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In Painter 11 Essential Training, John Derry, one of the original Painter authors, demonstrates basic and advanced creative techniques that can get beginners up and running. He also shows old hands the new features that can get a creative vision out of the head and onto the canvas. John demonstrates how to establish an easy workflow in Painter by using a Wacom tablet, and he explains how to create, edit, and publish projects. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download the Painter/Photoshop Consistent Color Management PDF and the Brush Troubleshooting Checklist PDF from the Exercise Files tab.
Throughout this title, I have been referring to Painter as a brush engine. In this chapter, we are going to take a look at all of the knobs and dials and sliders that you can adjust to control Painter's expressibility. So let's put Painter up on the rack and get ready to get your hands a little dirty with some pixel oil. We'll get started right now. Of all the potential adjustments you can apply to a brush, changing its size is probably the one you are going to make the most often. Painter has multiple methods for adjusting brush size. Which one you use is going to be directed by your personal preference.
Now brush size is useful for many reasons. A larger brush can, for example, cover greater areas of the canvas more quickly. Smaller brushes on the other hand are best suited for detail work and then variable size brushes, which are typically controlled by pressure, can do double duty. So I'm going to show you three different ways you can control brush size in Painter and some of them are very quick and some of them are very precise and again, it's just going to be your workflow methods. Some of them are visual. If you are a visual person, you will probably prefer that method. Some people are keyboard people.
They may prefer that method. It's entirely up to you. Now the first one and the most obvious one is the one that's up on the Property bar when you are in the Brush tool, we have a Size read-out here and just clicking-and-dragging on that rectangle on the right immediately gives me access to adjusting this. So if I want a very small brush, that's going to give me some real fine control, I can work that way. If I want to make it large, I can very quickly get to a large size. So the most obvious one is the one that's right on the top of the interface.
The actual slider control that lets you adjust it and you can also use this for very precise fine control by using the little arrows at either side of that slider. So that's your very precise method. The next method I'm going to show you is a keyboard method and this one involves the Command and Option on the Mac or the Ctrl and Alt key on Windows. If I hold that down, you will notice my cursor, it changes to a little crosshair. What that means is you can now click-and -drag and what happens is this gives me a visual preview of the new brush size, now I have instantly adjusted that size.
I am not doing it by the numbers. It's entirely visual. I can certainly look up afterwards and realize, oh! Okay, I'm around the 35 or so pixel brush, but this is more for visual adjustments. So when I want to go from small to large and vice versa, it's very quick to be able to adjust in a visual manner. The third version of adjustment we are going to look at is the Photoshop style adjustment and that involves the left and right bracket keys. When I click on the left bracket key, it adjusts my brush down.
As I adjust it with the right bracket key, it adjusts it upward. So these keyboard shortcuts particularly if you are a Photoshop user are going to seem very natural to you. So basically you have got a control here that just is going to suit your workflow. Brush sizing, it's a frequently made adjustment and each method has its strengths. Which method is correct is really up to you and it just depends, so pick one and run with it.
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