Custom Brushes - Godsend or Cheap Tactics?
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    Custom Brushes - Godsend or Cheap Tactics?

    I've just recently got my educational copy of Corel Painter and I couldn't be any happier. I've been working on a 5 page comic forEVER now and one of the major reasons holding me back from finishing was that the plot required a vibrant rain forest setting. With the monstrous brush power, I've put together some really incredible variants dealing in foliage.(Which I could barely replicate in Sketchbook Pro)

    One thing came to mind though, how does this affect me as an artist? These brushes I made replicate leaf clusters like I dreamed, but that's because I didn't have the skill nor the patience to paint a recognizable jungle one stroke at a time. Would it be considered a cheap shortcut to use repetitive brushes? Would it hinder my skill at being able to paint a believable subjects as complex as rain forests?

    Some input would be super-duper. ~Nolij

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    If you know how to paint they can save you alot of time. But if you´re learning you should stay away from them. That´s just what I think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OHI View Post
    If you know how to paint they can save you alot of time. But if you´re learning you should stay away from them. That´s just what I think.
    That's another thing, I don't know if I'm good enough or not. I've done studies before, but if I'm the only person who knows what I just drew then it's a failure.

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    re - I've put together some really incredible variants dealing in foliage.(Which I could barely replicate in Sketchbook Pro)

    It's a far simpler software of course, but didn't you find the custom brush engine capable of some useful variations for foliage and such. I'm talking about versions 2010 and 2011 really. 2011 has more controls like rotation and spacing jitter that really expand what you can do.

    Meanwhile back at the main question - if the brushes are merely used for painting a base into which you will work back in - and you realise that for things like foliage to work well, a good understanding of volume and lighting is likely to help you delver the most convincing results - then I just see it as a sensible use of developing technology. Using just the custom brushes without the retouching can end up in a slightly lifeless and mechanical look.

    I've been to that place where you draw and paint every leaf on a tree, and every blade of grass needs a personality - and therapeutic though it is, it does take a lot of time - and that's not always available.

    I would always recommend learning to draw and paint as a good underpinning to any art production and digital is no different. Ideally using real media first too. Once the foundations are laid though, it makes sense to use the tools that can offer you the results you seek.

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    Arshes Nei is offline Registered User Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ak-Nolij View Post
    That's another thing, I don't know if I'm good enough or not. I've done studies before, but if I'm the only person who knows what I just drew then it's a failure.
    If you don't know then you're probably not ready. Granted there are a few with an inflated ego, but if many are telling you to work on your foundations with that ego, well "problem solved".

    Custom brushes are nice, but even knowing your foundations it does take a bit to know how they work in Painter or even Photoshop. So taking time to learn the software helps - but it helps more if you work on those foundations first.

    I don't want people to be discouraged and not touch anything - rather part of learning is experiencing why something might be out of your league at the time. It's how most of us learned - so even if we tell you ...sometimes you have to see for yourself.

    Also it's like telling someone that they can't shoot 3ptr baskets/played basketball until they worked on strength training and aerobics and other cardiovascular exercises. You need those exercises to be priority so you can learn to shoot baskets - but it's not gonna kill someone if you shot a few

    Last edited by Arshes Nei; January 10th, 2011 at 06:03 PM.
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    dpaint is offline Registered User Level 16 Gladiator: Spartacus' Retiarii
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    Like Arshes and everybody is saying; its a tool- in the right hands it can create a masterpiece, in the wrong hands, cheesy crap. The success of any piece of art or illustration comes from the facility of the artist, not the tools they use.

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    Awesome then, I'll keep studying. I'll just have to use these brushes more wisely from here on. Thank you all for your inputs and happy new 2011!

    ~Nolij

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    One thing you have to remember about tools is that the easier it is to find and use, the more people you'll see using it. That's not necessarily a bad thing -- people use hammers because they're good for the job and it would be stupid to start pounding nails with a frozen chicken just to be unique -- but it's definitely something to consider. There are times when it's good to stand out and times when you need to match something already in progress. You might need to be able to do the work with the brushes and without.

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