This week just a few details and free goodies to start your year.
The trees, reflection and small plants were painted in Corel Painter using mainly Karen Bonaker’s wonderful free painter brushes – so many choices here so I will not go through them all – actually do not remember them all! I am sure most Painter people have all these brushes, but if you are new to Painter, check out the link for a great website and to get a huge assortment of great brushes (and Karen’s classes are terrific – she usually includes new brushes and teaches how to adjust them). The image was saved as a PSD file to be opened up in Photoshop.
In PS a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) composed of the Painter layers was created and then duplicated. Topaz (see sidebar at my Tidbits Blog for website link) Texture Effects 2 was applied to the top layer to create the basic soft background (used Dingy Cream preset and made tweaks).
On another Stamped Layer on top, Corel ParticleShop (these brushes can also be bought and used in Painter) was opened and the Wild Grain brush and the Fur brush were used to add a little more detail to the image. What is really nice is that only the changes to the layer are brought down on the layer that was duplicated – it was set to 44% layer opacity and a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was clipped (ALT+click between the layers to clip) to the ParticleShop layer. The Adjustment Layer was needed as the colors from ParticleShop were a little too vivid and needed to be slightly desaturated.
Jai Johnson’s free Flying Birds overlay was added – a few birds were painted out with a layer mask and a Pattern Fill Adjustment Layer using a gravelly stone looking pattern was clipped to the birds to give them some texture. Set the bird layer to Overlay blend mode at 80% layer opacity.
On top Texture Times Bokeh Number 5 was set to Overlay blend mode at 48% layer opacity.
A couple text layers using the free font called Winter Holidays by Vintage Voyage Design Company from Creative Markets – need to get on their newsletter list to get all kinds of wonderful free PS items each week. A Layer Style was opened by double clicking on the layer words and added a red and gold Pattern Overlay style to fill font with color and a 2 pt Stroke style around the letters. Used a layer mask to paint out parts of the lettering – note to make this look right be sure to check the “Layer Mask Hides Effects” in the Blending Options section.
A Curves Adjustment Layer was added for contrast – pulled the curve down a little bit.
On a Stamped layer the free Nik Viveza 2 plug-in was applied using only one Control Point on the tree leaves to add a little more detail with the Structure slider.
Added a Black & White Adjustment Layer and adjusted mainly just the Reds to pop the image – viewed in B&W then converted to color by setting the adjustment layer to Luminosity blend mode.
It is not really as complicated as it seems. Many steps that were pretty much my regular workflow. At least take a minute to check out some of the wonderful people who still supply us Photoshop Nuts with free products that make our images unique. Hope you have a great New Year!…..Digital Lady Syd
Been doing a lot of experimenting and learning about Corel Painter brushes and thought I would share how my Weed Brush was created. This process is very similar to what is done in Photoshop but requires a few different steps. The above image is an example of just playing in the program, with a little help from Photoshop. It is fun to sometimes not use a photo but just paint. I had never understood how the Painter brushes worked until I started taking Jason Maranto’s Brush Engine Essentials at the Digital Art Academy . These are the most thorough and informative videos that teach everything about how all the brush dab types work all the way through the manipulation of the different panel sliders that apply to each dab type. Probably overkill if you do not love brushes, but since I do, these are an absolutely fabulous way to learn about the brushes and at your own pace! I will be watching his Brush Engine Extended videos soon and hopefully will be creating some watercolor images with my own brushes!
A captured “dab” brush was created to use as the basis for the large bushes that are the main subject of this image. (This always confused me – a dab is the actual mark laid down by the brush – a stroke is made of many dabs created by moving your stylus before lifting it from the canvas. A captured dab can originally be made up of several strokes that are now captured into one dab by following this method – and this is what I did to create the second brush below.) Therefore I thought I would go over how this brush was created in Painter with a few tips I have learned.
Here are the basic steps that were used to create this brush:
1. Created a square document to keep the proportions of the brush accurate. Painter will let you make a brush up to 750 pixels, but you do not want to make it that large or else it will slow your computer way down when using it. Choose an amount that is approximately the largest size you will need so no artifacting occurs. Try something in the range of 128 to 256 pixels for both the width and height sizes and set the resolution to 150 ppi. The brush above was set to 200 pixels square.
2. I used the Airbrush Category Fine Tip Soft Air with these settings: Size 4.0, Opacity 100% which creates “a smooth fast-drawing tool” according to the now defunct Corel Magazine Issue #24 where they talked about the Airbrushes. (If you have any of the them, they are still great references for even the current version of Painter.) Since brushes will look best if created in black and white, select black color and paint a stroke similar to the one above on the Canvas. Corel will make the dab black and white if you do not and the results are not always great.
3. Select the whole brush document to CTRL+A and then go to Brushes -> Capture Dab. To deselect, press CTRL+D. Just to be safe, at this point I usually save the new brush by going to Brushes -> Save Variant and select a category for saving the brush.
4. Open the Dab Preview Panel to see how your new capture brush dab looks. Now it’s time to tweak your brush.
-General Panel Subcategory was changed to Grainy Hard Cover to pick more texture in the paper. Leave it to Soft Cover to get brighter more solid lines in your dab.
-If the brush is not a circular, go to the Angle Panel and change it from a 25 degree angle to something more reasonable or 0 for none. The above is set to 8 degrees for a slight variation with an Expression set to Pressure.
-The spacing of the dabs needs to be set in the Spacing Panel – set to 200% for one dab without overlapping. My brush is set to 56% Spacing and Min. Spacing of 0.1.
-Color Variability Panel Settings were used to get the variation in color. These need to be tweaked quite a bit to get the effect you want in your brush, if you want this look. For my brush, the H (Hue) was set to 15%, S (Saturation) 30%, and V (Value) 6% since I wanted that colorful variation. Do not open this panel if you do not want this effect.
