Getting Started with Corel Painter IX
Illustration by John Hersey

understanding artists' oils


Getting Started with Corel Painter IX

with John Derry and Tanya Staples

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Video: understanding artists' oils

- Hi, kids, welcome to Artists' Oils. We're going to take a look at probably what I consider, and I think you will too, to be the hottest new feature in Corel Painter X9. Yes, you've heard about it on airplanes, you've heard about in in bus stations, this is the new feature that everybody's been clamoring for. This is a generational leap ahead in the fidelity of the reproduction of brushes. And, just to kind of recount a little bit of Corel Painter's history, keep in mind our goal has always been to simulate, as faithfully as possible, natural media.
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  1. 8m 8s
    1. what's new?
      8m 8s
  2. 57m 9s
    1. using the welcome screen
      4m 6s
    2. exploring the interface
      12m 19s
    3. customizing the interface
      7m 50s
    4. creating custom palettes
      12m 27s
    5. creating custom keyboard shortcuts
      10m 4s
    6. creating and opening images
      4m 27s
    7. saving images
      5m 56s
  3. 32m 7s
    1. understanding tablet terminology
      5m 11s
    2. setting up a wacom tablet
      21m 6s
    3. setting brush tracking in corel painter IX
      5m 50s
  4. 37m 7s
    1. choosing colors from the color palette
      6m 46s
    2. mixing colors interactively
      11m 24s
    3. working with color sets
      8m 5s
    4. choosing paper textures
      10m 52s
  5. 5m 10s
    1. rotating and flipping images
      5m 10s
  6. 44m 25s
    1. understanding layers
      9m 9s
    2. creating, duplicating, and deleting layers
      4m 5s
    3. moving, arranging, and locking layers
      7m 47s
    4. naming layers
      7m 7s
    5. grouping, collapsing, and dropping layers
      8m 22s
    6. preserving transparency
      4m 29s
    7. painting with pick up underlying color
      3m 26s
  7. 1h 39m
    1. cloning basics
      13m 6s
    2. auto cloning paintings from photographs
      14m 51s
    3. cloning paintings from photographs
      28m 30s
    4. painting on photographs
      42m 59s
  8. 1h 23m
    1. sketching basics
      12m 54s
    2. sketching with pencils
      25m 20s
    3. sketching with chalks
      20m 16s
    4. sketching with the scratchboard tool
      24m 51s
  9. 2h 10m
    1. understanding artists' oils
      17m 50s
    2. painting with artists' oils
      25m 44s
    3. painting with digital water color
      29m 3s
    4. painting with water color
      16m 19s
    5. painting with liquid ink
      15m 46s
    6. painting with airbrushes
      25m 29s
  10. 19m 22s
    1. customizing brushes
      8m 49s
    2. saving custom brushes
      10m 33s
  11. 41m 59s
    1. using the sketch effect
      7m 5s
    2. applying surface texture
      11m 38s
    3. using the woodcut effect
      15m 41s
    4. using KPT effects
      7m 35s
  12. 33m 10s
    1. using make mosaic
      22m 37s
    2. using make tessellation
      10m 33s
  13. 37m 31s
    1. understanding bitmap and vector information
      6m 0s
    2. drawing with the shape tools
      5m 20s
    3. drawing with the pen tools
      5m 29s
    4. working with type
      7m 59s
    5. working with adobe illustrator files
      5m 52s
    6. painting with snap to path
      6m 51s
  14. 4m 56s
    1. opening adobe photoshop files in corel painter IX
      2m 5s
    2. saving adobe photoshop files in corel painter IX
      2m 51s

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Watch the Online Video Course Getting Started with Corel Painter IX
10h 40m Beginner Nov 30, 2004

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

John Derry Tanya Staples

understanding artists' oils

- Hi, kids, welcome to Artists' Oils. We're going to take a look at probably what I consider, and I think you will too, to be the hottest new feature in Corel Painter X9. Yes, you've heard about it on airplanes, you've heard about in in bus stations, this is the new feature that everybody's been clamoring for. This is a generational leap ahead in the fidelity of the reproduction of brushes. And, just to kind of recount a little bit of Corel Painter's history, keep in mind our goal has always been to simulate, as faithfully as possible, natural media.

