An interesting property of ink is surface tension. This quality relates to the manner in which the surface portion of one liquid is attracted to another similar liquid. For example, when two water drops on the surface of a car's hood come within a close enough distance of one another, the two drops will touch and merge into a single drop. Likewise, ink is repelled by waxy surfaces and will bead up, resisting that waxy surface. This attraction and repulsive behavior is part of why marks made by ink have the look they do.
The Liquid Ink category and by extension the Liquid Ink layer are modeled to behave in the same manner. This result is a type of brush that offers some very interesting graphic results. I'm going to go up to the Brush Selector Bar and select the Liquid Ink category. Let's take a look at Drops of Ink 4 and we'll just do some black ink for now and I'm just going to draw with this and you'll see what's happening here is you get a very interesting behavior. When I get close to one of these edges, they tend to start to simplify together.
This behavior is very much about the surface tension and how it interacts with like fluids that it's near. So we get this very interesting kind of ink quality within the Liquid Ink. I want you to notice too that when you create anything with a Liquid Ink brush, it automatically creates a Liquid Ink layer. The reason for this is that this is more than a dab or a stroke type. This is actually a whole medium and this was one of the first introductions to Painter of what I like to refer to as a media layer.
This layer actually encapsulates within it all of these physical properties about ink. You can still apply brushes to it but all of this inking and repulsion and surface tension is going on because of the knowledge of the Liquid Ink layer about this physical medium. Now I'm going to show you another thing here and we're going to go into Liquid Ink once again and I'm going to select the Eraser. Now I'm going to erase in here and unlike a normal eraser, watch what happens.
You can see how there is some resistance. In fact, the more ink is applied in an area, there'll be some resistance and it'll take a little longer to actually erase an area but you can already kind of get a sense of how there is this movement towards simplification. All of the strokes and things that happened in Liquid Ink, it always tends to want to find the simplest shape to reduce itself to. And once again that's kind of what you're seeing in here when I go through and you see this interesting kind of reaction to the Eraser.
Now I'm going to go to another brush here that shows a little bit of a different behavior. We're going to go down to Soften Edges and this actually has the ability to once again kind of simplify things. You can see it just actually wants to find nearby elements and it'll actually coalesce them into a single drop. So you get this very interesting behavior with the way that these existing marks are being simplified by the Soften Edges brush.
Now I'm going to go and select another brush here and this gets into this resisting factor, the fact that a waxy material and an oily material don't interact. So let's go down and get the Sparse Bristle Resist. Now you're not going to see anything happened here. I'm going to go ahead and use Command+A or Ctrl+A, and select Backspace to show this off. I'm going to draw here and you're not going to see anything happen but it's as if I'm taking a wax and applying it to this surface.
So we've now applied some wax. I'm now going to go in, get another brush, and let's take something like the Graphic Camel. Now remember, there has been something applied to here. So when I draw through here, you'll see what happens is it's resisting. Eventually, the ink will overcome what I've done there but that resistive factor allows you to build up some very interesting textures and surfaces that there is no other way you could do this.
If you look over here, this is how this brush normally looks, but it's acting very different over here because it's got that resistive media applied to it. So the combination of being able to work with this graphic inky quality and be able to add and remove from it are all the things that are possible within ink. It also works within color as well. In fact, there is another thing we can do here that is even a bit more exciting in some cases.
I'm going to go back to my Layers palette and double-click on the Liquid Ink layer. This brings up the Liquid Ink Layer Attributes dialog and you'll see that there're a couple of sliders here. I'm going to turn Amount up and let's shut this off and you'll see what happens here is it starts to add a three- dimensional apparent height to the Liquid Ink drawing that we've done. One of the things that is a bit daunting about this is unfortunately as you make these adjustments, we can't see what's happening here.
So it is a little bit of hunt-and- peck and try different settings and going back and forth to see exactly what a good setting is but you can see here, as I keep turning this down, I'm going to take it down to less and less and a little bit more refined look. So just like we looked at Impasto, it's very similar here in that less is probably more. You can see now I've got a nice feeling. Once again, I'm just going to delete everything and just draw a little bit more now.
But you're once again seeing this very interesting kind of graphic quality that's going on here and like Impasto, you can go into the Canvas layer and use the Surface Lighting to adjust where the light is coming from. I accidentally created a second light there. Let's move this and once again, you're not going to see anything happen in real time but as soon as I shut this down, the lighting is applied to it. So if you're willing to have to do a little bit of this hunting and pecking to make your adjustments and not get a real- time update as you adjust them, you can get some very interesting effects here.
The last thing I'll mention is that none of these Appearance of Depth sliders are functional. These are related to Impasto and while they look enabled in this dialog, they actually make no difference. The only controls that really germane to Liquid Ink are the Light Controls. So if I for example reduce the concentration of my light, I'll get a different look to the way that these are appearing on this particular layer. So Liquid Ink has a lot of different factors that let you play around with it and in fact, there are so many adjustments you can make with this that I've actually written a visual guide to Liquid Ink that goes into much more detail than I can expend here and you can find that in the Exercise folder for the Ink Media.
I advise you to take a look at that and you'll get a much more in-depth detail of how Liquid Ink works.
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