-The Size Panel is set to 200 pixels, Min Size 29%, Expression Pressure, and Size Step 14%.
-The Opacity Panel is set to 100% for the Opacity, but Min. Opacity to 64% for some variation, and an Expression of 76%.
5. The last step is to update the brush you saved with the new settings by going to Brushes -> Set Default Variant. Next time you open brush, your new settings are there.
You do not have to use any of these settings for your captured dab. This is an example of how my Weed brush was put together to get the wispy texturized effect. By adjusting the size and changing the Color Variability and Subcategory, very different results can be obtained with the same dab. There are many other panels which will influence your stroke. By pressing the last icon on the Menu bar with the dot and brush, you can see which panels affect this brush for more choices.
For the rest of the image, here are the steps used. Each brush used was placed on a different layer so the opacity could be individually adjusted. The clouds were created by using a couple of brushes from Karen Bonaker’s Around the World Clouds that are free from her website. The Impressionist Sky brush is definitely a great one to begin with – then use a blender brush to smooth the edges. To really create some wonderful clouds, follow her Corel Webinar called Corel Painter Mixed Media Painting to really learn how to use all the brushes. The 3rd example is about creating the clouds.
Once finished in Painter, the image above was brought into Photoshop where French Kiss’ Brayer Blocks 02 was used (it is very similar to her Free Photo Mask on her website if you would like to try out the effect) to add the whole scene onto it. A pink Solid Color Fill Adjustment Layer was clipped (ALT+click between layers) to the block to remove the black color in the block. This was done by creating a group in the Layer Panel, duplicating the group, right click and select Merge Group, and turn off the eyeball of the original group. Now you have just the elements alone to clip to the Brayer Block layer. (See Related Blog below for more info on this.) On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Topaz (see sidebar in my Tidbits Blog for website link) ReStyle was applied using a preset I created way back that gives a bluish tone to rather bright original. My free SJ Snow 2-Overlay-slightly blurred overlay was added on top and set to 94% layer opacity. On a separate layer under the trees I used Fay Sirkis’s Snow Classic Powder Highlights (I love her brushes! If you are a KelbyOne member, they can be downloaded from her older webinars) but as you can see just a simple whitish sponge brush could be used to add a little snow. A light blue Solid Color Fill Adjustment Layer was added since the blue tone effect was just not right – it was set to Color blend mode at 41% layer opacity. The last step was to use the Camera Raw Filter Radial Filter to emphasize the middle bushes to draw the eye.
This image used the same brush created above, but this time several dabs were put down in a document and then it was saved as a new brush called Lots of Weeds. The reason there are bare spaces between the trees is that it was not converted to a black and white brush first, so the lighter variations did not appear. I did not mind that as it gave a totally different feel to the same stroke. Below is the brush file used to create the new one in Painter.The trees were on a separate layer, some sprayed snow was placed underneath on a different layer, and then the file was saved as a psd file and brought into Photoshop. The skier is from a free brush pack by brusheezy called Vectoroom Snowy 2.0 and the skier was rotated in the Brush Panel Brush Tip Shape section to approximately -45 degrees, spacing set to 1000% and size down to about 80 pixels to get the downhill effect correct. I used the Blur Tool to slightly soften the edges of the skier. A think pencil effect was used to the the slight ski lines. The original tree layer from Painter was duplicated and set to Vivid Light blend mode and a Drop Shadow layer style was added to give a setting sun feeling. (Blend Mode Multiply, Opacity 55%, Angle -33, Distance t0 px, Spread 0, and Size 13.) Jai Johnson’s beautiful free Iced Blue Canvas texture was added on top, set to Multiply blend mode. In the Layer Mask the Blend If This Layer white tab was split (ALT+drag to split) and set to 130/209 and on the Underlying Layer the white tab was set to 239/255 – this gives the sort of snowy effect granular effect I wanted in the image. On a stamped version (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E), Topaz ReStyle’s Snow Cover II was applied. (Here are the settings if you want them: ReStyle to Layer Opacity of 81% and set to Multiply blend mode. Set Basic to Color Blend Mode; Tone Black Level 0.17, Midtones -0.16, and White Color -0.37; and Detail Structure to 0.14 and Sharpness to -0.39.) This layer was set to 55% and on a Layer Mask, just the skier and center focal point area was lightly painted out. That was it and it gives a totally different look from the above with essentially the same brush.
As you can see, it is major fun to create brushes in Corel Painter if you can figure out what you need to do to make it look good. The brush classes really help. There are also several You Tube videos that I have found to be really helpful with these settings. Check out Karen Bonaker’s Favorite Brushes-Artists Sargent Brush, Heather Michelle’s Brushology 101 for Corel Painter, and Cher Pendarvis-Theiren’s Painter Wow! Exploring Brush Expression videos, for starters. They contain some great tips on how to create brushes and use the brush engine panels. Hope you get a chance to try out some new brushes – it is so much fun!
Since such a busy week so I thought I would just post some of the painterly effects I have been trying and maybe give you some new ideas to improve your digital artistic flair! The above was done completely with Photoshop plug-ins – I am always amazed at how these results can be achieved with a little mix and matching! This image used Topaz (see my Tidbits Blog sidebar for website link) Clarity, Topaz Impression twice, Topaz ReStyle, and Nik Viveza 2. For the specific settings, check out Image 1 info at end of blog.
These gondolas I had actually painted in Corel Painter before opening them up in the Smart Photo Editor. Check out Image 2 info for the shorter details in this case!
This is an image I did mostly in Corel Painter 2015, but finished up in Photoshop. The roses were painted from an image taken at the grocery store and painted on a gray background where the finished image was saved as a Photoshop file in Painter. See Image 3 for more info.
