Secrets of Corel Painter Experts: Tips Techniques and Insights for Users of All Abilities

Daryl Wise and Linda Hellfritsch

Course Technology PTR

A part of Cengage Learning

Secrets of Corel Painter Experts will give you both technical
and creative insights into the artistic working processes
of some of today’s top artists, illustrators, designers, and
photographers working with digital art tools.
Painter software has been on the market for more than 20
years, and some of the experts featured in this book have
been using it since it first became available. The collective
wisdom and experience of all the artists featured in this
book make for a powerful resource and instructional
guide. We hope that you will find this book to be not
only educational and enjoyable, but inspiring as well.
—Daryl and Linda

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Secrets of Corel® Painter™ Experts:
Tips, Techniques, and Insights
for Users of All Abilities

About the Authors
Daryl Wise has worked for the past 15 years as the owner/operator of StreetWise PR,
a small public relations and marketing firm near the Silicon Valley. Some clients
include or have included Macworld Expos, the artist Peter Max, HP, Ambient Design,
Adesso, Pixelmator, GLUON, and e frontier. He was director of the Santa Cruz
Digital Arts Festival for three years and is a member of Cabrillo College’s Digital Arts
Advisory Committee. He is the author of Secrets of Award-Winning Digital Artists
(Wiley) as well as Secrets of Poser Experts (Course Technology PTR).

Linda Hellfritsch holds degrees in traditional art and graphic design. She is a fine
artist, freelance commercial artist, Web designer, and writer living in La Selva Beach,
California. She has curated and hung both traditional and digital art exhibitions in
San Jose, San Francisco, Monterey, San Clemente, and Santa Cruz. Her areas of
expertise include art, design, art history, and arts education. Linda works primarily
with traditional mixed media, although her work has required her to design and
develop digital graphic arts products. This exposure to digitally produced art has
awakened her curiosity and hunger to learn more about digital art tools. She has
spent the past several years talking to digital artists, experiencing their work, and
learning their secrets. Linda’s background in traditional fine art gives her a unique
perspective as a traditional artist in a digital world. In her spare time, she works as
a scenic painter and props builder at the new Crocker Theater in Aptos, California.

From Daryl Wise
I would like to acknowledge the following individuals who helped make this book
possible. First, I need to sincerely thank the creative, passionate, and talented artists
who agreed to participate in this book.

I want to thank my dear friend and book partner, Linda Hellfritsch. She worked
closely with the editors on every detail of the book and kept the book (and me) on
track. She worked long hours to make everything “just right.” Her graphics and art
background combined with her creative eye for style gave the book its “pop.” And
her mastery of the English language made the book easy to read and understand.
Thank you to my friends and colleagues at Fractal Design and those I met while
working for the company. Because of Painter, I have been fortunate to cross paths
with so many interesting and creative people! Although they are no longer with us,
I want to acknowledge Bob Lansdon and Karena Vance—I cherish the time I spent
with them.

Also, I want to thank the team from Cengage Learning who steered us in the right
direction throughout the entire book-writing process: acquisitions editor, Heather
Hurley; project and copy editor, Karen Gill; layout tech, Shawn Morningstar; proofreader,
Gene Redding; indexer, Kelly Talbot; and DVD creator, Brandon Penticuff.
Thank you to Corel Painter’s product manager, Rob MacDonald, and Steve Szoczei,
our tech editor.

And of course, thanks to Mark Zimmer and Tom Hedges for creating an amazing
product! I was fortunate to have worked at Fractal Design for years, and as anyone
who worked on Painter will tell you, “It was a heck of a ride!” Painter gave me my
professional start in public relations and marketing, and more importantly, my launch
into the computer graphics community. I am sorry though that my good friend,

From Linda Hellfritsch
To begin with, I want to sincerely thank all the artists who have agreed to be featured
in this book. Thank you for sharing the wonderful artwork, tips, techniques, and
insights contained in these pages. Each of you has generously contributed a great deal
of time, effort, and patience to prepare answers to our questions, write tutorials, and
make screen shots to illustrate your techniques. Through your words, I feel as if I have
come to know each of you in a personal way, and I have thoroughly enjoyed myself
as I worked through each and every tutorial during the writing of this book. Without
your generous contributions of time, effort, and artwork, this book would not have
been possible.

