Wednesday, March 01, 2006

tapping my tablet in Painter IX
Getting to grips with Painter IX and what it offers is clearly going to need time and practice. The range of ‘brush’ styles available is daunting for a start so fitting in the occasional short session between more orthodox painterly activities is not going to work.

The on-line tutorials and the printed ones in the handbook are very helpful but I’ve decided that unless I devise a simple basic working method that enables me to achieve good results the potential of this marvellous piece of software will elude me. Exploring the properties of a range of different brushes in an unsystematic way is not much help.

Using a clone of a photograph with the tracing paper function described in the tutorials proved to be too complicated. So I settled for inserting a clone of the photograph on a new layer above the canvas – but I’ve no idea what happened to the tracing paper. Then adding new layers for each stage of the painting process, sketch, underpainting, and so on gave a hint of a simple working method I could manage.

So my standard procedure for now is to create a ‘canvas’ with a light textured ground, copy a sketch onto a new layer above it and develop the painting on successive layers. Sometimes the linear qualities of the sketch enable simple transparent colour enhancements to be added. With others overworking can cover the original drawing as in an oil or pastel painting.

It’s a marvellous way of developing drawings and colour studies for working up in water media or pastel without getting your hands dirty. As Alwyn Crawshaw used to say “I’m happy with that.”

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