Rebelle Review: Digital Painting Tool That Creates Realistic Watercolor, Acrylic, and Dry Media Artwork

very good
key review info
application features
  • Different types of brushes
  • (8 more, see all...)

Rebelle is Escape Motions’ newest software application that aims to simulate and create realistic watercolor, acrylic, and dry media artwork. It comes packed with several natural painting tools which focus upon color blending, wet diffusion, and drying. 

Escape Motions has made a name on the digital market with notable software tools, like Flame Painter and Amberlight. Flame Painter is specialized in designing realist flame effects, while Amberlight can be used for creating images by blending millions of particles.

Rebelle takes a step forward and comes packed with advanced drawing tools meant to compete against Corel Painter’s natural drawing effects. It is suitable for both CG artists and traditional painters who are looking for quick and easy ways to apply natural watercolor flow effects.

The program is available for download on Windows and Mav OS X. You can test it on your own to get an idea about its drawing utilities. However, there are some limitations in the unregistered version which are related to limited canvas size, watermark on the drawing area, no saving options, and nag screen. A license can be purchased for $59.99/€53.65.

Intuitive GUI

Rebelle is distributed in a portable package which means you only need to run the executable file for accessing the drawing environment. You may also keep it on pen drives or other portable devices so you can carry it with you all the time.

What I love about the GUI is that it is really easy to decode so you are not going to need to invest all your time and effort into getting used to its features. The drawing tools are well structured and the app impresses with a clean feature lineup.

An introduction tutorial shows how to make the most out of the program’s features in a short amount of time. There’s also a help manual that you can appeal to in case you want to know more about the setup parameters.

Rebelle sports intuitive looks and smart drawing tools
Rebelle sports intuitive looks and smart drawing tools

By default, Rebelle shows all available panels in the GUI, namely Navigator, Tools, Properties, Palette, and Layers. You can hide some of them in case you do not need them, change their position using drag-and-drop actions, adjust the width of the panels, reveal or conceal all panels with a single click, make the main window remain on top of other programs, and enable a full screen display.

When it comes to viewing options, you may zoom in or out of the image, fit the picture to the screen, as well as show or hide the cursor while drawing.

Drawing tools

Rebelle lets you express your creativity using several types of brushes, namely watercolor, acrylic, pastel, pencil, ink pen, marker, and airbrush. Plus, you can make use of an eraser for removing unnecessary parts and undo or redo your actions on the fly.

Each brush has its own behavior and painting technique. Depending on the type of the brush that you intend to use in your drawing, Rebelle has to offer different parameters that help you set up the output effects on the fly.

Parameters are set by default to predefined values and you may tweak them on your own. For example, if you opt for watercolor brush, you may alter the size of the brush, set the pressure of the brush (in case of tablet pen pressure you may adjust the pressure sensitivity), specify the amount of color loaded to the brush (it has a direct influence upon paint thickness), and configure the amount of water.

The water effects are simulated on the canvas in real time and you can check out how the color interacts with the paper and what traces it leaves behind. The more water you add, the more realistic the effect of watercolor runs. If you use more water, the colors spread faster and the wet colors are mixed.

The application also comes packed with several extra utilities, namely Blend for mixing colors or brushmarks together, Smear for spreading colors or brushmarks, Water for wetting a specific part of the canvas, Dry for removing water from a specific part of the canvas, and Blow for blowing wet colors. In addition, you are allowed to pick colors from your canvas, alter the angle of the canvas to affect the movement of wet paint, as well as move and resize the selected layer. Layers may also be duplicated, merged, or deleted.

This is a demonstration of how brushes behave on canvas
This is a demonstration of how brushes behave on canvas

The Palette Panel can be used for setting the primary and secondary color, switching between a color wheel and square color palette, making the program display the HSL or RGB color model, and keeping a set of last used colors. You may mix colors, sort colors by their hue value, and use the color tracing mode for automatically picking a color from the tracing layer.

Layer management features can be employed for showing the wet parts of the actual layer, wetting or drying the actual layer, applying fast drying actions for removing water from the painting, selecting between various blending modes (e.g. Normal, Darken, Multiply, Color Burn, Linear Burn, Lighten, Screen, Color Dodge, Linear Dodge, Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Vivid Light, Linear Light, Pin Light, Hard Mix, Difference), setting the opacity of the layer, and locking the layer.

A new drawing can be defined in terms of width and height of the new picture in pixels, centimeters or inches, paper texture, texture visibility, color, and DPI. You may also choose between several paper size presets or add your own ones.

You may import any image file in .png, .jpg, .bmp, and .tif format as a new layer, export a copy of your current painting as a new one to .reb, .png, .jpg, .bmp, and .tif file format, as well as save sequentially numbered versions of an artwork (iterative saving mode).

Rebelle lets you set the quality of .jpeg files, choose the average sample size of color tracing (1 pixel, 3x3 pixels, 5x5 pixels), and assign custom keyboard shortcuts. 

The Good

Rebelle comes packed with several noteworthy brushes which help you acquire natural effects. The tilt movement adds gravity and surprising effects to the painting by directing surplus paint in a user-defined direction. The watercolor brush is one of its best tools which may compete against the great names in the industry, like Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop

The Bad

Rebelle provides excellent realistic watercolor effects, but it does not come packed with so many customization options as you can find in Corel Painter or Photoshop. It keeps things simple and accessible even for hobbyists, while the aforementioned apps are more dedicated to professional artists. The application eats up CPU and memory resources so the overall performance of the computer may be burdened. 

The Truth

Rebelle’s digital painting technology is all worthy of your attention because it helps you generate creative, realistic, and beautiful effects in a short amount of time. If you are not on the hunt for endless watercolor strokes and resources, Rebelle implements the necessary features for enhancing your designs. 
user interface 4
features 4
ease of use 4
pricing / value 4

final rating 4
Editor's review
very good

Rebelle (21 Images)

Rebelle sports intuitive looks and smart drawing toolsRebelle lets you choose between several blending profilesExport a copy of your current painting as a new one to .reb, .png, .jpg, or other formatsMerge, duplicate, or delete layerSwitch to a full screen display

Fresh Reviews

Latest News