Using the Wet Entire Watercolour Layer Function in Corel Painter 11

05/09/2010

 
 


Using the Wet Entire Watercolour Layer Function in Corel Painter 11
 
UPDATE December 14, 2010: This can be done to any layer during your painting process. Digital watercolours need to be dried first. Watercolours dry themselves when dropped to the canvas. Make sure you lift these layers to a watercolour layer, even if you don't wet them because you want to keep your canvas clear.  

Steps to follow:
  1.  Drop all your layers to canvas and dry them. (Beginner's Tip: This is best done at the end of painting, or parts will end up looking kind of muddy.To see what it would look like while your painting is in progress, clone your document and use the technique on the cloned document.) I had painted with John Derry's brushes using the Gel Wash/Wet Blender technique. I had also used other digital watercolour and blender brushes. My sketch layer was done with a very fine Wet Chalk on a Gel Composite layer. The opacity of the sketch layer can be controlled when it is on a separate layer. Lock the sketch layer, so you don't drop it by mistake.
  2. Under the Layers Menu chose Lift Canvas to Watercolour Layer.
  3. Return to Canvas layer and it will Clear itself, so that you are left with a blank Canvas layer and a Watercolour Layer.
  4. Under the Layers Menu chose Wet Entire Watercolour Layer. It is really important that you have a Wet Brush chosen that is not very wet, with low diffusion and a fairly slow drying rate.  There is an illustration below showing the settings I used. The first time I did this years ago I must have had a really wet and diffuse brush open because it wet it all way too much and looked a mess. Silly me thought that was how it would always look and I didn't try it again for a long time. I know by now that if Corel has a function for something it usually works better than that, and it is worth learning how to do properly. (My next challenge is to learn about Channels!) Skip Allen is teaching a course about it next month at Digital Art Academy . http://www.digitalartacademy.com/courses/painter-3-advanced-techniques-selections-channels-and-masks/ 
  5. You might have to do it more than once to achieve the wetness you like, but it's better to do it a little at a time than too wet all at once.
  6. Then I used some very soft wet watercolour glazes in the darker areas to deepen the colour in certain areas. Skip's Soft Pool worked well for this.
  7. Then I applied a 5% Surface Texture with the French Watercolour Paper chosen. Under the Effects Menu chose Apply Surface Texture.
  8. Compare the differences between the two illustrations. The wet one has a more cohesive look and edges and where I used different brushes it all seems to look more uniform.
 
Water Control Settings for Wet Entire Layer watercolour brush
 
Illustration 1  - Bowl of Beauty Before Wetting Entire Watercolour  Layer Technique
 
Looks blotchy and uneven, areas of texture mixed with areas of no texture (due to blending of paint)
 
 
Illustration 2  - Bowl of Beauty After Wetting Entire Watercolour  Layer Technique
 
Now there is an even amount of texture and paint on the whole thing. This illustration also has some wet glazes in some of the darker areas as well.
 
These illustrations clearly show the benefits of using this technique. It really improves the look of the watercolour and gives it a more traditional watercolour look. You can also have used many different kinds of brushes and layer types in your original file and then when you have dropped all layers and used this technique it has the effect of making all the layers more similar in colour and texture. It is best to do this at the end of your painting process or successive areas will look too different because you will have applied the technique to some areas more than others!  
 
Hope you enjoyed this post! I encourage you to try this cool technique...the variations are endless, this is only the way I do it in watercolours of this nature.
 
 

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