Pressure Sensitivity with Cool Spring for Painter 12

Hello Everyone,

I have heard from some folks that they cannot get the same sort of marks with Cool Spring and Bristly Dab variants that I can get.  I think I know why.  Pressure sensitivity is the key.  A Wacom Intuos 4, fabulous machine, is able to use 2048 levels of pressure.  That’s a wow in anyone’s book.  But, are we using all 2048 levels; I’m not sure, but I surely want to try.  And if I want to get any kind of decent marks with these variants, I must apply paint very sensitively.

“Ha, you sensitive? Never going to happen!”

“Awe, Kevin, you promised you wouldn’t bother me any more while I am making posts.”

“And you promised to feed me better, but all I get is bugs!  I know you like a bug free machine, but making me eat them is plain mean,” he whimpered in his best hurt voice.

“I thought you liked bugs.  Aren’t they nutritious and tasty?”

“I would like to remind you that good viruses eat memory, not bugs.  Making a good virus eat bugs is comparable to your dog eating the neighbor cat’s pooh!”

“Alright, that is enough…get in the closet…NOW!”

Sorry about that, now where was I?  Oh yes, pressure sensitivity is the key to making good marks with Cool Spring.  I did a quick video while making the following sky.

Sky created in Painter 12 using Cool Spring variants. See Video

I hope the video shows pressure sensitivity when using Cool Spring as well as Bristly Dabs is crucial.  It is very important to play with your brush tracking settings.  But, more importantly, practice making strokes.  Practice, Practice, Practice is key.

Please feel free to comment, ask questions, or console Kevin.



17 responses to “Pressure Sensitivity with Cool Spring for Painter 12

  1. Hi Skip !! Great tip and video! Pressure really does make the difference and you’re right about the practice !! Thanks for the tip ! Hi Kevin……he really makes you eat REAL bugs??? Unbelivable !! You poor thing ! …but he’s really a nice guy. Give him a big hug and make up !! 🙂

    • Hi Judi,
      Kevin just finished his breakfast and is complaining loudly from his closet that he hates bugs. Pity…it is such a nice way to clean out software bugs. If I let him eat what he wanted, my RAM would be gone in two days. 🙂

      Glad you came by to take a look. I hope you are practicing and getting good sensitive marks.

      See you in class,

  2. Skip:

    I just watched your video. I love the look and characteristics of your Cool Spring brushes . I think they’re just what I’ve been looking for.
    I also downloaded the brushes. Thank You.

    I’m on a Mac and have dropped the folder into Painter/Brushes/Cool Spring.
    When I have opened my App, and selected the Brush Libraries, I have chosen Cool Spring. The Library opens; however, it will only allow me to select Edges !. There is a list of all the variants, no particular icons, just a listing. If I choose another variant, it remains on the Edge 1 brush. Please advise.


    • Hey Moe,

      Let’s see if we can sort this out. If I understand it correctly, you have done this: Applications > Corel Painter 12 > Brushes > Cool Spring > Cool Spring category folder and its companion jpg. Is that what you did? You made a folder called Cool Spring, which is the library folder, and put it under brushes, then in that folder you put the Cool Spring folder and .jpg I provided in the zipped file. Two separate items in the Cool Spring Library folder.

      If the answer is yes, I may be stumped. Have you downloaded SP1 patch for Painter 12? If not, do so, it really helps.

      Let me know if this helped or not. If not, I’ll do some more investigation.


  3. I have a brand new high powered Mac computer to go with my brand new Painter software. It isn’t a virus eating memory that accounts for the “bug” related issues in my Painter program. I have no such problems with any other programs. It isn’t rocket science and it isn’t that confusing.


      • Hi Abigail,

        Glad you are enjoying the videos. They are fun to do.

        I’m envious of that brand new high powered Mac. I’m not sure I want to switch to a Mac, though, been a PC user for far too many years…old dogs….

        Are you having the same issue that Moe is having with brushes?


  4. Hey Skip…
    Thank you so much for the “Cool Spring” brushes! They are just great. Loved your sensitivity video. NOW, I can’t wait for your classes next week!!!
    Until then, try to be a nice person! 🙂

    • I’m looking forward to the end of the week, too.

      Be nice…what’s the fun in that, besides…I’m nice to everyone except that pesky Kevin.

      See you in class,

  5. Hi Skip
    I’m so glad you added this video about the pressure sensitivity of these brushes. It makes a huge difference, and you are right, it is something that has to be figured out through some trial and error. There is no way you can predict exactly what these brushes will do because it depends on the amount of pressure you use. One good way to see the difference pressure makes, is to make similar strokes with your stylus and your mouse. The mouse made strokes are not pressure sensitive and can’t be varied by pressure, but the stylus ones can. You can’t compare them by recording and playing back the stroke because the pressure is one of the things that gets recorded. Anyway it sure is fun to play around with. But is does take practice, practice and more practice to gain control of these brushes. They are capable of some really cool random watercolour ‘kinds of happenings’ though, which is what we are looking for in an authentic watercolour look.
    Thanks again for these wonderful brushes and videos on how to use them Skip!


    • Hey Joan,,

      Thanks for you comment; I knew you would understand about the pressure sensitivity because you use it all the time in your work. I’m just hoping everyone will understand and really practice and work with their pressure settings.

      Everyone reading this comment, click on Joan’s name above and you will go to her blog. She has some great recent stuff about blending that is terrific. I love your blog, Joan.


  6. Hi Skip. Firstly, thank you very much for you online videos and tuition which I find so good. I am new to Painter 12 (and yourself) having used Photoshop for quite a long time with my photography. My comment is one which, I guess I know the answer, as it relates to the Wacom tablet. I have a very basic Wacom Bamboo and cannot get strokes to vary as you describe in your tutorial on Pressure Sensitivity with Cool Spring brushes even after watching your video on this . I have never painted with watercolour and want to having listened to you. I guess you would say I need to get hold of one of the Wacom Intuos 4 tablets and pen? My thanks again Skip. Tim Marshall

    • Hi Tim,
      The Bamboo is a fine product and very useful with some products like ArtRage. It is OK with Painter, too, but you do lose the ability to really take advantage of pressure that you can get in the Intuos 4 or 5. Since 5 is the newest product, I would go ahead and purchase that model. But the 4 is fine, and you may be able to find a discounted one somewhere.
      You will love your new Intuos.

    • Hey Tim,
      I was reviewing the Bamboo tablets today and was astonished at the new products. I didn’t read about all of them, but there was at least one that had 1024 pressure points. That is the same number as the Intuos 3. The 4 and 5 are twice that amount. But, I painted a bunch with my Intuos 3. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t go back, for sure. I will always recommend the 4 or 5, but these new Bamboos look very sweet.

      • Hi Skip,
        Thanks so much for your replies and info. I guess the thing to do is get the Intuos 5 which I will at some point, but also I need to work and practice in learning from your videos and practice with your downloaded brushes. I am already getting so much joy from your enthusiasm and others enthusiasm for which I thank you sincerely. Best wishes for now-Tim

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