Secrets of Corel Painter Experts: Andreas Rocha
My most adored Painter features are the Palette Knife and Blender brushes. The Palette Knife is a wonderful tool that I use to infuse dynamism and texture. Things really start to come alive when I start using it and, when combined with the tilt of the stylus on the tablet, it makes a versatile tool. The Blenders, on the other hand, have the power to mix colors smoothly and blend the areas where too much brushwork shows. However, I do like to reintroduce some texture by working with the Palette Knife, for example, or using textures with the Grainy Blender or Chalk Brush.
Two of the most important customizations I have done to the Painter tools are changing the direction of the Palette Knife to Bearing and making a scan of a real watercolor-painted paper with a lot of different dabs and then using it as a paper texture. This gives me a lot of varied textures depending on which area of the scanned paper I am using.
The most timesaving aspect of the process is getting to know the program as well as I can (at least the parts that interest me) and using keyboard shortcuts as much as I can. The painting process transforms itself into a fluid motion of brushstrokes where I can almost do things subconsciously.
I assign four F keys to the zoom commands Zoom In, Zoom Out, Zoom to Fit, and Actual Size. It's handy for me to paint with my left hand while my right hand easily and quickly controls the zoom of the canvas.
It's important to know when to consider the work finished. This is not an easy call. A good night’s rest can help me spot flaws the next day. Also, I seek other opinions before publishing my work. When I do consider my work finished, I try to post it on most of the computer graphics (CG) forums I know of. This can be a lengthy process sometimes, because forums have their posting policies, but in the end it is well worth it to get feedback.
When did you start using Painter?
I started using Painter in version 2, when it was still Fractal Design Painter. It was already a powerful tool at that time, and the brushes I used the most back then are still the ones I use the most now.
What do you wish someone had told you when you started?
Nothing really… I loved to use the software from the beginning. Over the course of time I slowly learned to know it and understand what it excelled at and where it needed help from other software. This slow learning process was a great way to understand the software and not let myself be controlled by it.
Did you have previous experience in traditional media?
I had no real traditional painting practice. My experience was just with graphite and colored pencils. I tried using acrylics and oils, but I soon gave up. That was about the time that I discovered digital painting. Now I work exclusively in the digital medium.
How has it been for you to learn about using art tools in a digital setting?
Art tools in a digital setting are much more forgiving and easy to pick up. That is one of the reasons for their popularity. Something that fascinates me is the versatility they offer to explore new techniques when trying to come up with new and better results. I’m still in search of the technique that fits me best. I'm sure I will never get there, but I’m getting closer. I would definitely say that my digital art exploration has been a rewarding experience, and I know it will continue to be in the years to come.