Stuff I’ve been doing lately…inky wash landscapes and other stuff


Hey Friends,

Normally I post information about stuff Corel Painter or Wacom Tablet related, as well as tutorials on how to do stuff.  Well, today, I thought you might be interested in seeing what leads up to a post about how to do stuff.  Confused?  Me too.

I am saying that before a post, I have to do a lot of paintings.  Some are successful and others not so successful; it is all part of the process.  During this preliminary painting, I am making brushes and tweaking the process.  If you have followed the blog, then you know I love Asian style paintings, especially Chinese brush work and Japanese Sumi-e.  I’ve never been trained in either, just read a few books, watched a lot of You Tube tutorials, and practiced myself.

I have to admit that I love the practice.  I find it relaxing.  But, I’m sure working digitally is vastly different in feeling from working traditionally.  And please, I don’t want to get into a discussion on the pros and cons of working traditionally versus digitally.  For me, they are two different media and really are not comparable.  Both are equally valid and creative.  I do find it interesting that I cannot find folks working in this style digitally.

Recently I discovered the work of Gao Xingjian, who according to Wikipedia “is a Chinese émigré novelist, playwright, and critic who in 2000 was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature “for an oeuvre of universal validity, bitter insights and linguistic ingenuity.”  I do not know anything about his writing; I discovered his traditional visual art.  Do take a look at Gao Xingjian on Artnet or google the images of Gao Xingjian.

I cannot describe his work, or at least, I cannot describe his work in a way that does it justice.  It is contemplative, and that is what I do when looking at his work.  I sit quietly with my thoughts and enjoy.

With the work of Gao Xingjian as my inspiration, I tried my hand at digital ink or watercolor washes.  The first image isn’t like his work at all; I was just trying out a few brushes and looking at the way the media flowed.  I was using some of my custom brushes.  I already knew how they behave when working in my normal manner, but now I am looking for a different look and feel from the same brushes.  I am not sure that makes sense.  In one case, I am looking at how the paint flows and blends together smoothly, but in another painting I am looking for the flow to crash into paint already applied and disrupt it, not blend with it.  The action is at first accidental, but with practice is controllable.

The first image isn’t complete…it is a simple sketch that was never meant to be seen, but I am going to show it.  I may regret this, but here goes.

Quick sketch testing brushes in Corel Painter 2015.  I called it the Stalk.

Quick sketch testing brushes in Corel Painter 2015. I called it the Stalk.

I liked the grainy quality of the variant and the way the paper affects its flow.  Stylistically, I was not showing much influence by Gao Xingjian.  I tried again, but I turned my paper horizontally.  I went wild.  I tried multiple brushes, I splashed, I scratched, I played, and I got this.

Abstract Horizontal Landscape, Corel Painter 2015

Abstract Horizontal Landscape, Corel Painter 2015

I loved areas of the image, but it disappointed overall.  It seemed scattered and too busy.  My next attempt was very different.  I changed my paper to one of my suminagashi papers that I used in the post Corel Painter X3 SP1, New Flower Brushes…Loads of Fun.  The landscape that unfolded surprised me, and I wish I had left it alone, but I didn’t.  I decided to add a tree and a bit of grass, which I do not think works.

Horizontal Landscape 2, Corel Painter 2015

Horizontal Landscape 2, Corel Painter 2015

Horizontal Landscape 3 started out nicely.  I liked the mountain landscape, which I made with 2 strokes, but alas…it seemed too simple and I had to add the bamboo, which did not help.  I added a signature chop and supposedly my name.  The chop I designed and for my name, I found a web site that would create the calligraphy.  At this point, I must tell you, that these paintings represent the paintings that I saved, there were many more deleted attempts.

Horizontal Landscape 3, Corel Painter 2015

Horizontal Landscape 3, Corel Painter 2015

In the next attempt, I did not add anything and left the first wash alone.  I allowed the paint to flow into different paper textures and I used wetter brushes to disrupt areas.  I thought Hanging Landscape represented my first success.

