Painter 11 Essential Training
Illustration by John Derry

Painting with Artists' Oils brushes


Painter 11 Essential Training

with John Derry

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Video: Painting with Artists' Oils brushes

In this video, we are going to take a look at the Artists' Oils brushes and one reason that I want to really get into them is they become one of my favorite brushes. They really have a very lush quality that's very, very close to how traditional brushes work. You can see right away that the brush runs out of paint over the course of the stroke, and when they first came up with this in Corel, I was a little bit like, why do that? I mean, digital paint is cool because I can just keep painting. And the more I used it, the more I realized the really cool thing about this is that the resulting imagery as I'm building it up here, it starts to have a much more realistic feel to it because it is running out of paint.
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  1. 1m 49s
    1. Welcome/demo
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 3m 45s
    1. What Painter can do
      1m 15s
    2. Let's paint!
      2m 30s
  3. 23m 16s
    1. Starting Painter for the first time
      6m 39s
    2. Creating, opening, and saving files
      4m 52s
    3. Sizing image resolution for output
      6m 16s
    4. Extending the canvas
      2m 36s
    5. Creating and using templates
      2m 53s
  4. 37m 46s
    1. Navigating Painter
      8m 46s
    2. Rotating the canvas
      3m 3s
    3. Using the Tool palette and Property bar
      6m 41s
    4. Understanding Tool palette selectors
      8m 58s
    5. The Brush Selector bar: an art store in a palette
      4m 2s
    6. Configuring palettes
      6m 16s
  5. 28m 37s
    1. Accessing and controlling color with the Color palette
      8m 27s
    2. Mixing color in the Mixer palette
      10m 41s
    3. Color sets: choose 'n' use color
      9m 29s
  6. 37m 13s
    1. Understanding the six axes of motion
      3m 19s
    2. Introducing tablets: Intuos3 and Intuos4
      8m 6s
    3. Introducing tablets: Cintiq
      7m 49s
    4. Customizing your Wacom tablet: part 1
      4m 57s
    5. Customizing your Wacom tablet: part 2
      9m 25s
    6. Maximizing your tablet's pressure response
      3m 37s
  7. 14m 56s
    1. Understanding the selection tools
      2m 16s
    2. Making selections using the Lasso tool
      3m 20s
    3. Making polygonal selections
      2m 51s
    4. Making selections using the Magic Wand tool
      6m 29s
  8. 42m 34s
    1. Understanding layers
      8m 1s
    2. Using the Preserve Transparency control
      2m 50s
    3. Using the Pick Up Underlying Color control
      4m 36s
    4. Resizing and rotating layers using the Transform tool
      5m 45s
    5. Making selections using channels
      4m 23s
    6. Working with layer masks
      9m 52s
    7. Adding text
      7m 7s
  9. 37m 40s
    1. Understanding the Brush Creator workspace
      6m 11s
    2. Exploring brush properties using the Randomizer
      8m 15s
    3. Exploring brush properties using the Transposer
      4m 45s
    4. Using the Stroke Designer to create custom brushes
      9m 39s
    5. Managing brush variants
      8m 50s
  10. 38m 25s
    1. Adjusting brush size: three techniques
      3m 3s
    2. Fine-tuning your stroke in the Brush Controls palette
      5m 12s
    3. Working with texture-aware media
      8m 59s
    4. Painting with Artists' Oils brushes
      10m 45s
    5. Painting with RealBristle brushes
      3m 39s
    6. Working with hard media
      4m 57s
    7. Painting with markers
      1m 50s
  11. 20m 21s
    1. Understanding the Image Hose
      3m 26s
    2. Controlling the Image Hose
      8m 32s
    3. Creating a nozzle file
      8m 23s
  12. 22m 11s
    1. Warmup exercises
      7m 54s
    2. Draftsmanship: drawing media
      10m 56s
    3. Doodling
    4. Creating outline sketches utilizing the conceptual squint
      2m 38s
  13. 17m 28s
    1. Understanding cloning
      3m 1s
    2. Tracing a clone's source using Tracing Paper
      3m 27s
    3. Painting a cloned image
      5m 55s
    4. Creating a Quick Clone
      2m 46s
    5. In-document cloning
      2m 19s
  14. 25m 51s
    1. Understanding the vocabularies of paint photography
      8m 51s
    2. You must destroy detail
      6m 20s
    3. Focusing on the subject
      4m 1s
    4. Adapting color in a photograph for photo painting
      6m 39s
  15. 28m 17s
    1. Under-painting
      6m 26s
    2. Auto-painting
      5m 25s
    3. Using manual controls for auto-painting
      11m 53s
    4. Restoring detail using the Restoration palette
      4m 33s
  16. 18m 44s
    1. The photo as wet oil paint
      6m 47s
    2. Cloning the canvas and building detail with multiple layers
      11m 57s
  17. 25m 58s
    1. Applying surface texture
      6m 53s
    2. Matching the color palette between two images
      4m 10s
    3. Marbling
      9m 27s
    4. Exploring the Growth effect
      5m 28s
  18. 25m 10s
    1. Understanding frame-by-frame animation
      2m 9s
    2. Creating an animation with onion-skinning
      11m 51s
    3. Using a movie clone source
      11m 10s
  19. 17m 46s
    1. Using each application for its strengths
      4m 24s
    2. Working with Photoshop's PSD file format in Painter and Photoshop
      4m 51s
    3. Configuring color management
      8m 31s
  20. 33m 26s
    1. Setting preferences
      7m 37s
    2. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      5m 5s
    3. Saving and restoring palette layouts
      4m 4s
    4. Creating custom palettes
      3m 36s
    5. Accessing favorite brushes using the Tracker palette
      5m 55s
    6. Organizing custom workspaces
      7m 9s
  21. 8m 17s
    1. Undo, undo, undo
      3m 33s
    2. Painting on layers
      1m 57s
    3. Save often, save early
      2m 47s
  22. 10m 7s
    1. Resetting brushes: Painter's panic button
      2m 0s
    2. Resetting workspaces with the Shift key restart
      6m 12s
    3. Troubleshooting brushes with the brush checklist
      1m 55s
  23. 16s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Painter 11 Essential Training
8h 39m Beginner Jul 24, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Understanding the Painter 11 interface
  • Exploring Painter's brushes and painting styles
  • Creating and using templates
  • Working with layers and channels
  • Adding text to a canvas
  • Designing captions and text for photos
  • Integrating Painter projects with Photoshop
  • Creating animation sequences with Painter
Painter Wacom
John Derry

