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This movie-based tutorial is designed to give new and existing users of Corel Painter IX a basic understanding of the latest version of the program and its new and improved features, including the new Welcome Screen, Customizable Keyboard Shortcuts, Artists' Oils Painting System, Snap-To-Path Painting, QuickClone, and integration with the Wacom Intuos3 tablet. The training begins with an overview of the Corel Painter IX interface, a review of basic tools, and tips on working with a Wacom tablet and then moves to practical sketching and painting exercises, including how to convert digital photographs to drawings, paintings, and mosaics. Exercise files accompany the training, allowing you to follow along and learn at your own pace.
- In this chapter, I'm gonna introduce you to the mechanics of sketching. Sketching is an activity where either by observing something in the world or in the case of what I'm going to be showing you in a little while using tracing paper, we use our expressive qualities of our hand, wrist, and arm in concert with a drawing tool to create a unique drawing. And the way we're going to start with that is to go through a few exercises concerning the use of the pencil.
Why the pencil? Well the pencil is kind of the all time champ of sketching. They're readily available. Most people are very familiar with them and they turn out for such a simple tool. They have quite a bit of expression built into them and when you put them in a hand of a human, you get some very interesting results. Now Painter has quite a large category of different pencils, but we're gonna go in and we're gonna pick one that I consider to be basically my favorite, because it seems to me to have the most expressive qualities of all of them.
Pencils are probably one of the oldest drawing mediums going. They've been around forever, basically. And what we're gonna do is take a look at the expressive qualities of the lowly, yet powerful pencil. Before we even start, let's just talk about the image that's on the screen. I selected this image because it has a lot of detail in it, and there's also some areas where you're gonna wanna do some shading, so pencils are important in both for line work, but they are also very useful for tonality.
And so we'll be using this image as I mentioned in the introduction, we're gonna cheat a little bit here because you can use tracing paper. Some people think that tracing paper is the cowards way out, but it's particularly in production. Whatever it takes to get from A to Z in the shortest amount of time and also, sometimes it's just the best way to do things to get a very accurate delineation of a subject, there's nothing wrong with using the functionality of tracing paper either in Painter, in a digital format, or in the real world, as a layer of paper on top of a existing image.
So we're going to be using a tracing paper technique here to go through and illustrate this photograph as a pencil drawing, but before we get started there, what I wanna do is just take a couple of minutes to talk a little bit about the pencil and it's relationship to pressure sensitivity and just why I'm selecting the pencil that I'm selecting. The one I'm using is in the pencils category, oddly enough, and it's also in the variance here as Flattened Pencil.
Now why would it be called Flattened Pencil? No, it's not because it was run over by a truck. Basically, what I'm describing when I use the term Flattened Pencil is a pencil whose edge can be tilted down to the paper to get all the wider swath of lead on the paper. Let's just take a look at this a little bit. So I'm gonna go to my brushes tool and you'll see right away there's kind of a funny elliptical shape there. That's because this pencil is not a circular pencil in the way that it works.
It's actually kind of an ellipsoid shape. You may choose to keep this on. I'm gonna show you one thing that you can do is you can go into Preferences and under General you'll see here there is a command called Enable Brush Ghosting. Now most of the time I would recommend that you keep that on, but I'm gonna shut it off for this just because that little ellipsoid shape kind of gets in my way sometimes, so I'm gonna shut that off and while we're here, let's talk a little bit about the cursor that actually shows up on screen.
Some people love this little brush cursor. some people hate it, and so in Painter 9 now, you don't have to be stuck with just the brush cursor. They actually give you a selection of cursors you can work with. One of the ones was in Painter before we instituted the brush cursor was this triangle, so I'm gonna go with that and I'm also gonna do something that I use to like to do is put it into a red color, just so I can see it. Again this is all personal preference.
You may or may not choose to go with this, but this gets it back to the way it use to look in Painter and being the sentimental guy that I am, I kinda like looking at it that way, so I'm gonna go ahead and set that back and now you'll see that it looks the way I want it. Some people ask, "Why do you have it tilted that way?" Well, I'm left handed and for your left handers out there, you'll understand this, but what happens is when you draw a lot of times you tilt the pen kind of a funny angle and that just to me looks the most natural. Once again, whatever seems right for your style of drawing you're free to adjust it to any one of the angles that's available in the Preferences palette.
Okay, so Flattened Pencil, now you're not gonna see what I'm doing here, but this pencil, in particular, is sensitive to both tilt and bearing. So I'm gonna take my pen and have it so that it's exactly perpendicular pointing straight up from the tablet. Let's draw it just a little bit. And you'll see that it's a very small footprint and by that I mean it's just a small sharp line. You'll also see right now that the current paper texture imparts a lot of character into the brush.
It's not one that I'm going to particularly wanna like, so let's switch from a real bumpy kind of artificial surface to something a little better. One of the ones I really like in here is called French Watercolor Paper. And it has a nice bit of texture to it, but it keeps a pretty continuous line. Now so far I've been drawing all along just straight up and down. I'm gonna start to tilt my pencil back and watch what happens. The more I tilt back, see how the stroke is actually getting longer and if you've ever worked with a real pencil, you know how as you start to tilt it and get the pen more and more flat and down towards the surface, you get more of that stroking from the tip of the lead that's showing to hit the paper and that's exactly what's going on here.