Hanging Landscape, Corel Painter 2015

Hanging Landscape, Corel Painter 2015

I took another look at Gao Xingjian’s work and compared it to mine.  That was a laugh.  I had none of the power, emotions, or strength showing in his work.  But, I had to let that go.  I just needed to plug along…after all, his work was my inspiration, I wasn’t trying to copy him.  I hoped I would develop something of my own from this exercise.  I decided to go back to the vertical format and work with the concept of a tree from the beginning.  I had added trees as an after thought instead of making them part of the original idea of the painting.  I did two quick attempts with trees as the original idea.

Tall Dark Tree, Corel Painter 2015

Tall Dark Tree, Corel Painter 2015

I liked the background of Tall Dark Tree, but the tree, itself, seemed too much.  I tried again, but I kept the tree small.

Tall Pine with Mountain Hint, Corel Painter 2015

Tall Pine with Mountain Hint, Corel Painter 2015

I wasn’t pleased with the overall composition of Tall Pine with Mountain Hint, but I was getting stoked by the watercolor effects.  I especially liked the area at the base of the trees that is running.  That is pretty cool and an amazing testament of the power of Painter’s watercolor.  I also loved the distant mountains.  I decided to go back to a horizontal format and play a bit with the watercolor functions and a cityscape emerged.

The City, Corel Painter 2015

The City, Corel Painter 2015

I do like the watercolor effects, but overall I thought this painting was a step backward.  Going backward isn’t always a bad thing.  I’m not sure what I was thinking, if anything, when I did the next piece, Landscape House. I wasn’t thinking about a house.  I liked the landscape, but the few lines indicating a house or structure were an afterthought.  I don’t know, but the afterthought seemed to work better this time.  Karen Bonaker had sent me some paper textures, and I place one on Landscape House.  I do like the way the paper looks.

Landscape House, Corel Painter 2015

Landscape House, Corel Painter 2015

For me, something seemed to click with this Landscape House.  But…then I had another step backward.  In the next image, I tried to repeat some of the bold brush work, but again, I added a lonely tree and bush, which didn’t work.  Will I ever learn?

Horizontal Landscape 4, Corel Painter 2015

Horizontal Landscape 4, Corel Painter 2015

OK…so I am thinking I need  simple, bold brush work and very little added details.  I actually liked the next attempt.

Mountain Trees, Corel Painter 2015

Mountain Trees, Corel Painter 2015

I am beginning to think I am heading in the right direction.  I had a lot of help getting there.  I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that I am taking Tim Shelbourne’s Winter School, which is fabulous BTW.  Anyway, I decided to post some of this work at the school, which was very hard for me to do.  I am always nervous to post…even here on my blog.  But, the students at the school were so encouraging and helpful.  They told me what they saw in the work and pushed me forward.  I started feeling more confident, which is always a plus.   Unfortunately, the next image seemed a little forced to me…not very spontaneous.

Mountain Trees 2, Corel Painter 2015

Mountain Trees 2, Corel Painter 2015

Mountain Trees 2 has some nice parts, but I think I was trying to hard with the main trees.  So next, I just splashed paint and didn’t try to make a landscape at all.  For fun, I threw in a splash of color.  I do not know why I like this image, but I do.  I intended to do more with it…but for some reason I just stopped…probably because I didn’t know what else to do with the image, which is always a good indicator that it is time to stop.

Abstract Landscape, Corel Painter 2015

Abstract Landscape, Corel Painter 2015

When I introduced color to Abstract Landscape, it was like a breath of fresh air.  I decided I needed a color break…and did a digital wet watercolor I call The Wet Arrangement.

The Wet Arrangement, Corel Painter 2015

The Wet Arrangement, Corel Painter 2015

It is definitely a riot of color and I do like the painting very much.  It is funny, but my favorite parts are the three places where the image leaves the picture frame.  The two flowers and leaf were fairly representational, but I thought they needed to be less so.  Using a very wet brush, just like adding water to a traditional watercolor painting, I brushed the flowers and leaf causing them to disperse.  I love watching that happen in Corel Painter 2015.

I think I needed the color break because the next two landscapes pleased me.  I saw a direction; I saw me influenced by Gao Xingjian, but remaining me.

The Lonely Hill, Corel Painter 2015

The Lonely Hill, Corel Painter 2015

The color break brought the touch of a warm color to The Lonely Hill.  I liked that very much.  I continued with the same concept in the next vertical piece.

