Digital Painting Fundamentals with Corel Painter 12: Welcome to Painter 12 - Part 2
Just because your main purpose is to get familiar with brushes, that doesn’t mean your work can’t look good. To help make something more pleasing to the eye, restrict yourself to one color or family of colors. A limited color palette tends to create visual harmony even with lots of variety in brush strokes, texture, and detail. You may change the saturation and brightness of the main color by clicking in the triangle of the Color panel, but stick with the same position on the Hue ring. Consider grouping your scribbles to make a composition based on shapes or other variables. My sampler, shown in Figure 1.20, is based on three horizontal strips. Each one uses only the variants for the corresponding row in the custom palette. By the time I got to the third row, I started to get the hang of it.
Let’s examine some of the brushes in the sampler palette more closely. The Impressionist variant is composed of a narrow spray of tear-drop shaped dabs, which follow the direction of your stroke. Increased pressure makes the dabs darker and larger. Overlapping Impressionist strokes can make for very painterly effects. Like the other variants in the Artists category, the Impressionist brush is designed to imitate important techniques from art history. The Seurat brush is named after the French painter who invented the technique of pointillism, where tiny dots of color combine optically for the viewer. This brush sprays overlapping dots of variable hue and value (brightness). The Van Gogh variant also has built-in color variability. Each stroke is composed of several thick bristles differing slightly in hue and more strongly in value. There is a random quality between strokes[md]no two strokes are exactly alike. This brush is most effective when short strokes are applied in different directions. The Sargent brush, a tribute to the portrait painter John Singer Sargent, has no color variation but does have a smeary quality that contributes to its creamy, luscious look. Figure 1.21 demonstrates all four of these special variants.
Gloopy is a very thick Impasto stroke, and usually takes several seconds to be fully formed. A short stroke is best unless you have a few errands to run. One of my favorite brushes is Dry Ink, now included among the Pens, but previously in the Calligraphy category and somewhere else before that. (Every time there is a new version of Painter, I have to go hunting for it.) Dry Ink is an opaque, juicy, and bristly brush, with a very wide range of thickness based on pressure. The Broad Water brush successfully imitates the translucency of watercolor, as well as the wet fringe effect (pooling of pigment at the edges of a stroke).
Proceed at Your Own Risk!
Explore other brush categories now, or any time, but be warned — some of them are exotic, to say the least. For example, Pattern pens don’t apply the current color, but paint with the current pattern (you’ll find that library right under Papers at the bottom of the Toolbox). Watercolor and Real Watercolor brushes require a special layer, created automatically when you use them. Liquid Ink is in a class (and layer) by itself. As for the Image Hose — don’t get me started!