So not only does it do that, but as I use bearing, as I'm kind of rotating or sweeping the pen almost like a radar like sweep around the tablet, it also maintains where that long, elongated line is going to appear. If this sounds like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, really the only thing you need to walk away from this remembering is that this pen is sensitive to multiple dimensions of your hand movement, so it's taking care of the x, y, and z dimensions as we like to say in the biz.
But basically, at first you may play with this and find it to be very, oh, I gotta think about tilt, but I'm just gonna like sketch a little bit here for a moment and I want you to see that I'm no longer really thinking about the tilt and the bearing and all of that stuff, I'm just drawing with it. And as I draw, notice, remember this is just one tool we're using here, but look at all of the variety of change in the brushes character that's happening as I go along.
Of all the pencil tools in Painter, I think of this one as the most faithful to the real medium, because of the wide expressive quality that you get out of it. The more you work with it, the less you'll think about, oh, it's tilting and it's doing bearing and all that. You're just basically drawing with the tool and all this kind of expressive quality is coming out of it as you work. So you don't really need to be thinking about the mechanics of how it works. You just start drawing with it and you'll find very quickly that you're getting a very nice, natural kind of pencil drawing, literally, this is really a real pencil sketch right here.
In fact, in my demos I use to refer to this as the raging pencil. So that's just a little beginner information about how this particular pencil works and why I prefer to use it for pencil sketching. The second thing I wanna talk about before we get started, I've worked with a lot of people who are beginning sketchers. They're just sitting down to try this for the first time and taught classes and one of the things you see is what I call the white knuckle effect. People will take that pen and their knuckle will literally go white and you're not going to see my hand as I draw this, but I'm gonna try to show you exactly the kind of drawing that comes out of that white knuckle drawing.
People will sit there and I'm gonna emulate what they must be thinking. It's kind of like, okay, I have to draw the perfect line. I can't make any mistakes. What's happening here is they're drawing is so tight that it just takes on this unnatural character and that's not what pencil sketchings about. What pencil sketching is about is looseness. You wanna have looseness, fluid quality in your strokes and it occurs because of the hand, wrist, and arm are all in a relaxed state and that's the only way you're gonna start to get this kinda very loose quality.
I'm not trying to draw anything here, I'm just doing some changeable, expressive strokes here, so you can kind of see just by being very loose you will get away from that, oh it has to be the perfect line kind of effect, okay. So I'm gonna show you a couple of exercises here that you can use to get yourself warmed up and I do this a lot before I start a sketch because if you don't you won't even think about it, but you'll be in kind of a tightened up sort of state. So you wanna loosen up before you get started.
And one of the ones I like to do is it's just a circular thing like this. Think of a slinky and what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna take this and I'm just gonna draw from left to right. I'm left handed, so you might prefer to go from right to left. But the idea here is just try to keep a basic round drawing style going as you're doing this sort of slinky like continuation. And what you wanna do is kinda get use to like. You wanna try to make about the same size circle each time and kind of overlap it roughly by about the same amount.
You're taking advantage and training your eye and hand to coordinate accurately with what your brain wants to do. Now let's take a variation on this. And I'm gonna go and I'm gonna draw, but I'm gonna also introduce pressure into it, so I'm gonna start very light pressure so I should get almost a minimum line. Then I'm gonna pressure up, so it's dark. And I'm gonna go light. Back up to dark and just alternate back and forth between that. And once again, now you're not only trying to keep the circular shape, but you're also learning how to modulate your pressure from light to dark because that's another thing you wanna have the eye and hand coordination to control.
Here's another variation you can do. You can go from large to small and back up large to small. And if you wanna go large, pressure, small, light. Large, pressure, small, light. So exercises like this are just thing. Here's another one I like to do. In fact, here's one more I wanted to show you. Take your signature, just a part of your signature and draw with it. You, more than anybody else in the world know how to draw or sign your own name, so just sitting here and kind of doing this repeatedly gives you a sense of confidence about how does the tool work on a Painter blank document.
You start to get a sense of like okay, yeah, I can do this, and our signatures are probably the most expressive line art that we ever make. And so you should have no trouble. Maybe the circle exercise I showed you was a little, maybe beyond you at the moment, but you should be able to sit here and draw your signature over and over again, and see what happens. It's starting to lose it's John-ness and now it's just becoming a signature, so try using your signature as another exercise and the more you practice it it's just gonna loosen you up.
So if you do this for a couple of minutes before you start sketching, I think you'll find that as you begin to sketch, that white knuckle effect will be gone and you'll be able to just get into the activity of drawing. Okay, so now that we've taken a look at just the mechanics of sketching and how the pencil works, we're gonna go ahead and we're gonna do a few projects and we're gonna go beyond the pencil, in fact. We'll start with a pencil sketch, but we'll do some other mediums, but the mechanics I've described you here apply to all of them. Sometimes it gets a little different when it's paint versus a line, but you'll quickly see that what we've learned here is applicable to all the projects we're gonna use, so let's wrap up here and we'll move on to the first pencil project.
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