Category: best effort

I’ve Seen You Before

I've Seen You Before

I’ve Seen You Before

This is a painting that I did in Corel Painter.  I promise I won’t bitch about Painter or tech support at Corel.  Actually, in Painter 2018, things are going very smoothly.  Painter released in this version some stability to the application that seems very nice.  They also released for their trick to get you to buy it and/or upgrade a thing called thick paint.  They claim this looks like real paint.  Well hold it, Corel, what have we been using all these years?  Has our paint not looked like real paint all along?

Anyway, maybe this looks more like real paint.  I’m just not sure.  But boy is this stuff thick.  It is like painting with gloop.  I initially stuck my nose up at it and said no way am I painting with this stuff.  Not only because it was gloop but because it has its own separate layer.  It has a separate layer that does not act like a real layer.  So it is isolated.  It will not do many of the things a layer should do.  Plus the brush engine for the thick paint has a lot of controls to figure out.

In the past, Corel rolls out its latest trick brushes and then the next year it acts like it never heard of these brushes.  You are left holding the bag as to these brushes.  Well, why should I learn the complex brush engine of these brushes if Corel is just going to move on to some other trick brushes next year?

Eventually, when I took Skip Allen’s Introduction class, I came to love the brushes Skip made and I used some of these brushes.  But, I’m holding off judgment on them.  I’m not embracing them yet because I’m concerned Corel will not develop them further in the future.  For example see the Dynamic Speckle Brushes that were developed a couple of years ago.  They have great potential. But still need some tweaking.  Hello, Corel, are you ever going to tweak those brushes?  No.  The program is full to the brim of brushes that need a tweak here and a tweak there.

Anyway, I bitched about Corel Painter.  I guess it’s the best thing out there, but they sure can make a person angry with their shortcomings.

This painting I did with my thick paint brushes that I was in the process of making before I knew Corel was going to come out with thick paint brushes.  I started working with the impasto brushes to see how thick I could make them and have them look like real paint.

In the impasto control panel you can pick the depth method.  It is right below the Draw To box.  The Draw To box is where you pick Color and Depth for impasto.  I swear I have never noticed the Depth Method box before.  Probably because the print is so small and there are so many options in Painter.  There is always something new to discover.

Anyway, I started using Paper for Depth Method and it opened a whole new world in Impasto.  Wow!!!  I have a huge collection of papers that give me lots of different depths.  But even if you don’t, just using Painter’s default papers give you a huge variety of textures.  This is especially true if you adjust the contrast and brightness to the paper.  I take the contrast up and bring the brightness down usually.  I believe that Painter reads the dark areas of paper.  Or else it reads the white areas.  But, I’m pretty sure it reads the dark areas.  But experiment for yourself if you need to actually know.  The other adjustments you can make to the paper are the paper scale which can be very important.  Then there is an adjustment for rotation which can play an important part.  Then new to Painter on the grain setting is the Random Grain Rotation setting and the Random Grain Position setting.  I really like the first one.  It makes your strokes on a piece of paper look very real.  Without this setting, you are just repeating a digital pattern.

Be sure to have Grain Expression set to pressure.  Then, and this one I consider essential, be certain that you have set the Brush Calibration for the individual brush.  I think it is essential to do this.  There are many that believe that global brush calibration is ok.  That just is not true, in my opinion.  Set Brush Calibration for every brush.  It makes a huge difference.

I painted this picture with some of my new impasto brushes.  While I was doing that I started goofing around with Liquid Inks.  I then remembered that if you went into the layer settings for Liquid Ink, it would cause the Liquid Ink to become thick and raise up and become 3D.  Wow!!!  Awesome!

OK, Painter really is an awesome app!!!!  It does some awesome things.

So then, I decided, I would have to add some of the thick paint that I wasn’t liking so much.  So grudgingly I put some on here and there with the fabulous brushes that Skip made (see my earlier blog for information on the Intro Class to 2018).  All in all, this was a really fun painting to do.

Oh!!!!  I have to tell you, I have fooled around with this painting since 2014!  I have repeatedly tried to paint it with nothing but failure!  But I got it out this time, now in 2017, and it just came together.  So, never give up on a painting, no matter what.

