags (Image credit: Source: Pocketmags)

There are countless other digital art apps that have tried to mimic the feeling of traditional painting with varying degrees of success. One of the biggest and most successful apps is Rebelle 5 from Escape Motions. Like Realistic Paint Studio, Rebelle 5 replicates the aesthetics of traditional markup, but when it comes to the behavior of traditional media interacting with each other, Rebelle clearly outperforms Realistic Paint Studio.

While Realistic Paint Studio offers a multitude of papers on which artists can create their work, they serve little more than textured backgrounds. How brush and pencil strokes interact with the canvas is irrelevant in Realistic Paint Studio. Rebelle 5, however, takes the canvas material into account when painting. Also, paint mixing in Realistic Paint Studio is RGB level, so mixing colors like blue and yellow will give you a dull gray as opposed to a bright green. Rebelle 5 also trumps Realistic Paint Studio.

Rebelle 5 lacks the charm of Realistic Paint Studio’s comfortable desktop workspace aesthetic, but the option to adopt the coolly modern user interface gives Rebelle 5 users much more control over their tools and brushes. That said, more features come at a higher cost, and Rebelle 5 will set you back around $90 for the standard edition. The Realistic Paint Studio is a quarter of that price.

Realistic Paint Studio: Should You Get It?

Realistic Green Frog Studio Painting Flatlay Social Media

Source: Cole Martin / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Cole Martin/Windows Central)

Although the limitations imposed by Realistic Paint Studio may seem stifling, the software itself is not without merit or purpose. Since Realistic Paint Studio uses what amounts to buffers and textures to simulate liquid media, it is not as CPU or GPU intensive as more expensive software that uses algorithms for paint behavior . The app can run on older or budget hardware, while much of the competition needs high-end equipment to render painting behaviors.

Realistic Paint Studio also presents itself as a great entry point for traditional artists who are just getting started in digital and feel overwhelmed by both the workspace design and the price tags of more advanced software. . The clean functionality of the software makes it ideal for beginner digital artists.

Realistic painting studio: the essentials

There’s a lot of good to be found in an app like Realistic Paint Studio, despite its limited functionality. As a traditional artist it can be nice to have a lightweight app lying around on a small drawing tablet like XP-Pen Artist 12 where you can quickly create a thumbnail of your traditional artwork and then drop in a few different color palettes to figure out what you might like before putting paint to paper. The Realistic Paint Studio can also be nice to have just for some mindless doodling or digital idea journaling.

The app continues to be actively supported, with new features requested by the community being added by the developer. The most recent 2.0 update made it possible to export your work as transparent PNG files and accelerated recordings that can be exported as MP4 files. Although there are obvious issues for experienced digital artists with limited functionality, Realistic Paint Studio can still provide a lovely aesthetic environment in which you can create stunning illustrations and digital paintings. Realistic Paint Studio’s user interface and layout simply steals the show.

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