This image I set up and took in my home-sort of a little still life. Wanted to remind everyone that Photoshop still does a great job of getting that painterly look with its wonderful brush engine. This image used Melissa Gallo’s Antique Rose Canvas texture for the beautiful background effect. More info under Image 4 below.
I know I have said it several times before, but it is definitely a lot of fun to mix and match the different softwares and plug-ins to get different effects. This is definitely worth the time exploring if you are interested in creating unique artistic effects. Now that there are so many apps that can be uploaded to fix up phone images, it is hard to look unique and not just canned. That is why you have to pay attention to how these programs work together. Hope you get some time to paint and play with your plug-ins over the holidays and try out some new combinations……Digital Lady Syd
Image 1: Started in Lightroom with a preset I created from David duChemin’s wonderful, but dated book, called Vision & Voice which used Lightroom 3. It is just a Split Toning setting which means it can be used with other Lightroom settings. Highlight Hue is 50, Saturation 60, Shadows Hue 266 and Saturation 35 – that’s it! I have used this preset a lot in the past as it creates a very pretty tint. Clean up was done to remove some people walking. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) Topaz Clarity’s Color & Contrast Boost III preset was applied as is. On a new stamped layer, Topaz Impression’s Charcoal I preset was applied. Then the layer style was opened (double click on the layer to open) and set the Blend Mode to Divide, Opacity to 32%, Blend If Gray-This Layer white split tab (ALT and drag to separate) and set to 90/156. Added a Solid Color Fill Layer set to Color Blend Mode using R77G51B31 reddish/sepia tone. Topaz Impression was applied on a new Stamped Layer using my Watercolor-like effect on buildings preset – what the heck is this! Okay, this little preset is one I am using a lot in this plug-in so you would like to try it, here are the settings for SJ WC like effect on bldgs preset (started with Watercolor II preset and these were the final settings: Stroke Type 04, Brush Size 0.91, Paint Volume 0.42, Paint Opacity 0.87, Stroke Width 0.33, Stroke Length 0.89, Spill 0.23, Smudge 26, Coverage 1.00, Color Overall Hue 0.15, Saturation -0.20 and Lightness 0.06; Red Sat 0.47 and 0.14; Orange Sat 0.60 and Lightness -0.42; Yellow Sat -0.33 and Lightness 0.13; Green Sat 0.20 and Lightness -0.32; and Blue Sat 0.36; Lighting Brightness -0.04, Contrast 0.39, Vignette 0, and Light Direction X0.33 and Y0.06; and Texture Strength 0.78, Size 0.30, Canvas IV, Background Type solid white, and Background color used #d38967 – all other settings not listed at 0.) Adjust your color swatches to get other color tones – this is the secret to this preset. Next was Topaz ReStyle set to my SJ BW with greens preset (changed ReStyle blend mode to Color; Color Style Sat Primary -0.14, Secondary 0.48, Third 0.77 and Fifth -0.58; Lum Third 0.57; Basic Opacity 76% and blend mode Luminosity; Color Temperature -0.58, Tint -0.22, Saturation -0.11; Tone Black Level -0.59, Midtones -0.16, and White Level 0.36; and Detail Structure 0.73). On a new Stamped layer, opened Nik Viveza 2 and just add a little extra Structure, Contrast, Saturation and Warmth on the people in the center – basically my focal point area. Next another Stamped layer and Photoshop’s Gaussian Blur was applied using a Radius of 8.4. Adding a black layer mask, paint out just some of the signs so you cannot see all the writing too clearly – it draws away from the focal point. A Levels Adjustment Layer was added to add back some contrast. Next a Color Balance Adjustment Layer was added (Highlights Cyan-Red -5, Magenta-Green -4, and Yellow-Blue -37; Midtones Cyan-Red -2, Magenta-Green -6, and Yellow-Blue +17; and Shadows Cyan-Red +2, Magenta-Green -6, and Yellow-Blue -3). Next I painted a white edge frame around the image. This was a rather extensive workflow, but I love the results!
Image 2: The Photo art at a click of 050 preset by andrewb2012 was applied. (Here were the settings: Effect Controls: Master Fade all the way right; Multi-color Match 0.81, Exp -0.029, Highlight Clipping 0.254, High Clip Detail 0.044, Vibrance 0.673, Hue -1.000, Sat -0.312, Bright 1.156, Gamma -0.223, Contrast -0.085, High Clipl 0.421, High Clipl Detail 0.54, Vibrance 0.85, Hue 0.146, and Sat 0.265.) Used Grunge White Border by superdave to add the pretty edging, and then went out of Smart Photo Editor. Took the same layer back into Smart Photo Editor and applied the Photo art preset again with a little less Master Fade. This produced quite an interesting effect. This plug-in is so much fun!
Image 3: To learn to do this effect in Corel Painter, I have to thank Melissa Gallo and her Painter Workshop for Photographers and the Autumn Still Life Workshop. If you use Painter and want to get the most out of your brushes, definitely sign up for one of her future workshops. In Photoshop Two Little Owl’s Shabby Creek texture was applied and was set to Darker Blend Mode at 61% layer opacity. In the Layer Style the Blend If Gray This Layer white tab was split to 190/227. French Kiss’s Brayer Blocks 13 was added and a copy of the background layer was clipped to the png file (ALT+click between the layers to clip). A Stamped layer was created on top and Topaz ReStyle was opened using the Orange Bush in Snow preset (these settings were adjusted: ReStyle opacity 57%, Hue Primary -0.89, Third -0.31, and Fourth 0.30; Sat Primary 0.84 and Secondary -0.03; Lum Primary -0.06, Secondary 0.25, Third -0.62, Fourth -0.16, and Fifth 0.08; Texture Strength 1.00; Basic Blend Mode Color; Temperature 0.22, Tint 0.50, and Saturation -0.17; Tone Black Level 0.41, Midtones -0.39, and White Level 0.13; and Detail Structure 0.86 and Sharpness 0.45). Nik Viveza 2 was used to emphasize the top rose and add a little structure into the bottom two roses. Four New Layers were used to selectively sharpen and paint in to fix distracting areas. A Levels Adjustment Layer was added for more contrast and another Levels Adjustment Layer was created. The layer mask was turned to black by CTRL+clicking in the mask and painting back just the very center of the flower.
