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. :)



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.



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.




New Wacom Drivers Released for Windows and OS X Yesterday

Hey Gang,

New drivers are available at Wacom Support.  I have just installed them, but it is too early to tell what it changed.  In my case, I have been having a strange issue with my Cursor disappearing with the 24″ HD Touch Cintiq.  Wacom support told me that this driver should fix the issue.  I certainly hope so; it has been annoying to say the least…but even so, I still love the Cintiq.

Since I have been in touch with Wacom support, I have had many emails describing how to install a new driver.  The recommendation is to uninstall the present driver and install the new one.  However, do not forget to open you Wacom Tablet Utilities and back up your current settings, so you will be able to restore them when your new driver is installed.  Otherwise you will lose all of your settings.

OK…here are the directions for installing a new driver for a PC sent to me by Wacom Support.  I’m pretty sure you would do the same thing for a Mac, but I don’t know where or how you delete the driver…sorry gang…I don’t have a Mac:

For our products, only one driver can be installed at a time, so I will include driver directions to follow for a clean install, and use Internet Explorer or Firefox, not Google Chrome, as a web browser:

Disconnect the tablet from the computer

Open your Start Menu and then the Control Panel

Open Programs and Features

Uninstall any listing here for Tablet or Wacom Tablet and then restart the computer

After restarting, temporarily disable any antivirus software, download and install only the latest driver from:

Once the installation is complete, and the system is stable, connect the tablet

As always, make sure your tablet is connected directly to your computer.
Avoid using USB hubs, keyboard/monitor ports, or docking stations with the tablets during the installation phase, as they can cause inconsistent behavior.

OK, that is what I was told and that is the way I uninstall an old driver and install a new one.




If anyone has the directions for a Mac, please post them in the comments for others.


Corel Painter 2015 Brush Class by Jason Maranto Started Saturday.

Hello Everyone,

Jason Maranto is now teaching at the Digital Art Academy.  His first class is Painter 2015 Brush Engine Essentials, which Jason follows with Painter 2015 Brush Engine Extended.  Trust me on this…you do not want to miss his classes.  I think Jason is one of the best teachers around and the way he explains how to make brushes in Painter is extraordinary and very easy to understand.  He has a simple no-nonsense approach to brushes.  This is what he says about his class:

Mark-making is at the heart of what it means to draw and paint. Corel Painter is a an incredibly powerful mark-making tool. However, due to the huge range of mark-making potential Painter offers, the brush engine can seem intimidating and arcane to even very experienced Painter users.

This “Essentials” course is designed to teach the most essential parts of the Painter 2015 brush engine. The information is structured to help the student quickly and efficiently maximize their brush creation and customization skills with the most common types of dabs, media and controls.

Each week (starting October 12th), that weeks group of videos will be posted. Please watch the videos, and if you have any questions about what was taught that week, ask in the designated forum.

Registration is still open for Jason’s class.  You can register during the first week; registration closes Saturday Oct 18th.

Jason recommends watching his Corel Painter 2015 Video Manual on his You Tube Channel.  I highly recommend this series of videos, too, and suggest that everyone subscribe to Jason’s You Tube Channel.  You will be glad that you did.

Again, this is the best brush class around.  Don’t miss it.

Here is an example of Jason’s Spring Flame Glow Brush.

Jason Maranto's Spring Flame Glow Brush

Jason Maranto’s Spring Flame Glow Brush

And here are some marks made with his Flow Flare Brush.

Jason Maranto's Flow Flare Brush

Jason Maranto’s Flow Flare Brush




How I Set Up My Wacom 24″ HD Touch Cintiq for Corel Painter 2015

Hello Everyone,

I am now the proud owner of a Wacom 24″ HD Touch Cintiq.  I have to admit I really love it, and I am having so much fun with it.  Previously, I have owned an Intuos 3, 4, and 5 touch, and I have loved them all, but this is the first time I have spent a great deal of time and put a lot of thought into setting up the Wacom Tablet Properties.  I hope the effort I made will prove useful to you.  I have 9 videos showing each step and explaining the reasons behind my decisions.  And then I have a quick 10th video making an image using my settings.  I show you how to use the Corel Painter Customize Keys functions to add shortcut keys to Painter commands that do not have them.  And, I offer an HTML document with the shortcuts that I created, which I hope you will use when setting up your tablet.