And one of the ones we glommed onto very early on was the simple and humble, yet honored, oil paint brush. And it turns out, a paint brush is actually very tenaciously difficult to model. There's a lot going on in a paintbrush. For example, you've got to deal with the fact that these brush hairs essentially are a reservoir that hold paint once it's been charged by touching a palette with that paint. And as the paint streams off of the brush, these reservoirs, in fact it is multiple reservoirs, because the hairs will coalesce and change throughout the stroke to become the holder of various quantities of the paint.

As it streams off, there's that interaction that happens. And then you also have, once the paint is applied to the canvas, how does it interact with paint already laid down, is it dry, is it wet? You know, all of these things come together to create a very difficult proposition, and we did our best throughout the various generations of Corel Painter to improve that as we could. But in Corel Painter IX, the Painter engineering team at Corel has done an amazing job of coming up with a new simulation that really is a high watermark for natural media tools in Corel Painter.

So, without further ado, let me get in and show you a little bit of this brush. I'm going to start with a variant called the Impasto Oil and I'm not going to try to draw anything here I'm just going to start drawing strokes. Because I want you to see just exactly what happens. And it's not so much the individual stroke, it's the aggregate of strokes that really start to make this look amazingly like traditional oils. So, as I draw this, one of the things I want you to notice right away is that this is an Impasto-based brush.

Now, not all the variants in here are but this one is and you can see it within even though this is a solid color there's some variation in that surface that's various height differentials that are made up of the various parts of the reservoir of the brush. So, you do get kind of a varying change within the surface of an Impasto-based artists' oil. I'm going to change to a different complementary color here just so you can see what happens as I start to paint on top of it.

You'll see right away one of the qualities of artists' oil is that the brushstroke runs out of paint. Now, we had attempts at that in the past, but they just really weren't as successful as what you're seeing here. And the fact that it runs out of paint means that there is kind of a fundamental paradigm shift going on with this brush. All of Corel Painter's former brushes, pretty much, you just kept painting and they kept delivering paint. The fact that this brush runs out of paint and you can control that, actually means that what a set of strokes, as you're seeing here, start to be built up where it's going to look more like traditional painting.

Because a real brush runs out of paint. And the fact that this runs out of paint, and you have to continually create new strokes, just makes it more faithful to the original media that it's emulating. Now, I can do some things here to show you a little bit more of this stroke quality. You can see how it runs out, well, one thing I can control, how quickly it runs out, through Viscosity, these are the controls that are part of the most major cluster of controls you're going to deal with when working with artists' oils.

To show you this, I'm just going to draw a couple strokes. And then I'm going to turn down Viscosity, and you're going to see what happens, let me turn it up actually, it becomes a much more shorter stroke. So, think of Viscosity almost as kind of the stickiness factor of the paint when it comes off. When the Viscosity is high the paint is very sticky, and it tends to just immediately transfer to the canvas. When Viscosity is low it tends to be much longer, so you kind of get a much more longer, loaded brush.

So, Viscosity is one way to control this, and I'll point this out at the outset. These controls are somewhere interactive with one another, and they're not as discreet as you might think. So, it's easy to start playing with these and sometimes get a little confused about what control does what. But I think as you experience the brush more and start to deal with the controls it becomes much clearer how each of these is actually modulating or controlling the brush. Now, I'm going to turn Viscosity up here because I want get a much longer, or excuse me down, so I get a much longer brush here.

I'm going to clean this off and I'm just going to lay down some rather discreet colors here. So, I want to show you another controlling element of these brushes. So, we just want to get some pretty different colors here, so you can see this effect. And what I'm going to show you now, is I'm going to turn Viscosity down all the way for this. When the wetness is high, you can see that what it means is the colors underneath the brush are wet.

So, if wetness is turned all the way up the colors in the underlying brushes want to intermix very much with the paint. If I turn wetness down, you see what happens now? There's no intermixture of those colors because the paint underneath is dry. So, wetness is another control that you can use to change the character of the brushes. Let's go ahead and just paint a little more here and I'll show you the third one. So again, you can just see I just marvel every time I play with it because it just almost makes me giddy to see how these colors are intermixing.