Thank you to my close friend Daryl for inviting me to coauthor this book. Your passion
for digital art, along with your unwavering vision, has been a motivating force in
making this book a reality. I am thrilled to be a part of this with you.
Thank you to Karen Gill, the best editor in the world. I am deeply grateful for all that
I have learned from you. Thank you for your continued patience with all my questions
as I learned the ropes. Working with you has been an absolute joy! Thanks, too,
to the rest of the team at Cengage Learning for believing in this project, and to Steve
Szoczei, at Corel, for his technical supervision.

Thank you to Jesse DeRooy, my wonderful, fun friend. Your advice and support have
been invaluable to my understanding of the book-writing process.
To my family and friends, thank you for the continuing encouragement and support
that you have provided over the many months that this book has taken to complete.
You have kept me smiling and forced me to take much-needed breaks from working
at the computer. And a very special thank you to Tanner for bringing me dinners at
my computer, giving me shoulder rubs as I worked, and for taking the awesome picture
of Daryl and me.

Tom Hedges, will not see this book. I know he would have really liked it!

What You’ll Find in This Book
The concept for this book is to give you the feeling of
being inside the personal studio of each expert profiled in
these pages. The chapters are designed as a conversation
with the artist about an individual creative process.
You’ll learn their answers to questions and see detailed,
step-by-step techniques demonstrated. Each chapter
features incredible artwork accompanied by background
text and illustrations, all relating to Painter.

Who This Book Is For
This book was created as a way to help you learn from
Painter experts, regardless of your skill level. It is for
artists, non-artists, and art lovers. It is for not only all
Painter and other graphics software users—from the
beginner to the professional—but traditional artists and
those who aspire to become artists. Although this book
contains in-depth technical information that is useful for
professionals and expert digital artists, it also has simple
step-by-step techniques and information that will be useful
for hobbyists, novices, and traditional artists looking
to explore another medium.

How This Book Is Organized
This book is organized into chapters according to the
Painter expert’s area of expertise, such as concept art, fine
art, illustration, design, and photography. Each chapter
details the professional background of an individual
expert and includes techniques, insights, and resources
followed by an image gallery highlighting some of their
work, both personal and professional.
What’s on the DVD
On the DVD included with this book, you will find
many items submitted by the Painter experts, and by
Corel, that are useful, enjoyable, and inspiring.
At the end of each chapter in the book is an “On the
DVD” section that lists what is inside each artist’s folder.
The Painter experts featured in this book have designated
folders on the DVD where you can access their image
gallery, motion graphics, tutorials, favorite Internet links, and free content.

You will also find a free, 30-day, full working demo
version of Painter 11, courtesy of Corel.
Please remember that the artwork, graphics, content,
and tutorials are property of the artist and cannot be
reproduced without their express written permission.
Any free content included on the DVD can be used only
for noncommercial use, unless specified otherwise or by
consent of the artist.

The History of Painter
by John Derry, Cher Threinen-Pendarvis, Robert
MacDonald, and Steve Szoczei (with contributions by
Painter creators Mark Zimmer and Tom Hedges)
Painter 1: Natural Media
Mark Zimmer and Tom Hedges founded Fractal Design
Corporation in 1990.
Entranced by the new Wacom tablet, Mark Zimmer
developed Painter at his house starting in September
1990, and he kept it a secret until late December 1990
when he first showed it to Tom Hedges. During this
time, he literally put a microscope to pencil sketches and
measured the colors of felt pen combinations. He developed
a way for texture to interact with an image through
a brush and for brushstrokes to overlay and darken like a
color pencil. He demonstrated this to investors in January
1991, and Painter was born. Designers Hal Rucker and
Cleo Huggins showed the team the “paint can” package
design, and it was chosen for this special product.
Mark and Tom debuted the Painter product at Boston
MacWorld in August 1991 and hired John Derry at the
same show. The product shipped two days later.
The first release of Painter brought to the computer
incredibly realistic natural-media tools: grainy charcoal
and chalk, felt tip markers that bled into paper, and
many other brushes and art materials.

