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I can't afford photoshop so am looking around and trailing all the apps.
I'm really struggling with all of them really. They all either seem to lack important features or I'm just missing them, so i am here to ask for advice on these points:
I need to be able to blend, so i want a brush that is sensitive to pressure on the wacom. In either size and/or opacity. So, I've been playing around and so far tried Sketchbook Pro, Pixelmator and artrage. So far I can't seem to find a setting in any of them that allows that.
Am I blind or is photoshop the only one that can do opacity and/or brush size with the wacom's pressure sensitivity? Surely not?
I'm pretty sure ArtRage does have what you're looking for...? Which version have you got?
Anyway, have you considered getting an education edition of Photoshop? Corel Painter's quite a bit cheaper (but still very expensive) but in terms of painting it's got every single option you could think of, size opacity, everything. If you're a student try getting the academic editions, could get Painter's for about $100 on Amazon, I think.
In Painter you have certain brushes which change size according to pressure, and opacity is, I think, affected by pressure in most brushes, and blending is beautifully rendered.
Gimp is free for both Mac OS and Windows as well a *ix distribution
Sai Paint is about $65-85 - Win OS only - 30 day working trial
Open Cavas 1.1 - free Windows Only - Watercolor tool is a blender if you learn how to use the sliders.
Artweaver - Free Windows Only Bleed and Resat control blending
As for Art Rage, you have to think a bit differently, Opacity is handled by thinners. A lot of blending may be done with the palette knife and combination of thinning the paint.
You can see a video on blending below with the crayon tool
Thank you SO much. The video is great, I've been playing with Sketchbook pro for a day and have it figured out now but will now try the artrage demo and see how i go with that. Much appreciated advice.