If you are interested in my brushes and want them, drop me an email.

Kerry

 

 

Gladly Yours

Here is a painting that I did in Painter.  Yes, I actually did a painting in Corel Painter.  When I last posted a painting from Painter, I was probably struggling with Painter 2016 in all of its bugginess.  It had the absolute worst brush lag you could imagine.  Someone from Painter was allegedly helping me.  I use that word lightly because after he found out I had a very expensive computer and all my software was up-to-date, he just quit speaking to me.  He disappeared!  This is after asking me to be a beta tester.  He just fell into a black hole.  His name is Steve.  Where are you Steve?  Where all Corel Painter people go when they have to admit that it is their application that is at fault.

In some black hole.  I hope it smells bad there.

Anyway, Corel released version 2017, guess what the brush lag miraculously disappeared!  Wow!  So, it wasn’t my computer, it wasn’t my brushes, it wasn’t my fault.  Now, eight months later (are you kidding me, they can’t even wait one year for an update????) they released 2018.  That was in August.  In August of 2017, they release a version called Painter 2018.  They are getting ridiculous.  But, of course, I purchased it.  There were some updates I wanted.

Skip Allen was giving his annual (soon it will be semi-annual at the rate Corel is going) class at the Digital Art Academy.  You can check out his blog here.

You can check out the class here.  Skip’s class was awesome.  I think you can still sign up for it, I’m not sure.  I’ve taken his Intro Class to Painter since Painter released X3, the 2013 version. This was by far the very best class ever.  We had a blast in class and learned so much.  Skip is an awesome teacher and spends endless time preparing videos and answering questions.

This painting is a multi-media one.  I used watercolors.  I never use watercolors in Painter, but I broke that rule for class and did.  Then I also used acrylics.  I had a lot of fun.  This is an abstract that is unlike most of my abstracts.  I used the watercolors to get the paper textures in the various areas.  It is an interesting technique that I plan to use again.

 

 

Kaleidoscope Fun In Painter

Karen Bonaker put up a video at DAA Facebook on using the new selection brushes in Painter.  I took off with her suggestion and made these two pieces.  You can check out the DAA here.

The selection brushes are really interesting.  For those of you familiar with digital art, they are the equivalent of marching ants, but you paint them on.

So, I went to Painter’s kaleidoscope feature and turned that on and painted a kaleidoscope with the selection brushes.  Then I painted into the selections or I chose invert and painted outside the selections, depending on the effect I wanted.

Then when I was done, I took the pieces into my iPhone, and used either DistressedFX, Mextures or Shift and gave them a background to tighten them up.

These were a blast to do, and I thank Karen for giving us this idea to use the selection brushes.

Corel released Painter 2018 about a month ago with some very interesting features. I was not going to update this time around.  Corel did not even wait a year to release this update.  To me that is ridiculous.  Once a year is enough for updates.  But in looking at the new features, I decided to go ahead and update.

I am taking Skip Allen’s class at DAA to learn how to use the new features.  We are having a blast in class.  You can check out Skip’s blog here.

Did You Really Say That

 

This is a painting that I started about two years ago.  It gave me nothing but grief.  I could see the eye in the main face just about in the center of the piece, but I could not get it to work.  I kept struggling with this piece, but nothing would work.  It just looked ugly.  I would go to other areas in the painting to work, and things just got worse.

Finally, I just gave up and put it away.  I have learned to never throw away or in my case of digital paintings, delete, a painting.  You just never know.

So about a month ago, I pulled this out.  Now this is where the joy of digital painting comes about.  I had the base of this painting.  I had started it in Rebelle, a watercolor app for the computer.  So, I was able to pretty much go back to that.  There were a couple of areas I wanted too preserve.  I kept those.  Then just like magic, the painting came together.

I haven’t had a painting go this easily ever!  It just flowed.  Which, given that it gave me such fits for so long, I guess I deserved this.

If you look around, you can find all kinds of other faces.  There’s a guy in the upper left spewing out all kinds of garbage.  We all know that kind of person, right?

I had a blast making this painting.  I hope you enjoy looking at it.

