Corel Painter vs Photoshop – A Preference between Digital Painting and Image Editing

Do you want usable graphic design software to create interactive visuals for your online courses? We have the best options for you to choose from.

Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop are extremely popular for their extensive, high-quality tools. 

You can also use them as digital artwork tools for your online arts or photography courses.

While both of them are great, only one will most suit your needs. We will walk through the differences in this Corel Painter and Photoshop comparison.

To help you decide which one is the best for you, we have compiled their features, benefits, pros, and cons in this Corel Painter vs Photoshop review. 

FeaturesCorel PainterAdobe Photoshop
Subscriptions4 and a half stars3 and a half stars
Free Trial4 and a half stars3 stars
User interface3 stars4 and a half stars
Pricing3 stars4 stars

Now that we have established a brief overview of the two software tools, let’s discuss them in detail in this Corel Painter vs Photoshop post.

Corel Painter Review – A Digital Art and Painting Studio

corel painter vs photoshop

Let’s start with a little introduction. Corel Painter was originally designed and owned by Mark Zimmer and Tom Hedges. Over time, it eventually became a part of the Corel Corporation.  

It assists you in graphics editing whether it be digital painting, printmaking, or drawing with a traditional media feel. Corel Painter assists artists focused on a traditional art background

The Corel Painter software works with raster graphics software that are rectangular pixels arranged on a grid to create a digital image.

This graphic design software is most suitable for traditional artists who want to get started with digital art technology. The canvas and brush tools will make your experience feel like a real-life painting. 

You can use the versatile art tools offered by Corel Painter to create:

  • Illustrations
  • Artwork
  • Paintings
  • Sketches

This photo editing software is compatible across different operating systems which include Windows and Mac OS. 

Corel Painter will help you create much more interactive graphics for your online courses that will engage students effectively.

Features of Corel Painter

  • Enhancement Tools
  • Custom Brushes
  • Wacom Compatible
  • Apple Support
  • Canvas Controls
  • Composition Tools
  • Customizable Color Wheel
  • Perspective Grid Tool for 3D art
Pros Cons
Smart stroke technology allows easier straight line strokes

Variety of customizable brushes

Smooth brushes feel like a real-media experience 3D images are much easier to create with the perspective grid tool

Compatible with Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF) to create videos

The adjustable color wheel offers intriguing blended colors

3D images are much easier to create with the perspective grid tool
UX makes it feel like the software is outdated

Non-intuitive interface

Benefits of Corel Painter

After research, our team found that the Corel Painter software offers a variety of features that other programs usually lack. 

For example, if we talk about brushes, Corel Painter has 900 pre-installed brushes outright which include:

  • Watercolors
  • Blenders
  • Erasers
  • Marker
  • Acrylic  
  • Chalk
  • Oil
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Gouache
  • Crayons
  • Airbrushes 

You can use Corel Painter’s brushes or download custom brush packs from other artists. There are many brush packs that are available on the Adobe site as well. You can create your own brushes as well.

Each brush tool works like you are working with traditional media. We guarantee that the traditional media tools have the same texture as traditional art tools. 

Moreover, the selection tools include: 

  • Pixel-based selection 
  • Path-based selection 

which separates a part of the canvas to avoid accidental modification. The Magic Wand tool is used to create Pixel-based selection. A Path-based selection can be created by the Freehand Lasso tool.  

We mentioned earlier that Corel Painter is the perfect software to teach an online art course. The color wheel has a harmonious selection palette. Corel Painter’s color wheel is also easier to use.

It is present under your selected colors which include six different harmonies:

  • Tetradic
  • Analogous
  • Complementary 
  • Split Complementary
  • Monochromatic Light
  • Monochromatic Dark

A feature we found to be quite the game-changer in Corel Painter is the smart auto-painting tool. This allows you to add brush strokes to your artwork. 

If you want to teach a course on architecture then you can take a lot of help from the Corel Painter perspective grid. It allows you to draw 3D models easily. 

Furthermore, you can draw straight lines with the Straight Line Strokes button in the brush property bar. This is a great tool to draw paths, pipes, roads, or buildings.

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Corel Painter 

Corel Painter Pricing

This digital painting software is available for a one-time purchase for $429.00. If you do not like Corel Painter, you can get a full refund for up to 30-days.

