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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.
We took a look at pick up color earlier, but I want to go into some more detail about it because it's such an amazing and crucial feature to working with layers particularly in a painted environment. It does things that are not even possible in the real world and because of that, it really opens up a doorway to some very interesting creative possibilities. I am going to start by creating a new layer and I'm going to go here and I just want to build up some color. So, I'm going to go just create a few shapes here and basically just want to get some various colors on the screen.
So, the idea here is not to create great art, but just to have some color that we can experiment with. I do, however, come from an abstract expressionist painting background. So, this is very close to my heart, abstraction. Okay, so right now, you can see we are painting and this is all on one layer but I'm getting to add mixtures of color much like I would with traditional paints. They are mixing and blending and smearing together.
So, all of this on one layer looks very real to the way traditional paints work. I am going to go ahead and create a new layer and let's take some white and I'm going to go in here. Now, keep in mind, I'm on another layer and yet that blending and smearing still appears exactly as it did on the original layer. That right by itself is one of the keys to this whole pick-up color tutorial that I'm giving you here is that even on a separate layer I'm getting what appears to be paint all being laid down as if it were on one flat canvas.
Now, I can pick this up and move it and sure enough, all of those correct blends and smears and blurs are there, but it looks goofy when it's not in its proper context. When I undo and snap it back in there, that looks just exactly like it should as if it were all flat color. Now, I'm going to select all and delete that from that layer and let's turn Pick Up Color off and we'll go back and we'll paint again. And notice the difference now is, this could be useful if that's what you intend, but I'm now just painting on a layer with absolutely no interaction with the layer beneath it.
So, we have kind of lost that ability to smudge and blur. But let's take this one step further. So far we have been applying paint and getting this illusion of blending and smearing. I have temporary turned off Pick Up Underlying Color, which is why I just get this more kind of flat pick- up with a lack of interaction. I'm going to turn it on and create another new layer. So, keep in mind now, Pick Up Underlying Color is enabled again. I'm going to go to another brush, down at the bottom, the Wet Oily Palette Knife, and this brush, I'll just do something out here.
This brush does not lay color down. It only moves existing color it finds underneath of it. And because we have got Pick Up Underlying Color on, that enables me to start to go in and smear this around in a manner that once again appears as if it's just flat canvas, but it really is multiple layers going on here. So, now that I have done this, just like I did earlier, I can pick this up and move it. You can see, once again, out of context, it's kind of like, what am I like looking at? If I turn this off totally, it's like what is this odd sort of thing? But when I undo and it's snapped back into where it belongs, I have got this amazing ability to have all of these layers acting for all the world as if it's a single layer but in fact, it's individually built up layers.
And as I said at the beginning, this is something you can't even do with traditional paint. It's not possible. But in the digital realm, all of a sudden, what was one flat existing set of colors can now be on multiple layers and it opens up all kinds of editing possibilities. Just simple edit here would be maybe I want to have a certain amount of opacity or transparency added to this, so that it even seems like it's not as opaque as it was. Again, that's something I couldn't do in the real world, or I could even take this layer and play with its opacity.
So, this ability to start putting separate elements on separate layers and then having the ability to interact with him later on is just totally new in terms of digital paint compared to what you can do traditionally. So, as great as Painter is doing all of the traditional stuff, it even offers vistas that are beyond what's possible in the traditional world. And you definitely want to take advantage of this sort of doorway that you are allowed to go into and definitely take advantage of it. So, Pick Up Underlying Color, it can't be ignored.
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