Trying Out Brushes and Sketching
With your still life and tools set up, you’re ready to try out the brushes and sketch. Open a new file by choosing File > New, and set up a square image format. (My image measures 1200 × 1200 pixels.)
Click the Brush Selector to open the Brush Library, and choose the Oils category and the Real Round variant as shown in Figure 4. Figure 5 shows sample strokes painted with the Oils brushes that are primarily used in this project: from left to right, the Real Oils Short, Real Round, and Real Oils Smeary. Two of these Oils brushes have luscious oily blending qualities, and they paint beautifully realistic strokes as shown by the magenta and blue brush marks in Figure 6 (Real Oils Short at left, and Real Oils Smeary at right). To try blending with the Real Oils Short and the Real Oils Smeary, keep the brush pressed to the Canvas and brush back and forth over an area of paint.
Figure 4 The Real Round variant of Oils is chosen in the Brush Selector and Brush Library.
Figure 5 Practice strokes painted with the Real Oils Short, Real Round, and Real Oils Smeary.
Figure 6 The Real Oils Short (left) and Real Oils Smeary (right) have rich blending capabilities.
When you’re finished experimenting with the brushes, clear the Canvas by choosing Select > All, pressing the Delete/Backspace key, and then choosing Select > None.
I created the brush drawing in Painter from observation. For this purpose, you need a quick, responsive brush—for instance, the Real Round variant of Oils. On the Mixer panel, click the Sample Color tool (the eyedropper) and choose a color from your mix that will blend well with the colors of your painting to come.
Carefully observe the forms of your subject. Choose the Real Round variant of Oils, and reduce its size to about 15 pixels, using the Size slider in the Property Bar. Keeping your hand loose, paint a descriptive sketch. Figure 7 shows my brush sketch in progress.
Figure 7 The loose brush sketch, painted with the small Real Round variant of Oils.