Product Review: Page (1) of 2 - 11/08/07 Email this story to a friend. email article Print this page (Article printing at page facebook

Corel Painter Essentials 4

By Kelley Kuhlman

Corel Painter Essentials 4 is described as the Simple-To-Use Home Art Studio. Based on Corel Painter X, it has all the tools you need to create art on the computer. I have been painting on the computer for many years and have come to enjoy working in the digital domain. Here are my investigations from using Painter Essentials 4 for the last several months.
When I first started the software I was greeted by a welcome screen and the following choices:

The intro artwork alone enticed me to investigate further. I immediately chose the Video section and watched all the tutorials. Each one is clear and encouraging. I tried each one using my WACOM Graphire 4 Tablet and got great results.
The workspace is uncluttered and simple. The Drawing and Photo Painting Tabs are at the top right and make it easy to switch back and forth as needed. All of the tools are readily available and easy to find.
Starting my drawing from scratch was as easy as:
* Setting up my page:


* Choosing the surface:


* Creating a custom palette -if wanted- by either mixing from the colors in the Mixer :


Or Sampling the colors in an original:

 * Then choosing my brushes from the wonderful Brush Drawer:

Some Basics
The first layer created is the Canvas; the paper texture is on that layer and that is where the painting goes. It is possible to start your own painting on that canvas or to import (place) a source image to trace or paint on. When you place an original photo or in the following example, a scanned painting, it is placed on a separate layer. This is important as you can use it as a tracing layer and it keeps the source or original unaltered:

For this example, I Placed the teapot painting which I had done traditionally on paper years before. Then I clicked on the Photo Painting Tab to trace it. I just wanted the outline so I chose the Scratch Board Tool.

The next image is a view of the tracing paper at 70% and the outline that is created by tracing around the contour. This is a good example of how it clones the edge.

When you go back to the Drawing Tab and you make the source image invisible you can see your results:

You now have an outline image to paint on. At any time you can rotate the canvas to get a better angle again it is easy and readily available:

Brush Tracking is found in the Edit menu which evaluates the way you use your mouse or pen.  Plus, this software provides full Wacom tablet support including Intuos3 , Bamboo, Graphire4, and Wacom's 6D Art Pen.


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