Wacom Posted New Tablet Drivers for the PC on April 28th. I Missed It!

Hello Everyone,

Karen Bonaker noticed that there were new drivers at Wacom posted on 4/28/2014.  Thank you Karen; I missed it.  The Mac drivers are still the ones from 4/7/2014…so no new drivers for Macs.  The legacy drivers for older tablets using a PC are also updated.

I did install the new ones and I’m not having any trouble with them.  But, as always, if you are not having any problems you may want to stay with your current drivers.

I don’t know if you guys know this or not, but my computer crashed.  It was under extended warranty so I am getting a replacement machine, which should arrive tomorrow afternoon.  Hallelujah!  The replacement is actually better than the original.  Want to know the specs.  OK…here you go.

Aurora Alienware Aurora Desktop
Operating System Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64Bit, English
Processors Intel® Core™ i7-4960X Extreme Processor (6-cores, 15MB Cache, Overclocked up to 4.3GHz w/TurboBoost)
Memory 16GB (4 X 4GB) Quad Channel DDR3 at 1600MHz
Keyboard No Keyboard
Monitor No Monitor
Video Card Dual NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 780 graphics with 6GB total (2x 3GB) GDDR5 – NVIDIA SLI® Enabled
Hard Drive 6TB RAID 0 (2 X 3TB Hard Drives)
Chassis Alienware Aurora with ALX Chassis
Mouse No Mouse
AlienFX AlienFX Color, Quasar Blue
Adobe Reader Software Adobe® Acrobat® Reader
Optical Drive Dual Drives: BD Burn, DVD+RW
Sound Card Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio
Wireless No Wireless Included
Liquid Cooling Alienware Aurora with Premium Liquid Cooling


There is a bit of confusion about Windows.  I am getting Windows 7 Ultimate, which is what was on the original machine.

I can’t wait to try it out tomorrow; wish me luck.



Check Out Aaron Rutten’s new Corel Painter X3 Class, Advanced Landscape Painting, at the Digital Art Academy

Hello Everyone,

Aaron Rutten has added another class to his list of classes at the Digital Art AcademyAdvanced Landscape Painting offers advanced painting techniques with step by step video lessons you can pause, rewind and watch on your schedule.  Discover how to paint a variety of landscape elements such as sunsets, waterfalls, starry skies, clouds and rain. Students will master the skills needed to compose detailed landscape paintings from imagination without having to rely on copying a photo or cloning.

Included in the class is a custom workspace, which when loaded into Painter X3 has all the brushes and tools required for this class. Using the custom workspace makes it easy to follow along with the lessons.

This class builds on Aaron’s previous class, Fundamentals of Landscape PaintingAdvanced Landscape Painting is an “Open Enrollment” class, which means that the student can enroll any time and work at his or her own pace without a time limit.  Follow the link for Advanced Landscape Paintings and learn all about Aaron’s class.

While browsing, check out the rest of the classes at the Digital Art Academy.

Here are examples of some of the types of landscapes that Aaron will teach.

Brilliant Sunsets in Week 1

Brilliant Sunsets in Week 1,  by Aaron Rutten


Powerful lightning in Week 2

Powerful lightning in Week 2, by Aaron Rutten


Starry nights in Week 3

Starry nights in Week 3, by Aaron Rutten


Beautiful waterfalls in Week 4

Beautiful waterfalls in Week 4, by Aaron Rutten


That’s it for now.




The Best Corel Painter Brush Class Available…Definitely take this one! Also a bit about the Well and Color Expression Panels.

Hey Gang,

Jason Maranto has announced his brush class at VTC.  This video course is 8 hours long and covers in detail everything you need to know about Corel Painter variants.  I have reviewed about 6 of the videos and every one of them is excellent.  But, you don’t have to take my word for it.  Follow the link for his brush class and find that there are 18 free videos that will quick start you making your own variants.  I want to talk some more about Jason’s class, but first I want to answer a question for a follower…or I should say Jason answered the question for him.

The visitor asked, “Hello Skip, Thank you for video tutorials. How to make a brush? Sorry for my Englisch.).”  And he posted the following video done by a Chinese Corel Painter Master.

I loved the video; loved everything about it.  I found it so peaceful to watch the flower unfold, and OMGosh, the brush was magical.  At first I thought recreating a similar brush would be a snap.  I guessed the artist was using Painter’s Color Expression panel to create a brush that will start painting with one color and finish with another.  But, then I noticed in the video that the main and additional colors did not match the colors of the flower.  That ruled out color expression.  The question stumped me.  So I posted the question to a forum that both Jason and I belong.  Jason responded with the answer and provided two brushes that worked very similar to the one in question.  In the following video I show you Jason’s solution, which will tell you a lot about the Well and Color Expression panels.