Forest Peaks, Corel Painter 2015

Forest Peaks, Corel Painter 2015

The green might be a little much especially in the signature.  I still like this piece very much.  Yesterday, I went back to a more traditional style.  I do love working with quick brush strokes creating objects.

Tulips Maybe?, Corel Painter 2015

Tulips Maybe?, Corel Painter 2015

There you have it, dear Reader.  You know what I am doing.  I will continue working this way for a little while longer, and then I will produce some “how to” videos and provide some brushes, too.  I may even have a paper or two to share.

I hope you enjoyed the show,

Skip

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having Fun with New Corel Painter Essentials 5


Hello Friends,

Melissa Gallo and I were having a Go To Meeting, and we started playing with the new Corel Painter Essentials 5.  After playing for a while, we decided to record the rest of the session and share with you.

Corel Painter Essentials 5 is and upgrade to Corel’s popular Painter Essentials 4.  It is an extremely rich program for a small price.  Melissa and I barely touched the features included with Essentials 5.  I did a quick watercolor from scratch and a auto-painting with some extra brush work using oil type brushes.  I hardly touch oil brushes anymore, but Melissa made me…just kidding.  Do go to Corel Painter Essentials 5 web site and check out all the new stuff added to this version of Essentials.  The list includes NEW…particle brushes, mirror and kaleidoscope painting, user interface, navigator, brush tracking utility, 2 in 1 mobile painting interface, real-time effects preview, transformation tools, native 64 bit for Mac and PC, plus more.  And I didn’t even get to the enhanced features.  The best part, Corel Painter Essentials 5 is on sale for $39.99 until November 28th.  I think that is an amazing price.

During the recorded video I created two images, one from scratch and the other using Essentials Photo Painting features.  I wasn’t thinking when I finished the watercolor roses and I deleted the image without saving.  I was not interested in saving the image, but without it, I didn’t have anything to post on my blog. So…I made a similar image off camera for the blog.

Here is the recreated watercolor rose:

Watercolor Roses, Corel Painter Essential 5

Watercolor Roses, Corel Painter Essential 5, Skip Allen

Next we explored the photo-painting capabilities of Corel Painter Essentials 5.  It was fun.  Here is the image created during the meeting:

Butterfly and the Rose, Corel Painter Essentials 5, Skip Allen

Butterfly and the Rose, Corel Painter Essentials 5, Skip Allen

 

Video of meeting between Melissa Gallo and Skip Allen.  Skip paints two images…check it out.

OK folks, that’s it…two posts in one day.  Wow.

Enjoy,

Skip

 

Service Pack 1 Now Available for Painter 2015


Hello Everybody,

Corel Painter has just posted an update for Painter 2015.  Follow this link: Service Pack 1

Enjoy,

Skip

PS:

Following is from Corel and lists the items that have been addressed:

Corel Painter 2015 – Update 1 Readme

Painter 2015 Update 1 will update the initial release of Painter 2015 (14.0.0.728) to 14.1.0.1105. The following items have been addressed.

