Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 10:39:32 -0400
Subject: illustration: LEs, Painter, and line art

Here's what I do if I'm NOT using watercolour in Painter...

1. Scan in drawing in grayscale.
2. Clean it up in grayscale, whack out the levels & contrast till I get the line that I want - at this point it will actually look like a bitmap file.
3. Select all the line with wand, contract it by one pixel and save the selection.
4. Switch to RGB.
5. Save file as a tiff - you'll use this later for the line.
6. Do a Save As... on this file (wouldn't have to do this with Painter 5) and you'll use this to paint.
7. Open file in Painter. Go to and a little over the lines with your colour.

HINT: nice thing about Painter 5 is that at this point it would have that selection available to you and you could simply load selection and fill. But you have to...

8. Open painted file in Photoshop.
9. Open your other 'line' file. Load selection and copy.
10. Go back to the painted file and paste the selection and position it.
11. Expand the selection by one pixel and fill with black or whatever for your outline.
12. Voila. Of course, if you stick to watercolour your line is unaffected and you wouldn't have to go through all this hassle!
13. Switch to CMYK and be really dissappointed in how dull your colours have turned :~) I personally work in CMYK but Kevan was right in that it will make your files just too darn big!

Hope this helped.


For illustration, I consider Fractal Design Painter (now Metacreations Painter) a MUST. It's the closest thing I've seen to "real" traditional art media, and yet has the added power and flexibility that computer graphics allows. I'm still just scratching the surface with it, but if I had to pick one program to become expert in, this would be it.

That brings up another point ... possibly more then the cost of the program, the time to learn it will be your biggest expense. All of these programs are designed to be user friendly, but they still have so many features that it takes many hours to gain real mastery.

- -pd

Date: Sat, 24 Jan 1998 19:41:09 -0500
From: Jennifer Hiscox
Subject: Re: illustration: Pattie's website, prints

Check for bundles; I got Painter and my Wacum tablet for $800, which was about the price of Painter alone at the time. Mine is very small, 6" X 8.5" but it doesn't matter. I love it anyway.

I studied Painter in art college, but gave up in utter frustration because the computers there couldn't handle it. It runs SO SLOW if you don't have the power or memory for it. When I graduated I bought a Power Mac, which handles it much better even though I have it overloaded with WAY too much junk. In the meantime a friend and fellow illustrator convinced me that the reason I was so frustrated with Painter is because I didn't have the book "Painter Wow!" by Cher Threinen-Pendarvis from Peachpit Press. I bought it and it is good, but I experiment more than I work from books. I probably don't know 1/8 of what the program can do.

In general I think all computer books from Peachpit Press are extremely good, and much cheaper than other computer books.


Date: Sun, 1 Mar 98 18:58:09 +1000
From: rowena
Subject: illustration: Re: Which Software

For childrens illustration (and most other things) I would recommend "Painter". It emulates just about any natural media plus a whole lot more. The beauty of digital art is that it can modified and adjusted with no loss of quality until your completely happy with it or until the deadline runs out (whichever comes first). You will also need a digitizing tablet. This allows you to use a pen to input to the computer, basically the same as drawing or painting. We swear by our WACOM. I know we would find it very difficult to go back to natural media after having worked digitally. The only cautionary note I would add is that you will need some reasonably high end hardware. Lots of hard disk memory, lots of RAM, and a reasonably fast CPU.

Rowena & Daryl
R&D Studios

We have been using Photoshop and Painter(Sketcher)for over six years now...

Photoshop is an indespensable program, but if you are primarily interested in adding color to black and white line art, then I would recommend MetaCreations's Painter over Photoshop for several reasons:

Painter allows you to paint or draw with different "brushes" that simulate very convincingly: watercolor, oil paint, pastels, colored pencils, markers, airbrush etc. Whereas with Photoshop, the paintbrush or airbrush tools apply the color in a flat way.

The brushstrokes can interact with a paper or canvas texture. You can choose from several "libraries" of textures the program gives you, or you can create your own.

The brush strokes of color you add can be given a 3-dimensional look as if the strokes are physically layered like oil paint, or layered pastel colors.

You can place down several different colors, and blend them with water tools in a spontaneous kind of way - very different from using Photoshop's smudge tool.

Painter 5.0 can be a confusing or intimidating interface for a beginner to digital art. MetaCreations finally realized that fact, and have recently released a simplified version called "Painter Classic". I have not used "Painter Classic" but it is supposed to have all of the same natural media choices and brush features. It just doesn't have all of the more complex floating layers, and scripting functions, which it sounds like, you won't be needing right away.

