Secrets of Corel Painter Experts: Brian Haberlin
The Creative Process
Ideas come as they please — either as just a pop, or as hearing or seeing something and twisting it. I play the “what if” game, so to speak. From there, it’s on to the sketch pad. I use plain old paper and some type of drawing implement, and I start designing. I draw different versions of what my idea is, or if it’s a story, I start to break out the elements and characters. Ideas keep popping into my head, and I have to express them one way or the other. I think if I didn’t, my brain would just pop.
I like the way I can make brushes with full textures and colors. I use these to create things that would be time consuming to draw every time. For example, when I was drawing Spawn, he had these chains that would emanate from him, and he’d fight with them. Drawing every link, over and over, would be a pain, but with Painter, I just created a section and made it into a Pattern Brush. Now I just draw wherever I want the chains to go in a scene.
You simply have to make a custom tool palette, because there are too many choices in Painter. Most artists get lost trying them all. I recommend grabbing your favorite tools, tweaked or not, and putting them into a custom palette. You’ll stay much saner that way.
To get a handle on creating your own patterns, go to Window, Library Palettes, Patterns. This opens the Patterns palette. On the Patterns palette, go to Pattern Selector. On the side drop-down menu, select Check Out Pattern. This shows the original pattern used to create the brush and allows editing.
Before jumping into any program — from 3D to paint — I recommend a battle plan. A thumbnail, or multiple thumbnails, can serve as a road map to your creation. Most digital tools are so limitless in their abilities that you can easily drain time away by using a program without a clear plan. A small thumbnail sketch, no more than a couple of inches, will give you that road map and not stifle your creative flow on the computer by being too tight.
My artwork is usually seen in print, so it is normally reproduced as large Epson prints on nice matte- or watercolor-type papers. I consider accurate color reproduction to be the most important thing to consider when publishing my finished work. I can spend forever working on a piece, but if I don’t have control over the way it is finally reproduced, it can be all for naught.
When did you start using Painter?
My first Painter “can” was Painter 1.
Did you have previous experience in traditional media?
Yes — pretty much everything from watercolor to encaustic. I’m a bit of a mad scientist when it comes to art and really like to explore them all and mix them in ways they are not necessarily supposed to mix.