So, the third control we can deal with is Blend, okay? And if I turn blend up I'm going to get the maximum amount of blending and the paint coming off of the brush. If I reduce that down you see now I get a very long effect. So, as I said, these controls are somewhat interrelated the way they work, and you can get into a great deal of subtlety, how these are carefully adjusted. I'm doing very coarse adjustments now, to give you a quick look at how these work. But the good news is within these controls you have a huge universe of control relating to how the paint works.

Another thing you can do is you can play with what's called dirty mode. Normally, the paint is charged, and I should open up the mixer and deal with that a little bit again. This just lets me load up my colors and I'll just do a sampling here. And when I enable the color picker, which actually in this case the little circle indicates it's going to pick up a cluster of colors. Normally what's happening here is I'm charging the brush with a new color and I paint with it.

As I switch to dirty mode what's going to happen is it will initially have just a little bit of color, or some color left on it. But then as I start to draw you'll see that each time I pick it up whatever is at the end of that stroke is kind of becoming, I'm going to recharge it here to show this, what's ever at the end becomes the beginning of the next stroke. So, what this means is it's like a brush with no paint on it anymore. It's simply moving the paint underneath of it, and each time you restroke it's going to have the end of the last stroke as a part of it.

So, just like a real paint brush you can very instantly kind of just push this around into mud. But you can also use it as a great way to just add complexity to the brushwork on your canvas. Okay, let's take a look at some other brushes within the arsenal of artists' oils. Another one that I like to work with is one that's called the Clumpy Brush. If I remember correctly I think I went to high school with a clumpy brush. He was in my physics class if I remember correctly.

Now, the Clumpy Brush exhibits another interesting characteristic of the artists' oils. If I draw with this notice that unlike the earlier brush where all the brush hairs were kind of evenly placed, there's much more randomness about the way that these are clustering up. In fact, let's go to a solid color here. To show that a little bit more. You can see that each time I stroke it there's a random kind of reorganization of where there's more density, where less density lies. And that's the clumpiness factor.

That's another control that you can find in the full artists' oils palette. But I just want to show you that clumpiness is actually a feature that is associated with real brushes. Because the dynamics of the reservoir, which are essentially really a number of small reservoirs made up of different aggregates of brush hairs within a traditional, real brush. Change on the fly just the physics of how paint and the viscosity of it all is coming off of the brush, means that that paint will sort of move around within that totality of the brush hairs and various hairs will become a larger or a partial reservoir for a few moments before the paint kind of decides to move off into some other area of the brush hairs and then become a larger reservoir.

So, the fact that all these little reservoirlettes, if that's a word, are changing means that the dynamics of how a brushstroke looks are always going to be changing. We've never been able to do that before in Corel Painter. So, the fact that you've got this clumpiness and a randomness that happens in the brush hairs is another major innovation that's part of artists' oils. Now, I'm going to mix up some more color here and I want to go back and just talk a little bit more about the Mixer Palette. This was introduced in Corel Painter 8, and one of the reasons that artists' oils came about was many people were really, when they saw these brushes in here they said, wow that's really cool, where's that brush in Corel Painter? I want to use that brush.

And, well, it was only in the mixer at the time. But that was kind of the inspiration to lead us to the artists' oil brushes. And essentially, what you're doing here is you're mixing paint just like you would on a traditional artists' palette. You've probably seen those they're usually just kind of usually typically made out of wood in the traditional ones. And artists would mix various colors on this palette and I'm going to use the palette knife here for a little bit as an example, to kind of just smudge my paint around.

He would use this to kind of create a palette of colors that he was going to then use on his image. So, if I go in here and maybe let's select another brush. For example, I'm going to get the blender brush here. And once again, if I just select this it's just going to select a color off of the palette. If I select the brush, the eyedropper with the little circle under it, that's the dynamic picker that actually knows how to pick up all the multiple colors underneath of it.