In the last video I said I would do a quick painting using my settings for my Cintiq, but I ran out of time.  I had to go to Mississippi to help my sister transition from rehab back to her home.  I promise to do a video as soon as I can after I get back.  But for now…here are the “how to” videos.

Video 1 – An Introduction…I talk a bit about what I will be covering in all the video tutorials.

Well, that was a mess…I just hit the publish button by accident and released an incomplete post on the unsuspecting public.  My apologies…I’ll try to finish the post before I publish again.

Moving right along…the second video isn’t about setting up the Cintiq…nope…it is about an enhanced feature in Corel Painter 2015 called Arrange Palettes.  This feature has a simple arranged palette that is new to 2015 and it is fabulous.  So, to understand why I have used the setting that I use, you need to understand Arranged Palettes.  Check out Video 2:

Video 3: I continue with Arrange Palettes, but this time I have created my own using the Simple Palette provided.  I explain how you can switch between two different arrange palettes, which is very sweet.  I promise, after this video we will actually start setting up the Wacom.

You know, I just realized that I didn’t make a pretty picture to show on these videos to make them look more interesting in the blog.  I forget about that sort of stuff…oh well…the meat and potatoes are still here.

Video 4: I set up my Wacom Art Pen and Grip Pen for use in Corel 2015.  It doesn’t matter what Wacom device you have, these settings should work for your.

Did I mention that there are nine videos…way too many, right?  Well, the videos are very detailed.  Fast forward through the videos you don’t find interesting…or not.

Video 5: I configure the Express Keys.  It is probably now that I should mention that my settings may not be the best ones for you.  Each person should set up their Wacom tablet to work with their workflow.  I do tell you why I use the settings that I use…hopefully that will be of interest to you.

Video 6: I talk about the Touch Ring and I think I found some cool ways to use the Touch Ring.  But you know, it doesn’t matter how cool they are if I don’t actually use them.  One of the most important aspects of setting up your Wacom device is to practice using it…make it a part of your painting experience.  I’m practicing a lot with mine…and frequently changing settings to find a more efficient way to use the Cintiq.

At the end of Video 6, I realized that I was using a shortcut key that I had created using Painter’s Customize Keys function.  You must have a shortcut key to program a command for your Wacom tablet or Cintiq, so now I need to show you how to do that in Painter.  BTW, Photoshop has a similar function.

Video 7: Learn the power of Corel Painter’s Customize Keys.  At the end of this post, I will provide a list of all the shortcut keys that I am using.

Video 8: In this video I talk about Display Toggle.  This Wacom function allows you to use multiple displays.  If you only have one monitor, then you can skip this video.

And finally, I saved the best for last.

Video 9: I cover the Radial Menu in this video.  For my money, the Radial Menu is the most powerful function available for Wacom tablets and Cintiqs.  The Radial Menu makes it possible to program a huge number of commands and have them at your fingertips.  It is very cool and very useful, but most folks do not use it much.  To create a useful Radial menu, you must give it a bit of thought and time.  Program it in a way that will work for you.  I love using the Radial Menu.  Check out the video.

Okay, as promised, here is an html file that lists the Shortcut keys that I used to set up my Cintiq.  You can use the list to program Painter’s Customize Keys and set up your own Wacom Device.

Skip’s Shortcut Keys

I have mixed emotions about posting my Wacom backup settings.  I have no experience with giving these to anyone.  If you have a Wacom 24″ HD Touch Cintiq and are using Windows 7, the file might work for you.  I do not believe it will work for anyone using a Mac, nor do I think it will work with any other Wacom device.  But, if you are foolhardy enough to try it, be sure to back up your current Wacom settings before doing anything.

Skip’s Cintiq Settings

Well, that wraps up this blog post.  I hope you find it useful.




Wacom Just Released the Newest Drivers for the Mac, Almost a Month Behind the PC Release

Hello Everyone,

I just noticed that Wacom has posted new Drivers for the Mac.  If you are on a Mac and using Painter 2015, then you will definitely want to install the latest drivers.

Have fun and enjoy,