Thursday, January 11, 2007

Painter IX again

At last things are coming together. I’ve found a simple way of working with Painter IX that I can get on with. This involves working with layers and devising a plan for what each will contain. The first layer is always the canvas and for the moment for me that is always ‘sandy pastel paper.’

The next layer contains the drawing. Until today this has been a scanned drawing from my sketchbook. The drawback with this is that the sketch has to be cropped and resized in Photopaint first to fit the canvas. Today though I made the drawing by working directly with the stylus on an Intuos 3 tablet. This is how I would normally work on a real canvas, corrections can be made just as easily but the big advantage is that the sketch layer is preserved in the saved file and can always be referred to. In a real painting it is lost.

A new layer is opened for the lay-in where the main features are blocked in. This is followed by a defining layer where the drawing is firmed up and tonal adjustments are made. Finally come a detail layer for the final touches.

For the moment I’m following this simple strategy with a range of Pastels Brush tools. These tools respond to stylus pressure which comes easily with the way I draw. There is some stunning digital art produced by artists with Painter IX who manipulate photographs and graphic art work using cloning techniques. The range and scope of digital art is amazing.

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