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Expressive brushes. This is instructor John Derry's two-word answer as to why Painter is such an effective tool. When used with a Wacom tablet, Painter can elevate digital mark-making to a form of creative self-expression. Combining the aesthetics of traditional media with the freedom to experiment, Painter X Essential Training not only delves into each tool, palette, material, and brush, it also speaks to the artistic concepts of simplicity, stroke, proportion, and perspective. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download John's instructions for alphabetizing your brushes and his troubleshooting checklist for brushes from the Exercise Files tab."
You have probably had enough time to look around Painter to realize it there are something like a gazillion brushes within Painter and it's nice to have all of this brush power available, but it also can end being something you have to spend time going through. You go in here. I go to something like acrylics and I open this up and alright, well there are a lot of brushes going on in here. In fact one thing that they did a couple of versions ago that maybe some people find useful but others are not and depending on which side of the fence you are on, you have control over this, I'll show you in a moment.
What you see here is this brush for example Glazing acrylic. You'll see there are one, two, three Glazing acrylic brushes and each of them has a number. This is essentially the same exact brush, it's just been saved at different sizes and while that's nice for a marketing bullet point to show how many hundreds of brushes you have in Painter, it's also a bit confusing for people who don't necessarily want to always open up a brush to a specific size. So I am going to show you how you can narrow this down to have just one iteration of each of these brushes in here without having all of these.
Because you can see this just does get into a rather long list and you are going to find there are brushes and categories that you don't use and I am going to show you how to shut them off. They will still be there but you will be able to pair down or weed out your brush garden down to the size that you are comfortable with. So let's look at the Workspace feature that controls all of this. I go to the Window menu, I go to Workspace and we are going to Customize Workspace and this brings up the Customize Workspace dialog. Now you'll see right over here on the Media list, I can open up Brushes for example and if I click on Painter Brushes, you'll see this shows me all of the various categories that appear over here.
So this is really just the same list that you see in the category popup that is what we're seeing here. You'll notice there are these little eyes and what we're going to do is we are going to poke out some eyes. For example, let's just say that we don't want to use the Tinting brushes. So I click on that and by closing that eye we'll find out here in a moment that it's going to eliminate that from my list. So I am going to go through a few of these like let's say I don't want to use this Sumi brushes. I am not interested in the palette knives. I don't want the Gouache brushes or the Felt pens.
Now again each of you are going to have a different set of tools you may or may not care about working with but what I would advise you is as you work with Painter, if you find you are just not using certain brushes why not shut them off because all they are doing is giving you a longer list to have to look through each time you open up that menu. So I am just going to close a few here. I am going be a little extreme because I want to show you a rather radically how nice it is to be able to shut off categories that you never use. So let's say Done and let me close this and open it back up. Now look my list is already shrunk up to a much smaller size.
In fact I can close this up. Now I have got a more manageable set of brushes. I don't have to scan through here all the time in order to find them in as long as a list, it's just easier to locate your brushes. You may notice too that these happened to be alphabetized and those of you who watched our earlier movie, alphabetizing your brushes that is done with the Workspace and if you haven't done it, go back and watch that particular movie and you'll see how you can load up a Workspace that automatically alphabetizes your brushes for you. Now let's go to the next step.
Let's go into say Acrylics and we'll open this up and sure enough here's all of these different variants that are actually triplets of the same brush over and over again. So I am going to go back to Workspaces, Customize Workspace, we're going to open up Brushes but this time we're going to open this up and now this gets me into each of the category. So if I go to my Acrylics, now I actually see the list of the individual variants in that Variant pop up in the Brush Selector bar. What I would advise you do is leave the middle size brush and shut off the 10s and the 30s, OK.
They are still there remember, if you find oh, I really do want to have those brushes available, you can always go back and turn this back on. Some of these aren't free and in this case there are just a couple, but I am just going to narrow this down so that instead of multiple copies of brushes floating around in my Variant pop up, I am going to have just a minimal number. Remember the way Painter's Variants work, as you adjust the variant it remembers that so the next time you go back to a variant it's going to be set exactly like you did it and I find this method much better.
I adjust a brush, the next time I come back to it, it's adjusted the way I previously adjusted it. Rather than going through the menu to constantly locate a specific size brush, I just work with one brush and it's adjusted to the last time I worked. We have halved the size of that menu. All the brushes are still there, I just don't have multiple iterations of the same brush in different sizes. So this combination of being able to pair down the number of categories that show and the number of variants that show up in each category is a way that you can definitely eliminate a lot of extra navigational work having to seek out and spend time scanning list to find the brushes that you want.
So we have learnt how to cut down on the number of categories that we displayed in the Brush Selector bar category pop up and we have also learnt how to prune down the number of variants that show up within these categories. Let's go one step further. I am going to go to Workspace and I am going to say Export Workspace. What this let's me do is save this workspace out in a fashion that can be handed off to other Painter users. So let's just call this up Pruned and this is just a nonsensical example.
But if you have a custom brushes, if you have palette layouts, if you have a certain organization of the brushes, all of that is saved within the Workspace. All of the content, all of the palette arrangements, all of the brush organization, any new brushes that you have included in the Painter, those will all be saved in this workspace and I'll just do this is right to the Desktop. I will say Save and what that will create if we go out and take a look now, we'll see that I have got a new file, the nice thing about this is, this is a single file that contains everything that Painter needs to know to add that workspace to another copy of Painter.
It's so simple, you can just double click on this it will go to Painter X, launch it and install this workspace so it will show up within your copy of Painter that you are adding it to. So this opens up a new door in Painter. It used to be very hard to exchange brushes and various forms of content. The workspace concept and the fact that it's all contained in a single file, makes it very easy to exchange Painter content now in a fashion that is just so simple that it's just a matter of clicking on this file to open it up.
Alternatively, you can also go in and you could say in Workspace, say I want to import a workspace and if I go to the Desktop here, of course there it is. So you can either double click it or import it from the actual workspace command in the Windows menu itself. But it really opens up a big door in the Painter community for being able to exchange content as well as various palette organization. So Workspace is a new feature and a very powerful one that extends sharing Painter with other users in a very easy fashion.
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