Image 4: This image was done totally in Photoshop following the directions of Melissa Gallo’s Painting with Photoshop. This was definitely the turning point for me in understanding the brushes and how to use them. This image was cleaned up a lot and Topaz Detail 3 was used to sharpen up the image. Most of the technique is how Melissa uses layers and brushes to get the final effect. Just wanted to let everyone to know that Photoshop can be very effective as an artistic form. Just experiment with the different types of brushes and you may be surprised how nice an effect you can get from them.
Little bit of a strange title, but that is exactly where I am with this huge program. I decided to try and see what I could do with this new version of Corel Painter 2015 (this website has lots of resources to help you out), but I must be honest and say I keep falling back on my Photoshop painting experience. I was having a hard time deciding if it was worth the upgrade since I am still just learning this program. I do believe I am happy with the new version if for no other reason than it seems to be running a lot smoother on my older computer. Since I have not fully explored all the new “bells and whistles,” I am not considering this a review – just showing you what I am trying out using this updated version of Painter – I by no means have even scratched the surface of this program. For those who are in the know about Painter, Aaron Rutten has a great video on all the new things called What’s New In Corel Painter 2015 that I just watched and was really surprised at all the updates (he also gives useful tips on how to use them).
The sign image above was located on a beautiful beach on a basically deserted cay – only a marina and small hotel/restaurant were open – but lots of abandoned buildings from the 1990’s were still standing. It was taken at Spanish Cay in the Abacos. Most people only stop here in their boats to get through Customs for entering The Bahamas. This image was first processed in Lightroom using Seim’s (see sidebar in my Tidbits Blog for website link) Power Workflow 4 Super Hero X-Natural preset. The lettering was also sharpened with a Local Brush set to high in Clarity and Sharpen. In Photoshop clean up was done to the image and Topaz (see sidebar in my Tidbits Blog for website link) Detail 3 was used to sharpen up just the lettering again (a black mask was added to the Detail layer and only the signs were painted back). A Curves Adjustment Layer was used to get rid of some of the shadows on the signs – once again a black layer mask was applied and just the brightened shadow areas were blended back into the image. Topaz Adjust 5’s French Countryside preset (one of a couple of my favorites in Adjust) was applied and this time a white layer mask was added in Photoshop and only the lettering brought back since there is some diffusion going on in this preset.
I opened up the original image in Corel Painter 2015 to try it out. I selected a clone brush using the Cloner Category – Bristle Brush Cloner (which is not new) to paint in the signs and some foreground on the Canvas layer. On a New Layer above I used Karen Bonaker’s July Cloud Category brushes (these were made for the X3 version, but once Imported they seem to work fine) – she did a wonderful video using her Cloud Brushes called Corel Painter Mixed Media Painting (if you have the time, it is worth the watch) and she lets you download them for free from the Digital Arts Academy – actually love all her brushes but these are especially nice. Her Simple Cloud brush was used to create the blue water effect and her Soft Cloud New and Summer Sky brushes were used in the sky. On another New Layer from the new Particles Category – my SJ Spring Feathers Sketch brush variant was used – same as the original Particle brush variant designed by Cher Pendarvis (of Painter Wow! book fame and another one of my favorite Corel Masters) for outlining the signs except in the Brush Calibration Panel the Enable Brush Calibration was checked – the brush just worked better for me this way. I did learn that if you open up this little gem of a panel and check the Enable Brush Calibration box and either adjust the sliders or open up the brush window to add your own stroke effect, you can override your general brush calibration settings and make it specific for this brush variant. Very cool! To learn more about this brush, check out her short video called Painter 2015 Particle Feather Sketch Brush – this brush is turning out to be a new favorite for me. To learn about brush calibration in major detail, check out Jason Maranto’s Chapter 04 Part 01 video on Brush Tracking (I have been following his free Painter 2015 Video Manual series on You Tube – he is doing a fabulous job covering this program.) The image was now saved as a Photoshop (PSD file) and reopened in Photoshop.
Now the cool thing – opened up both versions in Photoshop. Did some clean up to the Corel file layers and added a stamped copy on top (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E). Copied the Topaz Detail layer into this image to restore the sign lettering. This could be done by adding to the Topaz Detail layer a black layer mask and painting with a white brush just the lettering, or by placing the Detail layer under the stamped Painter layer with a white layer mask and painting with a black brush the the lettering – either way works just fine. Or use the Clone Stamp Tool between the two files to restore the lettering. All work equally well. I am sure I could also have done this some way in Painter, but I have not tried that yet. On a New Layer on top, my chalk brush was set to 19% brush opacity and used to paint in the ground area in the background – the complimentary color from the blue sky tones was used as a color. To get a complimentary color quickly invert your image (CTRL+I in image thumbnail in Layer Panel) and then sample by ALT+clicking in the image to get color, and finally undo this step. Or add an Invert Adjustment Layer, sample the image, and then delete it. Also added a little bit of this color in the foreground. Next added a Selective Color Adjustment Layer and only adjusted the Neutrals – Cyan +2, Magenta +6, Yellow +3, and Black +17 set to Absolute, just enough to pop the image a little. Another stamped layer was added and Nik Viveza 2 was applied – it was used to bring out the sky and yet slightly soften the structure, and to sharpen the signs a little more. Added a Levels Adjustment Layer and moved Midtones to 0.79 and Output Levels to 36/255. This just gave me the effect I wanted. Usually I use Curves for both of the last two layer adjustments, but I could not get it to look right so I tried something else. That is the end of my workflow for this image. It took a lot more work than I expected but I am find that this is what happens when you are looking for the right effect and working between programs. Here is a link to the first time I published this image, if you are interested.
