Core skills: Re­belle

Martin Han­schild re­veals the new tools in ver­sion 2 of Re­belle that will keep ar­eas of the can­vas clean, and help you cre­ate ‘con­trolled ac­ci­dents’

ImagineFX - - Contents -

Discover ways to keep your edges clean in Re­belle, with Martin Han­schild.

There’s no trans­par­ent white colour in tra­di­tional water­colour paint­ing, and so the white ele­ments of the paint­ing are the un­painted ar­eas of the pa­per. To keep th­ese ar­eas free of paint you’d use mask­ing tape, clear wax, liq­uid frisket and so on.

The first ver­sion of Re­belle lacked any kind of mask­ing tool, so it was some­times tricky to pro­tect some parts from run­ning colours. The Eraser tool came in very handy!

So it’s with some de­gree of plea­sure that I can re­veal that ver­sion 2 of Re­belle fea­tures Se­lec­tions and Sten­cils. Th­ese tools solve the prob­lem of mask­ing and can sig­nif­i­cantly help with your paint­ing process. And even though both are de­signed to pro­tect the can­vas, in use they’re quite dif­fer­ent. In the first part of this month’s ar­ti­cle, I’ll ex­plain how th­ese new tools work and their key fea­tures.

The sec­ond part will be about some use­ful tools called Blow, Dry, Blend and Smear. I’ll show you how to use them for cre­at­ing art­work based on con­trolled ac­ci­dents. You’ll find a re­view of Re­belle’s new­est ver­sion in next is­sue of Imag­ineFX.

1 Choose the right Se­lec­tion tool

Work­ing with the Se­lec­tion tool is sim­i­lar to ei­ther the Lasso or Mar­quee tools in other paint­ing pro­grams. Con­firm your shape by press­ing En­ter (ex­cept those cre­ated with the Free­hand tool). Press Ctrl+T to trans­form a se­lected part of the layer and, af­ter con­firm­ing, Re­belle will au­to­mat­i­cally cre­ate a new layer with a trans­formed part.

2 Cre­at­ing sten­cil maps

There are three ways to gen­er­ate a sten­cil map into Re­belle. It can be pro­duced from a se­lec­tion, from the layer or im­ported from a file. When a sten­cil is cre­ated from a se­lec­tion and layer, it’s based on the layer’s transparency/al­pha val­ues. But when a sten­cil is cre­ated from a file, it’s based on the black and white val­ues of the pic­ture, ex­cept when the im­ported file fea­tures an al­pha/transparency el­e­ment.

3 Ma­nip­u­lat­ing sten­cils on the can­vas

On a new layer, paint an area that you want to pro­tect and then in the Sten­cils menu, choose the Cre­ate Sten­cil from Layer op­tion. A new sten­cil will be added to the Sten­cil pal­ette, and it will ap­pear on the can­vas when you se­lect it. A light or­ange colour rep­re­sents the pro­tected ar­eas. Re­belle en­ables you to place more than one sten­cil on the can­vas. If you need to amend or ma­nip­u­late one of them, se­lect it with the right mouse but­ton.

4 Re­belle’s Blow and Dry tools

Here I’ve placed a sim­ple sten­cil on the can­vas and start to paint with a Water­colour brush. Then, with Caps Lock Key pressed, I ac­ti­vate a Blow tool and “blow” on the run­ning colours to change their di­rec­tion. To slow down or to stop flow­ing colours use the Dry tool (press D). It’s a brush with an ab­sorbency fea­ture, which dries up spe­cific parts of the can­vas.

5 Blend and Smudge tools

Some­times you can pro­duce un­wanted, edgy brush marks in a paint­ing. You can blend them to­gether with the Blend tool. You can also blend colours to­gether, which works es­pe­cially well with the Pas­tel and Pen­cil tools. The Smudge tool smudges the wet and dry parts of the paint­ing. Note that you can choose var­i­ous brush struc­tures for cre­at­ing dif­fer­ent ef­fects with both of th­ese tools.

Here are the Se­lec­tion tool panel op­tions. You can use the Free­hand, Polyg­o­nal, El­lip­ti­cal or Rec­tan­gu­lar tool for cre­at­ing se­lec­tions. The Se­lec­tion tool can be used to cre­ate a quick mask, de­fine clean shapes, or trans­form or erase part of the pic­ture. Erase a se­lected part of the im­age with Ctrl+X. High-con­trast images work best for im­ported sten­cils. You can cre­ate in­ter­est­ing ab­stract struc­tures, geo­met­ric pat­terns, or­na­ments, or im­port images with text. Here you can choose how to cre­ate your sten­cil. Stack of sten­cils Show/hide sten­cil Add sten­cil from file This is the Sten­cil panel. If it’s not vis­i­ble, go to Win­dow and check the Sten­cil op­tion. Sim­ply click the can­vas to re­move se­lec­tion mask.

I re­moved th­ese edges with the Blend tool on a low Pres­sure set­ting, which gave me more con­trol. The Smudge tool worked well when I wanted to paint this crea­ture’s fur. I cre­ated this us­ing a Tilt tool to change the water­colour flow’s di­rec­tion and the Blow tool, to make this part wavy. The ar­row shows the di­rec­tion of the Blow tool strokes. Here, the Dry tool af­fects the amount of colour bleed­ing. Wet Pre­view shows how the tool dries the amount of wet­ness, while Colour Pre­view shows how it con­trols colour.

Drag th­ese sym­bols to move, scale and ro­tate sten­cil. If you work on a tablet, you can use two fin­gers for ro­ta­tion and scale. You can in­vert the sten­cil by select­ing the op­tion that’s bot­tom-right in the menu.

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