View Full Version : My first attempt at Painter9

12-12-2005, 08:08 PM
This is a piece where the main elements were done in Painter, the head and the hands. The rest was done in Photoshop. I havenít had time to play with Painter very much so I only used one oil painting brush, the blend tool, and the eraser. To save me some time, could someone tell me how to make a stoke longer with the oil painting brush? (Jin, Sherry, anybody?) I can only get a stroke a few inches long at most. So far I can see some definite possibilities with painter. I like the way I can open it up in Photoshop with all itís layers.

This is a digital fine art piece done in a series exploring my dark side. Itís called programmed.



12-12-2005, 10:18 PM
Which oil brushes are you using? The Oil category seems to draw until lifted off the canvas, the Artist oils category are meant to run out of colour just like a real brush does so you work with strokes.

12-12-2005, 10:44 PM
Hi Dave. Thats quite the picture! A little on the bizarre side but almost seems as if it could be precongnitive of where we're headed since so much of todays reality was yesterdays science fiction movie.

Okay, if you are using the artists oils if you turn the viscosity and wetness both to 0 you should get a continuous stroke. From there you can set it for the size stroke you want. The more you use painter, the better you will like it!

12-13-2005, 06:18 AM
Sherry and Elvira you have better eyes than me. I cannot see a picture. Where's it gone Dave?

mark malone
12-13-2005, 07:40 AM
Yep just got those little red crosses again, and was looking forward to seeing my namesakes work :D

If you are using a pc...press Ctrl/b and this will bring up the brush category that will let you play with the various settings on your brush...remember to save the variant/brush, so you can use it again.

12-13-2005, 08:55 AM
It was there last nite but it is gone this morning LOL we seem to have grimlins on the board again.

12-13-2005, 09:35 AM
Hi, Dave! I can't see your post, either. You're going to LOVE Painter!

Libra Moon
12-13-2005, 10:28 AM
What a strong image! You should post it in the Abstract/Contemporary forum.

12-13-2005, 10:50 AM
Dave, this is very creative... and your first run at Painter was a fantastic one.:)

12-13-2005, 11:09 AM
Now I see it! TERRIFIC work...love the expression in the eyes. :clap: :clap: :clap:

12-13-2005, 11:51 AM
Very interesting, does it have a special meaning?

12-13-2005, 12:08 PM
Fantastic painting! I have to admit it is a bit on the dark side for me ;o)

12-13-2005, 12:58 PM
Sorry guys for taking so long to get back on the internet. I get busy with work and barley have time to have any fun. Thanks Sherry and Edie for the suggestions, I will give them a try. I think the image didnít appear for a while because the server I have my website on as well as this image must have been down for a while. I canít directly upload from my computer to WC because when I try, I get a message about administration needing to approve me or something like that. So, I just drag and drop images right off my site.

I actually have just the work on this piece that was done in painter by itself but since it is not up on my website I canít post it here.

Yes Txaggie, it does have a special meaning. I have a few artist friends that had their work published in the same airbrush book I did back in the 80ís and have always been upset that I do not get excited about my art or have any emotional attachment to any one piece. I just do it for a living and pretty much take it all for granted like walking and talking. Itís just what I do and have always been able to do it. This drives them nuts and they constantly give me crap about lack of passion for what I do. They have (along with several other people) told me I need to paint my dark side, get it out in my art and try to get some emotional attachment to it.

Personally I rather buy a puppy. But, out of respect for these well know artist friends (and to get them off my back) I have decided to do what they have bugged me to do for years. Artists are just so damned emotional. This piece is the first of several to paint out my dark side. Itís how I felt as a kid being raised in a religious cult.

Thatís it. More dark psychological stuff to come later when I have time to do it. So far, itís not working. But what the heck, itís getting me to play with painter.


12-13-2005, 03:10 PM

Your digital fine art piece is both fascinating and beautifully done. But that's no surprise. ;)

It's great to know you're finding some time, even if only a little, to begin playing with Painter IX, so thanks for sharing your first Painter IX piece with us. Can't wait for you to have time to spend doing more (bet you can't wait either... all work and no play... is no fun!)

I'm going to make some comments on Mark's post but they're for you to read mostly. Please take them in the spirit of support and encouragement for a new Painter IX user who's going to be knocking our socks off, even more than you've already done.

While commenting on Mark's post, I'll also suggest that whenever you have a question about Painter's brushes:

ē Use the exact name of the brush category.

ē Use the exact name of the brush variant.

ē If you've made any brush control adjustments to the brush variant, list those too.

