Digital painting is a totally new experience in expressing yourself though your art. There are several paint programs that allow you to simulate all types of art media from pencil to inks, watercolors to oils and everything in between. There are a large variety of brushes, pens and other tools that enable you to accomplish some very effective images.
I started by experimenting with Corel Painter 11 and have included some examples of my early attempts at using it.
There is a realist iris which I did following step-by-step instructions from Corel.
The others are more abstract and were fun using all different types of tools.
Here are some of my paintings after working with Painter 11 and 12 for a year.
There is definitely a large learning curve for using this program as well as other paint programs I have tried, but it is well worth the effort.
You can do original paintings using the multiple layers that are available.
I like this because I can do one layer and then make additions or revisions on a second layer to test it out over the original layer. If you don't like the changes, you can delete them or make other changes. You do this all without any effect on the original layer.
It is a lot easier than in real life where you risk messing up what you have completed.
Impressionism is somewhat easier because you have more freedom with brush strokes than in realist painting. Here again, using layers makes you less fearful about experimenting with an effect.
I tend not to do very well with abstract painting when I have an actual canvas in front of me, but in the Corel Painter program, there are so many fun brushes and effects to play with, that I really enjoyed trying it.
Digital painting has another benefit. There are no fumes to deal with, no waiting for it to dry, nothing to spill, and no worry about where to store it. Of course you do have to have a quality means of printing it out if you ever want to display it or sell it as a physical piece of art.
If you are serious about learning all the ins and outs of Painter, here are the best places I know of.
I just finished taking a Collage course at DAA and had a lot of fun trying something completely new for me. Here are two that I did.
The quail collage is actually a collection of traditional paintings I did of quail over the years before I started painting digitally.
You can see more butterflies art here.
As I became more knowledgeabled, I decided to take advantage of the many improvements that became available in Painter. I've progressed through Painter 12, X3 and the latest one, Painter 2016
I've come a long way from when I first started experimenting with Painter 11 and I'd like to share a few of my more advanced paintings.
This painting started with a photo of a single rose which I used as a guideline for the shape. I painted it with oil brushes.
I used medium and dark areas and highlights to separate the pedals and give them shape.
I added a pedal in the front to make the rose more interesting.
The additional roses were formed by transforming the original one and then painting with oil brushes to create variety.
The background was done on a separate layer with several different oil brushes and the colors were altered with effects options.
The leaves were all done on a layer just above the background and below the rose layers. I used a small flat oil brush and had to do a great deal of practicing in controlling the brush to get the leaf shapes I wanted. Thank goodness I could delete any stroke I didn't like with just click of a button.
This second painting was from a reference photo I took while canoeing one day in the Adirondacks.
I used approximately four different layers;
This third painting was from a photo I took in Arizona of the blooms on the desert willow tree. They are like miniature orchids and cover the entire tree in late April and early May.
Once again I used the oil brushes in Painter 12 to get the soft blending of colors that I wanted.
I separated the background from the flowers but using the lasso select tool. I inverted the selection so only the background was selected and then copied it to a new layer.
I was able to paint the background without any effect on the layer containing the flowers. I did this by instructing painter to only paint in the selected background areas.
I just finsihed taking a course in abstract painting and I thought that this would make a good demonstration of some of the tools and methods used to produce an abstract painting.
It is geared toward people who have some understand of Painter 12, but it is also good for people who have never seen the process before.
I have recorded it directly off the computer and it is posted on Youtube.
Click the link to view it.
Here is an example of converting a photo into a painting. If you move your cursor anyplace over the right lower portion you can click on it to see the original photo.
Here are a few of the steps I used to get to the finished painting. There are many more steps in between, but too many to list.
The first thing I did was make a clone of the photo and then on the clone, I floated it off the canvas to a 1st layer.
I tried several different color Schemes and Photo Enhancements on new layers.
Once I had the one that I liked than I did auto-painting for a first layer.
From there I used several different brushes to modify the image to where I was satisfied.
I selected the roses and copied them onto several layers and moved them into the position I wanted.
I re-arranged layers to put some behind and some in front of the main image.
For more detailed instruction, there are many great video demonstration courses at The Digital Art Academy. They have really been great for me learning Corel Painter 11. They also have courses for Corel Painter 12 for those of you with the newest version.
Here is something fun I did with the roses from one of the classes I took at DAA. It was called "Out of the Box" and I thought I would share it with you.
I rotated the rose image above using the perspective tool and then drew a frame around it and also adjusted the perspective so they matched.
I carried the roses out of the frame and produced a gradient background.
I love the effects and softness of watercolor and liquid inks but I have never been very satisfied with my rigidity in using them on the canvas. I decided to experiment with them in Corel Painter 11 and here is the results which I am really excited about.
The first is the reference picture I took of the bougainvillea in my back yard. The second is the completed digital painting.
Someone asked me what the splashes of blue were. They obviously were not in the photo. I just felt they added a new dimension to the painting.
It is a well known fact in the art world that the introduction of a third color that complements the others always adds excitement and distracts the viewer from so much sameness of only two colors.
For the first time in my painting career, I feel that I accomplished the realistic abstraction that I have been trying to achieve.
If you would like to see some of the steps used in the "Out of the Box" roses and the bougainvillea painting, read my Digital Painting Tutorial on HubPages.
My latest exploration of Corel 12 has been in digital watercolors. It was a great deal of fun, but challenging. Having the freedom to create on layers definitely made it easier.
I have just recently finished a course in The Basics of Brush Making, Painter 12 and was so pleased that I now had an understanding of how brushes are made and how I can adjust them to meet my needs.
To the right is the resulting painting based on a sketch from a farm in Pennsylvania.
You can create misty morning paintings just like this one using separate layers to produce the mist.
You can use either a light watercolor brush or a fine air brush.
Being on a separate layer, you can adjust the exact placement and also change the opacity of the layer to make it as foggy as you want.