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Painter 11: The Atelier for Digital Artists

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Corel Painter 11 is packed with many new features that offer realism and performance not found in other applications. Cher Threinen-Pendarvis, author of The Painter 11 Wow! Book, explores the ins and outs of her favorite features: Hard Media and Markers brushes, and the updated Colors and Mixer palettes.

The natural media brushes in Corel Painter offer realism and performance not found in other applications. Some of my favorite features in Painter 11 are the Hard Media and Markers brushes, and the updated Colors and Mixer palettes. The tips that follow will help you get acquainted with these new features. Some of this material is excerpted from The Painter 11 Wow! Book.

Hard Media Brushes

The new Hard Media brushes are scattered throughout Painter 11 and can be found in these categories: Blenders, Chalk, Colored Pencils, Cont´e, Digital Watercolor, Erasers, Markers, Pastels, Pencils, Pens and Sumi-e. The organization can be a bit confusing, but look for the word “Real” preceding the brush name, with one exception: The Markers have their own new category, but its variants do not begin with the word “Real.”

When using the Hard Media brushes, you can work directly on the Canvas or you can paint on a layer. For this exercise, let’s work on the Canvas. To try out the Hard Media pencils, go to the Brush Selector Bar (see Figure 1) and from the category menu, choose Pencils. Create a new file by choosing File, New. (Our file for trying out the brushes measures 600*600 pixels and has a white background.)

Figure 1 The Brush Selector Bar is open to show the Pencils category and new “Real” Hard Media Pencil variants.

The new pencils are based on the performance of conventional pencils, both in the softness/hardness and how they interact with texture on the Canvas: Real 2B Pencil, Real 2H Drafting Pencil, Real 4H Hard Pencil, and Real 6B Soft Pencil. In the Paper Selector (Toolbox), choose Charcoal paper for trying out the brushes. To draw with the fine point, hold your stylus upright at about a 20° to 30° angle from vertical and practice drawing a curved, looping stroke. Next, transition to a wider stroke as if you were shading with the side of the pencil by tilting the stylus to about 40°–60° from vertical. Draw another curved looping line, this time emulating drawing with the side of the pencil (see Figure 2).

Figure 2 The Real 6B Soft Pencil variant of Pencils offers versatile thin and thick brush strokes, depending on the angle of the stylus. The top stroke was drawn with the stylus held erect, and the bottom stroke with the stylus tilted.

Next, let’s explore brushes that apply grainy strokes and looks—for instance, the Chalk and Pastels. Choose the Real Soft Chalk variant of Chalk from the Brush Selector Bar; the Real Soft Chalk paints broad strokes when used on its side and is good for blocking in large areas quickly. Paint a slightly curved horizontal stroke by slightly tilting your stylus, and then experiment with tilting it more as you rotate your hand. Next, use the Real Soft Chalk to paint a circular stroke, while moving your hand naturally. Now, try out the Real Soft Pastel variant of Pastels. This brush has a softer feel, and is also good for shading and laying broad areas of color. Using this brush, make several angular, overlapping brushstrokes, while tilting your stylus. Next, choose the Real Hard Pastel, which simulates a harder pastel and paints grainier strokes. Using this brush, paint angular strokes so that you can see how this brush interacts with the chosen texture. (For a technique using the Real Pastels and Blenders, see “Blending and Feathering with Pastels” on page 78-79 of The Painter 11 Wow! Book.

Figure 3 These overlapping strokes were painted using the Real Soft Pastel (left) and the Real Hard Pastel (right) variants of Pastels.

“Pear Dance” was painted using the Real Soft Pastel variant of Pastels and the Blenders brushes. This painting is the feature artwork in “Blending and Feathering with Pastels” on page s 78-79 of The Painter 11 Wow! Book.

Figure 4 “Pear Dance” by Cher Threinen-Pendarvis.

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