After getting the previous post (rant) off my chest, I've been thinking about and working with Painter. As I stated in an earlier post, Painter is not Photoshop. Photoshop is a great program. It is very stable and works well for editing photos or even creating art from scratch. While Corel is trying to dip into the huge photography market with Painter's Auto-painting features, it is still a tool for creating from scratch. One of the things that has drawn me back to Painter (pun intended), is that they have with few deviations, maintained their focus on natural media. The Painter toolbox is ideal for illustrators, far more so than Photoshop's.
Today I was working on an illustration where I did some initial work in Illustrator, brought that into Photoshop, then brought it into Painter. I found myself popping back and forth between Photoshop and Painter for different techniques. Painter does not have Photoshop's very handy Layer Effects and when it comes to manipulating pixels, Photoshop is hard to beat. But when I needed to create parts from scratch and work without thinking too technically about layers, channels, masks, etc I find Painter more enjoyable. I love being able to turn the image in Painter to get a better angle to make brush strokes or creating just the right brush to work with for the moment. Little things like having my own easily created brushes palette, or having the brush tracker, make a big difference in the creative workflow, and the color palette (which I think has been around since the beginning) is brilliant.
Corel needs to make Painter more stable. Users shouldn't have to worry about the silent, unexpected crashes, the corruption of workspaces, or the annoyance of redraw errors. It's just too good a program to let such solvable problems tarnish it.