Have you got any ad­vice for break­ing my artist’s block?

ImagineFX - - Your Questions Answered... -

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.

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