Painter vs Photoshop – Which One Should You Go for?

If you want to make your online course more relevant and visually appealing, we have some great options for you to go for. 

Our top two recommendations are Adobe Photoshop and Corel Painter

Adobe Photoshop is the gold standard in digital art, image editing, and graphic design. While Corel painter is popular as it simulates traditional art techniques and behavior to a digital medium. 

In this Corel Painter vs Photoshop comparison, we will go over their features, benefits, pros, and cons to help you decide the best software for you. 

FeaturesCorel painterAdobe Photoshop
PriceRetails for $429 as a single payment or $199 annually.Available as a part of Adobe Creative Cloud subscription for as little as $9.99/month.
BrushesCorel Painter comes with around 900 brushesOffers over 50 brushes 
Functionality The main focus is traditional media simulation and digital paintingFocuses on photo editing and manipulation, as well as digital art and graphic design. 
User EnvironmentExtremely easy to learn Photoshop has a clean and customizable user environment
Layering SystemYou can use this functionality through the Layer Adjuster tool Adobe Photoshop has one of the best layering systems 

Now that we have established a brief overview, let’s continue with our review where we will analyze Corel Painter vs Photoshop in detail to establish which one could be more suitable for you. 

Corel Painter Review – Best Software for Digital Painting

corel painter

Corel Painter software works with raster graphics to create stunning images and digital paintings. It is owned by Corel Corporation. 

You can incorporate these images to make your online course visually appealing for more clicks or to make the course more relevant to the learner.

It is not only aimed at digital artists but also traditional artists and painters

Corel Painter offers a wide range of tools to create traditional art by recreating the effects of real-life paintings. Thus, it makes artworks feel handmade.

Moreover, it is compatible with many operating systems including Mac and Windows

Features of Corel Painter

  • A professional and adjustable color wheel 
  • Perspective grid-tool for creating 3D images
  • Smart stroke technology
  • Brushes act like real media
  • Complete customizable layout 
  • Professional black canvas 
  • Ability to customize textures, patterns, etc
Pros Cons
Blending layers

Custom brush packs

Cloning tools

Some brushes use GPU for better performance

Color detection

Ability to mimic traditional mediums

Functional bugs

The zoom feature is tricky to use

Benefits of Painter

Corel Painter aims to replicate art techniques like creating paintings and drawings. 

One of the best features of Corel Painter was its auto-painting feature.

 It has two options: 

  • Auto painting pallet
  • Smart Auto painting option. 

It is useful to transform any image into a digital painting by adding natural-looking brush strokes to it. It made us feel like we’re drawing on real paper or canvas.

Moreover, Painter’s straight-line tool was also very accurate and easy to use

When we used it, we were easily able to separate a certain area of a canvas and apply effects to it. This way, we saved the rest of the painting from mistakes.

Corel Painter works with RIFF files or Resource Interchange File Format

One huge benefit of RIFF files is that it saves any work done so you can pick up right where you left off without saving it. This will save time when you create detailed visuals and complicated projects.

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Corel Painter


You can get Corel Painter at a cost of $429 as a one-time payment. 

We do feel like the price is justified as it comes with an infinite number of helpful tools, 24/7 live support, training in the form of tutorials, documentation, and webinars.

However, make sure to take advantage of the free 15-day trial if you are unsure. 


Corel Painter offers an impressive variety of brushes and brush tools. It includes pre-installed brushes, as well as brush packs created by other users

It has an extensive brush library that offers both digital and traditional styles of color application.

The brushes are divided into different categories for the ease of the user.

Some of the categories are:

  • Acrylics 
  • Chalk 
  • Blenders 
  • Markers 
  • Pen tool 
  • Paint and more. 

As mentioned before, Corel Painter has canvas and brush tools that work exactly like traditional art. So, if you are a traditional artist who wants to work on an online course for digital painting, Corel Painter has the best tools for you. 

corel painter

Layering System

Both Corel painter and Photoshop make use of layering. You can click on the Layer Adjuster tool to use this feature and manage them through the Layers panel

When we created our first painting on Corel Painter, we found it hard to blend and erase parts of our painting on separate layers. 

We had to be conscious of our brush strokes to control the outcome of our painting. This proved to be very time-consuming and tedious. 

Here’s a list of different layering options included in Corel Painter:

  • Pixel-based layers
  • Vector shaped layers 
  • Reference layers 
  • Floating object layers 
  • Text layers
  • Watercolor layers 


If we compare Corel Painter vs Photoshop, Corel Painter is geared more towards people with a traditional art background since it gives you a more organic painting experience

It has an excellent color system

It is extremely easy to use, along with other helpful tools to help you select and mix colors for your projects. You can use these tools to change the hue, saturation, and exposure of your paintings. 

