Rebelle 4 – The Artist Medium that Respects your Creative Intentions

If you paint with watercolors – or with any media really – you probably know how this feels: you get a piece to where you want it and well, it keeps going! The paint bleeds, drips, or spreads in ways you didn’t intend or expect. Sometimes this opens up new possibilities, often it just leads to frustration.

It’s a common enough experience in real-world art-making. It may even be the reason you chose to go digital. Indeed, most graphics programs help you realize a specific artistic vision because they’re entirely predictable. The trade-off is that you forgo your favorite medium’s nuance, and mystery, and inspiration.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could have the best of both worlds? A digital tool that reproduces the serendipity of real media but keeps it firmly under your control?

Rebelle Art by Craig Mullins

That’s exactly Rebelle 4! An award-winning paint and drawing program that’s far more than colored brush strokes and filters. It’s more even than an art-making simulation. It is magic realism and augmented reality!

Consider Rebelle 4 watercolors. They behave just like the real thing, except in this virtual world you can pause, stop or even reverse the paint’s natural progression. Imagine the possibilities! Rebelle gives you similar control over its realistic brushes and papers. Apply water and work wet on wet, watch how much the pigments bleed. See the effect when you dry one area but not another. Use a ‘Blow’ tool to encourage or direct drips and spread. And when your work is done and ‘dry’, you can decide to keep going – erase, or undo, or re-activate the paint again, and again.

It’s not just in the paint dynamics where Rebelle gives you new powers. Consider mixing. When yellow meets blue, naturally the result is green. Now try it with Rebelle’s transparent watercolors and the paint acts as a glaze with richer hues emerging from each subsequent layer. Switch on-the-fly to more opaque colors and the paints begin to act like gouache, light yellow covering up even dark blue shades.

Yokai dance by Ekaterina Chesalova

Even if watercolor is not your medium, Rebelle has plenty to offer. As of this year, it includes the near-tactile experience of oil paints, reproducing their characteristic profile from matte to glossy and from fine translucence to thick impasto. It too comes with added magic: click and your brushes get cleaned automatically between strokes, or not, and they carry traces of each previous color. Click again and the same brush that realistically applied and mixed paint now just smudges and smears it. You can even set your brushes to remove paint with each stroke!

Rebelle has uniquely created a space where you can readily apply real-world skills and still explore many supernatural possibilities. Ever wanted to glaze an oil painting with watercolor? It’s possible in Rebelle. Amazing too! You can even see the bits of wet pigment collecting at the edges of textured brush strokes. The result may push the boundaries of your imagination, but it’s not random. It remains anchored in real-life physics; influenced by the amount of water and oil, by the coarseness of the canvas, and even by the tilt of your tablet.

Rebelle Art by Ivan Gilbertt

Partly the realism you experience is a result of sophisticated simulations but it’s also because Rebelle responds naturally to how you work. Paints mix or spread according to the brush pressure you apply. The angle you hold your stylus determines how paint accumulates on one side or the other of a brushstroke. It’s fast (even when using larger brushes) and entirely under your control. Or if you prefer, even your brushwork can be assisted. Need to smooth out your shaky lines or hold it to a ridged straight edge? Rebelle will do that for you.

We’ve only touched on a few of many possibilities. Beyond paints, Rebelle also lets you work in other wet and dry media: ink, charcoal, pencils, pastels, and more. Each comes with its own recognizable pens, shapes, or brushes. There are palette knives, Japanese Sumi-e and air-brushes too. And if you want to go beyond these, the program provides a sophisticated customization menu. You can modify existing tools in terms of their overall size and shape, or fine-tune them right down to the thickness of individual brush hairs! The options are practically limitless. You can recreate your favorite tool or invent one that never existed.

Woman with Ribbon by Kuzayova

Rebelle 4 is a remarkable program for all artists; for those who appreciate traditional media but also those who want to create beyond real-world limitations. It’s a full-featured virtual studio that offers the freedom to experiment, along with the fine-tuned control that will help you achieve your artistic vision.

The latest Rebelle version is available for Windows and macOS for $89.99 on the Escape Motions website. It comes with an unconditional 30-day money-back guarantee and a 50% discount for existing Rebelle 3 users.

Article written by:
Lubomir Zabadal, Department of Creative Arts and Art Education, UKF University in Nitra, Slovakia
Matthew Stern, Artist based in Toronto, Canada

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