Painting with Artists' Oils brushes

In this video, we are going to take a look at the Artists' Oils brushes and one reason that I want to really get into them is they become one of my favorite brushes. They really have a very lush quality that's very, very close to how traditional brushes work. You can see right away that the brush runs out of paint over the course of the stroke, and when they first came up with this in Corel, I was a little bit like, why do that? I mean, digital paint is cool because I can just keep painting. And the more I used it, the more I realized the really cool thing about this is that the resulting imagery as I'm building it up here, it starts to have a much more realistic feel to it because it is running out of paint.

That's part of the signature of a traditional brush stroke and because of that, I just really over time have become an ardent fan of this brush. The thing is though that each individual stroke is not necessarily that impressive. It's this build up of the strokes as you are working that starts to give it the full character that it's capable of. And for that reason alone, I really like it. I'm going to go ahead and clear the canvas, and to that I'm going to hit Command+A or Ctrl+A, which is for Select All, and then I'm going to hit the Delete or Backspace key and that will remove the imagery.

So let's go ahead and take a look at the Artists' Oils brush. I have put the Artists' Oils Control palette right in my main palette and I make so many little adjustments for it, it's really nice to have these right here. So we are going to work with one particular brush here and let's go down here and we are going to get the Oily Bristle variant. So let's take a look at this brush. Now I'll get a kind of dark stroke here so we can see the character of it. You will see that initially this brush stroke lays down a very long stroke as it's depositing its color and slowly deposits it and expands the color that's on the stroke.

We are going to start by adjusting the paint component, and let me talk a little bit about these before we get too far in. The Artists' Oils is broken up into three main areas of control. So what's a little less than straightforward is that these various components sometimes interact with the other components and in fact, I have seen times where I can make the brush look the same with very different settings because you can configure them in different ways so that you are basically balancing the brush to do a certain thing, and various setups can actually almost give you the same exact look with a very different setting.

And at first, it was kind of a head scratcher, like why do that?, and it's just because these controls interact with one another, is why if one settings' set real high means the other settings may have to be kind of low but if they are set real high and the other one is set kind of low, you will create this balance that will essentially do the same thing. That's what I want to try to demystify for you. We are going to begin by starting to control the length of the tail of the brush. How quickly it's tapering off, and to do that, I'm going to go to the Viscosity slider. Now Viscosity means adhesion.

It's how does one medium interacts with another and in this case, it's essentially the stickiness of the paint and at high viscosity levels, I'm going to turn this all the way up, the paint is going to stick to the canvas much quicker. So you can see already, we've now half basically the length of the stroke, so that it's now the paint has more of a higher adhesion factor and it's sticking to the canvas more rapidly. And as a result, the stroke length is decreased. Now we are going to turn down the Paint Amount slider and this controls how much paint is applied within each stroke. Rather than shortening the stroke however, you will see that the stroke tends to weaken.

It is still applying paint but it is weakening as it goes. This is because Canvas Wetness is currently high and Wetness controls how wet the underlying canvas is. As a result, this setting interacts with the Paint settings. So let's turn Wetness down to zero. Now look what happens. It's an extremely short stroke. Let's adjust this Paint Amount up a bit, and now I have a pretty good control over the stroke length of this brush. Just right now adjusting Amount, you can see as I get way down here, it's almost hardly anything. It's just a dab.