Good luck,


Cavalier Lisle Art & Design

Date: Wed, 5 Aug 1998 09:49:34 -0500
From: (Cavalier Lisle Art & Design)
Subject: illustration: Re: illustration-digest V1 #389

Subscribing to the Painter mailing list is very easy. Send the message:

subscribe painter-list

to the addresss:

"As a side note - I was wondering if it was worth buying the tutorial CD Metacreations has put out on Painter 5 is worth $79."

I still have not upgraded to version 5, and have not seen this tutorial CD, but I recall a couple of people of the Painter mailing list saying it was good. So you might ask those on the Painter list to give you more details.

"Question: is there anyway in Painter to mix a color with its opposite? So far, I've only been able to mix it with black, white, or whatever's next to it on the color wheel."

That's an interesting question. I've been working with digital palettes, with Hue, Saturation & Value, or RGB or CMYK for so long now that I haven't felt the need to work with complements. I'm pretty certain that even in Painter 5.0 you can only work with HSV, or RGB. Theres no way to add a complement to an existing color on the palette and get a combined color, but after you work with the digital palette for awhile it won't seem so limiting.

You do, after all, have 16.7 million colors to choose from - one Gigantic box of Crayolas! What I like to do in Painter and Photoshop is think numerically about color. You can notate the numerical values of the colors you are working with and make variations that are perfectly proportional to the first color.

For instance, if you have a color with a hue of 64, a saturation of 50 and a value of 24, you can create a second color with the exact amount of saturation and lightness/darkness but a different hue by just changing the hue numbers on the color wheel. Imagine how hard it is to do that with traditional paints on a palette.

It just occurred to me that you could create a new Painter document, and achieve a mixing of opposite colors in the artwork by using two watercolor washes of the differing colors, or by using two different pastels, and blending them with a water tool. Then use the eyedropper tool to sample the new combination. And then you would have a color that you could save as a swatch that you could reuse.

"Also, in Painter, a can you make letters go in an arch? Or do you need another program for that?"

You could do it manually by moving and rotating individual letters around a arch guideline that you draw in Painter, but it would be a bit of work. Painter allows you to import from Illustrator and FreeHand so it might be quicker to create them there.

"Also, do you know anything about downloading fonts from the Web? I'm trying to get Bauhaus, but am ending up with garbage. I wonder if its because I didn't put them in the right place. I couldn't figure out how to get them to 'fonts' ".

The vendor of the fonts should have instructions and technical support, but fonts need to be dragged to the system folder (on a Mac) and then they automatically get placed in the "fonts" folder.

good luck,


Cavalier Lisle Art & Design

Date: Sat, 30 Jan 1999 13:56:34 +0100
From: Tom Byrne
Subject: Re: illustration: poster size help

Because of the memory problem with Painter I use scripts. Even with 240mb of ram there is not enough memory to work on really large files. The scripts allow me to work low res and then rerun the image at high res while I go out for a walk or something. It's much better than blowing up in photoshop , there is no loss of quality.

Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1999 11:57:17 PST
From: "Andrea Gabriel"
Subject: illustration: Painter

Say, I saw that a person can try a 15 day free trial downloaded off the web. Since I don't have a graphics tablet, do you think I could get any kind of feel for the program using just a mouse? I don't want to spend a bunch of money and then find out I hate it.

But unless you bought a really good book and had lots of time to fool around you would never get anywhere in 15 days without a manual. Painter isn't like Photoshop where everything is obvious, it takes a lot of learning. And then when you do learn it the next version comes out and they've hidden everything in different places and called them by different names, and you have to learn all over again.

Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 20:17:52 -0500
From: VQStudio
Subject: illustration: Painter woes and raves

I LOVE Painter but it does require about 4 times as much memory then Metacreations states in print (call them up and they'll tell you to crank it up!) And especially if you are working with large files.

Also it doesn't like the contextual menu extension. (disable in Extension Manager) or the Charcoal font either I hear

All in all it blows Photoshop out of the water for digital painting! I bought another art tablet for my PowerBook so I could digitally paint anywhere. It's AWESOME! And no clean up needed. : )

But I wouldn't be without either application, they both are great tools.

Denise R

Painter is definitely a memory hog. It will chew up all you feed it, and still want more.

Over time, I'm becoming convinced that I really don't need Painter at all. Painter may have a lot more bells and whistles than Photoshop, but they're mostly things I don't need, like images hoses, etc. Photoshop, on the other hand, tends to be pretty reliable, handles memory well, supports more image formats than Painter, etc. I'm not an expert on either, but I'm finding myself less and less motivated to keep up with Painter.

- -pd

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