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Digital Watercolor is Painter's original watercolor media. Its simple approach to emulating some of watercolors primary visual features makes Digital Watercolor an excellent tool for putting together a predictable watercolor looks without tearing your hair out. Let's go ahead and take a look at Digital Watercolor. So we are going to go up to the Brush Selector Bar. Here is Digital Watercolor, but I want to point out that there is also the other category Watercolor. We are going to look at Watercolor in the next video, but I just wanted to point out that both of these are in here and sometimes this confuses people.
Digital Watercolor is the simple version of Watercolor. So be sure you to select Digital Watercolor. I am going to show you a couple of the features that make this a very simple to use yet correct to the look of watercolor media to work with. And I am just going to draw a little bit here, and what I want you to notice is a couple of things. One is you'll see along the outer edge of this is a little darkened edge and that's one of the hallmarks of traditional watercolor.
What happens is the water media is evaporating and absorbing into the paper. There's a migration of pigment towards wherever the most water is and just the way watercolor dries on the surface. Pigment will typically migrate out towards the edges and create this little signature darkened edge. And so what you've got here is a simulation of that. You can control that with the Wet Fringe slider and I can actually make it more enhanced or I can remove it all the way.
And as long as you're in Digital Watercolor and you save this images as a RIF file, these live properties that I am going to show you will be maintained. So the ability to adjust the Wet Fringe on-the-fly as you're working to either emphasize it or reduce is something that you can do. So this is one of the aspects of Digital Watercolor that's nice and something that you can quickly take advantage of to adjust the look of your watercolor.
The other thing I want to show you is-- let's go to a different brush here. I will use Diffuse Water in this case and let's take a different color. I am going to draw with this and you'll see what happens is that it diffuses. Now in Painter, this is called post diffusion because you can see what's happening as I draw. Nothing happens until I lift up, and then diffusion happens. This diffusion is controlled here. Once it's been applied, unlike the Wet Fringe, I can't eliminate. It is part of the image now, but I can control how aggressive it is.
So if I turn this down, you'll see I get very little migration of the pigment. What this is doing is it is utilizing the current paper grain, and as we've talked about before, there is a height field associated with all of the papers, so you've got peaks and valleys. What this is attempting to do is using the valleys of the current paper grain to diffuse the pigment along those valleys. The more aggressive this gets, the greater the diffusion. So see now there's a much more aggressive diffusion.
But depending on what the current paper grain is, you'll get a different look, because it's going to use those valleys in that paper grain to determine where to leak the media out to as it diffuses. You can also, after you've already done an image, take advantage in the Layers palette. You can go down and say Diffuse Digital Watercolor and whatever the setting currently is, is the degree of diffusion it will apply to it.
So I am going to leave it really strong, and if we go down here and say Diffuse Digital Watercolor, it has to think for a minute, but then it uses the current paper grain and diffuses everything that it finds here. So in a way, this is almost like spraying some water on your watercolor to get some more diffusion to happen. So Diffusion and Wet Fringe are two of the key elements of watercolor. The last thing I want to show you is if you create a new layer and draw on it, what happens is it immediately assigns the Gel layer to it, and this shows up in the little icon here.
Rather than a default layer, which is gray and white, a Gel layer has red on it. This is to let you know in the layer stack that you are using a layer type that respects the build up method of watercolor. The other thing that I want to mention here is even though there is no apparent layer on the canvas, there really is a layer of sorts that's going on underneath the hood. It is not visible within the layer stack itself, but the indication of the Gel layer is what's telling us that this is associated with the watercolor to preserve its look, because if it isn't you see you get a very unusual unpredictable kind of look and you don't want that.
So Digital Watercolor is simple but it is also very predictable. Now in the next video, we are going to look at the Watercolor layer and its brushes, and you'll see that while it's much more realistic, it's also much more unpredictable like the actual medium.
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