This small barge that was docked at the Marina in Spanish Cay in the Bahamas. Not sure why I painted it, but it was something different to try. Admittedly, I am still in the learning process with using Painter so I am trying out different types of images. I still like doing the final tweaks back in Photoshop and find I am using almost the same workflow I used when just painting in Photoshop. So for a quick recap of how I got to this point, and unfortunately this one took me a while also, the workflow is as follows. Topaz Clarity’s Color & Contrast Boost III preset was used with no changes – wanted a more natural looking sharpening and Detail made it too crisp. Next added Painted Textures Christmas texture and set to Luminosity Blend Mode at 100% layer opacity. I decided to use this as a sort of underpainting since it gave a really simplified view of the image. A layer mask was applied and the barge and some of the pier was painted back in. On top French Kiss’s (see) Studio 3 Wave texture was applied and set to Screen at 79% layer opacity.
Image was opened in Painter several layer were created. First used more of Karen Bonaker’s wonderful July Clouds category brushes from above. On one layer used Impressionist Sky brush variant with blues and whites to create a hint of clouds – layer was set to 17% layer opacity later in Photoshop, and another layer used the Impressionist DW brush variant at 105 pixel size where different colors were added to background to give a green yellow foliage feel and add some color interest. It was also set to Multiply at 76% layer back in Photoshop later. Another Painter person to follow is Aaron Rutten – I have been trying out his Corel Painter 2015 Custom Workspace and brushes and used his Smooth Palette Knife brush variant to emphasize the white color to the barge. I like a lot of his brushes and he also has some great instructional videos on You Tube. Next layer used a brush I created after watching Painter 2015 Particle Brushes Featuring Jeremy Sutton. It was based on one of the new particle brushes, Gravity Lazy Sketch which I really like, but in the Particle General Panel, Jeremy explains some changes that can be made. For my brush I set the Count from 32 to 73, Global Chaos from 0 t0 10, and Local Chaos from 0 to 32. A rather shimmery brush was created that was used add some depth to the water areas and some of the sky. Really liked the effect. Image was then saved and brought back into Photoshop where I proceeded to add yet another layer on top where my SJ Chalk Brush as a regular brush was used to soften some of the harsh edges on the boat. A Curves Adjustment Layer was added to get a good contrast. A stamped layer was created and Topaz ReStyle’s Silver and Ivory Cloak preset was used. (Here are the adjusted settings if you are interested: ReStyle Layer Opacity 66% and set to Luminosity blend mode; Color Style Hue Primary 0.14, Fourth 0.14, and Fifth -0.44; Sat Primary 0.14, Secondary 0.02, Third -0.12, Fourth -0.47, and Fifth 0.09; and Lum Secondary 0.16, Third 0.67, Fourth -0.31, and Fifth 0.06; Texture Strength -0.77; Basic Color Temperature 0.33 and Saturation 0.03; Tone Black Level 0.31, Midtones -0.27 and White Level -0.17; and Detail Structure -0.03 and Sharpness 0.66; and in Masks painted back the white of the boat using Brush Edge Aware, Strength 0.55; Brush Size 0.25 and Hardness 0.30, then switched to Strength 0.18 and painted a bit of the in barge softly.) Set this layer back in Photoshop to Overlay at 71% layer opacity. Created another stamped layer on top and this time opened up Nik Viveza – added 13 control points to get the colors the way I liked them! Not sure I have ever used this many before. Mainly wanted to make sure the barge was working properly as the focal point. That was about it. I am always amazed how much work goes into creating these paintings, but usually I like the results if I spend the time doing it.
Well, as you can see I was able to get use some of the new things in Painter, especially the Brush Calibration panel for brush tracking and the new Particle brushes. Watching Jason’s videos (link above) is taking up a lot of time, but he is really covering the different topics very thoroughly so I am find them very helpful – and a lot of it is just on basic Painter. Since there are not many books on the newer versions available, these videos are a great resource. Hope you have all at least downloaded the trial to see what you think. Oh yes, another thing that is pretty cool is that there are now live previews like in Photoshop when using commands like Equalize and others I have not tried. That is very handy! Hopefully I will start to pull some of these new changes into my limited workflow and start painting more creatively! Well, I must get back to my painting and practice, practice, practice!…..Digital Lady Syd
This week I have been really busy watching Creative Live and Jeremy Sutton‘s presentation called Intro to Photo Painting: A Creative Approach Using Corel Painter X3. Wow – had not realized all the things Painter could do. I have Painter XI and was able to learn a lot in spite of not having the newest version (on my major wish list now!). This week I am doing just a short post showing you a few tips on adding some texture from Painter into an image first processed in Photoshop. This is pretty basic info since I am not that well-versed in Painter yet, but I thought it would prove interesting all Painter user, especially those who have never used it much.
The violet image above was first cleaned up in Lightroom and Photoshop before saving a copy down as a JPG for Painter. Several brushes were then used in Painter: Painter 11 Custom Brushes by Mitkov Abstract 1 brush (these are a nice group of brushes that are a free download on Deviant Art), Jeremy Sutton’s “Jeremy’s Jittery Dabber” brush, and Fay Sirkis’s “Sea World Fan Blender” brush, along with others that were used in small amounts (more info on Fay and Jeremy’s brushes below). In Photoshop the Mixer brushes were used to do some clean up I missed in Painter and to add the text using Radium J font. The reflection of the violets was created by using the Clone Stamp Tool and in the Clone Stamp Panel, setting it to a 180 degree angle and Flip Vertical – turned out pretty cool. Just a lot of fun to create.