  • You can now click directly on a layer mask to select it (you no longer have to click the layer, and then click the layer mask.)
  • The Fill dialog box (Edit > Fill) now displays dynamically your clone source or the pattern that you have chosen.
  • Improved performance of Gravity Particle Brushes: the repeating pattern that is created when you use local chaos with Gravity Particle Brushes at small document sizes is now random and far less obvious.
  • Improved user experience when resizing brushes onscreen by pressing Command + Option (Mac OS) or Ctrl + Alt (Windows) and dragging, by using the Brush size (onscreen) command in a custom palette, and by using the Brush size (onscreen) tool in the toolbox in the Simple workspace layout. The Legacy-style onscreen brush sizing control has improved accuracy and more closely resembles the look and feel of the brush sizing control in earlier versions of Corel Painter.
  • The Canvas now appears in the Layers panel after you switch from the Simple workspace layout to the Default one by using the Welcome screen.
  • The values that you enter in the Canvas size dialog box are no longer truncated if they exceed three digits.
  • Painter no longer crashes when you double-click a Liquid Lens or Liquid Metal layer in the Layers panel to edit it.
  • Painter no longer crashes when you first increase the bristle density (Feature) and then increase the size of a Real Wet brush.
  • All relevant options on the Layers menu are now available after you create a new layer by copying a selection from the canvas and pasting it as a new layer.
  • After you create a new layer and press the space bar, the selected layer no longer changes from the one that you just created to the one below it in the Layers palette.
  • (Windows) After you apply or delete a layer mask, it no longer appears in the Layers panel.
  • After you select a color (Select > Color Select) and then create a new channel from color range, the color range is converted properly.
  • In the Color Correction dialog box, you can now drag the nodes of the color-correction curve to the top or bottom of the graph.
  • When you apply the Equalize effect to a selection that has been copied and pasted, the effect is applied to the whole selection.
  • When you load a custom nozzle file for 2-rank or 3-rank nozzles, you can change the settings in the Nozzle Definition dialog box.
  • Apply Surface Texture effect is now applied when clicking OK when Preview checkbox is unchecked.
  • Clone Source Image dialog is now appearing correctly after making a change to the source image.
  • In the Shape Attributes dialog box, you can change the fill or stroke color by choosing a color from the Color panel.
  • The Smart Blur effect now applies the last-used value when the dialog box is re-launched.
  • When you switch between workspaces, the Clone Color setting in the Color panel is maintained.
  • The Glass Distortion effect can be applied to an alpha channel.
  • When you use the Apply Surface Texture effect, the settings are maintained for subsequent images.
  • The Corel Painter Multi-touch setting in the Tablet preferences now works as expected with Cintiq 24HD touch and Intuos touch tablets.
  • When you create custom wide icons for items on a custom palette and then re-launch the application, the icons no longer revert from wide to small.
  • The Delete Layer button on the Layers panel is now disabled when the layer is locked.
  • When you paint within a selection, then delete the selection and undo the brushstroke, and then create a smaller selection in the same area of the canvas, the new selection no longer appears distorted, and brushstrokes remain within the boundary of the new selection, rather than the old one.
  • Polygonal selections behave as expected when part of the selection is outside the canvas.
  • Zooming using the Magnifier tool now works as expected.
  • When placing an image with the Retain Alpha check box enabled in the Place dialog box, the entire placed image is now displayed.
  • The default setting in the Using list box in the Adjust Color dialog box is now Uniform Color.
  • When applying the Soften effect to a selected layer, the effect no longer increases the dimensions of the layer.
  • When applying the Depth of Field effect to a selected layer, the effect no longer increases the dimensions of the layer.
  • When applying the Motion Blur effect to a selected layer, the effect no longer increases the dimensions of the layer.
  • Adjustments you make in the Color Correction dialog box are now also applied to channels.
  • Indicators for cloning-sample and cloning-destination reference points now display a expected.
  • Using the Soften effect on a rectangular selection on the canvas now works as expected.
  • The settings in the Nozzle Definition dialog box now work as expected.
  • Clicking Cancel in the Glass Distortion dialog box now works as expected.
  • Cropping an image now works as expected.
  • The selected channel in the Color Correction dialog box is now clearly identifiable.
  • When using the Polygonal Selection tool, pressing Command + Z to Command + D (Mac OS), or Ctrl + Z or Ctrl + D (Windows) now closes open selections.
  • Changes you make in the Equalize dialog box are now applied to the entire image.
  • You can choose a color from the Color panel when the Surface Lighting dialog box is open.
  • The color chip in the Dye Concentration dialog box is updated when you choose a new color in the Color panel.
  • Changing the color in the Shape Attributes dialog box no longer changes the current color.
  • Painter no longer crashes when you adjust the Softness slider in the Apply Surface Texture dialog box.
  • Choosing a new color in the Apply Lighting dialog box now changes the primary color on the Color Wheel. In addition, you can choose a color from the Color Wheel when the Apply Lighting dialog box is open.