When asking questions about other areas of Painter:

ē Use the same terminology you see on the Painter interface. If you don't see the name of something (i.e. icons at the bottom of the Layers palette or the two rectangular drop down lists at the top of the Layers palette), use Tool Tips to display the name:

Help > Show Tool Tips

Then hold your cursor very still for a few seconds over the item until its name is displayed.

ē Always mention the Painter version you're using, including patch/Update number if one has been installed. The current patch number is 9.1 so if you've installed it, your version would be:

Painter IX with 9.1 Update

Without this information and correct terminology, it's often either very difficult or even impossible to provide accurate and useful answers.

For example, in each brush category there are many brush variants and each of them is different from all of the others. If all we're told is "...I only used one oil painting brush, the blend tool...", all we can do is make guesses because that information is way too vague.

There are two brush categories in the default Painter IX Painter Brushes library that use the word "Oils" in their names, Oils and Artist's Oils. In both of those brush catgegories, as well as in several other brush categories, there are brush variants that use the words "Oil", "Oils", "Oily", "Blender", "Blending" in their names. However, there is no brush variant in Painter IX named "Blend tool" or even "Blend".

That's not to mention all of the other brush categories and brush variants on the Painter IX CD that also use these words in their names and also do not include a brush variant named "Blend tool" or "Blend".

In Painter, there's only one "tool" related to pixel based drawing and painting. It's the Tools palette's:

Brush tool

Once the Brush tool is active, we choose a brush category from the Brush Selector's Brush Category list, then in the Brush Variant list we select and draw or paint with a:

brush variant

If you are using a pc...press Ctrl/b and this will bring up the brush category that will let you play with the various settings on your brush...


Since Dave's brand new to Painter, let's help him out with correct terminology so we don't confuse him more than necessary. ;)

What you're referring to is the Brush Creator. The command used to launch the Brush Creator is:

Ctrl/B (Windows) Command/B (Mac).


Brush category refers to a collection of brush variants, for instance, Airbrushes, Artist's Oils, Pens, Chalk, etc. and brush categories are contained in a brush library. Or, the Painter brush hierarchy is this:

Brush Library (i.e. the default Painter IX Painter Brushes library)
...Brush Category (i.e. Artist's Oils)
......Brush Variant (i.e. Artist's Oils' Bristle Brush, or Clumpy Brush, or Soft Grainy Brush)

It's a lot easier and a lot more convenient to use the Brush Controls palettes for making adjustments to a brush variant because when the Brush Creator is launched, a whole new (and different) Painter window opens, separating the artist from his/her work.

To open the Brush Controls palettes, use Window > Brush Controls > General and all of the Brush Controls palettes will open as a docked group, right there in the normal Painter window so it's easy to make on the fly brush control adjustments as needed.

To get all palettes currently open on the Painter IX screen out of the way, hit the Tab key, then hit the Tab key again to make them all display.

... remember to save the variant/brush, so you can use it again.

When you make adjustments to a brush variant and decide to save it as a custom brush variant, you'll need to give it a unique name not already used by Painter. (Otherwise, you'll overwrite the original brush variant.) Boring as it is to see my name all the time, I often begin a custom brush variant name with "Jin's" or "Jins" or "J's" depending on how long the custom brush variant will be since there's a top limit of 23 characters and/or spaces allowed. That way, it's unlikely there will be another brush variant with the same name, even among the extra brushes on the Painter CD's, custom brush variants downloaded from the Web, or custom brush variants found on third party Painter book Cd's.

To save a custom brush variant:

Brush Selector menu > Save Variant

Then, before doing anything else, restore the original brush variant to its default state:

Brush Selector menu > Restore Default Variant

12-13-2005, 04:13 PM
Dave, I am glad you don't know painter better if this is a portrait of your "dark side". Otherwise, I am not sure some of us would have the courage to view it lol!

I think it is rather awesome (especially for your first "real" attempt at painter) and it says alot more than your words would have ... although in your case, you DO have a way with expressing yourself :D

It is very obvious to me your talent is more "advanced" than some of us here (me very included) and I think it will be wonderful to see you progress using painter and perhaps sharing that knowledge.

As far as terminology goes, I have to totally agree with Jin. I have stated before that so much is lost because we all use different software, or know something about a specific software, and refer to something as a "wigit rather than a digit" etc. I apologise for that crude comparision.

Jin? You rock girl! I feel like I am in class and have just been spanked! But your comments are so correct and to the point! And I read, listen and learn!

Thanks for having the "spunk" to speak out, the "knowledge" to share, the "willingness " to teach, the "ability" to show your accomplishments as proof and for demanding respect "with or without" anyones approval.

