Spring Open Studio Starts Saturday at Digital Art Academy

Hey Friends,

Spring Open Studio starts Saturday at the Digital Art Academy.  The instructor is Corel Painter Master Elite, Karen Bonaker, and the topic is Contemporary Japanese Ink Paintings.  Registration closes Friday, March 27, 2015…so hurry and register before it is too late.  The course will include a custom brush category, paper textures, overlays and reference materials.  Karen provides video and PDFs, plus moderates and comments on all student work.

I’m excited about anything that talks about watercolor in painter and this class focuses on it.  Karen talks about flow maps, watercolors, selections, and demos tons of new brushes.  Check out the following work by Karen.  This is the type of work demonstrated in the class.

I love that the images also have a Sumi-e feel to them.

Finch on Bamboo, Karen Bonaker, Corel Painter 2015

Finch on Bamboo, Karen Bonaker, Corel Painter 2015

The textured backgrounds are wonderful.

Landscape with Growth Effect, Karen Bonaker, Corel Painter 2015

Landscape with Growth Effect, Karen Bonaker, Corel Painter 2015

Of course I love anything with flowers.

Orchids in a Pot, Karen Bonaker, Corel Painter 2015

Orchids in a Pot, Karen Bonaker, Corel Painter 2015


OK, I can’t stand it.  I had to do a practice one.  I used a new brush of mine and a texture overlay.  Loads of fun, but I can’t wait to learn Karen’s new techniques.

Practice Sumi-e Style, Skip Allen, Corel Painter 2015

Practice Sumi-e Style, Skip Allen, Corel Painter 2015

Don’t miss this class, Contemporary Japanese Ink Painting, at the Digital Art Academy.  Registration closes Friday…hurry and register.

See you there,


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.




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.



New Wacom Tablet Drivers are Available

Hey Gang,

There are new drivers available from Wacom.  It appears that I missed the ones posted on 10/15/13 for Macs.  There is a new set posted on 12/10/13 for Window Users.  The drivers are for Cintiq Companion Products, Cintiq Products, Intuos Pro, and Intuos.  There is a driver posted 12/19/13 for Bamboo Tablets.  Like I said, all the ones posted in December are for Windows users, the October posts are for Macs.

I did update to the latest driver because I was having a couple of issues and I am on an Intuos 5.  If you are not having issues, I’m not sure you would need to update your driver if you are on an older tablet.

Don’t forget to back up your preferences before you uninstall and install.



Corel Painter X3 SP1, New Flower Brushes…Loads of Fun

Hello Everyone,

I have made a new brush set called HOS 2013 Florals for Painter X3.  PLEASE NOTE: These brushes are for Painter X3 only; do not try to install in any other version of Painter.  I had planned to introduce the brushes to the blog first, but I was having so much fun with them, I decided to introduce them in the Holiday Open Studio class at the Digital Art Academy, which is why I named them, HOS 2013 Florals.  HOS stands for Holiday Open Studio.

Anyway, I am making them available here, too, plus I have added 10 videos showing how I use some of the brushes to create this painting.

Painting created in Painter X3 using watercolors, specifically my new set called HOS 2013 Florals

Painting created in Painter X3 using watercolors, specifically my new set called HOS 2013 Florals

I hope you enjoy the videos.  I tried to make them around 5 minutes long, but toward the end, I did get a bit verbose.  In the first video, I set up the paper layer and added a beautiful painting by Monet to the mixer pad, which allows me to use the color scheme of Monet’s painting.

I create a simple sketch in the second video.

Next, I create the background.  Here is video 3.

In video 4, I am using two new brushes, Basic Watercolor and Basic Watercolor 2

In video 5 I show the use of a layer mask.

I create another layer mask in video 6.  In both video 5 and 6 I use a new brush called Channel Painter.

In video 7 I use a new brush called Dark Edged Wash.  I brought back several older favorite brushes and added them to this category.  Thick and Thin 17 from Cool Springs is an example.

I use a layer command called Lift Canvas to Watercolor Layer in the eighth video.  This command is a must for working in watercolor in Painter.

