Join John Derry for an in-depth discussion in this video Touring the brush options, part of Painter 2015 Essential Training.
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- Have you ever been on a travel tour in which you visit several locations with a tour guide? Take Europe for example. You go from country to country stopping at one or two locals at each in order to get a flavor of the local culture. French cathedrals, German beer, Italian art. It is by no means a comprehensive experience, but it enables you to feel comfortable in different cultures as well as to discover which countries you may be interested in returning to to visit in greater depth. It is simply not possible to demonstrate and explain every one of Painter's nearly 1,000 brush variants.
What we are going to do in this video is take a short brush tour by going into each brush category as if it were a country and sample one or two brushes to give you a flavor of what is unique. By the end of this whirlwind brush tour, you will most likely discover which categories strike your fancy. You can then revisit these categories and immerse yourself in their unique expressive qualities. So all aboard! Let's get started on a tour of expressive brush categories in Painter. So here's your Captured Bristle and you can see it has brush strokes in it.
What's another good one here? How about the Opaque Acrylic. It's fairly similar but this one, you may see, employs what is called Imposto, so there's actually a depth to the brush itself. And I will do things like try different colors as we go so you can see how the interaction of colors works. Next we have Airbrushes. Let's go to Coarse Spray and once again I'm going to get a different color here. What you may not be seeing but is happening here is as I tilt the brush I can orient where that spray is going so that I can have a very Airbrush-style look to the way things work.
And then let's go to Graffiti, what's Graffiti? Okay so Graffiti is just another Airbrush that is kind of dirty in a way that it works so that's a couple. I'll show you one more here because there is a very different kind. The Digital Airbrush is going to give you a very soft, kind of Photoshop style approach to an Airbrush, so you've got that. Next up is Artist brushes. These are brushes based on famous artists. This is called the Sargent Brush based on John Singer Sargent's appearance in his work.
Sargent Super Jitter I really like, I'm going to make this larger here so you can see this. This just does a really interesting kind of thing as you paint, you can see the Impaso strokes I drew earlier are on top of the artwork, which is something that Impasto does. Let's move down to Blenders. One of my all-time favorites is Just Add Water. In some of these I'm going to be enlarging. This just smudges and smears color together.
It's the ultimate blending tool, in my estimation. What else do we have here? We can go to Diffuse Blur and again I'm going to enlarge some of these so you can see them. This just kinds of puts a granularity and a directionality in the areas that you stroke over. Next up we have Chalk & Crayons. One of my favorites is Square Chalk, so let's grab, and you can see how texture is a part of this brush so the texture of the current paper grain shows up within the brush, the harder you press the more you fill in the paper grain.
Next up, Charcoal & Conte. Not real different but let's try Square Conte. And it is similar to the square brush as you can see. Once again, you get that paper grain in there. Anything else in here? What's Gritty Charcoal do? I want to keep changing colors here so I make a really good mess. Now this is a brush that shows you how, depending on if you have the art pen for Wacom, I can control, and you can see it happening there, that as I twist or twirl my brush in my hand, I can control the angularity of this brush so I can decidedly paint with short, narrow strokes or I can paint with fat strokes.
I can control that in my hand if I have a Wacom 60 pen. Cloners, obviously a big area of Painter and let's just try Impressionist Cloner. Now you may say, "Where's that color coming from?" And if you haven't selected a source image with Cloners, it's going to use the current pattern. So right now it's painting with a large-scale version of the pattern that you see there. Let's try a different one, Fiber Cloner, that's kind of interesting.
Once again, it's using the colors that it finds in the current paper texture. The way it does this is, so that Cloner can not not paint with color, there always has to be something. So by default, the current pattern will become the color source until you alter it. Digital Watercolor. Let's take something like Diffuse Water. You can see how this actually diffuses when I paint on it. It has that very signature look of the way that watercolor will work when it's wet on wet.