Dave? Please paint more! You are very very good! Oh and by the way, I hope you did receive my email as well as Barry, thanking you SO MUCH for your rendition of my grandfather. And when you have time, could you critique my glass on my newest as I requested?

Thanks ... looking forward to seeing more of your work :)

12-13-2005, 05:31 PM
First of all, here is the part of the piece that was entirely done in Painter9.


Thanks for your comments. I will try to explain what I did using your suggestions. I am using what I think is the latest version of Painter9. I acquired it about a month ago new out of the box. I used the “Artist Oils” Dry brush. The size varied. The opacity varied. The Grain was at 0%. Dirty mode was not click on. Viscosity was at 90% and wetness was at100%. I painted this on two layers and not on the canvas. I used the shape tool to limit some strokes to specific areas. I then brought the layers into Photoshop to finish it. That is a fantastic feature to be able to save this as a layered psd.

I played with several other brushes before I started doing the actual work but got frustrated with them running into the layer below. How do you stop the top layer from effecting layers below it? Locking them doesn’t seem to work. This is very different than Photoshop so I got a little frustrated. I think if I can figure a few things out I will really like this program. I plan on doing this whole series using Painter and Photoshop. This piece would have been a lot better if I knew how to use Painter better. It also printed it out and it looked great at 10X 12 on enhanced matt paper. It looks like a real piece of fine art.

Thank you for the kind words. Yes I did get your thank you e-mail. I just suck at responding to all of my e-mails, sorry for not responding. I think talent remains the same with an artist, it’s their technical ability that is either more or less advance. That is done by continuing to do art and learning by experience, knowledge, experimenting, and sharpening your ability to observe.

I saw your glass piece. I think it is very good but I’m not sure if you want me to critique it. I taught photorealistic airbrush painting for many years and I am a bit brutal. Not mean but helpfully brutal. Glass was one of the disciplines I was known for.

Thank you everyone for your comments. I feel like a kid just learning how to paint again when I use painter but I see some great possibilities with it. If I can learn how to do what I want to do with it, I might even like painting again.


12-13-2005, 07:01 PM
As far as terminology goes, I have to totally agree with Jin. I have stated before that so much is lost because we all use different software, or know something about a specific software, and refer to something as a "wigit rather than a digit" etc. I apologise for that crude comparision.

Thanks, Babs! It means a lot and helps a lot to have your support on this subject. It's so very true that time is wasted when communication isn't clear.

First, the person asking for help has to wade through post after post while trying their best to explain what they mean when often they don't know enough yet to know what they mean, reading answers and suggestions based on guessing, that very often miss the mark. Not only do those guess-based answers often miss the mark, they can pile on loads more confusion. On top of all that, the person needing help is often frustrated, tired, discouraged, and sometimes even angry thinking the software is to blame.... or worse, thinking they themselves have failed somehow and are just plain stupid.

Second, anyone willing and trying to help can often spend several hours over just a single group of 2 to 4 questions in one original post. The folks who pitch in earnestly trying to help.. if they stick it out.. can just become exhausted, mentally, physically, and every other way. I'm not exaggerating. This miscommunication or lack of communication appears in nearly every forum, newsgroup, and e-mail list in the Painter community and it appears regularly, so regularly that I can't remember a whole week when it didn't, in one or more places (usually more).

No one wins that way.

All of this can be so much simpler and quicker when a few important things are understood up front and some simple guidelines that work for everyone are followed (more or less). Then both the person in need of help and the person(s) providing help can move on to their next pursuit, relaxed, satisfied, and happy.

Yay! Everyone wins!

Jin? You rock girl! I feel like I am in class and have just been spanked! But your comments are so correct and to the point! And I read, listen and learn!

Not spanked, Babs. Just awakened. ;)

But I think you didn't really need awakening dear girl.

Thanks for having the "spunk" to speak out, the "knowledge" to share, the "willingness " to teach, the "ability" to show your accomplishments as proof and for demanding respect "with or without" anyones approval.

Well, thanks friend for all the generous words. I appreciate them more than I can say.

As to "spunk", it may just be that I'm old enough to recognize nonsense and too old to put up with it. If we don't speak out, those who live in a nonsense world are given permission by our silence to run ours.

As to knowledge, we all have that, usually in several areas. I happen to have a good deal of Painter knowledge and am delighted when someone who knows more comes along so I can learn from them. That's a real treat for me as learning is one of my favorite things about being alive.

As to willingness to teach, it's more a case of selfishness on my part. I love helping people learn Painter and get a big kick out of seeing the lights go on and knowing they're having fun with it.

