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Love My Painter X3 and 2015
Painter X3 took over my traditional oil painting easel and palette when it came out 2 years ago. Now I have updated to Painter 2015 and I love it even more. It has all the feature of X3 but even more and is much more user friendly.
I've always painter traditionally with oils, acrylics, watercolors and pastels, but was having increasing difficulties with some of them because of asthma and allergies. PainterX3, and now Painter 2015, enables me to do all of these media, using traditional techniques, without the breathing problems.
Starting With Corel Painter
My first experience was with Painter 11 four years ago, and I started developing some skills with it, but wasn't ready to completely give up my traditional painting. Two years later I upgraded to Painter 12 and enjoyed more freedom in creating my own brushes, or adapting brushes from the instructors at Digital Art Academy.com.
Painter X3 came out with all the the same features as Painter 12, but added some very exciting new ones that make painting and navigating the program so much easier. I've come to a point where I almost always paint in Corel Painter rather than traditionally.
If you are presently using Painter 12, you will have no problem transitioning to Painter X3. If you are using an earlier version or none at all, there is a big learning curve. The Digital Art Academy was fantastic for learning all the ins and outs of Painter and the courses are very reasonably priced.
When Corel came out with 2015, I upgraded to that one. One advantage of having the previous versions, whether 12 or X3, was that they gave us a greatly discounted price for the upgrade of $99. I'm not sure if that discount is still available, but be sure to look into it if you all ready have one of the earlier version. Also, if you did get the 2015 version, be sure to look for a big discount again when a new version comes out.
New Features in X3
There are many new features, but what I want to do is show you the ones that I most appreciate and use.
* Easy access to a reference photo.
* Placing a jpeg on your mixer pad
* Creating special color set libraries
* The Brush Search feature
* An advanced brush control panel, and
* Working on layers, which isn't new but I love it.
New Features in Painter 2015
Painter 2015 made all of these things even easier to use and they also introduced some exciting new brushes, specifically Particle Brushes, which are just so much fun and create some beautiful effects.
I've produced a few videos and pictures to show you how I use it. You can see additional great tutorials at:
- karenbonakerart.com and
- on YouTube on my Channel and theirs.
When I started with Corel Painter 11, I purchased a Wacom Intuis 4 Tablet. I used it with 11, 12 and X3. I would paint on the pressure sensitive tablet and watch the visual of the painting on my computer.
When I upgraded to 2015, I decided to get the Wacom Cintiq 13HD where you actually work right on the visual screen of the Cintiq and use your computer screen for storage of some menus. I like to have the navigator on the computer screen and enlarge it so, I can also see the progress of the painting at a distance. I bought a new tower computer to attach this to.
I have X3 and 2015 on my old laptop which I have the Intuis 4 attached to. This way I have a very portable system to work on if I'm out on location.
I have X3 and 2015 on my new computer with the Cintiq attached to it. This is where I do the major portion of my painting.
The first new change I find very helpful is the ability to show a reference image right next to where you are painting.
You can show a reference image by going to the "Window" menu and scrolling down to "reference image," click on it, and the blank reference image will appear on your workspace.
You add reference images by clicking the little file folder in the lower left-hand corner of the image (see the red arrow) and enter the name of an image you want to display.
Adding a jpeg File to the Mixer Pad to Create a Color Set
Here is a demo of how I took a jpeg photo and placed it on my mixer pad so I could use its colors for my painting. I also show how to make a color set from the photo and then adding addition colors you want included in the set.
You can search for a brush in the library you have open by clicking on the search area as seen here. If you do not see this area, go to the "Windows" drop-down menu and scroll down to the "Toolbox" section and click on "Search." A blue box with a check in it should appear. This turns on the search feature.
Advanced Brush Control Panel
At the end of the Brush Properties Bar, there is an icon of a brush and gear that will turn the Advanced Brush Control Panel on and off. When it is on, the icon is blue.
You will see a panel like the one pictured here, that tells you every detail about how the brush is made.
You will notice that there are several tabs in the different sections. For example, the first one has "size'" "spacing" and "angle." Click on any of these to see the settings for those properties. Only the properties that apply to the specific brush are shown.
You can change any of these settings as you want. Try changing one and see how it changes the brush stroke when you paint with it.
You can always return the brush to its default setting by clicking on the icon at the beginning of the property bar. It is a paintbrush with a curved arrow to the left.
This isn't a new feature, but it is a feature that makes Painter what it is. Having the freedom to work on layers, allows you so much opportunity to experiment and improve your painting without the fear of ruining what you have all ready done and like.
Here's a demonstration of how I used layers in one of my paintings.
Working in Layers
Video Tips for X3 and 2015
I've been helping a friend learn how to use Painter X3 and made a video for her after our session to help clarify some things we went over and to give her a visual reference to go back to. I refer back to our work session and refer to her as Jill, but I think you will find some of the information useful if you re just starting out in X3.
If you are using Painter 2015, most of the information is the same except for creating a custom palette.
In X3, when you add a command and click "OK," the panel closes. If you want to add another command, you have to go back to the menu bar and click "window," "custom palette" and "add command" again to re-open up the panel.
In 2015, you open the panel the same way, but now you have to choices.
If you only want to enter one new command, click "OK." If you want to enter more than one command, click"Add." The panel will stay open and you can keep adding commands until you are done. When you are finished, then you click "OK" to close the panel.
Learning Corel Painter X3
Hope I've given you some good pictures of why I love Corel Painter. I hope you will take the time to add some comments and some things you've found for yourself when using Painter 12, X3 or 2015.
If you are ready to upgrade, Painter 2015 is available. It works very much like X3 if you are familiar with that, but has some added new features and brushes that are pretty exciting.
It is even more user friendly than X3, but there still is a big learning curve if you have never used Corel Painter before. The good news is, there is so much more training available now compared to when I got my first version, Painter 11.