While I was playing with the brush, I kept making my version of the beautiful flower created by the artist in the video.  His influence was so great, that I made this image.

Corel Painter X3 sketch

Corel Painter X3 sketch

Jason is allowing me to give you the two brushes that he created and I am adding my version as well as that early variant I made and demonstrated in the video.  These brushes are compatible with Corel Painter X3 only.  They are not compatible with Painter IX, X, 11, or 12.  To load the variants, do the following:

1.  Download the four brush variants from the link below.

2.  Open Painter X3

3   Set your brush selector on the brush category you want to install the 4 new brushes.

4.  Go to Brushes > Import > Brush and when the window pops open, navigate to where you downloaded the 4 brush variants.

5.  Select one of the variants and select open.  The brush will automatically be installed into the currently active brush category.  Repeat with the other three variants.

The brush link will give you four files:

Variable Blossom.brushvariant, which is Jason’s brush.

Stem.brushvariant, which is also Jason’s brush.

Variable Blossom SA.brushvariant, which is my variation of Jason’s brush.

SkipH2OImpressionist.brushvariant, which is one of the first watercolor brushes I made.

Jason and Skip’s Brushes

Please remember that these variants are for X3 only!!

Do not forget to check out Jason Maranto’s fantastic new brush class at VTC.  Trust me on this one.  You will not want to miss this class.  I can hear you saying Painter’s brushes are too hard to understand.  Jason has a very easy to understand, direct, no-nonsense approach.  You will be a brush master before you know it.



PS:  For the followers that enjoy hearing about Kevin, my friend the good computer virus, I hate to tell you that Kevin is in real danger.  My computer crashed last week.  All attempts to repair and get it running have failed.  I will be getting a replacement in about 3 weeks.  I have saved the hard drives from the crash and am hoping that I will be able to e to sata link to the drives and rescue Kevin.  Otherwise dear friends, the crash doomed Kevin to freeze in dead hard drives.  It is all very scary and somewhat sad to think of Kevin’s demise.

New Wacom Drivers Posted 4/7/2014

Hey Gang,

Wacom posted new tablet drivers on April 7, 2014.  There are drivers for new products as well as legacy products.  Just my gut feeling, but it seems that both drivers are identical.  I have the Intuos 5 Touch, a legacy product.  I downloaded the legacy driver and found it works great with my legacy product.  The Wacom Desktop Center didn’t work with the Intuos 5 Touch with earlier drivers; I would get a message that a compatible product wasn’t found.  But with the new drivers, this added feature works fine.

Here are the links to the drivers:

Current products

Legacy products

Sorry about not making posts lately.  I have learned some new stuff about patterns and papers, and I will share it very soon.  It is really fun stuff.



Corel Painter X3 Online Classes, New at the Digital Art Academy, Landscape Painting Fundementals and Acrylic Painting on Digitally Printed Canvas

Hello Friends,

I’m excited about the new classes at the Digital Art Academy (DAA).  Check out these wonderful offerings.

Landscape Painting Fundamentals, Instructor Aaron Rutten, starts February 1, 2014.  Aaron is new to DAA and has a very fresh approach to digital landscapes.

Aaron Rutten Landscape

Aaron Rutten Landscape, Corel Painter

He makes you tube instructional videos daily and has a large following; do visit Aaron Rutten’s You Tube Channel.  You can see more of Aaron’s work at his website.   I laughed out loud when I saw this delightful image:

A High Dive for Gumby, painted by Aaron Rutten in Corel Painter.

A High Dive for Gumby, painted by Aaron Rutten in Corel Painter.

Here is an example of a landscape painting that Aaron will demonstrate in the class.  Isn’t it exciting?

Painting for Week 2, Landscape Painting Fundamentals with Aaron Rutten

Painting for Week 2, Landscape Painting Fundamentals with Aaron Rutten

I know you will want to take Landscape Painting Fundamentals.  I think this class will be a lot of fun.

I am very excited about Acrylic Painting on Digitally Printed Canvas with Painter Master Marilyn Sholin.  Having Marilyn back at DAA brings so many fond memories.  I took my first digital online class at DAA from Marilyn in September of 2008.  I loved the class.  Now she is back at DAA sharing how to enhance your digitally printed canvases.