So what's happening here is I'm picking up colors, traditionally this is known as charging your brush. So I'm charging my brush by touching the palette. And then I come over and those colors are on the brush. So, each time I want to change color I just simply recharge the brush with another color and it becomes the color that I'm going to be working with. And, you know, you want to emulate things as faithfully as possible but sometimes you go too far. And the nice thing is, here, once you charge the brush yes the strokes are going to run out of paint, but at least the same color is going to stay on there until I want to change it.

So it presents a nice ergonomic about the way this brush works. It's not so prone towards the traditional brush that you'll literally have to keep going back and touching it. That color will remain on there until you go back and touch another one. I want to make sure before I leave this that, notice there's a pretty distinct pair of colors. If I pick on there and then draw, you'll see that it in fact is picking those up. So, wherever you have the choice to pick up subtle colors or like in a traditional loaded brush technique, you know an artist will often, you know, intentionally load his brush with different colors across the width of that brush.

And that's exactly what we can do here. The next thing I want to show you is how these brushes work a little differently on the canvas versus the layers. And actually it's not like it's a warning, this is actually something good. So I'm going to clean off the screen here, and I'm going to go back to the brush that I was working with earlier. The Impasto Oil, and I've done a lotof changes to this so what I want to do is go in and restore the default variant for what I'm going to do here. So I'm not entering into unknown territory.

Let's get a pretty strong color here, and I just created a new layer. So, I'm going to do the same stroke essentially, on both the layer, and what I want to do to just really make sure this really looks the way I want it to, I'm going to turn up Viscosity. So remember what that does is it makes my strokes shorter. So let's go back to here and I'm just going to do that stroke on the layer, and I'm going to do one on the canvas. So you can see they're pretty much compatible strokes. And what I want you to see is that on the layer, I'm going to turn the canvas off for you to see this, notice that what's happening here, this is new this has never been done on any of our brushes on layers before.

They would always go to the background, you know, the color underneath them. What's happening here is that this is fading out into transparency, okay? Whereas on the canvas it doesn't have a transparancy to deal with so it just fades or mixes to the background, the color underneath of it in this case white. And just to emphasize a little bit more what's happening here, I'm going to take an earlier brush. It's still a very useful brush I'm not dissing these brushes by any means, these are still highly useful for a lot of different features.

But let's go ahead and put this brush in painter, and I'm going to try to get it so it tapers off. Okay, we'll look at it this way. And I'm going to go ahead and turn this off. See what's happening, the top of that does not go out to transparency it actually uses the underlying color it has nothing to do with pick up underlying color, it's just the way the brushes were engineered at the time. But, it's definitely a step ahead to be able to actually put this in transparency.

One major reason alone is it means I can pick this up and move it. And see how it's opaque, but it becomes transparent at the end and so whatever is underneath of it, in fact if we do a different color it will be a little more obvious. Actually let me go back to my other artists' oil brush just to make them look pretty good. There we go, okay, sorry about that. Now let's go ahead and grab this and I'm going to paint under the canvas. Okay, so now I'm going to pick this up and I want you to notice, see what's happening? It's opaque at the beginning of the stroke but it becomes transparent.

So unlike the earlier generations of brushes where you really couldn't move them around other than in their exact location. This is even going to give more kind of magical ability of these layers of artists' oils brushes to be able to actually be picked up and moved around. And have the correct sort of Alpha Channel or Blending from opacity to full transparency in the strokes. Sounds a little technical and maybe there's a little bit of mumbo jumbo that might seem a little confusing. But just trust me, this is a major innovation that's going to be very useful as you start using these brushes on various layers.

So, that's my initial kind of little preview to you of these artists' oil brushes. I hope in describing this to you you've heard and sensed the excitement in my voice as I go through these because I can't tell you what a major feather in the cap of Corel Painter IX this is. This really moves it to another level and I think it's going to be quite some time before we see anybody come along that's going to be emulating brushes at this level. So, take my advice, get in there, open up the artists' oil category and start playing around with it.

Do like I was doing, at first I wasn't even trying to make images. In fact, I'm going to do another little project here later that I'm going to use the brushes in more of a project-oriented scenario. So you can see how they work. But do like I did here, just play with them and revel in the lushness of the way they work and how they visually feel and look on screen. So, artists's oils, can't live without them!

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