You’ve been using the tracing feature available with cloning, but Painter’s cloning features are capable of so much more! With Cloner brushes you can turn photos into drawings or paintings in virtually any style, not by clicking on global filter effects, but creating them one brush stroke at a time.
Another Bite at the Apple
Make a fresh Quick Clone of the apple photo. Choose the Cloner brush in the custom palette (it looks like a rubber stamp). This particular Cloner variant is the Pencil Sketch Cloner. Don’t choose black this time, or any color at all, because Cloner brushes automatically get all color data (hue, saturation, and brightness) from the source image! A glance at the Color panel shown in Figure 2.9 confirms that color choices are grayed out and unavailable.Use some crosshatching techniques once again, along with “controlled scribbling” to build up the form. Concentrate on a couple of focal points, such as the stem area, the highlight, or the bumps at the bottom. This very sketchy style works best when you leave quite a bit of paper showing, as in Figure 2.10.
For a bit more variety, open apples_bowl.jpeg, shown in Figure 2.11. It’s a basic still life with lots of colors and a full range of tonality from bright white to dense black. You could use a bit more space at the left of the image, where the bowl touches the edge, so add some pixels where needed. Use Canvas > Canvas Size, adding 50 pixels on the left.
Find the Chalk Cloner in the list of variants for the Cloner category. The default size of this brush is 9 pixels, as you can see in the Property Bar. Double that to about 18 pixels by moving the size slider to the right. Figure 2.13 shows that action. If you want to return the brush to its default size later, you don’t have to remember that it was 9 pixels; just click the Reset Tool icon in the Property Bar.
Drawing or Painting?
What’s the difference? Sometimes not much, and I sometimes use these terms interchangeably. In general, drawings are made with dry media, and paintings with wet. Or, if you render your subject mostly with lines, it’s a drawing. But when tones and colors blend into each other without distinct edges, it’s a painting. A traditional term for artwork composed with a variety of wet and dry materials, possibly incorporating photos or collage elements pasted on, is “mixed media.” Technically, everything you make in Painter is “painting” because it’s done with pixels. Digital “drawing” requires a vector-based
Clone with Style
Artists who work with traditional chalk or pastels generally choose special tinted paper. You’ll learn to do that for the next version, and also choose the surface texture of the paper. But first, let’s alter the colors of the source image.
Make a fresh Quick Clone of the apples in a bowl. Sample a warm light brown from the wooden planks or just choose a pleasing neutral color for the paper. Use the technique for changing paper color you did earlier, or just “pour” the new color into the clone with the Paint Bucket. It won’t matter unless you erase. My motto, incidentally is “Life is short[md]don’t erase.” I actually had 500 golf pencils printed up.
Make a Cloner
You can turn a variant from any category into a Cloner brush instantly. All you do is click the little rubber stamp icon in the Color panel. The hue ring and value/saturation triangle will go gray, indicating that your brush is now using clone color. You can toggle regular color control back on by clicking the Rubber Stamp icon again.
Instead of working with the Chalk Cloner this time, turn Square Hard Pastel from the custom palette into a Cloner, by enabling clone color. Increase its size to about 25 pixels. A Hard Pastel shows paper grain very boldly, so it’s important to choose a paper that will enhance the painting. Figure 2.18 shows three possible textures that are available in the Paper library. From left to right, they are Italian Watercolor, Coarse Cotton Canvas, and Pebble Board. You can adjust the size of the paper grain, as well as its strength, by changing the brightness and/or contrast of the paper element. Open the Papers panel, shown in Figure 2.19, to make those changes as desired.
The challenge at this stage is to keep from getting too “tight” and simply reproducing the original photo. Also, it’s tempting to rely on Cloner brushes too much. Remember to take control from time to time, using colors that you actually pick yourself! A good drawing will have a focal point or two, with other sections less important. Ways to reduce the visual impact of portions of your drawing include blurring, erasing, and altering color or contrast.
Try blurring some of the edges of the fruit where it touches the bowl or another apple. The Soft Blender Stump or other Blender variant should do it. Erasing will be a problem if you used the Paint Bucket to create the background color. Instead, paint with the paper color, using one of the Pastel or Chalk variants. Most of the white highlights in the photo are too strong, so add some yellow strokes to tone them down a bit. Small details can be enhanced with the tiny Pencil Sketch Cloner, but some parts of the drawing, such as the crisp shine on the lip of the bowl, are much easier to create without cloning.
Figure 2.21, the finished drawing, includes all of the techniques discussed here. The cast shadow of the bowl was made with a very large pastel in just a couple of strokes.
You’ll return to cloning techniques in future lessons, but I just couldn’t wait to introduce you to this powerful set of features.
Keep practicing your tonal drawing and crosshatch techniques, with or without the aid of Clone Color. There are source photos on the website that supports this book to serve as subjects for drawing and painting at whatever your skill level. I also encourage you to go to the market and buy some nice fresh produce to work with. Make your own photos, but even better, set your hand-picked fruit or vegetable on a surface next to your computer and draw it live! Aim a spotlight on one side to get dramatic highlights and shadows.
After every lesson or practice session, choose your best couple of drawings and print them. That way you’ll have tangible evidence of your work to hang on the walls. Over time you’ll be able to observe your skills improving. Examining a print of your drawing is also a good way to evaluate it for possible changes. Most desktop inkjet printers can create high-quality output. To enhance the fine art nature of your image, use special paper or other media designed for your printer. High gloss heavy weight photo paper might be ideal for some projects, canvas or watercolor paper for others (See Appendix A for resources).
Rhoda Draws, the artist formerly known as Rhoda Grossman, is the author of numerous books and video tutorials on the creative uses of Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop. She has taught basic drawing as well as digital painting and graphics techniques at several schools in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she has earned a reputation for lively and humorous presentations. Rhoda began using digital media in 1990 and uses pixel-based software for commercial illustration and cartooning, as well as fine art projects. She has successfully transferred traditional figure-drawing skills to the computer and brings her MacBook Pro and Wacom tablet along to life drawing workshops. As "Rhoda Draws A Crowd," she is a pioneer in using digital media for live caricature entertainment at trade shows and events. Visit her website at www.rhodadraws.com.