Although both Adobe Photoshop and Painter come with photo editing tools, Corel Painter falls behind in this category. 

It is only limited to functions like image adjustments as well as cut, copy, paste, and transform options. 

On the upside, you can use Corel Painter to easily add texture to your paintings and make them stand out. This feature is absent in Adobe Photoshop. 

User Environment 

Corel Painter is extremely easy to use. Like most illustration software, it has a clean and organized interface

When our team used Corel Painter for the first time, we made use of the hints panel to guide us along the way. 

The hint panel comes with every tool. However, most of the brushes were so intuitive and easy to use that we didn’t need a lot of help. 

What Do the Customers Think?

corel painter social proof
corel painter social proof

During our research we found customers to be extremely pleased with Corel Painter. 

Traditional painters and artists use Corel Painter to recreate traditional art. They were satisfied by its custom brush packs and digital techniques to modify their paintings. 

Many customers claimed it to be the best to make digital paintings. They were pleased with Corel Painters’ different painting processes due to its convenient tools. 

It provides a broad range of materials and different specs for every feature. This allows the users to adapt their tools according to their own creative needs.

Best Software for Digital Painting 

The best software for digital painting is Corel Painter because it accurately imitates traditional media to give realistic results.

Adobe Photoshop Review – Powerful Image Editing Software

adobe photoshop review

Adobe Photoshop is a raster graphics software created by Adobe Inc. We believe it is one of the best graphic design software out there due to its unlimited tools and features.

It is widely used by digital artists, graphic designers, web developers, and creative professionals. 

Even though, Adobe Photoshop is geared towards photo manipulation and editing. But due to its versatility, you can use it for everything from photo retouching and editing to graphic design in your online course.  

Features of Adobe Photoshop

  • Tools for removing objects from the background
  • Ability to manipulate the color of images 
  • Several blending modes
  • Tools for cropping images
  • Several adjustment layers 
  • Easy Straight-line stroke feature
  • Grid tool for 3D scenes
  • Ability to import and create brushes
Pros Cons
Brushes function like traditional media tools

Full layer management

Extensive brush system

Image and layers management

Shape creation tools

Shortcut keys
Lack of individual layers

Takes up a lot of memory

Fewer tools for vectors and shapes

Benefits of Adobe Photoshop

As mentioned earlier, Adobe Photoshop mainly focuses on photo editing. But it is also great at design and animation.

Therefore you can use it for illustrations, graphics editing, digital painting for your online course all in one app. 

Photoshop is great if you want to create fast graphic design assets like mockups for your website or logos for your course. 

It has a wide array of software tools including:

  • Lasso tool 
  • Freehand lasso tool
  • Magic Wand tool
  • Shape selection tools
  • Polygonal Lasso tool
  • Auto-selection tool and much more.

When we tested out the application, we found these tools extremely easy to use

For example, the quick selection tool is one of the most beginner-friendly tools Adobe Photoshop has to offer. When we used it, we were easily able to select an area of the image and make alterations to it. 

Due to the extensive variety of straight-line tools, we found no single way to draw straight lines

You could use the brush tool or the pen tool for this purpose. One of the easiest ways we found was the Ctrl + Shift method

Adobe Photoshop uses Photoshop Documents (PSD files). The advantage of PSD files is that they are versatile. If you need to use another application on the same file, you can hop on over without converting it. 

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Adobe Photoshop


To purchase the latest version of Adobe Photoshop, you need an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription

If you want to only purchase Photoshop and not the other apps that come with the Adobe Suite, this factor might be frustrating for you. 

The Photoshop app itself retails for $20.99 per month. However, you can find some good offers on the Adobe website. 

painter vs photoshop corel painter brush tool corel painter vs photoshop

Here is a list of some of the high-value deals we found: 

  • Photography Bundle – includes Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, and 20GB of cloud storage for $9.99 per month.
painter vs photoshop corel painter brush tool corel painter vs photoshop
  • All apps plan – full Creative Cloud suite (including Adobe Photoshop) plus 100GB of storage for $52.99 per month
painter vs photoshop corel painter brush tool corel painter vs photoshop
  • All apps plan for teachers and students – same plan as above but for $19.99 per month
painter vs photoshop corel painter brush tool corel painter vs photoshop


If we talk about Corel Painter vs Photoshop, Photoshop does not come with pre-installed brushes

But there are thousands of free brushes created by other artists on Adobe’s website that you can download. 

