Corel Painter 2016, Simple Watercolor with Gradients

Hello Friends,

I was playing around with the technique I used in the last posted videos.  I started the same way, but this time I tried adding gradients to a layer mask to vary the look of the black brush strokes.  I wanted color, so I added gradient to layers and changed the composite method.  On the first try, I got the following.  Not bad for a first try, right?

Corel Painter 2016, Watercolor, Gradients

Corel Painter 2016, Watercolor, Gradients

I thought the technique was worth sharing, so in the next 4 videos I created the following image.  Hope you like it.  It reminds me of flying at dusk.

Corel Painter 2016, Watercolor, Gradients

Corel Painter 2016, Watercolor, Gradients

In the first video, I make the black inky watercolor underpainting.

In the next video, I altered the look using a gradient in a layer mask.

It gets interesting in the third video.  I added gradients to several layers and change the composite method coloring the gray-scale image.

In the fourth video I planned to add another gradient to a layer mask, but tried something different and liked the results.  I copy merged the image and placed it in place.  I transformed it a bit and then changed the composite method.  I loved the moody nighttime feel of this image.

A couple of posts ago, I mentioned that did a bunch of videos for Corel about making paper in Painter 2016.  Corel released the videos yesterday.  Making and using paper in Corel Painter is very important; I can say that it is one of the most important functions in Painter.  In this set of videos and the set before, I used papers to create the landscape.  You can get papers for Painter from a lot of sources, but why?  It is so easy to make papers and it is fun, too.  Take a look at the following videos.  Some techniques are basic and perfect for the beginner, but others are for the advanced user.  Take a look and while you there, check out Painter Tutorials.  There are a ton of video tutorials.

My paper videos:

01-How to use Corel Papers

02-How to use the Paper Library

03-How to use the Paper Control Panel

04-How to create a new Paper Library

05-How to use Make Paper Command

06-How to make a Fractal Pattern Command Paper

07-Helpful Paper Tools you can make

08-Capture a non-seamless paper texture

09-Create a seamless paper texture

10-Auto-paint a seamless paper texture

11-Watercolor and Pattern papers

12-How to create seamless papers from photos

13-How to use your Corel Painter Papers

I hope you enjoy the videos.


30 responses to “Corel Painter 2016, Simple Watercolor with Gradients

  1. Hi Skip,
    Im really enjoying your videos on paper th I know I will forget a lot and want to refer to them again at some point. Is there a way to download the videos so that I have them for reference.
    Thanks – Kimber

  2. Thanks Mr. Allen for your excellent tutorial pack.
    11th video looks like there is no sound from 1:41

      • Oops, you are correct Antonio. I listened to the first minute and it was working. It stopped working around the 2 minute mark. I checked the original video and it works, so something happened when it was loaded to You Tube. I have contacted Corel. I am sure they will fix it Monday or soon after that. Thanks for the heads up.

  3. Hi Skip,

    a few month ago after the release of the new Painter sowftware, which I bought (my first painting software 🙂 I have seen you using ink-brushes which looked like these asian calligraphy – styles, in the video you said (if I still remember correctly) you are still working on these before they will be able for download.
    I tried to duplicate these in Painter myself but I gave up after a few days 🙂
    They really looked great, so I wonder if these are up for purchase or download somewhere?

    Greetings from germany,

    • Hi Stephen,
      Can you point me to the video where you saw me using the brushes. I have many variants and I am not sure which ones you want. I am about to leave for vacation, so it may be a week before I respond, but if you tell me the video, I will make the variants available for you.

      • Skip thanks for THIS fast reply 🙂
        The video I was referring to is its the “Corel Painter 2016 Live Demonstration 13 Aug 2015”

        The great brushes which cought my eye have been used in the ten minutes between hour 01:10:00 – 01:20:00

        Especially at 1:17:00 you open your documents folder and there are works inside named “Lagoon”, “Bonsai” or for example “Orchid” which really look amazing in my opinion.