With the image of the little gerbera above, I was happy with the bokeh effect, but was disturbed by how bright the bokeh was in the image – really pulled the eye away from the main focus, the flower. By taking the image into Painter, other color and blending could be done just to the background to soften the bokeh spots in the background by replacing them with some interesting texture. This was done by finding a couple brushes you like and alternating between sampling a color you want, painting on the background, and then blending the texture to soften somewhat. In this case it almost gave a shimmer to the background. I am still using a regular brush that lays down color and a blender brush which blends it in. Now this could be done in Photoshop with the Mixer Brushes, but Painter has so many more brushes to choose from that it is easier to get some pretty nice textured results.
Much more was done in Photoshop in this image – just skip the italics if you are not interested. Details on how this image was created. The RAW file was first opened Lightroom and Auto Tone was used and David duChemin‘s Classic India Split Tone preset for the soft vintage colors. (Here are the settings if you want to create it: Split Toning Panel using these slider settings: Highlights Hue 50 and Saturation 60, and Shadows Hue 266 and Saturation 35.) The Adjustment Brush was used to slightly sharpen the flower. In Photoshop Topaz (see my Tidbits Blog sidebar for website link) DeNoise 5 was used set to Overall .07 and Shadows .47 since I wanted a little noise left in the flower petals. Kim Klassen‘s Brush 1793 was used to add some color grunge in the top part of the image and the layer was set to 61% opacity. 2 Lil Owl’s Workbook Bonus Texture Set-14 (see my Tidbits Blog sidebar for website link) was placed on top and set to Linear Burn blend mode and 61% layer opacity. Nik Analog Efex was used adding these tabs: Basic Adjustments, Lens Distortion, Zoom & Rotate Blur, Light Leaks, Lens Vignette, Film Type, Frames, and Levels & Curves. As you can see, this was a major evolution! At this point the image could have been done and it looked pretty nice.
After saving as a PSD file, I saved it as a high quality JPG and took the image into Corel Painter. Since Analog Efex Pro changed the tone of the image when the pretty frame was applied, I could not remove it so I had to work with the edges of the frame in Corel. Painter is basically a pretty destructive program – I am find out that not every brush will work on layers above the canvas like it does in Photoshop with the Mixer Brushes. Therefore, most of the painting is done on the canvas itself. When it gets to a point you like, do a Save As and number it. Then go back and try some more painting and do the Save As again with a new number. I did this several times until I got a look I really liked. Basically worked with a Jeremy Sutton “Jeremy’s Jittery Dabber” brush from his Painter X Creativity book’s extra CD, and Fay Sirkis‘s “Sea World Fan Blender” brush from her Fay’s Master Brush Collection from Kelby Training several years ago (unfortunately it does not appear to be available anymore – her brushes are the best!) Since Painter has so many different brushes, and there are many available for free on the Internet including Deviant Art, it is pretty easy to find some brushes you like. By adding color and blending, the background is what resulted. Jeremy has a website that you can join and get all of his workspaces and brushes – see Paintbox TV.
The PSD file from Painter was brought back into Photoshop where a little Topaz Detail 3 was added – really added a nice edge to both the flower and texture in the background. I duplicated the layer and converted it to a Smart Object. Then I went into the Camera Raw filter just to fine-tune the colors in the HSL sliders. That was it!
This is just a simple frame that I created in Painter using a brush called Dems Oil Chunky Funky, a favorite of Jeremy’s and a free download. I saved the frame as a JPG and brought it into this image of the top of an old historic building that is the Armstrong Junior College building in Savannah, Georgia. The frame layer was highlighted and Select -> Color Range was used to select the white inside – then check invert box, click OK, and add a layer mask. There is your frame. You can adjust the opacity, change the blend mode, add Solid Color Adjustment Layer or Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer to get the effect you want. Very simple. And you can use it on many different images if you save it with your own texture collection.
I hope you found this blog useful. Using Painter with Photoshop is really not that difficult and you can get some startling results without too much effort. I hope to be able to show some more techniques using both programs in the near future……Digital Lady Syd
This week I decided to do the same image using different painting effects to see which ones I like the best. Since I was surprised by how nice Alien Skin’s Snap Art 3 plug-in performed in last week’s blog, I thought I would compare it to other programs and see if it was really that good. I wanted to keep to an Oil Paint look, but not all the software supports this. I must admit this is not a very scientific comparison since I used different steps for the different results each software presented – but it still gave me a feel for what painterly looks can be achieved with a little manipulation. This picture was taken along the International Coastal Waterway in Ormond Beach on a very windy day – the clouds were building. It is probably not the best image but I thought it made a good test choice since it had lots of foreground details and color, and a beautiful landscape cloud expanse in the background, All the examples started with the same basic brightening done in Lightroom and then applying Nik’s fabulous Viveza plug-in in Photoshop. (See my Nik’s Viveza 2 Plug-In – A Hidden Gem! blog.)
Alien Skin’s Snap Art 3
I really like the very final look Snap Art gave this image above. The Oil Paint (dry brush) was used as the basis for this image with several slider changes made to get the final look. For more info on the post-processing settings, see Image 1 at end of blog. This plug-in is definitely a good choice if you want this type of look. (See my blog Digital Lady Syd Reviews Alien Skin Snap Art 3 for other examples of what this plug-in will do.)
Photoshop’s Oil Paint Filter
This image is one I created in Photoshop CC using the Oil Paint Filter, which was added in Photoshop CS6 (although it is available for CS4 and CS5 users by using the Pixel Bender Panel). I did a rather popular blog a while back that gives definitions of what each slider does and what effect is creates for both versions – see my Photoshop’s CS6 (and Pixel Bender’s) Oil Paint Filter blog. In fact I used it to help me create this image along with a recent short tutorial by Mark S. Johnson on Planet Photoshop called Luminous Painting Effect Using Oil Paint Filter. As I said in my previous blog, it is not a look I would use a lot since it definitely has a Photoshop look to it, but it gives a pretty rendition of this image. Apparently it is very popular effect since it is used in most recent tutorials for creating the oil painting look in Photoshop. The Jack Davis Action image below also uses this effect but a little differently. For information on the settings used here, see Image 2 info located at the bottom of the blog.
