Corel has posted a public beta version of its Painter 6.1 update.

Registered Painter 6 users can download the updater, but it only supports US-English Mac operating systems..

Ian LeGrow, executive vice president of creative products, said: "We want to ensure that Corel Painter enthusiasts are in the loop with what Corel is doing to the application. We encourage artists to download and try out the latest features contained in the update – we're positive they'll be pleased."

The final release is scheduled "shortly", says Corel. The update features upgrades to the soften and sharpen features, including a new Woodcut effect, which converts a photo to "a hand-rendered woodblock print". Blur effects have also been enhanced.

Painter 7 is expected for release next year - perhaps in March - and will support Mac OS X.