Join John Derry for an in-depth discussion in this video Working with Digital Watercolor brushes, part of Painter X3 Essential Training.
Painter X3 has three categories of watercolor media. Digital watercolor, which is Painter 2's original take on this elusive medium. Watercolor, which is Painter 6's physical modeling base extravaganza. And now, real water color. Why so many variations? Well, each is a child of the times. Specifically, the era of computing bandwidth each version was engineered in. Painter 2 was released in early 1993. At that time, the processor speed limit was 33 megahertz and 136 megabytes of RAM.
When painter 6 came out in 1999, processors were at 333 mega hertz and 768 megabytes of RAM. Today, Painter X3 is at home in a 64 bit operation system running multiple core 3.9 gigahertz processors, high performance multiple GPU graphics acceleration and 64 gigabytes of RAM. Because digital water color emulation favors a computationally expensive physical base model, each iteration of painters water colors has been necessarily limited by the processor and memory bandwidth available at the time.
More computing bandwidth enables greater interaction of watercolor variables like wetness, evaporation, pigment suspension, and movement in a liquid, media absorption, and the like. This continual increase in computing power has the side effect of dramatically speeding up the earlier versions. In this video, we'll begin our exploration of watercolor with Painter's first generation watercolor category Digital Watercolor. Let's begin. So let's go up to the Brush Selector and you'll see the three iterations of watercolor are clustered together right here and we'll start with the Digitial Watercolor and I'm just going to use Simple Water.
Because it's simple. Now let's just take a look at some of the things that it does. And remember, this was written way back when there wasn't a lot of speed, so the benefit now is how fast these earlier versions run. So we've got the ability to take color. And if I take yellow in this case, you can see how we start to get the blend that you'd expect. If you take cyan and yellow, you're going to start to get a green as a result of that. Now, let's take a dark color. And one thing you'll see here is how there's that darker edge, maybe add a little lighter will do it.
There's kind of a dark edge. That is a hallmark of watercolor. What happens in the real watercolor world is as the middle area of a stroke dries, pigment wants to migrate out to the edges and it creates that signature dark edge that you often see in watercolor. It's faked in the way it's done here, but it does give you that look. And you can play around with this fringe. You can turn it up for example. And you can see how it affects everything. So if you want to play with how that edge looks, you have that ability.
Another thing that's possible is diffusion. Lets go ahead and get diffuse in here, and I'll just draw a line. See how it wants to bleed out after it's drawn. Now, one reason it happens not interactively, but after the fact, is because of the very fact that back in the era this was written, it was too computationally expensive to see that happen as you painted. So as a result, it was written in a way that it withheld that until it was done. And you can play around with the level of diffusion. So if you want, you'll get a much greater migration of pigment at a higher value.
Whereas, at a very low value, you'll get a little migration, but not very much. And this migration does respect whatever the current paper grain is. So the rivulets that are created are directly influenced by the current paper grain. Another thing that's possible with this. And we need to turn up diffusion up to see this. I'm going to turn it up all the way. You do have the ability in the Layers Palette. You can go down here and say Diffuse Digital Water Color. Watch what happens. See how it diffused all of the watercolor on the canvas layer.
These also will work in layers as well. That's a point to show you that if I go and create a layer, and let's once again go back to yellow here, and then I paint over it. You'll see one thing that happens is it automatically knows to change the layer type to a gel layer, which is the type of layer that will properly composite a yellow on top of a cyan in this case to come up with green. So, another feature of the original digital water color is the fact that it knows how to inform a layer that it is using digital watercolor.
Therefore that layer needs to be gel. If it was just default, it would look like that, which obviously isn't right, so. Gel is the compositing method that you need for the layers to behave properly in conjunction with watercolor. The other thing you can do with the digital watercolor is you can also dry it. Once you do that, now I'm free to paint on top of these areas, and there won't be any interaction as there was before, where we got this kind of bleeding into one another. The digital watercolor category represents both the least processor intensive and simplest watercolor physical model.
Because of this, if you want to do watercolor but have an older system, or just want a quick and easy effect, digital watercolor is the best choice.
- Working with a pen tablet
- Creating, opening, and saving files
- Configuring panels and palettes
- Controlling and mixing control
- Calibrating brushes for maximum stroke quality
- Working with jitter brushes
- Working with digital watercolor brushes
- Selecting with the Lasso and Magic Wand tools
- Preserving transparency in layers
- Cloning artwork
- Comparing Photoshop and Painter
- Troubleshooting Painter