Digital illustration of a few samples of north american wildlife created for Red Wolf Sanctuary. This art will be produced as wine labels for bottles of wine which will be sold and the proceeds used to benefit the sanctuary. This has been one of my favorite projects to work on. I appreciate the work the sanctuary does to preserve and protect our North American wildlife.
Well, I finally finished the painting that I tried to work on in Painter 12. I tried and tried to work with it, but the lags and crashes were just too much for me to deal with. I ended up bringing everything in into Adobe Photoshop CS6 to finish this piece.
I think I finally have a system for working in this style in Photoshop. It took developing several custom brushes and working in multiple, multiple layers. But I did get it done. This one is titled “Sun, Moon, Stars.” It is really just a self-promotional piece. The original is 11 x 17 inches. I reduced it and used it as the header image on my website. www.amandascreativestudios.com if you want to check it out.
I intend to do the next one with Thanksgiving motif. I had a sketch all worked out for Halloween, but that Holiday sort of sneaked up on me in a hurry! 🙂 Maybe next year.
Until now, I have been using Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, or traditional artist media to create all of my illustrations. But for commercial work, I much prefer to work digital…for the Control Z function if nothing else. That one key stroke has revolutionized the world of art!
Photoshop and Illustrator, however, as great as they are, don’t quite “get it” for the watercolor artist, and so I ordered my copy of Painter 12 with its all new “real watercolor” world, and I have been chomping at the bit to get started–but I was a little concerned. I had previously ordered Painter X and had tried using it, but I had so many crashes and freezes with both the Macintosh and IBM versions that I gave up on it in extreme frustration. I never touched it again. When deadlines loom, working with something reliable is paramount.
With the release of Painter 12, I assumed whatever the problem had been before had surely been fixed by now. I was wrong.
The software held up fairly well throughout the low resolution tutorials that I worked on, although it did still freeze up a couple of times. But the real problems started when I tried to work in high resolution, on real-world art.
All I can say is “what a drag!”
Freezing up. Crashing. Hanging up. Locking up. All those nice things.
I could barely proceed in any direction with any brush on the canvas without a crash. Again, I became so frustrated that I was tempted to give it up forever. But I couldn’t justify throwing in the towel after having spent so much money–twice.
I scanned internet forums and articles and found some possible fixes. Here’s what I tried…and what failed (I thought):
I tried all these fixes, but to no avail. I shot Corel a rather curt email about my issues.
I admit that I initially received two pretty quick responses. They instructed me to run several reports about my system and forward those to them, which I did. That was two days ago, and I haven’t heard back.
THE FIX (sort of)
In the mean time, my impatience got the better of me, and I experimented a little more. I found that after I set the preferences that I mentioned above, they weren’t applying to any new documents that I opened, and I was still using the default settings without realizing it. I should have remembered that in order to make global preference changes that affect all future documents, you need to adjust the settings before you open any document. Otherwise the adjustments just apply to that document. Once I figured that out and made the aforementioned adjustments with no documents opened, things got better, but they aren’t perfect by a long shot.
MY TAKE (so far, until I hear back from Corel)
The real watercolor brushes are laggy, to say the least. They look good, but they try my patience to use. Certainly not like using Photoshop. They don’t act exactly like real watercolors either, but with some tweaking they can look like the real thing, and that’s what counts. So I’m pretty pleased with that.
I still experience lock-ups and crashes fairly regularly, but I can at least make some progress with my paintings before that happens. So save often and save early!
I like how the painting is turning out. I enjoy the feel of the brushes and feel they are more intuitive than Photoshop brushes. I’m working a little slowly since I’m still on this learning curve, but I’m learning quicker ways to get the same look accomplished, and I’m sure that that will only improve with time and practice.
I hope this helps anyone having the same kind of hang-ups in Painter 12. I’ll be posting my first digital watercolor painting in the next couple of days.
Per my last post, you know that I have made the tough decision to focus my career on illustration. But I still have more decisions to make. I still need to cut some clutter.
My current portfolio represents several different illustration styles and techniques that I have worked in over the years. I need to narrow that selection down to two at most, maybe even just one, although I’m not sure I can manage that. I may develop “style-fatigue.” I do need variety in my world 🙂
If I do fully develop two styles, I’m aware that I may need to work in one style under an alias. So I’ve also been considering how to implement that strategy in my marketing and web presence, etc. But that will all come later.
In any case, after several days of turning the matter over in my mind, I’ve decided to try working with two styles that are quite different. Here are samples of each:
The above style is based on vector art created in Adobe Illustrator and then polished in Adobe Photoshop. It’s a tighter style and would be good for commercial art in the toy and game industry, for instance. I will post on my progress as I begin to build and develop portfolios in these styles.
This has been a tough decision for me as I love experimenting with different styles, mediums, and techniques, but it’s also important for me to make my artwork more marketable.
Art directors often want to see consistency in style. They need to know what they can expect out of an artist and out of a contract. The only way to do that is to present work that is consistent in both quality and style.
For the next several weeks, my goal will be to crank out as much good artwork as possible in each of these styles.