Painter 2: Realistic Watercolor and More
Painter 2 was released in 1992 using a marketing campaign
titled “So Hot, So Cool.” Whereas Painter 1.0 and 1.2
announced a new type of software to the world, Painter 2
exploded with a variety of tools no one had ever seen before.
The two biggest features in Painter 2 were Apply Lighting
and Watercolor, which were then unprecedented in the
world of digital graphics. Apply Lighting borrowed from the
lexicon of three-dimensional (3D) software and gave it a 2D
home. At that time, the watercolor was part of the image
canvas, but it yielded realistic results, with the transparent
pigment settling into the crevices of the paper grain. Artists
saw right away that they could use it both to paint beautiful
watercolor-like images and to color pen-and-ink sketches. It
was amazing to brush on washes of transparent liquid paint
and see it settle into the crevices of the paper grain.

Painter X2: Multiple Floating Selections
The creative team was inspired, and more exciting tools
were on the way. Within three months of releasing Painter
2, Fractal Design unleashed an extension for Painter 2.
This extension, called Painter X2, was revolutionary
because it provided the first commercially available
Macintosh-based image compositing environment for
desktop computers. The concept of multiple objects was
well established within the world of vector-based applications
such as Illustrator and CorelDRAW, but no one had
ever presented it within a raster- or pixel-based system.
The credit for introducing layers must go to Alvy Ray
Smith, who is a true pioneer within the computer graphics
community. Most of us are familiar with alpha channels
and use them in our current workflows. An innovative
genius, Alvy Ray Smith coinvented both alpha channels
and paint systems in general. Today it might seem odd to
get excited about something so universally employed as
layers, but when X2 was first publicly demonstrated, the
enthralled crowds couldn’t believe their eyes!

Painter 3: New Multimedia and Supermedia Tools
By now, Painter’s interface was being filled to the bursting
point. As a result, the team designed a new drawer-based
interface to contain the art materials, and the new user
interface would enable the expansion of Painter well into the future.
The team introduced new multimedia and “supermedia”
tools in Painter 3. The team rolled the multiple-selection
paradigm of Painter X2 into the program. With the layer
environment implemented, it was a just a short step to
come up with an onion-skinning feature for animators.
Painter 3 unveiled a set of animation tools that could be
used with virtually all the expressive media in Painter.
Frame stacks, a set of animated images, allowed the
frames to be edited individually with Painter tools and
then played back, as with a movie or animation. With
frame stacks, you could also open a QuickTime movie or
a Windows movie.
The Image Hose, a new supermedia feature, was introduced
in Painter 3. Many tools in Painter simulate the visual
nuances of traditional media, but the Image Hose uses an
opposite approach in allowing the creation of imagery
that has no traditional counterpart. In a digital-imaging
environment, you do not have to adhere to simulations
based only on tradition.
Painter 3 also introduced exciting new brushes that simulated
large bundles of brush hairs. With the Brush Controls,
artists could now control the density and coarseness of a
simulated brush tip.
Whether users worked with natural media, supermedia,
or video editing, Painter 3 empowered their creativity.

Painter 4: Moving Along with Web Tools,
Mosaics, and Other Cool Effects
The release of Painter 4 in 1995 led Fractal Design to an
initial public offering. Painter 4 introduced Net Painter
and Web Painter, which were both directly tied into the
rise of the World Wide Web. Net Painter took advantage
of the interconnection of geographically diverse Painter
systems, which enabled collaborative artwork creation.
Web Painter allowed images to be saved in the popular
Web-centric GIF and JPEG formats and enabled the
creation of image maps for use with Web page designs.
With the Mosaic feature, artists could design imagery in
the style of traditional tiled mosaics. Unlike traditional
mosaics, however, this feature enabled users to clone a
photographic source into a mosaic. Individual tiles could
be edited for shape and color. Again, Painter took another
difficult traditional medium and made it easy and flexible
to work with in the digital realm.
Painter 4 also introduced the concept of live free transform
using a “reference” floater. Rather than manipulating and
potentially degrading the pixels of a floater, a reference
floater retains the original image’s pixel information in
memory. The floater can then be resized, distorted, and so
on with the final calculation withheld until the reference
floater is committed. The result is a high-quality image
without the softness or artifacts that occur with repeated manipulation.

