Working with a Very Wet Watercolor Variant in Corel Painter 2015

Hello Everyone,

I am still tweaking my new watercolor variants, but I decided that I would share a few brushes with you and even a couple of watercolor papers.  One of the brushes, Skip’s Real Water, actually flows almost like traditional watercolor, but unfortunately, it does require a lot of computer power to render in a timely fashion.  I will explain more later in the Tutorials at the end of the post.

As you know Corel Painter Master Elite, Karen Bonaker‘s class about Contemporary Japanese Ink Painting is underway at the Digital Art Academy.  I have followed the class and have enjoyed seeing everyone’s work and creating a few pieces myself.  I used my new brushes to create these pieces.

In the first example from the class, I made the chops in the upper right corner.  I downloaded the calligraphy from one of the sites that will translate your name.  I hope it is my name; I really don’t know.  The square chop has my name placed in the four corners, but you cannot read it…sigh.  Karen gives us a few pointers in the class and I made better chops later.

Lonely Pine, Corel Painter 2015 Watercolor, Skip Allen

Lonely Pine, Corel Painter 2015 Watercolor, Skip Allen

My second image continued with the same theme.

Life, Watercolor in Corel Painter 2015, Skip Allen

Life, Watercolor in Corel Painter 2015, Skip Allen

The chops were my two again, but I added some chops provided by Karen that mean Yin Yang, Hope, and Learn from Nature.

Next, I tried my hand at creating a new chop.  I do not believe I created one that is intensely personal or spiritual; I need to try again.  Here are my two attempts.

Watercolor in Sumi-e style with my chop, Corel Painter 2015, Skip Allen

Watercolor in Sumi-e style with my chop, Corel Painter 2015, Skip Allen

I like the soft feel of this painting, and the linear quality is very important to me.  I made pots for nearly 3 decades and my surface decorations were always linear.  The chop is also linear.  I do have my name in English running up the right side.  The S is at the bottom and the P is at the top.  It is kind of strange, right?  The second chop is identical, but I used my name in calligraphy.

Strong Bamboo, Watercolor in Corel Painter 2015 with my chop, Skip Allen

Strong Bamboo, Watercolor in Corel Painter 2015 with my chop, Skip Allen


OK, would you like to see how I did the above images?  I hope so.  In this first video, I mainly talk about the brushes used and paper and flow maps play an important part.  Actually, the brushes are useless without proper manipulations of the paper and flow maps.  The Expressions settings are also very important.  For instance, I may use Pressure or Velocity as an Expression.  If I do, then you need to have your brush tracking or brush calibration set properly for your hand.  Otherwise, you will not get the same look and feel that I get.  Also, I use a Wacom Art Pen almost exclusively.  The Art Pen allows barrel rotation, meaning you can rotate the pen in your fingers and get the same look and feel of a traditional flat brush.  If you are using a Grip Pen, then the brush will remain rigid…it will not twirl as you see mine do.  For more information go to Art Pens.

Video 1: Tips and Tricks, Corel Painter 2015, Wet Watercolor

After the first video, I decided to paint a piece similar to the ones done in class and capture the experience for you.  It wasn’t that easy.  Some tutorials are easy, and then others are full of challenges.  I actually made two complete sets of tutorials.  I had so much difficulty with the first set that I remade the videos.  There is a lot of stuff in the first set that might be useful, so I may post it anyway.  I haven’t decided, yet.

OK…here is the painting that I created in the tutorials.

Isolation, Watercolor in Corel Painter 2015, Skip Allen

Isolation, Watercolor in Corel Painter 2015, Skip Allen

Before I actually start painting, I usually create a paper layer.  I like seeing the paper texture; it makes me think I am actually painting on paper.  Check out how I do it in this video.

After I created the paper texture, I started the painting.  Using three layers, I painted the sky and mountains.

In the next video, I added another mountain and the isolated tree.  Establishing the focal point was crucial.  I did this as someone from the West.  The Asian focal point is very different, I believe.