Mac OS Specific

  • Clicking the green button in the upper-left corner of the image window resizes the window frame to fit around the image, instead of expanding the frame to the whole screen.
  • The position of the canvas no longer shifts when you use the Grabber tool to drag the image into a corner.
  • Loss of stylus pressure no longer occurs when you use the same pressure-sensitive brush variant after re-launching the application.
  • Sliders in the advanced brush controls panels no longer appear flattened.
  • You can now paint on the image after moving the canvas to the secondary display on dual-monitor systems when the primary and secondary displays are offset.
  • Display color values are now consistent between Painter 2015, Painter X3 and Photoshop.
  • A tone shift in your colors will no longer happen when panning.
  • When you enable the Smart Stroke Painting and the Smart Settings check boxes on the Auto-Painting panel and click the Play button, the auto-painting stops as expected.
  • Canceling a color deletion from the default Painter color set now works as expected.
  • The Welcome Screen no longer appears when starting the application by double-clicking a RIF file.
  • The Brush Tracking dialog box now appears in the center of the screen.

Windows Specific

  • The Glass Distortion effect is no longer applied to the image when the Preview check box is disabled.
  • When you type text, pressing Shift or Alt no longer results in unrecognized characters.
  • Pressing Ctrl + Alt + 1 twice closes the temporal colors palette.
  • In the Edit Gradient dialog box, you can click the Color Hue options (the square box above the color ramp bar) to change the hue of the blend.
  • Selecting the content of a layer and then widening or contracting the selection more than once (Select > Modify) no longer results in an error message.
  • When you apply a gradient fill to a layer, the fill is now centered on the layer and does not fall outside the canvas area.
  • When you create a new color set after deleting all colors from another color set, the application no longer crashes.
  • Creating a custom brush category and a Brush Controls custom palette will no longer cause the workspace to crash.
  • Grouped layers are no longer collapsed into a single layer when the canvas is flipped horizontally.
  • When you set a low Spacing value in the Liquid Lens dialog box and then drag on the canvas, the application no longer freezes.
  • When saving an image as a JPEG, the quality settings are retained when the file is opened.
  • The Image Warp effect works as expected on all layers and can be undone.
  • The settings in the Resize dialog box now work as expected.
  • Clicking Reset in the Surface Lighting dialog box restores all controls to factory default settings.
  • Opening the Apply Surface Texture, Woodcut, or Bevel World dialog boxes no longer changes the current color.
Application Initial Release Update 1
Painter 2015 14.0.0.728 14.1.0.1105

A Milestone, My 70th Birthday is Sunday, November 16th.


Hey Friends,

Normally, I wouldn’t be writing about something personal, but heck, my 70th birthday…drum roll please…is tomorrow.  I can remember as a kid, I thought 40 was ancient and gosh, nobody hardly made it to 70.  And here I am; it happened so fast.

As you know, I am teaching at DAA in the Holiday Open Studio class; well, I just finished my week.  I taught calligraphy in Corel Painter.  Since it is my 70th…drum roll please, and I am practicing calligraphy, I thought I would make a birthday greeting for myself.  Sounds sad doesn’t it…poor baby has to make his own card.

The first thing I did was compose the verse.  I enjoyed that.  I’m not a writer and I struggled with the last line, but I like the sentiment.  I don’t view 70 as the end but continuing the journey.  There is always a new block to explore.

Photography is my next exploration.  OK, I have taken photographs for a while, bought a number of camera and lenses, but never really learned to take pictures other than point and shoot.  I am going to spend some time with my camera and learn a few things.  I bought a new camera that is way too fancy, so I have a lot to learn.  I know you want to know what I bought…it is a Nikon D810…and I think it is pretty slick.

But, I digress.  I was telling you about my birthday greeting that I made for myself.  Elaina is teaching the second week of Holiday Open Studio.  Her class is about making a blackboard card for the Holidays.  I figured a black card would be perfect for my 70th…drum roll please.  So I started making my black image.  I created a nifty brush to do the calligraphy and I was ready to start.  The blackboard idea had lots of texture in it, and that made my letters look funny.  So I abandoned the blackboard, but kept the image black.

Keeping it black and slick is a mistake.  It now looks like the text screen at a silent movie.  Oh right, you guys don’t remember those.  Well, take my word for it.

This is a long lead to this silly image.  I hope you like it.

My birthday greeting to myself:

Birthday Greeting to myself, done in Corel Painter 2015, using one of my custom brushes.

Birthday Greeting to myself, done in Corel Painter 2015, using one of my custom brushes.

