Digital Painting

Digital painting with Painter Essentials 4.0 is fun, effective, safe and a very rewarding activity indeed.

Consider this - there are 95 different brushes available in Essentials 4.0 covering every possible artistic situation from pencils to soft sponge cloners.

You can create a wonderful work of art for your own pleasure and you can create a work of art to surprise a friend or family member.

Before doing your first auto painting there are a few things to understand about Auto Painting that will make it much easier  ...

The Palettes

Source Image

This is self-explanatory.  Either use the image that is open in Painter Essentials or go find one on your hard drive that you want to use.  

If Tracing Paper is checked then you can see the image that will be painted and the box to the right is the degree of opacity of the tracing paper.  If it is not checked the underlying image will not be visible.

Auto-Painting Palette

This is a really busy palette and the heart of the auto digital painting feature of Painter Essentials 4.0.

The top drop-down (Custom Settings) list will apply one of 18 different pare-sets to complete the painting.  

Each one of the pare-sets has a specific Edge, Color, Paper and Brush assigned.

digital painting dialogue digital painting pre sets
Auto Painting
Auto Painting

It is not necessary to choose one of the pare-sets - you can simply choose any Edge, Color, Paper and Brush that tickles your fancy.

Auto Digital Painting

With the auto method of digital painting there are only a few steps to follow.

(Mouse over to see the results of Auto Painting)
Open the image you would like to turn into a painting in the Source Image palette.

On the top of the palette click on "Use Open Image".  If you have a check mark in "Tracing Paper" the image will be visible - if it is not checked there will be a blank white piece of paper in front of you..  The opacity is adjustable in the drop down list at the right.

In the Auto Painting palette drop down the Custom Settings and select the type of painting you would like - the Edge, Color, Paper and Brush settings will change according to the Settings.  It is possible to change to a different color scheme and paper type and edge and brush.

For this image I chose the Gouache setting and this is the palette ...

digital painting gouache settings

When everything is complete just click the Start button and sit back and watch.  Large files take a long time and small files paint quickly.  

What is happening is that the brush strokes start large as Painter Essentials looks for edges and details.  The brush size becomes smaller as the program starts focusing on the edge and detail.  You can either let it run to the end or stop the process at any time by clicking the Stop button or clicking anywhere on the image.

digital painting first step
Start of Auto Painting

digital painting auto painting end
Progression of Auto Painting

You can also restore some of the detail with the Restore Detail Palette.  Select the Soft Edge Cloner Brush and use short, light strokes with your pen with a light touch  (set the Brush to change Opacity with pressure) to bring back some (not all) of the detail in the image.

digital painting end
The Final Image

At this point you can restore some of the more important details that may have been lost by using the Soft Edge Cloner Brush.  

Take your pen, select the Soft Edge Cloner, lower the opacity way down and very lightly paint over the areas that needs some restoration. Go slowly and watch the process carefully.

Now take a close look at the image to see if there are any distracting features.  If there are then you can use the following to clean up the distractions ...

  • Click the Brush Drawer > Effects > Sargent Brush and scribble around the background.
  • Now click Brush Drawer > Effects > Blenders > Grainy Blender to soften the scribbles.
  • Finally choose the Smudge Brush in the Brush Drawer to soften the edges even more and add some paper grain to the image.

That's pretty much it for auto digital painting - it really is a try it yourself kind of thing.  After the auto digital painting is complete you can spend a lot of time and effort to complete your photo to digital painting.   There really is no wrong here - it's all in your artistic feel.

Painting With A Pen Tablet

If you are using a mouse for your digital painting projects you may produce acceptable results - maybe.  

To produce a truly exceptional work of art from a photograph you really need a pen tablet - either a Bamboo or an Intuos4.

The pressure sensitivity of the tablet will change the dynamics of each brush stroke providing a realistic looking painting.

Digital Painting

digital painting palette

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