Join Gaeton Laprade for an in-depth discussion in this video Painting with the Oil Brush, part of Learning ArtRage.
- What we have here is the Cloudy Sky file that's in chapter four, Exercise Files, and this was created using the oil brush. Now I'm just going to go ahead and open my Layers panel here and just hide that image real quick so I can show you a few things on the Settings panel. Now I have the Oil Brush selected in the Tools panel and I'm going to click on the Settings plot to open the Settings panel. And you'll see you have a few options available to you. The first one I want to show you is Aspect because when you're using the drawing tablet, this is going to affect the shape of the brush while you're working.
So that if I move that all the way down to 0%, you'll notice when you start to draw, you're going to get different shapes from that brush depending on which way you are drawing. Again, I'm just going to switch to the Pencil tool to give you a quick visual of paintbrush. Okay, so if your paintbrush is being held like this on the screen, okay, so there's my little virtual paintbrush, I went up my canvas with that brush, and you can see that it's pretty wide, so I got that wide stroke. But if I were to go left and right, so if I went this way, that brush would be thin, so that's like that, if you're imaging it in a 3D perspective.
So that thin brush line is what's causing up here. So you want to keep that in mind when you have Aspects turned on. And the Rotation here actually can change that direction. So, for example, if I put it at 25% or around there, and went up the canvas, you'll notice that now it's thin. But if I go left and right, it's thicker. So I just turned it on its side. So now it's facing the other direction. You just want to kind of keep that in mind while you're using those two options. I usually don't turn them on or off.
I'm just going to go back to it and reset this to default. So I'm just selecting that menu at the top and selecting Reset Current Tool. And I'm just going to clear that layer so we can continue on with our little demo here. Now the next thing I want to show you is the Thinners and that's because Thinners determines just how thick or opaque your paint is. So if I lower that to 0%, I have no thinners on my brush, so when I make a mark on my canvas, you could see that that paint is pretty thick. And I'm going to zoom in on that so you can see.
You can actually see the bristle strokes in the paint. Now if I were to lower that to about 50% and just go around that again, you can see that that stroke, it's got a more flat texture to it. I mean it's picking up the canvas grain, but it doesn't have that bristling effect in there. And the further I go, the more thinner is added which means the less opaque that paint is. So now it's becoming more transparent up until the point where you get to 100%, and that's at its thinnest, you'll still see some of it in there but it's pretty light.
Now I wanted to show you that one first only because pressure kind of plays in part with that Thinner option. So if I had the Thinners around 50% and I lowered my pressure, and then went ahead and made a mark on my canvas, and I'm just going to increase the size of my brush. I just clicked on the 100% size area you see here. I'm going to type in 300 should do. Click OK. And if I make my mark now, you'll see that I'm picking up a lot more of the canvas screen on there.
So you're still seeing the color of the canvas through this stroke but you're also seeing that it's picking up that canvas grain as well. And if I were to increase that Thinner, it would become lighter, but it's still picking that grain up. But if I move that Thinner over to a lesser extent, it becomes a thicker stroke again. So you're getting more of that line ahead, around 50%, without the thinners in there before. Keep in mind that these two kind of play a part hand in hand when you're getting different effects. Now the next one I want to show you, and I'm again going to reset my tool back to its default, is the Loading.
And basically the Loading is how much pigment is on the brush. So if you were to increase that to 100%, you could literally just paint on your screen all day long. It will never run out. But if you were to lower it, so I'm going to go down really low just to show you, at 4% if I were to make a stroke on my canvas right now it's going to run out of paint at the end of the stroke. So I can only go so far before it runs out. If I were to lower it down to 1%, it would be even shorter. So you can get some neat effects using it that way.
And again, the Loading is tied to the pen Pressure and the Thinners. So the higher the Thinner, it might go a lot less further. So again this is how I dry it out a lot quicker. The last thing I want to show you here is the Stiffness in terms of the scrub bars. Now Stiffness is how firm or loose the bristles of your brush are. So just reset that tool again real quick. Now if I decrease that and make a mark on my canvas, you'll see that it's pretty thick paint.
And if I were to put that back around 50 and make that mark, it's not much of a change and again this is because of Thinners. If I increased or decreased the Thinners there, it's going to change things around. But as I get higher and higher into the percentages, you'll see that the bristling is going to show up a lot more until the point where you almost get like a rake effect. And that is going to pick up the canvas screen. You see some of these other options here. Now the Square Head just changes the shape of the brush tip.