Painter 5: Impasto and More
In 1997, Painter 5 burst onto the scene with more realistic
art tools and “supernatural” media. The most innovative
features for this release were the incredible Impasto
media layer, which allowed interaction with thick paint,
complete with realistic highlights and shadows, and the
Liquid Metal media layer, which simulated the properties
of a viscous mercury-like liquid. Dynamic floaters were
also introduced; these were exciting special-effect layers
that could be applied to images nondestructively to create
other hot effects. Photo brushes made photo retouching
easy, and other plug-in brushes like the Gooey brushes
made manipulating photos and other imagery more fun.
Painter 6: High-Performance Brushes
and a Leaner Interface
When Painter 6 was released in 1999, users were excited
about the leaner, meaner interface. Painter 5 had contained
palettes that were filled to the brim. In addition to the
Brushes palette, Painter 6 combined the controls and
the art materials into three expandable palettes: Brush
Controls, Art Materials, and Objects.
These new brushes enabled an artist to create rich brushstrokes,
and with the addition of color variability, an
artist could load each brush with multiple colors. It was
also possible to enjoy the look and feel of “wet” paint—
new paint that mixed with existing paint as you applied
new brushwork. These new brushes also responded to tilt
and bearing—new features that were unveiled with the
new generation of Wacom tablets. Painting was more
intuitive and responsive than ever before.
In 2000, Corel Corporation purchased Painter from
MetaCreations and began research toward the development of Painter 7.

Painter 7: Creative New Media Layers and More
Painter 7 was the first version to be completely developed
under Corel’s ownership, and it presented two new media
layers: Liquid Ink and Watercolor. In 2001, Painter 7 was
launched at Macworld in New York City, and the aisles of
the trade show were filled with excited crowds as they
watched the demos of running, dripping watercolor and
thick, gooey liquid ink.
With the Liquid Ink layer in Painter 7, users enjoyed
painting with a thick, gluey ink medium that was
resolution independent, which meant that a small file
could be resized without loss of quality.
Corel Painter 8: Efficiency and Compatibility
Corel Painter 8 was released in 2003, and users were
enthusiastic about the redesigned, more mainstream
interface. Adobe Photoshop users were happy to find that
Corel Painter 8 was more compatible with Photoshop.
Layers and masks operated more like Photoshop, and it
was easier to port files between the two programs. Corel
Painter 8 also boasted hundreds of new brushes, organized
more easily into 30 brush categories. The Brush Creator
made it easier for new users to experiment with creating
their own brush variants using the Transposer and the
Randomizer, whereas advanced users were pleased to
find their familiar brush controls located in the Stroke
Designer. Often-used controls were included in a new
context-sensitive Property Bar.
Another exciting feature of Corel Painter 8 was the Mixer
palette, which users had been requesting a long time.
The Mixer palette offered a visually intuitive method for
arriving at a desired color or color range. Users could use
brush and palette knife tools to select color from a variety
of locations and then intermix the colors on a mixing pad.
They could then save these mixing pads to and retrieve
them from a large library of visually mixed color sources.
Corel Painter IX: Performance and Stability
With Corel Painter IX, the engineers at Corel reworked
the Painter code base to simplify, streamline, update, and
modernize it. The result of their efforts was a faster, much
more stable application.
The most exciting new painting feature in Corel Painter
IX was the Artists’ Oils brush category. When Corel
Painter 8 was released, many users fell in love with the
brush used within the Mixer; unfortunately, it was available
solely within the Mixer palette. Because of significant
user requests, this brush from the Mixer palette in Corel
Painter 8 was significantly improved and available as the
Artists’ Oils brush category in Corel Painter IX.

Painter X: Art and Passion
With the launch of Painter X, the engineers pushed the
painting capabilities to a new level. With the introduction
of RealBristle painting technology, Painter gave artists the
unprecedented look and feel of traditional bristle brushes.
These brushes allowed artists to rotate flat brushes and
multiload paint on one brush from the mixing palette.
Corel continued to push the speed and performance with
this version and introduced a new and improved auto
painting palette, which allowed photographers to take
their artistic vision even further with the new photo
painting capabilities.