Now I have pretty much precise control over the length of these strokes. Now Paint Amount and Viscosity. They influence one another. So here is yet another interaction that can do things. You can actually use both of these to control the stroke length. Let's turn this down and now I'll play with a little bit of Viscosity and you could see how I'm getting the stroke almost similar to the other setting I have. That's what I was mentioning. A different adjustment of these two strokes can actually create several balance points that you will essentially get the same appearance in the stroke.

So that's one reason you can't say there is an absolute setting that is always going to give you that length of stroke. Particularly in this case, Amount, Viscosity, and Wetness are all playing a part in how the stroke length is controlled and because it's a trio of three values, as I said, this is like a set of ratios of these values in which you could alter them and you essentially end up with the same stroke and understanding that will keep you from getting confused about why did one setting do that, and now I'm playing with it another one and it isn't. We are essentially dealing with three components here and it's that ratio of the three of them that can change it.

Now we are going to adjust the interaction of existing paint with some applied paint from the brush. So as I mentioned, Canvas Wetness, and Brush Blend interact with one another. I'm now going to adjust the Canvas Wetness up to 100% and I'm going to adjust the Brush Blend up to 100%. Now let's take a different color and I'm going to paint over this. Now you will start to see there is some interaction. You could see how it's pulling the red in this case from beneath just a slight amount, but there is starting to be some interaction with the underlying color with my brush.

Now just to add to the mix, there is yet another slider not even on the Artists' Oils palette that has a great deal of control over the look of the brush and that is the Grain slider. This brush is responsive to Grain and the Grain Setting is going to influence the look of the brush. I'm now going to turn this Grain Setting down to a low setting value, very low. Now what's happening is we get a brush that is extremely smeary. You can see it does lay down a stroke at the beginning, but it's now interacting very much with the underlying strokes so that I'm very much getting a smeary wet oily brush.

Let's now turn this up to a very high value and now it's going to start to interact quite a bit with the Paper Grain. One thing to notice, at values of 0, which I was showing you earlier and at values of 100%, no Paper Grain is currently visible. We have to have this at a little bit lower than 100%. Because Grain is important here, just the setting alone may not be enough. I'm going to go over to my Paper Grain Selector and open up the Paper Grain palette, just make sure we have this Coarse Cotton Canvas.

I am going to increase the contrast and maybe darken it down a little bit here. So I'm adjusting this to make it more aggressive, and I may need to also play around with the Grain Setting and just depending on where I put it, there you can see, I'm now getting a pretty aggressive grain incorporated into my strokes. So now we have also added into the mix the fact that the Grain slider can have some effect upon the way the brush is interacting with all of the other components that we have adjusted so far.

The last thing we are going to look at is the Brush Settings themselves. And I'm going to go ahead and clear the Canvas, Command+A or Ctrl+A and Backspace or Delete. You can control Bristling, Clumpiness, and Trail-off. Let's take a look at those. So here is my stroke at this point. When I adjust Bristling up, you will notice you can see there is a little bit of a segregation going on as if the brush hairs are doing something and I have turned Bristling up from where it was. You will see now there is more obvious kind of clumping up of the Bristling and I can even increase that by some more right here.

And each time, it's randomized. So you are never going to just get the same exact look, which is also consistent with traditional brushes. You know the brush hairs are moving around and acting as a reservoir for the paint, and each time you lay it down, the pressure of the brush strokes being applied to the canvas will alter that. So that's another nice little feature in here is that it's randomizing that each time. Trail-off is pretty subtle but it also kind of controls the character of how it trails-off.

You can see with a very high trail- off, it's deteriorating very quickly. It's just kind of starting to get into what I think of as the texture component, and lower values are going to have somewhat of a different feel. And finally, as if this weren't enough, there is one more thing we can do and to do that I'm going to open up the Brush Controls palette. We'll go to Brush Controls > General and we are going to look at Size specifically here. The bottom of this is actually a set of profiles that control the look of the stroke.

And maybe the best way to do this is to turn this down so we just get a very short stroke. Okay, now we have got a very short, obvious stroke. You can see how that tail kind of has a pyramidal shape. That's because I have set this to act as the profile for the tail. If I go with something like this, I'm going to get more of a chisel. You can see how now it's biased towards a longer side of that pyramid, or we can do another bias here. So each one of these is going to somewhat alter the look of the head and tail of the stroke.

So you have got all of these settings. The Artists' Oils brush is just an amazing simulation of the way the paint and the canvas all interact with one another. The real key is you need to understand how these various controls interact with one another and it will take you some time to wrap your head around it, but the more time you take playing with these, the more it will start to lock in that, oh, this settings going to give me this, and this settings going to give me this, and these two settings in concert are going to create some variation within it. So over time, I think you will see that more you play with the Artists' Oils Controls, the more fussier you are going to become at adjusting the brush to get exactly the particular character you want.

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