Pattern Pens Plus
Pattern Pens Plus is a brush library comprising of 31 variants for Corel Painter 7 and above. The inspiration for this library came from two conceptual artists who struck a chord for their creativity and ‘outside the box’ thinking – Andrew Jones and Rob Stacy.
Although having a concept art and design bias, the following library may be useful to any digital artist wishing to incorporate patterns or explore shapes in their paintings.
Demonstrations and tips on using some of these custom variants are given in the sections below. There is also a link to download the library below.
Download the Pattern Pens Plus Brush Library
Pattern_Pens_Plus.zip (131 KB) for Corel Painter 7 and above.
The download comprises of the following; a complete zipped brush library for Corel Painter 7 and upwards.
There are no restrictions on use, other than the resources are not to be offered for sale or redistributed without my prior consent. The zipped file is also compatible with the current (0.6.1012) version of the Studio|chris Brush Manager (see link in Painter Utilities section), which will automatically install them as a brush category. All variants are SaveRestoreDamping|SaveRestoreMouseParams compliant.
Color Knife, Grad Knife and X-Ray Variants
Although not all variants in this library interact with the currently selected pattern, they nearly all use the Rendered dab type (hence Pattern Pens Plus).
The Color Knife variant lays down the currently selected main color as a fixed width brush stroke, with opacity varying with stylus pressure. It would be possible to vary the width of the stroke by reducing the Min Size setting in the Brush Controls> Size section, and selecting Pressure as the Size Expression for example, but the included Shape Surfer variant may fill that requirement. Below is a link to a video by Rob Stacy demonstrating a use of a similar variant;
In the case of the Grad Knife variant, with the Two-Point gradient selected in the Gradients palette, both the current main and additional colors are used to create gradient across the width of the brush stroke. Which one of the two colors/ values are associated with a particular side edge of the stroke will depend on the stroke bearing.
The X-Ray variants make use of the Watercolor tip profile in the Brush Controls> Size section in order to produce a more transparent effect, again in combination with a gradient. For the X-Ray Grad S-Source variant, I have reduced the Min Size, and set the Size Expression to Source. By doing this, the width variability of the resulting brush stroke is limited/ determined by the Min Size value and the luminance of the currently selected pattern. The resulting stroke form can be further influenced by using different patterns and altering the Pattern Scale value in the Patterns palette.
Eraser Pattern Variants
The three Eraser Pattern variants use Eraser> Soft Paper Color as the Method/ Subcategory, and Pattern As Opacity for the source. This combination allows imagery/ color on an underlying layer to be exposed by erasing media on the default layer above. In this case, the luminance of the currently selected pattern determines which areas will be erased, with corresponding white areas in the pattern having no effect in the resulting brush stroke.
For some time, I have wanted to experiment with an eraser interacting with paper texture. At time of writing, there is no grainy subcategory for the Eraser method, making this option impossible. By extracting a paper texture and saving it as a pattern, this now becomes a useful alternative to the shortfall. However, unlike the normal grainy variant interaction with the currently selected paper texture, the scale of the pattern texture will vary with brush size, and the origin position of the applied texture will also vary from stroke to stroke. As a side note, the Pattern Scale value (accessed in the Patterns palette) does not effect the resulting pattern scale in the variant brush strokes, however this feature can be used for pattern fills (Edit menu> Fill – with Pattern or Paint Bucket tool> Fill with Source Image).
In the above screenshot, I have created a layer above the painted canvas and filled that layer with a solid color using the Paint Bucket tool. With the filled layer selected in the Layers palette, I then proceeded to erase the media using Eraser Pattern Hard and Eraser Pattern Soft variants, in combination with the default Jungle Vines pattern, and a custom pattern created from the Extra Content (also included on the Painter 11 installation CD)> Paper Textures> Contrasty Textures> Contrasty Random Cracks paper.
For the above two variants, both brush size and pattern scale vary with stylus pressure, whereas these remain constant with the Pattern Eraser Soft 50 variant, but in this instance, opacity is controlled by stylus pressure. If a large scale pattern is to be applied in the image to a small area using an applicable brush variant, then we can limit the coverage by first making a selection.
Glow 100 and Hue Glow
For a ‘painting with light’ glow appearance, a region of previously applied imagery has been selected using the Magic Wand tool from the Toolbox palette. In this example, a saturated orange hue has been selected as the main color in the colors palette, and applied inside the selection using the Hue Glow variant. I could have also used the Glow 100 variant, which would have desaturated the existing color to eventual an white. It may also be helpful to feather the selection before using the variant (Select menu> Feather).
Due to a bug in Painter, it is not currently possible to save a Rendered dab type variant with a Plug-in method subcategory (such as the Glow Brush for example). This means that it is impossible to directly create and save a pattern rendering variant with glow properties in Painter. I have found a workaround for Mac users however, and include the details in this post.
