Category: digital art academy

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.

I’m Giving Up

Out In A Flash

Out In A Flash

I have faithfully posted every painting I have done since I started my blog.  Then my husband retired.  I always did anything blog related during lunch.  Well, now I eat lunch with my husband.  I can’t fit blogging into my life.  But I loved to blog.  I loved the few blog buddies I made.  They were great friends.  I had some loyal followers.  I chatted back and forth with a few people.

I miss blogging,

But I just can’t fit it in like I used to.  I don’t want to take my site down, but I probably should.  I put up a post and get three likes at the most.

I keep hoping it will work out somehow.

Blogging saved me,  I was stuck in bed for over 18 years with Lyme disease.  I’ve finally gotten better.  That’s also probably why I can’t fit in blogging.  I actually have a life now.  Not a real big one, but it keeps getting bigger.

Anyway, I’m going to start by not posting every painting I paint.  First, some aren’t that good.  Second, I just can’t keep up.  Third, I’m posting them all over at Instagram,  if anyone has s burning urge to see all my art, go there.  Then you can also see my photography.

Yes, I’m doing photography now.  I even have a macro lens for my iPhone.  I bought an Olloclip macro,  it is totally awesome.

The painting is called Out In A Flash.  I painted it with some awesome brushes made by Skip Allen.  You can check out his super blog at http://skipallenpaints.com.

Maui Flowers

Maui Flowers

Maui Flowers

Lately, all my paintings have been influenced by my trips to Maui.  There is just so much color there.  The flowers are so bright and beautiful.  The water is a gorgeous blue and the dirt is a glorious red color.

The island is made from a volcano.  That makes the scenery unique and very different from what I see at home in Seattle.

My husband and I are getting ready to leave for two months in Maui in October and November of this year.  I am very excited about this trip.

For years we dreamed of being able to be retired and spend two to three months in Maui.  Now, our dreams are coming true.  I have to say that staying positive in thought and consciously claiming what I wanted in life have worked for me.  I stayed an active participant in my life as I went along.

Of course, becoming ill was not in my plans.  But, by staying positive and focused, I have been able to adapt to a chronic illness and still live my dreams.

This piece of art was done on the computer, using Painter 2015.  I started this painting by splattering drops of watercolors on the canvas.  I put down three layers of colors, red, blue and yellow.  Then, I sat and looked at the drops and suddenly saw the flowers.  I pulled them out with one of my watercolor brushes.  It was a fun exercise that I did in a class on Japanese Inks.  You can read more about that class here.

Have a great rest of the summer.

Summer Poppies

Summer Poppies

Summer Poppies

This is something a little different for me, a landscape, done in watercolors.

I particularly like the sky in this piece. I used water colors layers with bright colors to make the sky.

I used Karen Bonaker’s Real Watercolors 2 to paint this piece.  They are not up at her blog, but contact me if you want me to mail them to you.  Karen founded the DAA, the Digital Art Academy, an art school using Painter to work with in the classes.  There are classes in everything you can imagine.

If you want to see this painting larger and against a black background, click watercolor, then click on the painting.

 

 

 

 

Spring Cherries

 

Spring Cherry

Spring Cherry

This is a painting I did in the Japanese Inks class I recently took at the DAA.  This is an on-line school that teaches art using Painter by Corel.

The class was a study of the philosophy of Eastern Art.  In Eastern Art, the idea is that through a simple stroke, you tell a tale.  One is to use minimal strokes in the painting.

I took this class because simplicity is an area that I have tried to focus on in my art.

It is so easy to overwork a piece.  I know this is something I share with many other artists.  It seems like I always want to add a bit here, a bit there, and the next thing I know, the piece is overworked.

What I am learning is that if a brushstroke looks good, leave it.  Don’t start putting the same brush stroke all over the painting.  That ruins the “specialness” of the one stroke.

In this piece, I did the tree trunks and branches with a particle brush.  Particle brushes are made using math and physics.  They are new to Painter.  I had not liked most of them, as they are very hard to control. However, Karen Bonaker, the owner of the DAA, made us a spectacular particle brush to work with in this class.  It literally danced across the page.

Then for the flowers, I used another brush Karen had made for us.  Just one stroke with it, and I get all kinds of blossoms.

Karen had us put the trunks and branches on a different layer than the blossoms.  Then she had us go back after adding the blossoms and erase some of the branches in the trees.  I found that breaking up the branches like that worked really well in giving the painting depth.

I have mixed feelings about using brushes that other people make that then lay down that person’s strokes.  I feel that every stroke in my painting should be my own.  I usually stay away from brushes that make strokes that look like something.  But I think I’m maybe becoming a little more open to them.  Karen makes such beautiful brushes, they’re hard to resist.

To finish this piece, I added a couple of textures to give it a background.  I used the multiply composite method on the layer the textures were on to make them transparent.  Then, on one of the textures, I added a mask to the layer and using a brush with dark gray paint, went in and muted some of the texture.

When you add a mask to a layer, you then use black to get rid of something on the layer or white to bring it back.  When you use gray, it leaves something in between.

I am hoping this class has led me to start making fewer strokes in my abstracts.  I need to get busy with some new ones and find out.

 

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