In the last video, I place a texture over the image.  The texture came from Media Militia.  This is an incredible free resource of textures.  On their website they state: “All of our resources are free for personal and commercial use. We put a lot of time and energy into creating them. If you found something useful, help us out by making a donation. Even a donation of a buck helps pay for the crazy bandwidth costs. Thank you!”  If you do go to their site and download materials, do donate.  The service offered is well worth a donation and it is so helpful to get them.  I seldom get donations, but when I do, it’s delightful.  It is so rewarding and inspires me to produce more.  Plus, it helps with expenses.  When you donate to Media Militia, think about donating here, too.

That was the last video.  I give the brushes, papers, and flow maps used, except those from Tim Shelbourne, in the following link.

PLEASE NOTE: I made the tools (brushes, flow maps, and papers) in Corel Painter 2015, and they are not compatible with other versions.  Do not install in earlier versions.  If I get many requests for an earlier version set , I’ll produce and post it.

Get the tools here:

Wet Water Demo Category

Wet Water Demo Flow Maps

Wet Water Demo Papers

I have decided not to post the other videos.  I may change my mind later, but the image was pretty awful.  In a week or two, I’ll check them again and see if the information is valid and would be helpful to you.  If so, I’ll post them








38 responses to “Working with a Very Wet Watercolor Variant in Corel Painter 2015

    • Hi Mary,
      Scroll down the page to the area past the art work. If you read the post it will lead you to the videos. If you still don’t see them, let me know. I can see them fine.

  1. Skip, Thanks so much….the paintings are beautiful. Didn’t even know they had such a thing as an “art pen”, so I ordered one today. Thanks P.S. The Japanese symbols for your “name” on the painting…….I think they spell “Skip Arren”….ha, ha.


    • Hey Scott,
      That’s too funny…thanks for the chuckle. I’m glad you are getting an Art Pen. I love mine. It does everything the grip pen can do, but more with barrel rotation. Good luck, Skip

  2. Skip thanks for all your info and videos. I am unable to download the brushes or other files or save from hightail with the link provided. I used to be able to just do the download but will not work this time.

    • Hi,
      Sorry for the late reply. Were you able to download the files? I checked and everything seems to be fine at the site. Maybe Hightail was experiencing problems when you tried. Please try again and let me know if you were able to get the tools.

    • You are most welcome Doug. I’m glad the videos are helpful. This is such a fun part of painter and there are so many neat things that can be done.

  3. Love the brushes. Great videos with opportunity to see how you solve your visual problems ‘on the fly’. I think I see your ceramic background in the forms you create. Beautiful as 2d and as 3d. Thank you

  4. Hi Skip. I’m going to look at the videos tomorrow. These are truly spiritual and inspirational. I’m very moved by their simplicity. I will download the brushes once I get off my iPhone and back on the computer. Thank you so much in advance for the brushes. It sounds like Ill need all 32 GB’s of my RAM.

    • Thanks Kerry. I wish I could say they were simple to produce, but I did struggle with them a bit. Thank you so much for your comments and continued support.

      • Skip, I tried to make flow map brushes last summer and early fall. I completely appreciate how much work you put into these brushes. I absolutely love the Skip’s real water brush!!! I’ve watched the first video. Thanks for the information on the difference between papers and the flow maps. I just LOVE how I can get drips from these brushes. Thank you so much.

          • I finished watching these videos this am. I really got so much information from them. I didn’t paint anything like what you are doing, but I really liked what I came up with. I learned so much. I love your brushes and really like moving from flow maps to paper and then using dark or light paper for different effects. I also played with taking accurate diffusion off in the Skip’s Real Water brush and then using some flow maps I made last summer. I’m finally getting some drips like what I was trying to do then. Thanks so much for the supplies, links and videos.

  5. Pingback: » Trying out Very Wet Watercolor Brushes in Painter Digital Lady Syd's Tidbits Blog

  6. Pingback: Watercolors on the Computer | Kerry C. Mitchell's Adventures

      • Thanks for following my blog, Skip. I spent most of the day painting with your new brushes. I really love Skip’s real water. I keep moving it back and forth from paper to flow map and checking and unchecking accurate diffusion. It’s many brushes in one. Then toss in the various paper and flow map textures, it’s into infinity what can be done with that one brush.

