If you would like to produce some exciting painted effects to your digital images, quickly and easily you will love the options from this software. Almost all traditional media types are available as a preset one click! They are also costomisable to extend the range plus all presets from PE 3 are included if you had any favourites there. Once you click on a style, off it goes, mimicking real brushstrokes flowing with the subject matter to make a realistic look. It starts with big strokes getting smaller and more detailed. The good thing is you can stop the "painting" at any stage. This allows a loose abstract look all the way to fine details or anywhere inbetween. There is also a clone tool to bring back details selectively and boost details from the digital original.This side of the software requires only a mouse.
If you are artistic and would like to paint from scratch the natural media tools are wonderful, once you get a feel of there instinctive use. The tutorials are vidio based and well made. You will soon be itching to get started and play with all the options. I do think a graphics tablet is required for working from scratch to give the "FEEL" and flow control of the paint especially using palette knives. It has so many of the tools from it's big brother Painter X, that unless you are a true pro, it is everything you could dream of in a package of this price.