Painter 11: Changing What’s Possible in Art
The latest version of Painter was developed with the help
of the community. The Painter community is a strong
and loyal following that had been requesting a number of
features. This version introduced a resizable color palette
and mixer palette. In addition, the engineers rebuilt the
color management tools so that artists would no longer
experience color shifting between Painter and other applications
like Photoshop.
Painter 11 expanded a continuation of the RealBristle
in Painter X with dry media. With a number of pencils,
chalks, and blenders, artists are now able to shade with
the side of a sharp media when using tilt with a pen tablet.

Final Thoughts
With every new release of Painter, feedback from users
has been fundamental to honing and improving the program’s
capabilities. When it comes to providing creative
professionals with a broad range of expressive art-making
tools, Corel Painter is still unequaled. With its passionate
and incredibly loyal user base, Corel Painter should continue
to thrive for a long time to come.

The developers of Painter long ago defined its central
theme: faithfully capture the subtleties of the artist’s hand
for the purpose of personal creative expression. This continues
to be the driving force behind both its popularity
and its development.

Painter continues to push the creative boundaries brought
on by traditional media and other digital applications.
Leveraging the texturing and customization abilities of
the Painter brush engine allows artists to express the art
they have always envisioned. After seeing the visions
of the 17 artists profiled in this book, we hope you will
feel inspired to do the same.

Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Andreas Rocha
About the Artist 1
Artist’s Statement 1
Influences 1
Techniques 2
Step-by-Step Tutorial:
Quick Concepts with Painter 2
Insights 6
The Creative Process 6
Favorite Features 6
Customizable Tools 6
Timesaving Tips 6
Finished Work 7
Q&A 7
Resources 8
On the DVD 8
Links 8
Gallery 9

Chapter 2: Waheed Nasir
About the Artist 21
Artist’s Statement 21
Influences 21
Techniques 22
Step-by-Step Tutorial:
“Those Gloomy Hours” 22
Insights 27
The Creative Process 27
Favorite Features 27
Timesaving Tips 27
Finished Work 28
Q&A 28
Resources 29
On the DVD 29
Links 29
Gallery 30

Chapter 3: Richard Swiatlowski
About the Artist 41
Artist’s Statement 41
Influences 41
Techniques 42
Step-by-Step Tutorial: “A New York Minute”
Photo Collage in Photoshop 42
Step-by-Step Tutorial: Using Paper
Textures to Build Up Depth and Richness 44
Insights 46
The Creative Process 46
Favorite Features 46
Finished Work 46
Q&A 47
Resources 47
On the DVD 47
Links 47
Gallery 48

Chapter 4: Song Yang
About the Artist 57
Artist’s Statement 57
Influences 57
Techniques 58
Step-by-Step Tutorial:
Character Painting 58
Insights 60
The Creative Process 60
Favorite Features 60
Customizable Tools 60
Finished Work 60
Q&A 60
Resources 61
On the DVD 61
Links 61
Gallery 62

Chapter 5: Aileen Strauch
About the Artist 75
Artist’s Statement 75
Influences 75
Techniques 76
Step-by-Step Tutorial:
Manga Character Illustration Techniques 76
Insights 83
The Creative Process 83
Favorite Features 83
Customizable Tools 83
Timesaving Tips 83
Finished Work 83
Q&A 84
Resources 85
On the DVD 85
Links 85
Gallery 86

Chapter 6: Wonman Kim
About the Artist 91
Artist’s Statement 91
Influences 91
Techniques 92
Step-by-Step Tutorial:
“Samurai War” 92
Insights 102
The Creative Process 102
Favorite Features 102
Customizable Tools 102
Finished Work 102
Q&A 103
Resources 103
On the DVD 103
Links 103
Gallery 104

Chapter 7: Brian Haberlin
About the Artist 111
Artist’s Statement 111
Influences 111
Techniques 112
Step-by-Step Tutorial:
Create a Pattern Brush…
“The Spawn Way!” 112
Step-by-Step Tutorial:
Creating Natural Pattern Pens 115
Insights 117
The Creative Process 117
Favorite Features 117
Customizable Tools 117
Timesaving Tips 118
Finished Work 118
Q&A 118
Resources 119
On the DVD 119
Links 119
Gallery 120