So right now we've been using a circular brush. I'll reset that to default just to show you. I'm just going to tap my screen. You can see that that's a circular head. If I use the Square Head, you can see that it changed in the preview window there. That's more of a square brush to it. And with the pressure on high, you'll notice that, if you can just make a quick mark, that that's got more of an edge on the end. It's going to determine with your pen stylus pressure too so if you have your tablets pressure up high, you might get different effects.
So you kind of want to play around with that just to see how that might interact with our edge. One last thing I want to show you here, I'm going to clear my screen real quick, is the Insta-Dry and Auto Clean because they kind of go hand in hand as well. Where if you were to paint on your screen a thick stroke of paint and you were to use a different color, and I'm just holding alt and clicking on my screen to pick up the blue background here, and go into that stroke, you could see that that paint blends. All right, so it's smearing around for you.
If your turn Insta-Dry on, you've just lost that. So no matter how much I go into it now, I'm just going to paint directly over it and cover it up. So it's dry paint going over that wet paint. It's just going to see everything as completely dry. Now the Auto Clean works by telling ArtRage, okay, I want to have a clean brush every time I use a single color. So with Insta-Dry on, whether that's on or off isn't going to be of any use because no matter what you do, it's not going to be able to pick up any of the paint.
So if you have Insta-Dry off, however, and I have blue selected, and I'm going to turn Auto Clean off. Okay, it's usually on by default. So if you turn it off, and go through one paint with another color, you'll see that it went from my blue tone to that white. If I make a mark on my canvas, it's going to be white. But as I keep marking the canvas, you'll see that that white pigment starts fading out and it goes back to the color I originally had. So the more I make a mark, it's just going to keep going straight back until I get to the color of my canvas.
I'm just going to undo this a little bit. And you'll notice that down here, ArtRage put a little cup of water. If you click that, it automatically cleans your brush. So now I'm completely back at my background color. If I went back through that white, you'll see that I picked up the white. I got white marks going. If I hit that water and go to make a mark again, it's back to its original color. So that's your little wash bin right here. And a little fun fact, you'll notice that it's starting to get a little blue, that's because the water is actually getting dirty.
So the more times you hit that to clean your brush, you'll see that it gets a little bit darker each time. So I'm just going to clean my canvas real quick, and just bring back that image real fast, and show you exactly what you might use these different effects for in an actual drawing. Now I'm just going to reset to default just be sure, and I'm going to select this gray tone that I have on this highlight of this cloud. Okay, so again I'm holding alt and just tapping down on that and it picked that color for me, as you can see on the color picker. And let's just add a cloud right here on the side.
So you might come in here and say, "You know I want another highlight right here." And you'd bring that in with that thick paint. And what you can do now is hold alt and click the darker color beside it, and just bring that in. And without doing much, you can see that I'm just going to start blending that out. So that's just ArtRage doing its thing blending that color in there for me. And I might say, "Ok, well, I want it a little smoother." So what you might do is just play around with the Thinner a little bit to make that a little more transparent.
And you can come back in and just drag that out, start blending that out a little bit better. You'll see that you can get some more streaking involved, and you'll note that the bristling is showing up. And if you wanted it even thinner, you could go all the way to 100%, so that's almost transparent. And at that point, you're almost picking the paint up off the canvas as you're going. So I'm adding a little bit of paint, but I'm mostly just pulling it back.
You might want to add some more texture to it. So you might increase the Stiffness so that your brush is a little harder. In that case you'd want to lower your Thinners so that you'd see some of the pigment a little bit more. Then you could go back over that and add that in. You'd probably want a lighter color, so I'm just going to pick up that white color. And you could see I can add some whisps in there just to give it a little more character. So you've got to keep in mind that all of these things play a different part when it comes to the oil brush. So you could see that you can get a lot of different blending effects with this tool alone, but you can usually get a little more help with some of the other tools.
So while it might not be a perfect simulator of oil paint, with some practice you'll find a lot of uses for the tool.
Join Gaeton as he shows how to set up the workspace, create your first painting, and start working with ArtRage's expressive tools, which respond just like traditional oils, pastels, watercolors, and pencils. Then learn to maximize the full potential of the program with the image editing, tracing, and cloning features. Gaeton even shares a method for recording your process, so you can share your own "joy of painting" with others.
- Setting up ArtRage to fit your painting style
- Creating a new painting
- Choosing colors
- Painting with oil, watercolors, and the airbrush
- Sketching and drawing with dry media
- Daubing and pouring paint
- Masking areas of a painting
- Writing with the Text tool
- Recording and playing drawings with ArtRage scripts