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If you are looking for high quality Corel Painter training to create works of art from photographs, then I highly recommend Painting for Photographers, Vol 2 by Karen Sperling.

Book Review: ‘Painting for Photographers, Volume 2’ By Karen Sperling

Painting for Photographers, Volume 2 is the latest book from Karen Sperling and the second in her Painting for Photographers series. It is available in print and eBook formats. It written for use with Corel Painter and it is compatible with Painter versions 12, X3, 2015,2016, and the latest 2017. Its goal is to continue teaching you how to paint portraits that began in volume one.

Painting for Photographers Volume 2
Painting for Photographers Volume 2
The foreward is written by Scott Stullberg who introduces us to Karen Sperling by explaining how he got to know the instructor over two decades ago and how even back then she was teaching Corel Painter. He explains that even in the early days she would explain the inner works of the program to him and a group of friends. Now, as a portrait photographer, he loves giving her photos and seeing what kind of beautiful results that she brings to his work.

“Introduction”, breaks down the book and how it will help you learn. That it is useful for both beginners as well as more experienced users. The book starts off with an overview of art theories that are taught in art school as well as the basics of the use of the software. Then the book provides step-by-step instructions and is organized by painted results. Her goal is to demystify the process of turning photos into paintings and that anyone with enough practice and patience, can learn to do the same.

Painting for Photographers Volume 2
Painting for Photographers Volume 2
Chapter 1, “Art Lessons”, explains that you do not have to know everything about Corel Painter to produce high quality paintings from photographs. You just need to know some basic concepts and theories. Here she explains what makes a photograph a good candidate for a painting. Once you have the candidate, you need more than just to auto paint it. There are differences between a photo and a painting and to make it look like a painting you must understand these differences. Here she talks about color, painting of faces, hair and clothing. Then she finishes with adding some further study on what you have just learned by showing examples from two different artists and how they carried out these theories in two different ways.

Chapter 2, “Painter Basics,” is an overview of how to use Corel Painter. Here you will learn the most commonly used Painter tools and brushes. These are her go-to tools and techniques that she uses all of the time. Here she examines the interface. Then she walks through all of the items that she uses. Things like choosing brushes, changing colors and hues, sketching, blending, as well as zooming in and out. She explains file formats, image resolution, the other tools that she uses such as tracing paper, cloning, and the uses of some of her favorite brushes. Again she finishes with an area of review and further study that adds additional information to help with your work.

Painting for Photographers Volume 2
Painting for Photographers Volume 2
Chapter 3, “Painter Steps,” is where you really learn how to turn your photos into paintings using Corel Painter. What you have learned so far are the fundamental concepts for accomplishing this and so the instructions here are a general guideline and not absolute facts. You have to use what you have learned and apply it to your own photos. In this chapter you will explore impressionist portraits, the use of abstract backgrounds, classic studio portraits, vignetted backgrounds, painterly backgrounds, contemporary portraits, and casual portraits.

At 128 pages, Painting for Photographers, Volume 2 is packed with an incredible amount of information. It covers art history, training in the use of Corel Painter, and turning your photographs into works of art. If you spend the time to tackle and understand the concepts that Karen Sperling is providing to you, I believe that you will gain the ability to do the same. If you are looking for high quality Corel Painter training to create works of art from photographs, then I highly recommend Painting for Photographers, Volume 2.

About T. Michael Testi

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

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