This image took a lot longer than I thought it would. Since Topaz (for website link see sidebar in my Tidbits Blog) Simplify 4 is such a terrific plug-in for us creative types, I though it would whiz through this comparison. Instead I had a hard time getting a good oil painting look and never did get what I wanted without cheating a little. So above is what I came up with by applying Topaz Clarity, Adjust, and a new one coming out next week (I will add that info in once released but I needed the plug-in to get the effect I wanted) and never did use Simplify! The trick was to add a texture afterwards in Photoshop set to Hard Light at 34% opacity and desaturate it so it looks like an oil painting. Now that does not mean that I don’t like Simplify’s oil paint look, it just means it did not work on this image. (Check out my Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs listed below for some that really worked.) One of the issues in Simplify was a little webbing in the foreground grass which can be an issue for this plug-in on some images. For the actual settings and texture info, check out Image 3 below.
Jack Davis Wow Smart Object Painting 1 Action
Thought I would show you what Jack Davis’ action does for this photo since he does add several filters together in this action to get this result. It still uses the Oil Paint filter in Photoshop, like image 2 above, but it does look different when added in a group with the other filters. I also ran it twice on the image like I suggested in my Can You Get a Painting Look With a Photoshop Action? Jack Davis Can! blog. Check out this link for download information for this free action and the blog tells you most of the specifics to get this effect. Also see Image 4 for a little more info. I really like the result as I did the results from my previous blog.
This image uses Media Chance’s stand-alone Dynamic Auto-Painter that paints images in all sorts of styles and there are effects that can be downloaded to add to their presets. I have not used this program in a while and am not real proficient with it, but it gives some really interesting results and I felt it was worth a mention. The files must in 8-bit mode in JPG format. Other than that, it appears it has lots of options including masks that can be saved as PSD files. This image used Whistlers Rainbow for painting and I let it run for 14023 iterations. By placing the brush over areas you want emphasized, you can direct where more detail is applied. This is a really cool program and you should check it out if you want to try something different. I personally felt this look was pretty good. For a few more details, check out Image 5 below.
Auto-Painting with Corel Painter II
I wanted you to see what a nice result you can get with the incomparable Corel Painter – this took just a few minutes. I am not that proficient with this program, but the Auto-Painting technique is quite nice. Unfortunately I could not find an Oil Paint brush in my version to use when auto-painting, so the Acrylics Captured Bristle Brush was used. If I understand correctly, many people using Painter use the auto-painting function for underpainting an image and then paint on top the details. This image would look great if I knew how to use the actual brushes effectively in Painter. It does look quite a bit like the Snap Art plug-in, which is to Snap Art’s credit since it is quite a bit less expensive. For info on how this image was processed, check out Image 6 below.
There are a couple other ways to get a really nice painterly effect. The brilliant Russell Brown has developed two scripts panels to use inside Photoshop that guides you along as you paint. The oldest is called the Adobe Painting Assistant which has different download links for CS6 and CS5 versions – just keep scrolling. The newest panel is the Adobe Watercolor Assistant Panel that can only be used with CS6 and on. These are all free downloads at this link. The Watercolor Painting Assistant takes some practice to get a really nice result, but it will give a beautiful result. See my blog Dr. Brown’s Painting Assistant Panel for CS6 and CS5! and Think Pink! Rally for the Cure Pink Rose for more information on the older and more user-friendly Painting Assistant Panel. I will also mention another Digital Painting program called PostworkShop 3 which has received some excellent reviews for its beautiful results. Their website has some excellent resources for using the program. I have not had time to try it, but I hope to in the near future. There are some older Photoshop plug-ins that I remember from days past like Virtual Painter and Twisted Pixels, but I do not remember if they were that good. And I even tried out my old PhotoArtMaster Gold stand alone that was given away in a magazine by the now defunct fo2pix.com. (Lots of webbing occurred using this program.) It was a lot of fun just to try them out. I hope we have advanced our painterly form a little from those times.
Well, I hope you got to see what a variety of plug-ins and programs are out there to use for painting. At this point, I am not sure which one I would go with – it totally depends on the image. In this case I still like Alien Skin’s Snap Art 3 rendition the best although also liked the soft effect with Photoshop’s Oil Paint filter image. It was fun to take just one image and try different styles just to get a feel for the differences. If you have a chance you should try this out. And you can always learn to paint with the Mixer and Bristle Brushes in Photoshop and probably get even better results!…..Digital Lady Syd
Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Painterly Effect using Topaz Detail and Simplify
Getting a Nice Painterly Landscape Effect with Topaz Simplify and Texture
Corel Painter and Photoshop Together to Create a Pastel Painting
Topaz Adjust Using Painting Venice Preset – Beautiful Effect!
Topaz Simplify Artistic Workflow
How to Get That Creative Painterly Look
Adobe Photoshop CS5′s Mixer Brushes
For All Examples: In Lightroom the Lens Profile was added and Remove Chromatic Aberration was checked. Auto Tone was applied and Clarity (+67), Shadows (+73), Highlights (-92), and Vibrance (+47) were then adjusted before going into Photoshop. The Background layer was duplicated and by right clicking on the layer and selecting Converted To Smart Object. Nik’s Viveza plug-in was opened and no control points were used, which is unusual for me. Instead Brightness was set to -30%, Saturation 26%, Structure 28%, Shadow Adjustment -67%, Warmth 12%, and all other sliders set to 0%.
