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Corel Painter X : Drawing People - Portrait (part 2)

5/5/2013 9:33:17 PM
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The Shadows Know!

The version of John with Modern Color Scheme and Desaturation throws much of his face into deep shadow. To exploit that, let’s use a painterly style reminiscent of Rembrandt, whose self-portrait at age 22 is shown in Figure 5. Chiaroscuro refers to the way this old master brought forms out of the shadows. Or maybe it’s a fancy Italian dessert.

Figure 5. Discover me.


Definition

According to Wikipedia.org, chiaroscuro (Italian for clear-dark) is defined as “a bold contrast between light and dark.” Tiramisu (Italian for pick-me-up) is made from ladyfinger cookies, espresso coffee, mascarpone cheese, eggs, cream, sugar, marsala wine, cocoa, and rum.


This time we’ll use nothing but Impasto all over the image. Find the Smeary Varnish variant in the Impasto category. Or you can import the custom palette for this project, called Impasto Smear. There are three items in this palette. Two are Impasto brushes, and the third is a Cloner variant that has a pleasing Impasto quality, the Oil Brush Cloner.

Use File > Clone to make a copy of the image. Don’t use Quick Clone because you don’t want the copy deleted. You’ll be working directly on the copy, blending edges and mixing adjacent colors while applying thick juicy brush strokes.

Depth Charge

Painter’s Impasto depth effect looks strange at magnifications other than 100 percent, so plan either to work on this image at actual size or to view it frequently at full size. Consider changing size or resolution of the source image before you make the clone copy.


Notice that the Resat (resaturation) value for Smeary Varnish is zero, indicating that no new color will be applied. Play a bit with this brush to get the feel of it and consider tweaking its behavior. Figure 6 shows a practice area made using the Paint Bucket and a gradient fill. The long squiggles show that this brush picks up color at the beginning of a stroke and continues to smear that same color for the entire length of the stroke. You can take advantage of that fact when you work. Notice in the upper left how color strips are blended with short overlapping strokes. The three straight horizontal strokes at the bottom show different values for the Feature setting in the Property Bar. The default value is 3.0, used in the center stroke. Higher amounts create more space between bristles, and reduced amounts compress bristles. The magenta swirl at the top of the image shows what happened when Resat was turned up, allowing the current selection in the Colors Palette to be applied.

Figure 6. Smear me once, shame on you!


Another variable that influences the look of an Impasto stroke is the amount of depth. This control is not available on the Property Bar but is found in the Brush Controls Palette via the Window menu. Figure 7 shows the Impasto Control Palette. Notice that the default depth for Smeary Varnish is 12%. The vertical squiggles on the extreme right of the practice area show the result of increased values for depth.

Figure 7. In-depth analysis.


Begin working on the clone copy with Smeary Varnish. I applied a variety of strokes to the background and John’s shirt, shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8. Smear me twice…


Safety Net

Since you are not tracing or using Clone Color when you smear, are you wondering why you needed to clone the image in the first place? It’s so that you can bring back any lost details in a painterly style. That’s what the Opaque Round Impasto brush in the palette is for. It has 99% Resat. So just enable Clone Color, and you’re good to go (back). Try the Oil Brush Cloner for a slightly different kind of “back stroke.”


So with the Clone Color safety net in place, you can feel free to smear to your heart’s content! In general, short strokes will work better, especially on details in the face. A smaller brush size will enable more control for those details. Use the bracket keys for quick size changes. As with other techniques, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the curves and shapes of your subject and use them to guide your brushwork. Also, soften harsh edges. Figure 9 has my finished painting. Rembrandt’s reputation is safe.

Figure 9. Have some chiaroscuro with your espresso.

 
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