Ability is another thing we all have in one area or another, to one degree or another. I constantly check myself to be sure my abilities are solid and always know there are things I don't know and don't know how to do. Again... time for more learning.

One word, "proof" makes me ask (and this is not directed at you, Babs but to those who think "proof"/"prove").... why the blazes should anyone need proof of anything other than proof of citizenship, proof of being licensed to drive a car, etc.? Certainly no proof of anything other than it being legal to use and publish an image or photo, or share resources needs to be required in an art forum. I've said this before, and it bears repeating:

There's been far too much insinuation in this forum that without "proof" a member may not be a truthful person, may be a fake, may be trying to get away with something, cheating, or some other sly, conniving, and dishonest thing. I find that small and petty to say the least. It's highly insulting and certainly not just for me personally, but for anyone who visits this forum and participates, maybe most of all for those who lurk, observe what goes on, and are left with impressions, some good and some very not so good.

When people visit a forum, even if they don't participate they are there to learn, enjoy, and possibly become comfortable enough to participate in the future. Why on earth would someone want to begin participating if, having seen it's done to others, they felt they were going to be watched like a hawk for any misstep that would "prove" they were not on the up and up? People can be shy enough without having tip-toeing nervousness imposed on them too.

As to respect, we all deserve that and if it's not forthcoming, it's time to stand up and holler then take a deep breath and hope that at least blatant disrespect has been quelched.

By the way, it seems the really talented and skilled artists don't get into the "proof" thing. Maybe it's because they have nothing to prove themselves, being fully and successfully what they are and happy to be so.

Dave? Please paint more! You are very very good!

Yes! and Yes! :)

12-13-2005, 07:03 PM
ROFL! I've always found that passion is over-rated! Simple contentment and pleasure have been more satisfying to me.

12-13-2005, 07:15 PM
The painting and drawing are wonderful :)

12-13-2005, 07:25 PM
I say the smae thing over and over in several threads. But I really mean it when I say it every time. This is COOOOOOOOOOOL!

I think one of the things that impresses me most about your work (because Im baffled at how to do the same) Is your understanding of light and shadow. Prob an understanding needed to be great at rendering glass. Im currious if you have any suggestions or books that could better clarify that aspect of art.

I once saw a type of equation or something to calculate a cast shadow. Im sure I can find it again, but i was thinking on those lines. something to the effect of light source + vanishing point / edge of object * EM2 = distance of shadow. (jk on formula of course).

12-13-2005, 08:33 PM

I copy what Babs has said. I know I probably would not have had the desire to try painter until you yelled at me on my first post on WC and we became friends. You do have an enormous amount of spunk. It definitely worked on me and I greatly appreciate it.


I havenít picked up any kind of how to art book since I was a kid. Iím sure there are a lot of good artist here who can suggest something for you.

I learned about light and shadow from photography at a young age. I studied a lot of photos of things with different kinds of lighting and shadow casts. How the light reflected on the different densities and textures of objects and how the shadow fell on and around them. There are also many kinds of light that influence how an object looks. Direct light, ambient light and reflected light to name a few. Now I use a 3D program to study light and shadow. Itís like having a complete photo studio in my computer. Increasing your powers of observation is key. Learning to read color and match it to the kind of paint you use is also very helpful.

Your light and shadow equations will work if you have very limited and specific light sources and focal object. When you add in other light variables it will throw it completely off. Not to mention the vast amount of things that can influence the object being lighted. Babs white flower she posted a while back is a great example of that. You had the density and opacity of the flower working against its color, light and shadow values. Even though the white reflects the light, the texture and low density of material that make up of the flower absorbed the light. I try to stay away from set formulas for things because a lot of those formulas fall apart depending on what the object is. Babs did a great job on that one. You can put a white billiard ball and a white snowball as the same focal object of a photo and get different light absorption and shadow values using the same exact light source. This is due to their difference in density, opaqueness, reflective characteristics and surface texture.

Glass is as complex as you want to make it. Depending on how photo realistic the artist wants to make their art and the specific characteristic of the glass as well as itís surrounding elements. Glass objects are some of the most difficult things I have ever painted. That is why I liked them. I liked the challenge. Observation, observation, observation!


12-13-2005, 08:43 PM
Dave, you rock with your first attempt. This is one of my favorites.

susan :)
12-13-2005, 11:14 PM
oh my goodness..1st attempt? my first painting with painter was a cat..that looked like it was scrapped off the grill of a truck. poor kitty. your artwork is very dark..kinda spooky..but cool. i cant even imagine doing something that good on my 1000 attempt.. sigh

12-13-2005, 11:15 PM

Thanks. It's heartwarming to have you and Babs giving me a few kind words, and to know my "yelling" at you had a positive effect... and we're friends.