Happy Thanksgiving to the Americans…

Enjoy,

Skip

 

Still Time To Register for Holiday Open Studio 2014


Hello Everyone,

OK…this is your last chance.  Registration for Holiday Open Studio 2014 at the Digital Art Academy is open until Saturday, November 15.  After that it is too late.  The class started this week and I am the first instructor.  During my week, we learn about making calligraphy in Painter 2015 or Painter X3.  I provide some special calligraphy brushes for Painter 2015 and Painter X3.  Over the last couple of days, I have made 4 more variants to add to the set.  The following video is a shameless promotional video for the class, but you do see me practicing calligraphy in Painter 2015.

Four more weeks follow my week.  The instructors are Elaina Moore-Kelly, Aaron Rutten, and Karen Bonaker.  For more information and to register go to Holiday Open Studio or the Digital Art Academy.  You don’t want to miss out.  Last chance for Holiday fun. :)

Enjoy,

Skip

New Wacom Drivers Posted November 6, 2014…Go get them.


Hey Gang,

Believe it or not, for the first time my Wacom Desktop Center notified me of a new driver.  This time, instead of downloading the driver from the Wacom site, I let the Wacom Desktop Center download and install the new driver.  A follower mentioned that he used the Wacom Desktop Center last time and it worked fine.  I haven’t used it before because it never notified me of a new driver…so, I figured that something was amiss.

But, apparently nothing is amiss.  I just followed the prompts and my Wacom Desktop Center downloaded and installed the new driver.  It worked like a charm.  And, my tablet settings were still in place.  I didn’t need to back up and restore my settings.  I’m very excited about this.  It means I do not have to keep checking for updates.  Yippee!  Great job Wacom.

In case your Wacom Desktop Center didn’t do the job, go to Wacom Drivers and download the latest drive for your tablet.

Enjoy,

Skip

Holiday Open Studio Starts November 8, 2014; Register Today


Hey Everyone,

It is that time of year again.  Holiday Open Studio, a tradition at Digital Art Academy, starts day after tomorrow, Saturday, November 8, 2014.  As usual, it will be a fun packed few weeks.  Do join us and click the link above and register for this session.

A beautiful image created by Corel Master Painter, Karen Bonaker.

A beautiful image created by Corel Master Painter, Karen Bonaker.

 

This year, I start the party with lessons on calligraphy.  OK, I’m not a calligrapher or a scribe, but I created some cool brushes and show you the basics of calligraphy.  I teach a type style called Foundational Hand, which Edward Johnson developed from a 10th century manuscript.  Want to see a quick video of me starting the alphabet with Foundational Hand.  Well, it is below, but fair warning…it is really a shameless advertisement for the class…but you do see me making part of the alphabet.

Elaina Moore-Kelly reserved the second week for an old-fashioned nostalgic look at Christmas.  She explains how to create a Christmas card that looks like a chalkboard card.  It is very cool and  this type of image is very trendy in craft circles this year.  Elaina provides written and video lessons.

Elaina Moore-Kelly's Chalkboard Christmas

Elaina Moore-Kelly’s Chalkboard Christmas

Next up is Aaron Rutten with something fascinating.  Aaron demonstrates how to paint totem art in a traditional Native American style.  Totemic art is found in cultures all around the world, which allows the student to draw inspiration from a variety of places.  Aaron encourages each student to choose their own totem animal or symbol, and paint it abstracted instead of in a realistic way.

Totem Art by Aaron Rutten

Totem Art by Aaron Rutten

Corel Master Painter Karen Bonaker takes the lead for the two final weeks.  She developed a wonderful technique to create digital Japanese woodcuts.  I have seen some of her images and they are stunning.  She is very excited about the process and I can tell it will be a lot of fun.

What color is snow?  Karen tells us in her second week.  I can’t wait to find out.  I thought snow was white.  Didn’t you?  Karen paints snow scenes in a glorious rainbow of colors; after the class, we can too.

Winter Road - Digital Woodcut by Corel Master Painter Karen Bonaker

Winter Road – Digital Woodcut by Corel Master Painter Karen Bonaker

OK…that’s the skinny.  Check out Holiday Open Studio at the Digital Art Academy.  Register today and join us for this years seasonal fun.

Enjoy,

Skip