For photographers, expanding one’s marketability has always been a familiar part of life. It is an ongoing necessity. What’s new today is the scale of marketing and range required. Internet-age, savvy consumers are after unique imagery, and the burden is on photographers to deliver it.
Sometimes, this involves taking chances. I have a regular gig where I shoot formal head and shoulder shots of executives for a client’s annual general meeting. This year, while preparing the formal head and shoulder executive shots for printing, I took the liberty of transferring one of the files into Corel Painter. I applied heavy oil brush strokes all over the subject, added a regal burgundy background and output the results onto a large canvas. The result was a striking oil painting which I included with the original order of 10×8” prints.
The risk paid off. Not only was I able to charge accordingly for the considerably dearer artwork, but the same client later approached me for similar Painter creations.
It is important to stress that you do not need to be an accomplished artist to use Painter. Its array of media and tools may be vast, but it is neatly and intuitively organized. Any material or tool available at a traditional art shop can be found here: oils, watercolor, charcoal, pastels, pencils, chalks, crayons, felt pens, airbrush, inks, papers, canvasses and more.
For photographers, the most obvious use of Painter is painting over photos, be it a single brush stroke or all-over coverage. Imagine airbrushing the subject’s dress while leaving the rest of the photo untouched, or running a thick stroke of paint along the edges of a print. You can subtly enhance the original photo, or completely cover it with bold paints. The possibilities are endless.
Unlike Photoshop filters’ manufactured look, or the semi-painterly effect achieved by printing onto textured canvas, Painter’s brush stroke application is much more expressive. The graphics tablet with its pressure-sensitive pen responds to every nuance of your hand movement, and your personal style shines through.
If you like to start editing your images in Photoshop, you can transfer either flat or layered files to Painter. And when artistic treatment is complete, you can transfer the new picture back to Photoshop for final image editing and preparation for outputting.
As your skill advances, you can delve deeper into photo tinting, elaborate brush design, Painter’s lighting, surface textures and the unique Image Hose brush. This is an unusual brush that sprays photographs instead of paint. It comes with pre-set nozzles like grass, stones and flowers, or you can load your own photo to spray.
Check out a free trial of Corel Painter here.
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