The Pattern SGC variant uses the Eraser> Soft Grain Colorize subcategory in combination with Pattern As Opacity for the source. By combining paper texture, main and additional colors, as well as the currently selected pattern in the brush stroke, the use of this variant can add almost infinite diversity to your existing pattern collection, as demonstrated in the brush strokes to the right in the above screenshot.
Another interesting feature of the Soft Grain Colorize algorithm is that by reducing the Contrast value in the Papers palette to 0 percent, the Brightness slider in the papers palette can be used as a mixer control between the current main and additional colors/ values. For example, if the main color value is black, and the additional color is set to white, (with the paper contrast at 0 percent), a paper brightness value of 0 percent would produce a white pattern brush stroke, 50 percent brightness; a neutral grey, and 100 percent, a black pattern stroke. If you would like to learn more about this, I have written an article at the Painter Factory; Soft Grain Colorize.
Pattern Soft Cloner and Pattern Soft Cover Variants
In the above screenshot, strokes were applied to a coloured background using the Jungle Vines pattern in combination with the Black and White paper texture (from the Contrasty Textures library) where applicable. From left to right;
Pattern Soft Cloner uses the Cloning method> Soft Cover Cloning subcategory, with Pattern As Opacity for the source. Color information is taken from the original pattern imagery, whilst corresponding white areas in the pattern remain transparent in the resulting brush stroke.
Pattern Soft Cloner GRN as for the previous variant, except the subcategory is Grainy Soft Cover Cloning. This allows the currently selected paper texture to also be incorporated in the brush stroke. The prominence of the paper texture can be affected by changing the respective Grain value in either the Property Bar or Brush Controls> General section.
Pattern Soft Cover GRN also incorporates the currently selected paper texture in the brush stroke, but uses the main selected color, rather than that contained in the source pattern. Corresponding black areas in the paper texture become transparent in the resulting brush stroke. Again, the prominence of paper texture can be affected by the Grain value. Note that the Pattern Chalk 70 variant should fulfill the requirements for a non-grainy counterpart.
The Shape Surfer Variants
The Shape Surfer variants have been developed as a means to explore shapes for potential concept development, in a random and unpredictable manner, This has generally been achieved by randomising parameters such as brush size, or setting the size expression to be controlled by the luminosity of the current pattern (Source) for example. Other variants make use of diverse Image Hose nozzle elements in order to generate random shapes.
The Shape Surfer is probably the most simplistic of these variants, with size being controlled by stylus pressure. By reducing the Resaturation value, and also controlling that with pressure, I have made it possible to also manipulate the shapes of neighboring colours (albeit at a reduced brush size). The Shape Surfer 1 variant does not apply colour of its own, but is used to pick up and move around existing colours/ values previously applied to the canvas or default layer.
To take advantage of the diversity of shapes provided by Image Hose nozzles, Shape Surfer Hose A and B variants use the additional color selected in the Colors palette to tint the sprayed nozzle elements. It is therefore necessary to first click on the background (Additional Color) icon in the Colors palette prior to selecting a color/ value to use with these particular variants. Various nozzles can be selected from the Nozzle Selector (bottom right in the Toolbox palette), for use in combination with these variants. The Grain value determines the level of tinting for the sprayed nozzle imagery. At 0 percent Grain, there is full colour tinting of the applied nozzle imagery, whilst at 100 percent Grain (with Grain Expression set to None), the original nozzle image colours are applied. In the above screenshot, I have used the default Paragliders nozzle in combination with the Shape Surfer Hose B variant in order to produce the new shape (1). For the new shape (2), I used the default Swallows nozzle in combination with the Shape Surfer Hose A variant.
In the case of the Shape Surfer S-Random variant, brush Size Expression has been set to Random. The Min Size value determines the minimum stroke width, which is currently set to 30 percent of the maximum brush size. This variant produces angular edges to the resulting brush strokes. The Shape Surfer S-Random1 variant does not apply colour of its own, but is used to pick up and move around existing colours/ values previously applied to the canvas or default layer.
The Shape Surfer S-Source variant, brush Size Expression is set to Source, with the Min Size value of 0 percent. By doing this, the width variability of the resulting brush stroke is limited/ determined by the Min Size value and the luminance of the currently selected pattern. The resulting stroke form can be further influenced by using different patterns and altering the Pattern Scale value in the Patterns palette. The Shape Surfer S-Source 1 variant does not apply colour of its own, but is used to pick up and move around existing colours/ values previously applied to the canvas or default layer.
A couple of additional tips;
• hold down the Shift key to constrain the brush strokes to fixed axes as they are being applied. I have used this option in the above screenshot to create the candlestick/ cannon stroke (3).
• don’t forget about negative space when creating your thumbnail shapes. Setting the main or additional color to white (or your chosen background color) will enable you to quickly apply negative shapes by toggling between the main and additional colors (Shift + X).
Sinix Design Theory
WYSIWYG Paper Extractor
The WYSIWYG Paper Extractor variant facilitates the extraction of a paper texture so that it can then be recaptured as a pattern. Please see my separate ‘Converting a Corel Painter Paper Texture into a Pattern’ for instructions on how to use this.