ArtRage realistic painting comes to iPhone 4

Ambient Design extends its “natural painting” iPad app to the smaller screen.

Ambient Design has released ArtRage for iPhone 4, based on its popular “realistic painting” iPad app. Both products are based on ArtRage Studio and Studio Pro for Windows and Mac. The goal of the product is to provide what Ambient Design calls a “natural painting environment” simulating the properties of real paint.

ArtRage for iPhone lets users work with easy-to-use painting and drawing tools that both mimic their physical counterparts and provide a digital experience. Color can be placed on a background that responds like canvas, while the app keeps track of how much paint there is and how “wet” it is, so colors can blend under the brush. The app incorporates canvas grain and drier pigment textured effects and allows layers to be added so users can work on individual elements without damaging others.

Ambient Design Ltd. is a New Zealand-based software development firm founded in 2000 by Andy Bearsley and Matt Fox-Wilson, formerly of MetaCreations, the developer of Painter, Bryce and Kai’s Power Tools.

Photos can be imported into ArtRage for iPhone 4 to smear around like oil paint or used as a Tracing Image overlaid on the canvas. As the user paints, controls move out of the way making it unnecessary to stop and manually adjust panels.  In addition, with support for Multi-Touch gestures, important shortcuts are also available without the need of any interface.

The introductory price is $.99; Ambient Design says the permanent price will be $1.99.

Features Include:


  • High quality strokes respect the volume of paint on the canvas, letting users play with texture as well as color
  • Oil Brush with thickness and smearing
  • Palette Knife for spreading and blending pigment
  • Paint Tube for laying down thick blobs of oil
  • Inking Pen with auto-smoothing
  • Pencil for sketching or shading
  • Crayon for waxy shaded lines
  • Eraser and Flood Fill
  • Each tool comes with a set of variant types for different effects.
  • Tap and drag tool selection allows you to pick a tool in one quick gesture.


  • HLS Color picker
  • Color swatches for storing favorites
  • Tap and drag color selection allows you to pick colors in one quick gesture


  • Canvas layers adjust for opacity and visibility


  • Unlimited Undo / Redo
  • Tracing Images


  • Create files of 320 x 480, or 640 x 960 (Retina display only).
  • Uses shared file space, so files may be transferred to and from a desktop computer
  • Export PNG or JPG by email, or export to Photos App
  • Import photos to a new file or a layer.
  • Use the camera as a source for New Files, References, Layers, or Tracing Images


  • Easy access pods in the corners provide important functionality without getting in the way
  • Elements vanish as users paint
  • Multi-Touch provides instant shortcuts for canvas manipulation and Brush Size
  • Quick Reference and Help cover the basics of the application.


Snowy Night by Bo Paweena. (Source: Ambient Design)