Finally, I bet you are tired of waiting, I use Flower Maker and Flower Painter; the two flower brushes included in HOS 2013 Florals.  And, guess what?  You find out that it was the paper making the flowers all along.

The tenth video shows finishing touches.  I hope you enjoyed the series.

There are three downloads for this post; the brushes, the suminagashi papers, and a flow map library.  I didn’t use a flow map in this demonstration, but several of the brushes can use flow maps.  I would use the Paint Jam 2 Flow maps provided in a earlier post.


HOS 2013 Florals category

Suminagashi Papers

The suminagashi papers would not have been possible without David Gell’s wonderful Suminagashi 2 Brushes.  David has a new site devoted to Painter X3 called Jitter Brush – X3 and Beyond.  Thank you David for all that you do for the Painter Community.  I have learned more about brushes from you than anyone else.

OK friends, I think that about covers it for this post.  Enjoy and I hope each and every one of you have a Happy Holiday and a fabulous New Year.

New Wacom Drivers Released September 3, 2013…Go Get ‘em!

Hello Everyone,

I just found out that Wacom released new drivers on Sept 3, 2013.  For the link for downloads for folks in the Americas look below:

Wacom Tablet Drivers

I am a little confused by the drivers this time.  There are drivers for the Intuos Pro, and the Intuos.  I am away from home and have my Intuos 4 with me.  I know the driver for the Intuos is the correct driver for the Intuos 4.  I am uncertain if that is the driver for the Intuos 5.  I believe the driver for the Intuos 5 will be the same as the driver for the Intuos Pro, but I cannot test it until I return home.

Remember you should uninstall your previous Wacom tablet driver before installing the new one.  If you do not know how to do this, look on the blog banner above for Search.  Search for Intuos Drivers or installing Intuos drivers to find the post about uninstalling and installing Intuos drivers.



Corel Paint Jam Tomorrow – Come see Karen, Peggy and Me – It will be fun

Hello Everyone,

Tomorrow at 3:00 PM EDT Join Painter Masters Karen Bonaker, Peggy Gyulai, and yours truly…me, for this hands-on, three-part Jam series that covers everything you wanted to know about creating digital art from a traditional artist’s perspective.

Sign up for 1, 2 or all 3 live dynamic sessions that cover the entire artistic creation process—from starting with a blank canvas to creating your final artistic masterpiece.

  • Session 1: Sept. 11, 2013
  • Session 2: Sept. 18, 2013
  • Session 3: Sept. 25, 2013

Don’t have Painter X3? No problem. Download a FREE, 30-day trial version and join in the jam!

Download free trial

Jam Session 1:
Meet the artists

Get to know Skip, Karen and Peggy and find out what fuels their creative process. Each artist will take you on a colorful trip down memory lane as they show and tell how they became professional working artists. Plus, they’ll provide invaluable tips for tackling that blank canvas and avoiding artist’s block.

Date: Wed. Sept. 11, 2013
Time: 3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. EDT

Register Now

Jam Session 2:
Digital Paint Jam!

Watch as Skip, Karen and Peggy paint live. The session will rotate from one Master to another as they collaborate and inspire each other’s progress. Paint along with them and put their Painter knowledge and skills to the test!

Date: Wed. Sept. 18, 2013
Time: 3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. EDT

Register Now

Jam Session 3:
Grand finale

See the finishing touches applied to the Masters’ paintings and learn what challenges they came up against, what brushes they discovered and what lessons they learned that they’ll take with them for their next project. Plus, get some insight into what to do once your work is complete, with topics covering mixed media inspiration, social media and selling your newly created masterpiece!

Date: Wed. Sept. 25, 2013
Time: 3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. EDT

Register Now


Attend tomorrow and see how I changed from this:

OMGosh...that's circa 1980

OMGosh…that’s circa 1980

to this:

Good grief, what can I say.  HO HO HO I guess.

Good grief, what can I say. HO HO HO I guess.

Hope you can join us on the 11th, 18th, and 25th of September.