What else do we have here? Salt. Now this will mainly affect the watercolor strokes but it's like throwing salt on watercolor when it's wet and that will, in part, absorb the water and cause these little areas to dapple and change within the watercolor itself. Then you have Watercolor, well what's the difference? Well there's actually three generations of Watercolor in Painter. You can see that this Watercolor knows how to drip and run and so each generation of Watercolor in Painter has become more and more sophisticated and this is the second generation Watercolor.
Then we finally get to the third generation, Real Watercolor. Let's just try, this is John's Watercolor Drip. So this is a Watercolor brush that I created that I'll talk about in greater length when we get to the Watercolor chapter but you can see that these brushes actually run and keep running until they dry. Let's go to the next category, Erasers. Well, obviously Erasers are important and now we'll find out later on in the Watercolor chapter, but you can only use Watercolor brushes on a Watercolor layer so I need to stay on the base layer right now where I don't have Watercolor.
You can See I'm just kind of scratching around here with this little 1-Pixel Eraser. What else do we have here? How about the, just normal Eraser. Once again, now because I'm underneath of Watercolor, which is another interesting feature, we're erasing what's underneath it but the gel-like consistency, or capability of the Watercolor layer lets me still see through its layer. So that's a quickie and a quick show of what goes on in the Watercolor and Eraser world.
Let's go to here, Turbulence, that's an interesting one. This actually just starts to, and this is the Effects category, so there's some really different kinds of things going here. Maybe to simplify things, I'm going to take this Watercolor layer and I'm going to drop it down and we'll talk about all the layer tricks in the layer chapter, but once again, my goal here is to just quickly show you a lot of different things. This is a Marbling Rake so it does some interesting kinds of adjustments to whatever imagery it finds underneath of it, much like a tradition Marbling Rake that's used in creating marbled paper.
Next up we have Gel brushes, for example, and these brushes will do similar to Watercolor in that they build up darker and darker and they will move towards black over time. But you can see this has an interesting kind of quality to it. What's up next? Gouache. Gouache is like Watercolor but it's basically opaque. So the brushes you're going to find in here will be opaque brushes. Then we get to the Image Hose, another very interesting brush and I'm going to just kind of draw here, this is the one that happens to be in there now.
Image Hoses use nozzles and the current nozzle file is located right here so there's one that's just these little tumbling blocks. Let's take the flowers and now I can paint with flowers. You can see how by using several samples of a new piece of imagery, like a flower, you can build up very complex imagery very quickly. Next up we have Impasto. Impasto is the brush that lets me build up depth with my brush and you'll see here as I start to paint with this, if I keep drawing in the same area, it starts to build up a bit of depth with the brush.
And that might not be the best color to show that with or necessarily the best brush. Let's go to a different one here, Grainy Impasto. Also, not necessarily the greatest brush to show it off but let's go to something like Clear Varnish. This let's me apply a clear varnish-like surface to my artwork. We've also got something here called Acid Etch. Acid Etch eats down into the surface so it looks like we're throwing acid on this and actually kind of eating away at our imagery.
Then we get to Liquid Ink. Liquid Ink is another special category and if we go to something like Clumpy Ink, and I'm going to once again drop all my layers here so we get an interesting kind of thing going on here. But you can see how there's a very interesting viscous quality to Liquid Ink. What's another one here? The Airbrush can add and the Airbrush Resist and there's several of these in here, these will eat away at existing Liquid Ink imagery on the surface already.
Next up, we're going to go to the Markers category. If you're used to Markers, you'll know that a marker will get over-saturated and move towards black and that's what these Markers do, just as you'd expect in the real world. Then we go to Oils. These are many different kinds of Oil brushes here. A Flat Brush and this is another brush that takes advantage, and I'm going to go ahead and collapse there, hide the Impasto at this point. This is a brush that also is being controlled by my 60 pen which has barrel rotation so I can rotate this brush to control the attitude of it, which lets me get thin and thick strokes on demand.
