Do you have any advice on how to paint shrubbery and other small plants?
Julian Swift Spankweight, England
The Image Hose in Corel Painter X3 is the perfect tool to paint realistic foliage, because it doesn’t limit me to a single shape brush. This Image Hose uses a nozzle file with 20 different versions of a leaf. They bend and twist such that a natural look is achieved when it’s used to paint foliage.
To create a leaf nozzle file I start with one painted leaf on its own layer. A photo of a leaf could be used, but I like to paint mine. I duplicate the leaf layer a number of times. In this nozzle there are 20 layers. Each layer is transformed in some way. The layers are then grouped together. From the Nozzle drop-down menu I select Make Nozzle from Group. A new file is created and individual leaves placed on an invisible grid. I save the new file including the nozzle in the Painter .rif format.
From the Nozzle drop-down I choose Load Nozzle and select the file I’ve just saved. I then choose a brush from the Image Hose category and paint with the leaves.
To change the colour of the leaves I make the Additional colour active by clicking it. I then select a dark green colour and lower the Grain slider to 0 on the Property bar. I paint foliage from dark to light by raising the value of the Additional colour. The result, I find, is very realistic-looking foliage.
This is my process for painting foliage. It starts at the top left with a dark colour, and culminates at the bottom right with a complete tree top. The first time you create a nozzle file it might look strange. Don’t worry! Here’s the leaf nozzle I use to paint the foliage.