Chapter 8: Benjamin
About the Artist 127
Artist’s Statement 127
Influences 127
Techniques 128
Step-by-Step Tutorial:
The Creation Process of an Image 128
Insights 132
The Creative Process 132
Favorite Features 132
Timesaving Tips 133
Finished Work 134
Q&A 134
Resources 135
On the DVD 135
Links 135
Gallery 136

Chapter 9: Youchan
About the Artist 147
Artist’s Statement 147
Influences 147
Techniques 148
Step-by-Step Tutorial:
Masking 148
Insights 150
The Creative Process 150
Favorite Features 150
Timesaving Tips 150
Finished Work 150
Q&A 151
Resources 151
On the DVD 151
Links 151
Gallery 152

Chapter 10: Pete Revonkorpi
About the Artist 157
Artist’s Statement 157
Influences 157
Techniques 158
Step-by-Step Tutorial:
Smoothing 158
Insights 159
The Creative Process 159
Favorite Features 159
Timesaving Tips 160
Finished Work 160
Q&A 160
Resources 161
On the DVD 161
Links 161
Gallery 162

Chapter 11: Torsten Wolber
About the Artist 171
Artist’s Statement 171
Influences 171
Techniques 172
Step-by-Step Tutorial:
“Trophies” 172
Insights 179
The Creative Process 179
Favorite Features 179
Timesaving Tips 179
Finished Work 180
Q&A 180
Resources 181
On the DVD 181
Links 181
Gallery 182

Chapter 12: Jean-Luc Touillon
About the Artist 191
Artist’s Statement 191
Influences 191
Techniques 192
Step-by-Step Tutorial:
Aquatint-Style Portrait 192
Insights 194
The Creative Process 194
Favorite Features 194
Customizable Tools 194
Timesaving Tips 194
Finished Work 194
Q&A 195
Resources 196
On the DVD 196
Links 196
Gallery 197

Chapter 13: Chet Phillips
About the Artist 205
Artist’s Statement 205
Influences 205
Techniques 206
Step-by-Step Tutorial: Creating a
Steampunk Monkey Trading Card 206
Insights 213
The Creative Process 213
Favorite Features 213
Customizable Tools 213
Finished Work 213
Q&A 213
Resources 214
On the DVD 214
Links 214
Gallery 215

Chapter 14: Mike Thompson
About the Artist 221
Artist’s Statement 221
Influences 222
Techniques 222
Step-by-Step Tutorial:
“First Sunday” Movie Poster 222
Insights 230
The Creative Process 230
Favorite Features 230
Customizable Tools 230
Timesaving Tips 230
Finished Work 231
Q&A 231
Resources 232
On the DVD 232
Links 232
Gallery 233

Chapter 15: Dwayne Vance
About the Artist 239
Artist’s Statement 239
Influences 239
Techniques 240
Step-by-Step Tutorial:
Hot Rod Vignette 240
Step-by-Step Tutorial:
Custom Cloud Brush 244
Insights 246
The Creative Process 246
Favorite Features 246
Customizable Tools 246
Timesaving Tips 246
Finished Work 246
Q&A 247
Resources 248
On the DVD 248
Links 248
Gallery 249

Chapter 16: John Derry
About the Artist 259
Artist’s Statement 259
Influences 259
Techniques 260
Step-by-Step Tutorial:
“Chicago in the Round” 260
Insights 264
The Creative Process 264
Favorite Features 264
Customizable Tools 264
Timesaving Tips 264
Finished Work 264
Q&A 264
Resources 265
On the DVD 265
Links 265
Gallery 266

Chapter 17: John Derry
About the Artist 273
Artist’s Statement 273
Influences 274
Techniques 274
Step-by-Step Tutorial: Classic Oil-Style
Portrait from Photography 274
Insights 284
The Creative Process 284
Favorite Features 285
Customizable Tools 285
Timesaving Tips 285
Finished Work 286
Q&A 286
Resources 287
On the DVD 287
Links 287
Gallery 288
Index 298


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 2011 Course Technology 
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