Have you got any advice for breaking my artist’s block?
Lucy Camperdown, Belgium Answer Nick replies
Painter 2016’s brush controls offer a hefty array of choices. A blank canvas can be just as intimidating. Either or both can become a barrier to even starting. Let’s tackle both at the same time.
Let’s start by tinkering with the Spring Particle settings available to Watercolour>Runny Wash Flat. This brush emulates the sort of unpredictable behaviour of real watercolour.
To begin, you’ll need certain brush control panels open. Go to Window>Brush Control Panels and make sure Spring Particles is open, which should also have ParticlesCommon on the same palette. To really expand the possibilities, it pays to have the Paper palette and Library open, so check that, too. More pronounced textures offer more interesting results – try bumping up Scale and Contrast.
Now just pick some colours, make random marks and wait. As soon as you touch the canvas, Painter creates a layer, appropriate to the brush. You should notice, on the Spring Particle palette, that there are three options, of which one will be highlighted. Try the others, before tweaking any other controls. One may already work for you. When you do tweak, explore one setting at a time. Once you have some nice marks, save as a flat image to draw/paint over. It’s like spotting shapes in clouds. Just go with it.
This odd combination of characters would never have existed, without making a few marks on digital paper in Painter 2016 and seeing where they led me.
Set up a grained paper to interact with the Runny Wash Flat brush, and dab with the Wetting Agent to get interesting results.