You can get custom brushes for traditional media like oil painting, acrylics, texture, or other elements of graphic design through digital painting tools

These brushes can be used to create any type of drawing for your online course, the possibilities are endless. 

When we tested out the brushes in Adobe Photoshop, we found two options you could choose from:

  • The brush tool provided ways to apply the color
  • The mixer tool allowed us to blend colors

We were also able to create our own brushes or customize the already available ones. 

When creating our brushes, we were able to customize the flow, smoothing, brush angle, opacity, and much more. 

User Environment 

Our team found Adobe Photoshop’s interface to be helpful and customizable

We could choose between several targeted workshops including painting, photography, 3D design or, we could create our own custom layout of windows and panels. 

The toolbar could also be rearranged according to our preference.  

Adobe also has a ton of resources like Adobe CC tutorials to help you get comfortable with the app. 

You can click on Photoshop’s home icon to get an index of tutorials, what’s new, and a user help guide. 

corel painter graphic designer perspective grid traditional art corel painter

Layering System

As mentioned earlier, Photoshop has excellent layering. It makes line art, sketching, and drawing quite easy.

For example, If you work on a painting for your online course, you can use these layers and turn them on and off to design different visuals at the same time. 

This is important as it allows you to fix mistakes without altering the entire project. 

You can also use layers to compose multiple images or add texts, images, or special effects to digital art like a glow or drop shadow. 


Adobe Photoshop mainly focuses on raster image editing works and touch-ups. It comes with an extensive variety of tools to enhance your photos. 

Some of the tools are: 

  • Healing tool 
  • Liquifying filter
  • Patch tool 
  • Dodge tool

You can also download traditional art tools if you want to create a real-life painting. 

When we tested out these tools, we hardly noticed any lagging which was a great plus for us. 

We also tried the adjustment layers that allowed us to easily change the shadows, lighting, and exposure of the images.  

Photoshop also has an excellent animation feature with Timeline to create simple animations for your online course. You can do this by adding the clips to it frame by frame. 

In terms of color palette, Photoshop’s color panel showed the color value for background and foreground colors. It also has a spectrum of colors at the bottom where you can choose colors to create various combinations. 

However, we did feel the color panel of Photoshop was a bit clunky compared to Corel Painter. It also lacked the complementary color wheel

On the upside, it has incredible control over character spacing to fine-tune texts. You can use Adobe Typekit, which comes with Photoshop, to download hundreds of fonts to enhance your online course.

What Do the Customers Think?

adobe photoshop social proof
corel painter

We searched the internet for Adobe Photoshop reviews and found nothing but praises. Customers were satisfied by its ability to edit, resize and create beautiful images and logos. 

Many graphic designers, photographers, and digital artists consider it their go-to software for photo retouching and image adjustment.

Many users were pleased by its layer control, marquee control, and 3D lighting effects. The customers who used Adobe Photoshop for paintings loved that they could create art in a digital format, due to the ability to easily correct mistakes. 

Best Image Editing Software

The Best Image Editing Software is Adobe Photoshop because it does an excellent job at photo manipulation and editing. It is easy to use and light on the computer. It also allows you to create and edit in 3D and use special effects. You can use its wide range of tools to create everything from beautiful photos to functional animations.

Painter vs Photoshop – Buyers’ Guide

painter vs photoshop


If you are new to online course creation, you might not have a lot of money to spend on one software.

Therefore, it is recommended to do your research and choose a graphic design software that is within your budget. 


If you want to buy graphic design software to incorporate digital paintings into your online course, you must choose software with a good collection of brushes. 

Too many brush options might be overwhelming, while too few might not be as useful to you to create your project.


Before you purchase software, figure out what functions you’ll want to perform with it. 

If you want image editing software, you’ll have to make sure it has the right functions to aid you in image adjustments and touch-ups.

On the other hand, digital design software should have great illustration features and brushes to help you with your projects.  

User Environment 

The user environment is one of the most important features to consider before you purchase graphic design software. 

Always look out for software that has a clean and easy interface. This way you will be able to easily navigate tools and maintain a smooth workflow. 

Layering System 

Make sure to do your research and choose software with a good quality layering system.

Layering comes in handy for both photo editing and painting. It helps artists add depth and flexibility to their designs. 

Final Verdict

With that, we come to the end of our Corel Painter vs Photoshop review. 

But the question is which one is better? 

Both Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop have remarkable painting and graphic design potential. So it depends on what you want to achieve with the software. 

Corel Painter is unmatched when it comes to digital illustrations. While Photoshop is superior at image editing and retouching.