Secrets of Corel Painter Experts: Waheed Nasir
7) In Figure 2.6, I add more details in parts like the foreground mountain. I decide to add branches to the sides of the image in the foreground; I use a Round Tip Pen Brush in a new layer so that I can tweak the shape and positions later if I have to. The branches are a nice frame for the whole view and make the focus even stronger. They also keep the eyes of the viewer inside the edges of the picture plane and more focused on the interesting parts.
I also work on the water a little and add more definition. I decide to paint a torch at the bottom of the path on the main mountain. This serves as a visual guide and helps me get rid of the big dark shape of that area. I create the effect of its light with a soft pen brush and make it even softer by blurring it. I add its reflection on the water using a pen brush, but I do not keep it as solid and defined as the actual torch flame because it’s a reflection and I want to show the water ripples breaking it up.
Draw with pencils and sketch as much as you can. Practice drawing from life. Learn to make your lines strong and develop a good flow. Practicing these things will give you confidence and make your digital/tablet work strong and impressive.
8) I work to finish the clouds, again using a Pen Brush. I apply a Gaussian blur on the first layer of the clouds and then, in another layer, I define some of their parts and reduce the opacity. The moon is just a circular shape that I make with a Round Tip Pen Brush. To get rid of its flatness, I put couple of random strokes on it using a darker tone with half the opacity. I keep the area around the moon brighter so that it becomes darker as it gets further away. Even the parts of the clouds closer to the moon and facing it get lighter strokes to show the reflected light. I add additional highlights on the water, on the castle, and on the winding path. See Figure 2.7.
I constantly observe and judge things while working. I never call any one thing finished during the process but keep working on all areas, all the time, until the end. Even if one part looks finished now, it will probably need attention again once other areas are completed. For example, if I decide to brighten up the moon, I not only add a brighter spot there but have to work on the lighter parts of the clouds, castle, and water — reconsidering the effects of the moonlight all over again, with stronger, more defined highlights.
9) In Figure 2.8, I desaturate the whole image and lessen the contrast a little because it was too blue-ish and too saturated for the eyes. Now it is kind of mature. The desaturation is an afterthought; I make these kinds of decisions all the time — judging, analyzing, and changing things for a better look. I do not have a general rule for these things but always consider what’s going to look best. These are mostly under the bracket of "personal taste."