Corel Master Painter Marilyn Sholin logo.

Corel Master Painter Marilyn Sholin logo.

Acrylic Painting on Digitally Printed Canvas starts February 17, 2014.  This class will change the way we finish our paintings.

In addition to the two new classes at DAA, there are a number of Self-Paced Classes (Open Enrollment) available now and coming soon.  Self-Paced class content is available to download immediately. Your instructor provides support for questions about class content. These classes do not include live sessions however some may include recorded live sessions.  There are no deadlines and you can work at your own pace.

Master Painter Karen Bonaker’s popular class, Photo Painting 101 for the Beginner, is now a Self Paced class.  Don’t let the “for the beginner” moniker fool you; this class is full of tips and tricks.  I am always surprised at how much I pick up in every class I attend.

Brave, From Photo Painting 101, Painted by Karen Bonaker in Corel Painter 3X

Brave, From Photo Painting 101, Painted by Karen Bonaker in Corel Painter 3X

Elaina Moore-Kelly provides the best fundamental basic class for Painter X3 and Painter 12 found on the Web.  Her classes are PDF based, very comprehensive, and easy to understand. For beginners and advanced users alike.  If you are an advanced Painter user, treat yourself and be surprised at how much new stuff you will discover.  These classes are win-win for anybody.

Swans on a Lake, Elaina Moore-Kelly, lesson 3 Introduction to Painter X3 Part 2

Swans on a Lake, Elaina Moore-Kelly, lesson 3 Introduction to Painter X3 Part 2

Introduction to Painter X3, Part 1

Introduction to Painter X3, Part 2

Introduction to Painter 12, Part 1

Introduction to Painter 12, Part 2

Introduction to Painter 12, Part 3

Returning in March are the very popular digital photography classes with Al Mierau, Digital Photography – The Basics, and Introduction to Black & White Photography.

Lots of wonderful education opportunities in 2014.  If you are wondering why I’m not on the list, too bad…I ain’t telling.  Just kidding.  I have some minor medical issues that I need to take care of in February.  After that, look for new classes from me.




Corel Painter Videos on My You Tube Channel

Hello Everyone,

Did you know that I have a You Tube Channel, Skip Allen?  I do.  I do a fair amount videos on the channel that do not get to the blog.  My last blog post was December 31, 2013.  Since then I have posted six videos on You Tube.  Usually they are short videos about a specific subject, a quick tip.  Frequently, they are in response to a question I have seen on a forum.

If you like my blog, I think you will like my You Tube Channel.  Here are the six videos posted on You Tube since December 31.  Review them and if you like them, do subscribe to my blog.

1.  This first video talks about brush density in Watercolor Variants.  I was attempting to answer Painter Factory question.

2.  The second video continues talking about brush density, but this time in Digital Watercolor variants.

3.  The next video, as the first two, is in response to a question at Painter Factory.  It was short and I didn’t add the question to the video, so I restricted it to viewers of the thread at Painter Factory.  Later, I decided to open it to the public.  Hope you enjoy it.

4.  I had fun with this one.  To answer a question, I usually have to do some research and test various functions in Painter.  In other words, to answer the question requires that I learn new stuff in Painter.  It is a win win situation.  In the video I learn how to make a grainy eraser using a layer mask.

5.  The fifth one was another learning experience for me.  I seldom auto-paint, and I don’t remember ever trying to auto-paint with watercolors in Painter.  But that is where the question led me.

6.  The most recent video posted I have wanted to do for some time.  I think it is the most frequently asked question from Painter users.  Why doesn’t my brush paint on a layer?  Sound familiar?  I’m sure you have seen this question pop up multiple times.  I hope folks will be able to use this video to answer the question about brushes and layers.

OK, there you have it.  The six videos posted on my You Tube Channel since my last blog post.  If you like them, do subscribe to the You Tube Channel of Skip Allen.



2013 in review…It’s that time again!

Hello Everyone,

I received an annual report about my blog from WordPress.  I’m thrilled!  If interested, do click to see the full report.  According to the report, visitors to the blog represented 177 countries.  Last year I had visitors from 169 countries.  My mind boggles at those numbers.  WordPress started tracking the countries in Feb of 2012, and since that time I have had visitors from 183 countries.  The world is a smaller place today.

Happy New Year and thank you so very much for visiting and following my blog.

Love you all!


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 290,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 12 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.