Creating Fashion Illustrations with Corel Painter
By Cher Threinen-Pendarvis
Dateline: January 27, 2006
Version: Corel Painter IX
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|Inspired by the work of Tobie Gildio, Cher Threinen-Pendarvis
utilized Painterís Pens and Watercolors to create her illustration.
Open a new file, size it to 1500 x 2000 pixels, and
add a new layer to the image. In the Brush Selector
Bar, choose Pens from the Brush Category menu, then
choose the Thick n Thin variant from the Variant menu.
Itís a good idea to make some practice marks with
the pen. When youíve finished practicing, delete your
practice strokes by choosing Select > All and Delete/
Backspace. Press Command-D to Deselect. For this illustration,
I chose to sketch the basic shapes using this pen
because it allows you to sketch smoothly, while varying
the thickness of the lines. Use the stylus to add sweeping,
curved vertical strokes that suggest the outlines of
your subject. Then add a few details and accents with
Tip: For the most responsive and
expressive strokes, set up Brush
Tracking. It allows you to customize
how Painter interprets the stylus
input, including factors such as
Pressure and Speed. Choose Corel
Painter IX > Preferences > Brush
Tracking, and make a representative
brush stroke in the window. For
instance, if you plan to use both
light and heavy pressure, sketch
slowly, then quickly. Try to make a
few brush strokes that include all
Next, I added texture to my line work with two unusual Pens variantsóthe Leaky Pen
to add textured spots, and the Coit Pen for textured line accents. Choose the Leaky Pen
variant. Make a practice stroke using light pressure to begin the stroke, then apply heavier
pressure. Add more irregular texture with the spotted strokes. Switch to the Coit Pen to
draw a few linear accents, as shown along the sides of the skirt in my illustration.
||Create a new layer, and choose the Broad Water Wash variant of Digital Watercolor.
When you choose a Digital Watercolor variant, youíll notice that the Composite Method
for the new layer will change to Gel. The Gel method will allow the washes on the layer
to be more transparent. Choose a light color in the Colors palette. Digital Watercolor
enables you to paint smooth washes quickly and to subtly blend colors while the paint is
wet. I suggest using light colors that are from the upper portion of the Value triangle in
the Colors palette. Now press lightly on your stylus and paint loose, vertical strokes that
generally follow the shape of the model. Donít worry about staying within the lines, but allow
the strokes to break out of the line work occasionally for a fresh, natural look. For this
illustration, I chose to lay in the light washes on the dress using the Broad Water Brush.
Then I used the Soft Broad Brush and a light peach for the skin. This brush allowed me to
paint smooth, soft-edged washes.
||To make the illustration livelier,
I added a few strokes of deep pink to
the clothing. Choose the Soft Broad
Brush variant of Digital Watercolor.
The Soft Broad Brush allows you to
paint smooth-looking, wet-into-wet
washes. The small amount of Diffusion
in the brush allows you to lay
brush strokes next to one another
with the paint blending subtly between
the edges of the strokes. Wet
Fringe, also in the brush, allows the
paint to pool slightly at the edges of
the wet area of paint. To have your
Digital Watercolor paint stay wet
between painting sessions, save your
working file in RIFF format.
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Cher Threinen-Pendarvis is an
award-winning artist, author,
and educator based in San
Diego. She is principal of the
consulting firm Cher Threinen
Design and has most recently
authored the Photoshop and Painter Artist
Tablet Book: Creative Techniques
in Digital Painting and The Painter IX Wow!
Book. Order her books at Peachpit.com.