        • Hi Steffen,

          I know the variant that you want. I haven’t posted them on the blog, yet, but I will send them to you. But, it will be a week before I can do it. I mentioned that I am on vacation. I have my Surface Pro with me, but it doesn’t have those variants on it…so I have to wait until I get back home to send them. If you don’t hear from me next week, send me another note to jog my memory.

  4. Hi Skip, I absolutely love your watercolor paintings, they are simple yet so stunning! Anytime I see your paintings, I can tell right away its you. You have a wonderful style! Thank you so much for all your helpful videos.

  5. Skip,
    After watching your videos (wonderful and insightful as usual; thanks for sharing),
    There is another approach to applying a gradient to an image tho you must venture outside of Painter (I don’t think it is available in Painter, but I have not looked) to Photoshop adjustment layer called “gradient map”. Rather than apply the gradient as an image over another image, it “maps” the gradient based on the range of shadows to highlights. Here is the Adobe user guide explanation:
    “The Gradient Map adjustment maps the equivalent grayscale range of an image to the colors of a specified gradient fill. If you specify a two-color gradient fill, for example, shadows in the image are mapped to one of the endpoint colors of the gradient fill, highlights are mapped to the other endpoint color, and midtones are mapped to the gradations in between.”
    The results are completely different. Moving images between P16 and Ps is easy enough to use Ps as an intermediate or finishing tool.

    • Thanks Doug,

      The technique sounds terrific. Working back and forth between Painter and Photoshop is popular with many users. Thanks for posting the information.

  6. Out of my own curiosity, I did some digging into P16 for gradient mapping similar to Ps. Wow! P16 seems to have a similar method as Ps but not called gradient mapping. P16 calls it ‘express gradient in image’, with a bias slider for matching luminance. See P16 User Guide page 541; ‘replacing image colors with gradient colors’. The .pdf won’t let me copy/paste the 5 steps here.

    Here are the 5 steps in simple words:
    1 open image, select all or part
    2 menu/window/media control panels/gradients
    3 click a gradient in panel
    4 click gradient options button; choose express in image
    5 in dialog box adjust bias slider for desired effect

    I’m off to test it out in P16.

    • Hey Doug
      Thanks for the extra information. I didn’t try your work flow in PS. If I had, I would have told you about Express Gradient in Image. I love that function. I have used it mostly in patterns or textures that I am making. I have several videos about the function…don’t remember where…just remember doing therm. They could have been done in a class.
      I should try it in PS…and when I get home, I’ll try to do that. It will be fun to see if they are in fact similar.

  7. The Ps vs. P16 results are quite similar (maybe identical; not tested). At first blush it would seem P16 has an added control slider functionality advantage. However if in Ps you also apply a curves or levels adjustment layer to the apply gradient layer (clip to it), Ps provides additional controls beyond P16….but requires moving files between 2 programs,
    Either way, the method adds nuances that are otherwise hard to achieve by painting alone.

    • Thanks Doug,
      I still haven’t checked the differences, but I am on vacation…smile. I’ll be home after the weekend and do some play. Might be fun to do another tutorial.

  8. Hi Skip, I have tried everything I can think of to (make the reset Paper Default script) since your buddy’s site is no longer active… I was wondering if you had that script and are willing to share or if you could show us how to make that one too:-) I wanted to thank you for being so generous with all your brushes and what not, I made a small donation last month (i think or it might have been in January or Dec.) My old brain doesn’t work so well…Lol I appreciate all you and Karen do to help the painter community! I am taking the class from Karen right now and am loving it:-) I can’t wait for you to get back from your sister’s house. Thanks in advance for a response!

    • Hi Dessa, I thought I had made those scripts available on the blog already, but I cannot find them. I know they are available in my 2017 class; so maybe I am not remembering where I put them…I have an old brain too. Anyway, I am sending you the scripts via email and I will try to get them put on the blog soon. Thanks for asking…I really thought they already were on the blog.

      Enjoy, Skip

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