Pixelmator has today released a new update for the iPad version ($9.99) of its popular image editor. Version 1.1 includes a brand new watercolor painting feature, which can be used to create brand new pieces of art from a blank canvas or add stylistic additions to existing images and photos. Brushes overlay new colors additively with soft radiuses to create beautiful blends and shading. Pixelmator says they spoke to real artists to help design the brush strokes. It feels really nice to use.

Although watercolor painting is the headline addition, Pixelmator 1.1 also includes a new Color Picker with a swatch of previously selected colors, an updated rendering engine for better performance and much more. You have to see it in action … (video below)

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Unique for the iPad, new watercolor painting technology in Pixelmator 1.1 lets you create watercolors right on your iPad. Artist-designed brushes from the new watercolor brushes’ collection apply colors with watery strokes, just like applying paint on paper with a wet brush. When brush strokes overlap, their colors blend with each other, creating an entirely new color with a soft gradient between them. With Pixelmator 1.1, you can create beautiful, soft and vibrant watercolor paintings or simply use watercolors to add an artistic touch to your photos.

In terms of file compatibility, Pixelmator for iPad can now open RAW image previews for editing in combination with improvements to Photoshop compatibility. Photoshop files including image masks are now imported correctly.

For editing, you can now import layers directly from iCloud Drive and ‘Lock Alpha’ to paint on only non-transparent parts of the selected layer, enabling some more advanced edits. Images can now be scaled proportionally, an omission I particularly noticed from the 1.0 release, and photos can be quickly inverted with a new color adjustment preset.

The update also adds support for Adonit iPad styli (Adonit Jot Script, Jot Touch 4, and Jot Touch Pixelpoint) and better pressure sensitivity support for all iPad styluses.

Pixelmator is available in the App Store for just $9.99. You can read our full review of Pixelmator 1.0 from late last year — or check out the developer’s website — for more information. Pixelmator for iPad works seamlessly with Pixelmator for Mac (available on the Mac App Store for $29.99)

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