A Digital Art Studio
One of the first and foremost thoughts in anyone’s mind, as a novice, is always the interface, more technically known as your workspace. How might I set it up in a way that works best for me? Corel Painter 2015 has solved that problem: at least from a technical point of view. You are first greeted with the programs: ‘Welcome Screen’. You have a check box there to choose whether or not you wish it to open when the program starts. Very useful! I suggest you allow it to always open until you’re comfortable within the program itself. At any rate, it is always accessible from the: ‘Help’ menu.
- The ‘Inspire’ tab on the welcome screen always comes up with a new picture to inspire you with, and it is the the first tab that always opens. I thought this one particularly appropriate because it shows you an art-work in stages, from start to finish. It also gives you a very good idea of Painter 2015’s awesome capabilities…
- The ‘Create’ tab is important because it gives you access to: ‘Color Management’, ‘Brush Tracking’ and Painters pre-programed workspaces. They are: ‘New Brushes’ which refers to Painters new ‘Particle Brushes’ based upon physical laws. There are three kinds of particle brushes. They are: Flow, Gravity and Spring. Each operates with it’s own set of laws, and the workspace itself comes with a handy panel that explains how each one works. The other choices you have for workspaces are: Simple, Photo Art, Illustration and Default. The ‘Simple’ workspace removes all the clutter and is specifically designed for use with an Intuos Pen Tablet. I have a generously large: 9″ x 12″ Intuos 3, The straight pen it came with, plush the Airbrush Pen, and the Art Pen, designed primarily for calligraphy work but adds so much more ‘flavor’ to your lines depending on how you swirl the pen in your hand as you draw, to move from thick to thin line work: most especially when doing a sketch. All the others are self explanatory…
- The ‘Share and Learn’ tab is the most fun and in my opinion, the most valuable! It gives you access to all the videos that teach you the basics as well as more advanced techniques. It saves you the drudgery of the 1000 page help menu, which is still, never-the-less, invaluable for reference when you’re stuck on a task in the program. I’m referring to the ‘search’ tab in the help file because there, you can be specific about just the info. that you need.
This is what everyone is most particularly interested in because they’re new. And they do not disappoint! It’s absolutely necessary that you use a black background for their use if you want them to show up. Needless to say, they’re designed for night scenes. One flow brush even creates beautiful aurora for your night sky. Choose ‘New’ in your ‘File’ menu where you can customize various sizes for that, including paper color, and canvas textures. I’ve also customized a flow brush for star points which will very in size if you employ a: ‘Flow Map’ upon your canvas. Flow maps create valleys and hills upon the canvas and come with their own pallet in a number of flavors. It’s suggested you only use particle brushes with the flow feature selected and only on the canvas layer, to make them brighter…
Here above, I have employed the use of the: ‘Flare Flow’ particle brush and only varied the color using the color wheel on your right, and how long I held the brush to the screen. The longer you press, the larger the flare. I have also employed Painters: ‘Mirror’ feature here, which copies whatever you do on the left side, to the right, adding a beautiful symmetry effect to whatever you do. The program also has a: ‘Kaleidescope’ feature that employs up to 12 mirrors for constructing beautiful patterns using and one of Painters treasure trove of brushes… Also, you’ll notice a new workspace that’s provided by: Aaron someone or other. There’s only one Aaron anyway. And if you subscribe to his web page, available through one of the tutorials, he’ll provide you with this awesome new workspace which includes an invaluable shortcut key pallet, a myriad of new nozzles, (nozzles spray pictures across your canvas) extra papers,flow maps, page presets, among other things… Check it out! Also: ‘Chip’ has a website that provides you with many new Libraries which you can also add your own categories and custom brushes to: Something you’re really going to appreciate having! I know I do!
Eventually, though you really don’t need one, as I’ve done in the first screen shot, the temptation to compose your very own workspace will become too great. Only, don’t base it on the default workspace, or your custom space will disappear, as soon as you choose any of the workspaces from the Welcome menu, which is what happened to me. No matter… We can rebuild him! Use Johns custom space to base your workspace upon instead.
The process is fairly simple. Choose what pallets you wish to employ by closing the pallets present, using the little white button on its control bar, and dock the new ones you feel appropriate for your work-flow from the: ‘Windows/Brush Control Panels menu, and drag out any particular brushes from your brush pallet (upper left of screen) for any custom panels you desire, and using the options menu (upper right of new panel) to name them. Then choose: Window/Workspace/New Workspace, and name your new workspace. Base it on Aaron’s workspace. To bring Aaron’s workspace in, you must import in, using: ‘Import Workspace’ from the same menu, probably in your ‘Downloads’ folder, and choose: ‘Export Workspace’ first, to save a copy of your default workspace. Actually, you should name your new workspace first. Then customize it, and then export it… Had the silly thing in reverse… And base it on: ‘Factory Defaults’. Sorry ’bout that!
Working with Pen and Tablet
Above, is a screen shot of the Simple workspace designed to provide the most latitude for tablet users. The brush cursor for Painter 2015 is much different for pens than a simple mouse pointer circle. It also provides a very important line that lengthens and shortens displaying how much you’re tilting your pen so you don’t have to look down for that. It also moves to display what tilt angle you have your pen displayed at. This is a wonderful feature for Artists!
It’s also important to note, that when you adjust your pen to have the line pointing directly upwards, it will start the thickest point of your line from there before it thins out: important for such things as flames for example. You should point the line directly downward to display curtains per-say… When you choose the color picker from the tool bar (on left), it appears in the middle of your screen for any adjustments you need to make, and disappears when you choose another tool, brush or menu item, adjust a panel slider etc..
You’ll find plenty of tutorials on how to clone and turn your all important photos into works of art, how to compose your own sketches and illustrations etc.. Watch them closely for what controls are accessed! Also, it may be a good idea to download works of art from famous Painters and make new color sets from them so you can co-ordinate your color selections according to the laws and rules of color and learn them this way.
I hope this Painter 2015 Primer gets you started well on your way to creating amazing art work! With all the features of Painter 2015, its user friendly interface and perfect assimilation of actual brushes and media, you should have absolutely no problem doing just that. Have fun exploring your talents and be with me next time, as we learn more about working in Corel Painter 2015…