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Utility media really represents a lot of different tools. If you visit an artist's studio, you will find there are all kinds of implements and instruments that you wouldn't even consider to be art materials. But artists will find all kinds of expressive uses from a variety of items that are quite diverse. One item that I am going to discuss that you will probably associate with traditional art media are erasers. While you might think of erasers as mostly related to dry media like pencils, in Painter, the eraser can be used for all forms of media.
It's kind of the universal tool for removing things. But you can also use the eraser as an expressive arts tool unto itself. For example, you can actually use an eraser to draw with. If you've got some existing tonality applied via a dry medium like pencil on a surface, you can actually draw with an eraser to bring back the underlying white. In this usage, the eraser is a mark making tool and not a mistake removing tool. Sponges are another tool you wouldn't expect to be in the artist's studio.
However, it makes an excellent tool to apply a nice natural texture. I'm going to daub some of it in to some acrylic paint and when I apply it to this paper several times, I can create a very complex texture that has a very organic feel to it. The last tool we're going to look at is rubber stamps. These are graphic tools you're probably familiar with. I'll take a stamp pad and apply some ink to the stamp and create a predetermined complex pattern that would be very time-consuming to create by hand.
The more I apply and overlap this graphic element, the more complex the texture becomes. Like the sponge, this is a way to make something very complex without having to do a lot of handwork. Painter has the equivalent of a rubber stamp with the Image Hose. While I can easily duplicate what you see here using the Image Hose, it goes far beyond this. The Image Hose enables the artist to create a stamp out of virtually any content. Unlike the traditional stamp, which is limited to the one image on the rubber stamp, the Image Hose is capable of using multiple image elements.
It can go so far as to use photographic content as the source material. Utility media is really designed to fill all of those nooks and crannies of specialty forms of mark making tools that are used within the other mediums we're looking at in this title. We'll be looking at Painter's various utility media in this chapter.
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