Image 1: A composite (stamped) layer was created by pressing CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E and it was converted into a Smart Object. The Snap Art plug-in was opened and these settings were applied. The Oil Paint (dry brush) preset was selected leaving the default settings in place for the Background tab. In the Color tab these settings were applied: Brightness 11, Contrast -40, Saturation 42, and Temperature -18. No changes were made in the Canvas tab. In the Layers tab, three layers were created and used the same Mask Tool setting of Feather 50 and Amount 53. Layer 1 had only the pink flowers selected and these were the settings: Effect Detail, Brush Size -54, Photorealism 61, Paint Thickness -28, Paint Stroke Length -34, Stroke Color Variation -54, and Brush Style Default Brush. Layer 2 selected the stems to the flowers and these were the settings: Effect Detail, Brush Size -15, Photorealism 0, Paint Thickness 48, Paint Stroke Length -34, Stroke Color Variation 40, and Brush Style Bristle Brush. Layer 3 selected parts of the clouds that needed more attention. These were the settings: Effect Detail, Brush Size 100, Photorealism -100, Paint Thickness -76, Paint Stroke Length 100, Stroke Color Variation 9, and Brush Style Soft Brush. Basically these settings were chosen by just experimenting and seeing what looked good in the image. A New Layer back in Photoshop was created and the Spot Healing Brush tool was used on a couple places in the image to remove distractions. That is all that was done to this image.
Image 2: Following Mark’s video, a Levels Adjustment Layer was added on top of the Viveza filter layer and set to Screen blend mode. A composite (stamped) layer was created by pressing CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E and it was converted into a Smart Object. By going to Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur with a radius of 34.6, a nice soft glow appearance was created. The layer blend mode was set to Multiply. Another composite layer was created and also turned into a Smart Object. This time Filter -> Oil Paint was added and the following settings were applied: Stylization 3.57, Cleanliness 10, Scale 0.55, Bristle Detail 8.1, Angular Direction 264.6, and Shine 1.2. A layer mask was applied and using a 30% opacity brush, the flowers were lightly painted back just give a little more detail in the image along with the shoreline in the background. A Curves Adjustment layer was added on the very top and using the little hand, the curve was dragged up a little. It ended up that my left edge point was moved to Input 0/Output 23 and that was it.
Image 3: This time a Composite layer was created and Topaz Clarity was applied – I love this plug-in, maybe as much as Detail! First started with a Reset and here were the settings: Dynamics: Micro Contrast 0.30, Low Contrast -0.19, Medium Contrast 0.91, and High Contrat -0.11; Tone Level: Black Level 0, Midtones 0.27, and White Level 0.42; and HSL: Sat: Red -1.00, Orange -1.00, and Magenta 0.14; and Lum: Red 0.30, Yellow 0.52, Green -0.55. The Opacity for the whole section was set to 62% and the foreground rock was selected in the Mask so the HSL settings only applied to that area. Once out of the plug-in, a black layer mask was added and just the rock and cloud areas were painted back. Next another composite layer was created and Topaz Adjust was opened up. Started with Stylized Collection – Painting-Venice preset (one of my favorites). Then added Diffusion settings: Softness 0.29, Diffusion 0.93, and Diffusion Transition 0.50. In the Local Adjustments section, the Brush Out brush was set to Opacity .50 and the leaves to the flowers were painted back, then set to 1.00 and the flowers were painted back in the mask. The Sky was painted back using a brush set to .20 and the blue area was painted over in one long sweep. A last new filter was applied that basically just correct some color issues here. Back in Photoshop the last step involved add one of Melissa Gallo’s textures from Painted Textures called Snowy Sky set to Hard Light at 34% – A Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was clipped to it (ALT+Click between the layers to clip) and the Saturation was set to -100. This way only the textured brush strokes show up but no color. (See my Tidbits Blog Getting a Nice Painterly Landscape Effect with Topaz Simplify and Texture.)
Image 4: This imaged used the default settings for the filters except for the Oil Paint filter where the same settings as for Image 2 were used. The layer was set to 72% opacity. Then a Composite was made on top and turned into a Smart Object. The action was run again. This time these settings were changed: Oil Paint filter – Stylization +10, Cleanliness 0, Scale 223, Bristle Detail 2, Angular Direction 264.6, and Shine .15; and Rough Pastels filter was set to Stroke Length 7, Stroke Detail 20, Scaling 67, Relief 4 and Top Right. This layer was set to Overlay blend mode and 68% layer opacity. A black layer mask was added and the sky was painted back.
Image 5: This image started as the same places as the others – just converted it to an 8-bit mode jpg to work on it in Dynamic Auto-Painter. By clicking the brush on the flowers while the program was running, I was able to get a little more emphasis on this area. The image was brought back into Photoshop for some clean up. A Color Balance Adjustment Layer was used to add more yellow into the image – in Midtones Yellow was set to -31. In the Curves Adjustment Layer, all the individual channels were adjusted to get the correct balance of colors. A composite layer was created and then a Gaussian Blur filter was applied with the radius set to 2.3, just enough to blend some of the painting lines on the rock. Then the flowers and shoreline were painted back slightly in a layer mask.
Image 6: The image was taken into Painter II with the Lightroom and Viveza changes. I changed the Underpainting settings that were set to Classical Color Scheme to Brightness +27%, Contrast -55%, Hue +2%, Saturation -8%, Value -17%, and Smart Blur 0%. The Acrylics Captured Bristle Brush from the Smart Stroke Brushes category was selected and Scribble Large was used in the Stroke Box. Very basic stuff here. Hopefully I will learn how to use this program better. Once the painting was finished, it was brought back into Photoshop where a clean up layer was created. A Curves Adjustment Layer, Color Balance Adjustment Layer and Selective Color Adjustment Layer were added to get the contrast and color correct.