    • Hey Ted,
      Thank you so very much for your donation. You have made my day. When someone donates, I know that they really love the blog and find it useful. You are so kind to donate, and something else that you do that I also appreciate, is leave comments. Any feedback really means a lot and encourages me to do more. Thank you bunches for your donation and your comments.

  7. Skip I am late in responding as I am with everything these days but I so appreciate your bushes and needed to tell you that. Also I also loathe your strong bamboo painting. Bless you in all things, big and small.

    • Hi Kathleen,
      Thank you so much for your comment letting me know that you appreciate the brushes. I am a little surprised at your strong dislike of the Strong Bamboo Painting. I didn’t think it was the best thing I have ever done, but I didn’t think it would evoke an intense feeling of dislike or disgust in any one. Would you mind telling me what you find objectionable about it? Constructive critique is always welcome.
      Thanks bunches,

  8. Skip, I’m so happy to play with your Wet Water Demo brushes and loved your most helpful videos. In transition from 40 years of photography into a painter is not easy. Now between Karen’s sumi-e-ness teachings at DAA and your videos and wonderful brushes this is now happening. Although KB’s Japanese ink course has now finished we are still able to post our work on a Sumi-e forum Karen has set up for us – I will continue to post my efforts there. Your brushes are so exciting in action – the marks are never the same twice of course – as a raw beginner, especially to WCs I now feel the possibilities and I am drawn to this style of painting. And I wanted to thank you.

    And of course I hope you will be considering a part 2 when the time is right.
    Thanks again Skip,
    from happy student

    • Hi Linda,
      Thank you so much for your kind comment. I am happy you like the brushes and took the time to tell me about it. It is so helpful when folks make comments. I learn what is right and wrong with the stuff I post and it helps me decide what to post next. I do plan a part two, soon. And, also a post about a Corel Brush Pack that I bought from the Corel Painter store.
      Thanks again for the comment,

  9. I am always behind the ball when it comes to trying new things, and have just been playing all day with the brushes and variants you shared in your videos.

    This might seem like a long ago answered question and I have looked most places and haven’t gotten a great answer so please if this is a repetition forgive me.

    Why can you not “wet entire watercolor layer” when you are in a real watercolor variant? is it because of the particle brushes not working with that tool? Will there ever be a tool like this or should I just use one of the glazing brushes or texture brushes from here on out?

    • Hello,
      You aren’t behind the ball; whenever you try new things it is the right time for you.

      Painter looks at the currently selected watercolor variant to determine how to wet the entire layer. The currently selected real watercolor variant has no effect on the process. But, if you have painted with a real watercolor variant, it can be wet along with whatever else is on that layer. You can even paint with an oil brush on the canvas layer, lift the canvas to a watercolor layer, and wet the entire layer. There are quite a few watercolor variants. Some are very wet and others can be very dry, so it is pretty easy to find just the right amount of “wetness” or water to wet the entire layer. Remember, too, the paper selected will have an effect on the look of the wet layer. There are lots of variables. Hope this helps…have fun with watercolor.

      • I have never had “wet entire watercolor layer” even show up as an “undo” when I click on it after having selected a brush in the real watercolor palette. I just went to choosing a “real watercolor brush” variant, painted the image, then clicked “wet entire watercolor layer” then went to the edit>undo option and wet layer does not show up that it was processed at all. I then changed to a “watercolor” brush variant and did the same process and under the edit>undo option shows “wet layer”. Does this makes sense?

        • Yes, the comment makes perfect sense. The “wet entire watercolor layer” only works when you have a “watercolor” variant selected. It doesn’t work with “real watercolor.” So even though you selected the command with a real watercolor variant, nothing happens and there is no undo to be done. However, if you have a watercolor variant selected, it will wet the layer and you can use undo to back out. I believe you have to click undo twice to undo the complete wet entire watercolor layer.

    • This should read do you still recommend Media Militia? Thanks again for the wonderful set of videos. I Have a lot to learn!

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