Pallet Knives, Pallet Knives let me take an area and treat the underlying color as if it were wet paint. Let's take another one here, I was playing with, which one was it here? The Pallet Knife. You can see, once again, it's just smearing the imagery much like you would with a real pallet knife. Then we go to Pastels. Similar to the Chalks & Charcoals that we looked at earlier, so we've got Pastel paints, or, excuse me, Pastel brushes that let me mix colors and one thing I like to do on this is, I can use the actual paper grain to intermix two colors so there's kind of a 50 50 gradation of color happening where your eye is playing with the salmon color and then the blue together.
So you start to get some interesting optical mixtures. Pattern Pens, another very interesting tool that lets me draw with a continuous pattern, for example. Let's go in here and let's get a different pattern and that one might be right, whoops we're in nozzles, we want to go to patterns, and I'm going to select this one right here. So you can see how this takes a pattern and paints with it in an endless stream so you just get a continuation of the same element as long as you paint.
And it's directionally savvy as well as pressure-controlled for the size. Next, let's go to Pencils. Something that's common is the little #2 Pencil, so it just gives me a nice great sketching tool. Doesn't look too great over all the work we've done here. But you get the idea. Pens, I love the Nervous Pen for example. Let's get a good light color here that we can see this on top of all this. Maybe I want a dark color.
There we go. This Pen actually draws and it randomly changes the brush so you don't get a straight line, you get a Nervous Pen line. So another kind of unique to digital painting type brush. Then you've got something like the Scratchboard Rake. This actually paints with a number of parallel points so that you can get this interesting, almost kind of musical staff brush that you paint with. Photo brushes, some interesting things in here, like, for example, Dodge and Burn.
Let's say if I want to Burn an area, I can darken an area up or let's add Grain to an area. And this just adds a grain-like surface to the existing artwork. Up next we go to Real Wet Oil. There's some interesting things going on in here. Here's just a very interesting kind of liquid. And you'll notice that, like the Watercolors we looked at before, this is a brush that actually drips. So it's going to sit there for a little bit and think about what it's like to drip on a digital surface.
And, let's see, next up Smart Strokes I'll talk about later, they have to do with Cloning and it wouldn't make much sense to show them here. Let's take like Sponge, in this case, and I'm just going to dab it a few times. You can see it puts that sponge-like surface on the image and I can put different colors over one another, and once again, it's a great way to build up a quick pattern or texture very simply. And we get finally, let's go down to Sumi brushes.
This, obviously, is a brush that's going to paint with a very Watercolor, or, in this case, Sumi-like brush. So it just gives a very character-driven brush that changes quite a bit based on the pressure you're painting with. Then we get to the Tinting brushes, much like the Gel brushes we looked at earlier, but they've one feature they have in here that's really kind of nice are these Diffusion brushes that treat the imagery almost as if it were Watercolor and each one of these Diffusors will give a slightly different quality to the particular area that you are applying it to.
Okay, that's a quick tour of the brushes and I guess I didn't end up with any enduring artwork here but I hope that this short brush tour has wetted your appetite for jumping into some of the categories we've visited. Each of you will likely be attracted to differing styles of expressive brush types. This is what makes creative expression so interesting. Each of us has a unique expressive voice and the manner in which we express it is intertwined with the tools with which we choose to express it. Bon voyage!
Learn the basics of painting on a computer, and see how to set up your system (your Painter preferences, tablet and pen, and palettes) so it works best for you. John shows you how to mix and manage color; wield Painter's expressive brushes with maximum control; work with layers, selections, cloning; and integrate with that other digital-painting powerhouse, Adobe Photoshop. John also covers 2015 features such as the new Particle brushes, Jitter Smoothing, updated brush tracking, and improved custom palette tools. Dive in now and get your creative juices flowing.
- Understanding the Painter 2015 interface
- Working with a pen tablet
- Creating templates and custom palettes
- Working with layers and channels
- Calibrating brushes for maximum stroke quality
- Painting with Jitter brushes
- Painting with Digital Watercolor brushes
- Painting with particles
- Selecting with the Lasso and Magic Wand tools
- Preserving transparency in layers
- Cloning artwork
- Using Photoshop and Painter together