As I said, I started this painting in Rebelle, where I start pretty much all my paintings. Then I took it into Painter 2017 to finish it.  I used brushes I made.  I made the brushes from dynamic speckle types.  If you want more details about the brushes, or want the brushes, contact me.

Kalanchoe

img_6056

No, I didn’t just swear at you.  That is what this plant is called.  I’m guessing it’s a succulent.  But it may be a relative to the artichoke.  None of my followers on Instagram seem to know and I’m too lazy to look on the Internet.

I believe in always sharing how I process my photos.  I a, no great post processor, but I find it extremely helpful when people share how they get to the end of a journey.

I believe that the more I share, the more I will get back.  Like, what goes around,  comes around.  I have found that saying to be more than true in my time here on earth.

I also particularly love the phrase “give the person enough rope to hang themselves.”  That’s another one that I have always seen come true.  It takes awhile, but it happens.  Usually, they don’t need all that much rope.  What I have also observed, is that we don’t realize what’s going on inside that person that is making others so miserable.  I have learned they are miserable inside.  Like I don’t need to bother with revenge or getting back at them.  I could never think up a punishment worse than what they do to themselves.  Plus, if I were to bother with revenge, it would harm me.  It would take me into being negative.  It would poison me.  Why go there?  It’s not worth it.  It really isn’t.  It may seem so at the time.  You can almost taste it.  But I know now, it’s simply not.  But learn for yourself.  Waste your time if you want.   Most people have to learn the hard way.  I don’t know why that is, but they do.  I did.  I wish I had taken more advice.  I wish I had listened a bit more to my Dad.

Ok.  Back to sharing the post processing of the photo.  I can’t.  I found this inside Snapseed.  I hadn’t saved it!  I don’t have a clue what I did to it.  Other than to say it was in Snapseed.  I don’t use Snapseed that much for post processing anymore, so I think it was in there to crop it for Instagram.  But then why wasn’t it saved? I don’t know!  But I love this.  It’s not straight from the camera either.

I’m grateful I found it.  I think it’s one of my better photos.  I’ve been trying very hard to get this effect.  Very light lights and dark darks. I know people are using Stackables for this.  While this is close to what I’ve been trying to get, it’s not there yet.

So, I’m going to keep trying.

Introducing Blue!!!


I don’t use blue in my paintings. Not ever, not never!

Well, kiss those days goodbye. 

I have slowly been putting little dabs of blue in my abstracts. But now, in this painting, there is bright blue in large areas. 

I did this and the earth is still spinning around. I will note there was the election outcome that was pretty damn weird right after I painted this, however. 

Anyway, this was done on my iPad Pro in my favorite app, Procreate. 

Speaking of favorite apps, most of you know how very angry I have been at Corel, the makers of Painter. My former go-to painting app. 

Well, I just updated to the 2017 version of Painter during their Cyber Monday sale. Although my love affair with Painter will never be the same, I will say that in this version the mysterious brush lag I experienced in 2016 has 99% gone away. 

The app is running very smooth and feels like what one would expect from a top-tier painting app. 

But, Painter, how could you have treated me like you did for a whole year?  And no one at Corel gave a damn. They promised me I could be a beta tester, they told me they would help me. Then they just left me out in the cold with brush lag.  My little heart was broken. I never did or said anything mean to them. 

I’m slowly learning the new features in 2017. I’ll let you know what I think when I get them figured out. Mostly, they’re not really for abstract painters. 

For some reason, I’ve fallen in love with the particle brushes. Those were introduced a couple of years ago, I think. I didn’t like them at all. 

However, I’ve been using some fascinating particle brushes made by Skip Allen. That opened up my mind and got me exploring the particle brushes. 

Also, Jason Maranto has a very nice library of brushes at his blog spot blog. 

I’ve been playing with those and having a blast. 

Wandering


This is a watercolor I did in Painter.  I usually do most of my watercolors in an app called Rebelle.  Rebelle acts more like real watercolors.  But the watercolor brushes in Painter are varied and interesting.  This watercolor was done mostly with brushes from Skip Allen, an absolute master of watercolor brushes in Painter.  You can check out his blog here.  He has many great brushes you can download and use with Painter.  He also has tons of videos on how to use Painter.  

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