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Corel Painter 11: Mastering Brushes takes a deep look into the variety of mark-making tools found within Corel Painter, a software application that allows you to create painterly images that look like they were made with natural (non-computerized) painting media. Through a comprehensive demonstration of different brushes, Corel Painter guru John Derry shows how to adjust multiple variants to achieve desired results. Just like an artist who holds a paintbrush or piece of chalk at a particular angle to create a specific mark, John demonstrates with both live action and within the application how to modify brush variants for maximum expressive impact. From bristle media to ink media, watercolor to utility media, he explains how to get the most out of this drawing and painting application. Exercise files accompany this course.
Where the Digital Watercolor category that we just looked at is very simple and predictable, the Watercolor category and its attendant Watercolor layer are full of happy accidents just waiting to happen. This category so successfully emulates its traditional counterpart that it can be just as frustrating to control, but then that's a nature of real watercolor as well. Let's go ahead and take a look at Painter's advanced watercolors. So one of the first things I want to be sure to reiterate here is that there are two categories in here.
There is Digital Watercolor, which is the simpler version that we looked at a bit ago, and then there's Watercolor. Watercolor is the more sophisticated modeling of watercolor in Painter. Let's open up the Watercolor category and I'll just select a color here to work with. I am going to create a stroke here so you can see how this works. The first thing to notice is that a Watercolor layer was created. Now we talked about Liquid Ink in the ink media chapter, and like Liquid Ink, Watercolor actually is a media layer.
And by that I mean all of the physical modeling that is involved with the look of watercolor is in this layer. So the smarts about how the watercolor behaves is part of the layer. The brushes themselves you still control through the Brush palette in the normal way in terms of the dabs and spacing and all of that, but the behavior of watercolor is embodied in the layer itself. One thing you may notice, there's a little droplet here.
It's similar to what we do in Liquid Ink when I do a drop. While it's drawing, that little icon is acting like it's dripping. So that lets you know that it's processing to create the watercolor look. Now I am going to go over to the Brush Controls palette and even though this is actually associated with the layer, which you'll find here in the Water palette are all that controls that are associated with the Watercolor layer. This is one of the mediums that's really good to use the record and playback method to take a look at how these strokes work.
So I am going in and record a simple stroke. We're going to use the Bleach Runny variant here, because it has several characteristics that are turned on in this particular variant. Let's just do a sample stroke. So we've recorded that and the first I want to talk about is you'll see right here there is a little clipping going on at the bottom of the stroke. That just happens in the way that the screen updates. That information is actually there, but what you'll find happening when you draw strokes, you'll continue to get those anywhere below the stroke that you painted but above you'll get the full stroke.
Now it's just a phantom clipping. If I just hold down the spacebar and move the screen at all it updates and those clips are gone. So don't be distraught if you see an imperfect or a not completely rendered stroke. It's just a part of the screen updating and by simply as I have mentioned, hold the spacebar and move the screen at all, and that forces the entire screen to redraw and it will eliminate those little artifacts. So I am going to go ahead and clear the screen, and let's turn on playback.
Now I am going to change the paper here, because I noticed it was a little aggressive. I don't want the paper to be too visually in the way here. So I am using the basic paper at this point. Let's playback stroke, and the other thing that might help us is if I zoom up a level here to see a little more closely what's going on. Now you can see this stroke has a lot of different attributes happening, I'll draw another one here. One of the things about Watercolor is it actually occurs in real time.
If I turned down the Dry Rate, for example, this is actually going to take longer to dry and we'll see a bit more of what's going on. Just to keep this from being problematic, I am going to do a stroke way down here at the bottom and that will let us look up here without seeing that clipping all the time. Okay so let's go ahead and do this and you'll see what's happening is there is a dripping or a motion towards the bottom of the screen. This is controlled by the lower part of the Water palette and that is the Wind Force.
If I turn this down I am going to get less Wind Force so it's not going to tend to go as far. It's a little hard to see the difference here, because in some cases it's sensitive quite a bit to where it is on the scale. There you can see that with very little Wind Force not much is happening, and if we turn Wind Force off altogether, it's as if the board that you have your watercolor paper attached to, like traditional watercolor many artists will actually tilt it for the effect of gravity, but when its flat you're going to get diffusion equally in all directions and that's what's happening here now.
I am not going to go through all of these because there are so many interactions possible. We could spend hours just talking about this. My goal here is just to show you some of the basic controls, but I do have a visual guide to watercolors that will be in the exercise file that goes into much more detail than I can allocate here. So whatever I miss here, you should be able to pick up in the written visual guide to watercolor. Now let's take this back to default, and if you remember by going up to the Brush Selector Bar and clicking on the Reset tool or what I call the panic button that gets us back to the default.
We will try another stroke here. Another feature of this is the way that diffusion occurs, how much there is. Right now it's diffusing quite a bit. You can see it up to 100%. If I turn this down to a very low amount, there's literally no visual diffusion occurring. As you turn this up, you're going to see a bit more diffusion and the higher you go with this value, the greater the diffusion. You've also got a checkbox, Accurate Diffusion, and if we once again go back to the default and do the original stroke , the difference here is when Accurate Diffusion is turned off, you can see it doesn't have as much integrity in terms of doing all of the physical modeling.
This isn't nearly as useful as it used to be, but when we originally came out with this, machines were slow enough that on slower machines you literally had to enable a kind of draft mode in order to have it at any performance level that was useful. Nowadays machines are so fast that you probably aren't even going to take advantage of that. I am also going to show you Delay Diffusion. This is another feature that you can enable or disable, and once again it depends on the processor that your machine is working on.
It used to be more important and it's still on by default, but for many machines, it's not even required anymore. What it does is when I draw, notice until I lift up no diffusion happens and that means that all of the processing that has to go on to make this happen is delayed until you pick up the stroke. But you can shut that off, and with many machines now it's not a requirement. And in fact it's a little more realistic looking, because it's all happening as you stroke.
So depending on your machine, you may or may not choose to turn this off but it's just one way to increase your performance if you're having a problem with seeing a performance loss when it's not turned on. If so, turn it on and that your performance will be enhanced. So there's a lot going on with the Watercolor layer, and the category can be somewhat difficult to control, but that's because it does offer a complete physical simulation of the real thing.
There's nothing stopping you from working with both Digital Watercolor, the simpler form, and Watercolor layers in a single image to balance out truly happy accidents that you can find in this form of watercolor along with the more controlled image that you'll find in the Digital Watercolors.
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