You can buy free brushes in the Corel Painter Signature Style Brush Pack Bundle with this option that otherwise costs $179.99.

Corel Painter Subscription

As an online course creator, you might not want to spend so much on digital painting software. We recommend the subscription plan.

The Corel Painter subscription plan involves a payment of $16.58/month that is billed annually at $199.00.

Corel Painter Trial

There is a 15-day free trial period in which you can test out the traditional art techniques Corel Painter offers with all of its features.

Corel Painter Workflow

Corel Painter is extremely customizable and you can edit the workspace according to your needs. 

Since it is mostly related to illustrations therefore the user interface of Corel Painter is clean from start to finish. 

Other Helpful Tools 

We have mentioned all of the helpful tools above that can be of great assistance to digital artists. 

Some other useful tools that allow a traditional art experience for traditional painters involves:

  • Selection Adjuster tool
  • Selection Brush tool
  • Transform tool
  • Polygonal Selection tool

What Do the Customers Think?

Customers appreciate how the brushes and canvas are designed to create digital art and traditional art. Corel Painter is easy-to-use which helps make the painting processes much easier for any new digital artist.

Corel Painter provides a very organic painting experience. Customers have mostly rated this illustration software 5 stars. 

A few of the many positive comments we found online are:

corel painter social proof
corel painter social proof
corel painter social proof
corel painter social proof

Best Digital Art and Painting Studio

Corel Painter is the best digital painting and image editing software. If you plan to teach an arts or architecture online course, then we recommend Corel Painter. It has the same feel as traditional media and will help you in your online course better than any other digital painting program.

Adobe Photoshop Review – A Reliable Graphic Designer 

corel painter vs photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a popular photo retouching, image editing, and image adjustments tool. 

We believe it is one of the finest photo manipulation tools out there for digital artists. 

With Creative Cloud integration, Adobe Photoshop will be followed by many other tools that are extremely helpful for graphic designers. 

As an online course creator, you can also use these tools to create engaging graphic designs for your courses. 

Photoshop is also meant to be a raster graphics software. As explained before, raster image editing works by creating rectangular pixels that are arranged in a grid formation to display an image.

This graphic design software is compatible across all versions of Mac OS and Windows. 

Moreover, it is equipped with multilingual functions to assist any foreign languages such as French, Japanese, or Russian. 

Features of Adobe Photoshop

  • Layers
  • Pen tool 
  • Selection tools
  • Shapes 
  • Vector mask
  • Slice tool
  • Retouching tools
  • 3D Photoshop
  • Smart objects
  • Photoshop brushes
  • Content-Aware Fill
  • Adobe Sign
  • Premier Pro
Pros Cons
Very intuitive user interface

Smooth workflowHigh-quality features

Great layering system

Supports different file formats

Variety of design tools

Comes with a significant learning curve

Benefits of Adobe photoshop

Our team always had a good experience with Adobe Photoshop and all the tools that it offers. It is a great app for image adjustments and photo retouching. As far as the selection tools are concerned, Photoshop promises quality there as well. 

The Selection tools include:

  • Magic Wand tool that controls a range of different colors.
  • The quick Selection tool helps you select different portions of the canvas to make alterations.
  • Lasso tools include the freehand lasso tool, polygonal lasso tool, and magnetic lasso tool. These tools help you remove, add, increase, or decrease parts of pixels.

We guarantee that Photoshop maintains image integrity like no other graphic design software. Adobe Illustrator gives a smooth un-destructible quality with the help of vector graphics. 

If you plan to teach a photography course, we recommend Adobe Photoshop. It allows better retouching and editing tools with the Liquify filter and Healing tool which swap and adjust pixels. 

Moreover, you can control color adjustment, lighting, shadows, and exposure with the Adjustment Layers in photos. Adjustment layers give you the advantage of not applying adjustment directly and can modify or delete at any time.

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop Pricing 

There is no option to buy Adobe Photoshop outright anymore. 

You can rent it under a subscription or different subscription plans which are:

  • Photography Plan for $19.99/month. This plan also involves Adobe Lightroom, Lightroom Classic, and Adobe Spark that come in desktop and iPad versions with 1TB storage.
  • Photoshop alone for $20.99/month. This plan involves Adobe Spark and Adobe Spark desktop and iPad versions with 100GB storage. 

Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription 

Adobe Creative Cloud is expensive but extremely useful. At $52.99/month, you will get:

  • 20+ desktop and mobile apps
  • 100GB storage 

The Creative Cloud has four plans:

  • Individual Plan
  • Teachers and Students
  • Business
  • Schools and Universities

You will benefit most from the teachers and students plan because Adobe offers discounts for educational institutions. 

Adobe Photoshop Workflow

Photoshop also has very customizable features and an intuitive user interface. 

Although the number of tools can be overwhelming, you can customize the layout with the workspace function and hide tool.

Free Trial

Adobe Photoshop has a 7-day free trial period in which you can access the full version of Photoshop. 

You will not be charged until the trial period ends. At the end of this period, your Creative Cloud membership will continue unless canceled before 7-days. 

Other Factors

Adobe Photoshop does not come with a complementary color wheel. Its color palette is a bit outdated and the color tools do not work together which is why it is not the best tool for digital painting. However, you can import third-party color wheels

You can make a perspective grid from the vanishing point filter. There is still, however, no way to draw straight lines even with brushes, the line tool, or the pen tool.

Photoshop also comes with basic blending modes such as Screen, Overlay, and Multiply.

What Do the Customers Think?

Adobe Photoshop has the following ratings on various platforms:

  • 5 stars on PCMAG
  • 4.8 stars on Capterra 
  • 4.6 stars on G2
  • 4.6 on Trustradius

Needless to say that customers are highly satisfied with Adobe Photoshop. This graphic design software is used across many fields of work such as offices, schools, universities, and professional photographers.

We do not doubt that it will benefit you greatly when you create interactive visuals for your online courses as well.

A few of the positive feedbacks from customers we found online include:

photoshop social proof
photoshop social proof
photoshop social proof
photoshop social proof

Best Reliable Graphic Design Software

Adobe Photoshop is a reliable graphic designer. It is feature-rich and comes with high-quality tools to allow you to edit photos efficiently. It is recommended by experts and used by many professionals. We believe it can help you manipulate images effectively for your online courses.

As an online course business, you will need to look for good graphic design software to create illustrations that will engage your students. 

Other than Corel Painter and Photoshop we recommend Clip Studio Paint and Canva.

Corel painter vs Photoshop – Buyers’ Guide

corel painter vs photoshop

There are many programs out there that create digital art with high-quality tools. 

However, only a few will suit your needs. To select the best option for you, you should consider some important factors that fulfill your criteria. 

These factors include:


An important factor to note is that there are many digital illustration software out there and most of them are highly expensive. 

As an online course creator, you might not want to pay high costs for software that serves a small part in the bigger picture. 

Therefore look for an application with which you can produce visuals with good quality tools at an affordable price.

Subscription Plans

A convenient method to pay high costs is through subscription plans. Subscription plans break down the cost of one-time payments into monthly or annual payments.

It becomes easier to afford expensive graphic design software.

Free Trials

Trial periods help you determine whether a graphic design software is worth your time and money. 

Apply for free trials before you purchase photo editing tools. 

This will give you a chance to test run tools to get a better sense of what they offer. 

User Interface and Workflow

An intuitive user interface can help you get a better experience with graphic design tools. 

Since digital art software has a ton of features such as different types of brushes, pens, and tools, the main UI can become cluttered. This also hinders smooth workflow.

Select a program with a clean interface for a good work experience.

Other Factors

Do not settle for basic image editing tools. Consider an application that offers more than mainstream graphic design features. 

For example:

Adobe Photoshop lets you combine multiple images in a document with layers to position them according to your requirements. 

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Corel Painter vs photoshop – Final Verdict

This brings us to the end of our Corel Painter vs Photoshop review. 

Both Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop can be used to create digital art.

Corel Painter works great for painting and has two workspaces for different painting processes. One for painting from scratch and the other to create a painting from photographs. 

It works well with raster graphics and feels like traditional media. 

While both Corel Painter and Photoshop are great tools, we highly recommend Adobe Photoshop for your online courses.

Photoshop also works best with raster graphics. Its precise tools help edit images efficiently. This tool is very versatile and can be used in several ways. 

While both Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter are great tools, Photoshop is the winner.