Most often, when I might seem like I'm "yelling", what's happening is something's got my attention, I'm interested, and I care.

It takes a while to know me, I guess, but while I'll stick up for things I believe in, Jin's not a tough hard person at all and, like you, I'd rather buy a puppy than have hard feelings going on.

Really, I need a puppy! ;)

12-14-2005, 12:22 AM
Hi Dave, did you try my suggestions in answer to your first question? I assumed you were using the artists oils if you were running out of paint. Also I am going to bravely jump in with another answer to your question I played with several other brushes before I started doing the actual work but got frustrated with them running into the layer below. How do you stop the top layer from effecting layers below it?
At the top of the layers palette there is a check box for "pick up underlying color, and preserve transparency" I am not sure exactly what the problem your having is but I think that is where your solution is.

By the way, paintings with meanings....silly concept in my not so humble opinion.

This piece would have been a lot better if I knew how to use Painter better.
Better, egads, you really want to make the rest of us look bad huh.

12-14-2005, 06:04 AM
Well! There's a lot of info in this thread including some outstanding work. Well done Dave, you shot past a lot of us in one stroke :)

Jinny you remind me of a great friend of mine, an art teacher and a mentor. She's always shouting at me, and telling me off for not being serious. But I like her!

12-14-2005, 10:35 AM
Common Dave, go ahead and get brutal ... I can take it.:D Now that I know you have all that experience on the subject, I would really appreciate your feedback. After all that is why I am here. To learn. And of course to admire all the paintings.

12-14-2005, 04:48 PM

Thanks, I try to rock when I can.


Dark and spooky? I can live with that. I take it you never went to a KISS concert in the 70ís.


Most of my best friends didnít like me when they first met me. Where as both of my e-wives did. SO much for first impressions. What kind of a puppy would you like?


Yes I did try them out. The changing of the viscosity and wetness worked. Thank you. I havenít had a chance to play with the layers but I noticed when I did that piece the preserve transparency worked like it does in Photoshop but it was still affected when I painted on the layer above it. I will play with it a little more when I have time. Thanks for the help.


Thanks, Iv been doing digital art for over 12 years so itís a little easier for me than someone who has just picked up the program. A lot of the same principals are the same from program to program.


I was just kidding somewhat about the brutal comment. When I get a chance Iíll bring that thread back up and make some comments. A lot of what I will have to say is based on how realistic do you want the Glasson that piece. If you are happy with the way it looks (which it does look very good) then I have nothing to say. If you want it to look even more realistic, them I will make some comments.


12-15-2005, 01:48 AM

Thanks for mentioning the Pick Up Underlying Color and Preserve Transparency boxes. I was way too exhausted last night to remember everything and that helps.

My guess is the Pick Up Underlying Color box being checked could well be the cause of Dave's color problem. If not, now he knows about it and it'll help him later.


It's good to know you get the point of "yelling", even it it's not really yelling, just caring about a friend and encouraging them to push themselves a bit more.

Your story reminds me one of my first employers, back when I was just beginning to learn how to work as an illustrator. He constantly pushed me beyond what I believed I could do and he was always right. A few years after leaving that job, while working as a freelance illustrator, I rented office space in his building and he was one of my clients. One day, I teased him in front of some of his employees about being so tough on them, then told all of them how he'd pushed me and forced me out of my comfort zone. I told them, and my/their boss how much I appreciated it and ended the conversation with a big hug for Peter the Scotsman. Pete and I have remained friends all these years and in every phone conversation I thank him again.

Encouraging artists is my reason for "yelling" though it's not really yelling and anyone would know that if they could see me and hear my voice. Nothing pleases me more than to see an artist growing and it's hard to grow without trying new things.

Thanks, friend. :)


Great information you're sharing with us. Thanks for being so generous with your knowledge and time.

I guess friends worth having are ones who bother to get to know you and it sounds like you have some real friends.

Golden Retriever would be my first puppy choice, but having had a wonderful cross breed Standard Poodle/Golden Retriever as a dear friend and companion for 13 years, I learned that poodles are smart and funny and if they don't get shaved and pom-pommed, they don't have to look goofy and phony.

It takes space and money to provide a good home and good care for a pet, and that's the reason I've held off getting another dog for so long. It doesn't feel right, though, not to have dogs and cats around. When my kids were growing up, we always had at least two and at one point, fourteen! I think it made my kids better human beings to have animals to care for and play with.

Can you explain a little more how paint on a Layer affected the underlying Layer? Maybe post a screen print?