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The Painter 8 Wow! Book Art Gallery

From The Painter 8 Wow! Book© 2003 Peachpit Press

Michela Del Degan

Don Stewart

Michael Campbell

Cher Threinen-Pendarvis

Artist Michela Del Degan creates illustrations for educational books and multimedia projects and she exhibits fine art work.

Africa and Life is a series of six images, two of which are shown here. The works were inspired by a story that takes place in Africa. In the story, there are three parallel situations: the growth of a tree from a small seed, the growth of love, which brings to life a new being, and the attraction between the sun and the moon. Four main elements—Earth, Wind, Fire and Water—are important in the story. Del Degan began the images using traditional materials: She painted with conventional acrylic on canvas using thick white paint; she chose a piece of watercolor paper and painted bright-colored washes over the background and figures. To define the elements, she used a dark pencil to draw an outline rendering for each composition. Next, she scanned the canvas and the watercolor and pencil studies using a flatbed scanner and saved each scan as a TIFF file. Working in Painter, she opened the scan of the acrylic on canvas and each scanned watercolor and assembled the pieces as layers in six separate files. To combine the acrylic brushwork with the watercolor images, she used Multiply Composite Method in the Layers palette, then she dropped the layers by choosing Drop All from the Layers palette menu. She increased the saturation of each watercolor using the Effects, Tonal Control, Adjust Colors dialog box. She also bumped up the luminosity using the Image Luminance choice in the Adjust Color dialog box. Then Del Degan strengthened the outline drawings using the Soft Charcoal. To retouch areas of the scanned art, she sampled color from the image and used the Soft Charcoal to paint color over the areas. To add a rough paper texture to areas of her images, she used the Grain Emboss variant of Impasto. Finally, to complete the works, she touched up the black outlines using a small Soft Charcoal variant.

An accomplished illustrator who specializes in book illustration, Don Stewart used to work on gessoed illustration board with airbrush and colored pencils before he began using Painter. Today he draws on the computer using Painter's tools and brushes that match his traditional ones.

Planters Foundation Books commissioned Stewart to create Baskim's Lesson for a children's story poster. Stewart began by choosing a fine-textured paper and drawing a detailed sketch in Painter using Pencils variants. To isolate areas of the image (such as the fox's head and body), he made freehand selections using the Lasso tool and then saved the selections as masks in the Channels palette (Window, Show Channels), in case he needed to use them later. He blocked in basic color using Water Color brushes, and then he dropped the Water Color layer to the Canvas so he could paint on it with other brushes. To build up values, he used the Digital Airbrush variant of Airbrushes and the Smeary variants of the Oils. Then he added highlights, deeper shadows and fine detail using the Colored Pencil variant of Colored Pencils. Stewart sprayed texture on the fox's fur using the Coarse Spray variant of Airbrushes. For the texture on the grass in the foreground, he used Chalk variants and the Coarse Spray and Variable Splatter Airbrushes.

An innovative professional photographer, Michael Campbell specializes in portraits and also excels in painting. When creating Frances with Hat, Campbell combined photography with painting using Painter brushes. He began the work by choosing a photo from his shoot and retouching it using Photoshop. In Painter, he used cloning and paint applied with various brushes to paint over the photograph, adding expressive brushwork and texture. He made a clone of the image (File, Clone) and painted a loose, expressive background with a modified version of the Camel Oil Cloner variant of Cloners. He saved the image and then began to gradually build up basic forms of the figure and clothing. He alternated between painting with Clone Color turned on and off in the Color picker. With Clone Color turned on, he could sample color from the original and with it turned off, he could paint with color he chose in the Color picker. He gradually built up details in the focal areas of the image (for instance, the model's face and hands), and he painted looser brushwork to suggest folds in the clothing. Finally, he used Effects, Surface Control, Apply Surface Texture to add three-dimensional highlights and shadows to the brushwork and canvas texture. Turn to "Creating a Photo-Painting" on page 230 to see Campbell's technique step by step.

In preparation for painting Paths to Water 4, Cher Threinen-Pendarvis made several loose color studies on location. She observed how light and atmosphere affect the color in highlights and shadows on the seascape.

Pendarvis's Paths series (of which Path to Water 4 is a member) is inspired by favorite paths that lead to breathtaking coastal views and surf spots in California. For this painting, Pendarvis began by making pastel sketches of the hillside, plant life and seascape, using Canson paper and pastels that she'd carried in her backpack. Later, back at the studio, she created a new file in Painter and set her on-site sketch beside the computer as a reference. Using the Square Chalk variant of Chalk and a Round Soft Pastel variant of Pastels over the Charcoal Paper texture, she loosely sketched the composition, first blocking in larger areas of color. Then she gradually focused on areas that she wanted to define with crisper details. To build up layers of color interest on the hillside and water, she dabbed small strokes of subtle color on top using a small Soft Oil Pastel variant of Oil Pastels. Then she blended distant areas of the hillside and trees using the Grainy Water variant of Blenders. To move and pull paint in the sky, she used a Subtle Palette Knife variant of Palette Knives. Pendarvis added lighter areas to the water using the Square Chalk, then smoothed and blended color using the Grainy Water. To add textured color to the path and tonal interest to the hills, she lightly scumbled using a Square Chalk and a Round Hard Pastel. To enhance the serpentine path, which was the focal point of the composition, she added brighter color using a Soft Oil Pastel. Then, to bring the foreground closer, she reworked the nearest foliage with the Round Camelhair variant of Oils using dynamic, curved strokes. She also added a few strokes of brighter color to the shadows on the path using a small Round Camelhair brush. Finally, Pendarvis used expressive, quick strokes to paint the foreground grasses using the small Round Camelhair brush and the Soft Oil Pastel. She wanted to print the mixed media work on even-textured paper with light fast inks, so she chose 13 x 19-inch Epson Archival Matte paper and printed the final image on an Epson 2000P printer using Epson's six-color pigmented archival ink set.

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