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Use creativity to take your Painter abilities to the next level.

Book Review: Painter X Creativity – A Digital Artist’s Handbook by Jeremy Sutton

Painter X Creativity is a book that addresses both creative and technical proficiency in the use of Painter X from Corel. The goal of author Jeremy Sutton in the writing of this book is to excite, enthuse, inspire, and encourage you on every level, and to empower you to make beautiful expressive paintings by using Corel Painter and a Wacom tablet.

In Painter X Creativity Sutton shares his personal perspective on the art of digital painting, his techniques, and enthusiasm to help you develop your artistic skills by sharing what works for him, in the hope that it makes a difference for you. This book also contains a disk that contains brushes, color sets, custom workspaces, videos, and tutorial images to help you on your journey with this book. Painter X Creativity is 336 pages and divided into eight chapters.

Chapter 1, "Preparing" yourself is as important to an artist as it is to an athlete, speaker, or a musician. Everyone needs that time to prepare and get ready. All have their rituals and steps that they use to ensure a great performance. This is no different for you. In this chapter you will learn about the seven principles that the author uses to prepare for work. Then he takes you through the equipment that you will be working with like Corel Painter, the Wacom tablet, and computer system so you have them all running their best.

Chapter 2, "Exploring Brushes," examines one of the most important aspects of Corel Painter; that of the brushes. Understanding and controlling your brushes is as fundamental to anything you do in Painter and in this chapter you will explore and learn the breadth and variety of brushes, their looks and behaviors, as well as how to customize, control, and organize them.

Chapter 3, "Texture and Pattern," are closely related, and when light falls on a textured surface, the physical relief of the texture creates a pattern of light and shadow. Painter can accurately emulate some of the traditional aspects of physical color, texture, and pattern, and this chapter explores some of these capabilities.

Chapter 4, "Design and Composition," now explores the basics of design and composition with regard to Painter. The process of design is inventing the form of something, and composition is the bringing elements together and arranging them as a whole. This chapter will help you visualize your design, recognize what is working and what is not, as well as how to resolve your compositional problems.

Chapter 5, "Painting from a Photograph," takes a look at the benefits of transforming a photograph into a painting. You start off by examining why one would want to begin from a photograph, then learning the different ways you can paint from a photograph, and then how to accomplish this using Corel Painter.

Chapter 6, "Going for it with Color," gives you the ability to make confident color decisions such that you will realize the full power of color in expressing yourself within your subjects. You will build on what you already know to learn how to choose the color via the basic color palettes in Painter.

Chapter 7, "Collage Portraiture," is a portrait technique in which there is a main foundation image interwoven with subsidiary images. The artwork tells a story of the subject that can transform the subject through time. This chapter is a case study on how the author created a Collage Portrait of San Francisco called "San Francisco Heart."

Chapter 8, "Replay," looks at how you can use scripts to automate some of your procedures in Corel Painter. This chapter looks at how to record, save, edit, and play back scripts that can help in the automation of some of your workflow.

Painter X Creativity really brings out the personality of the author and his love of working with Painter. It provides you with an insight into how a digital artist works with Corel Painter and what one can accomplish in time.

In this book Sutton takes you from the basics and techniques and shows you how to apply them to actual images giving you the ability to see how it happens. Best of all, he does it not just by step-by-step, but by getting down into why he does it that way. Best of all you can learn from one of the pioneers of the field.

If you are using Corel Painter and want to take your abilities to the next level then Painter X Creativity will give you the additional skill that you need to make that advance. I highly recommend this book.

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.

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