Visitors Book 5
Visitors Book 5
Pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,

8 September 2005   Hello David, we have spoken a couple of times and you were very generous with your advice. Was very interested in what you said to Harry Ellerton about Painter. I have only just started using it hoping to expand on the work I'm doing with photoshop. Initial impression is that I do not much care for it. I am trying for good watercolour effects and am finding the watercolour brushes disappointing, but that may be my lack of experience (and I loathe the delayed action for the strokes to be effected). Do you use Painter for your watercolour brush work? Anyway keep up the excellent work: I always have that gremlin sitting on my shoulder who, whenever I think I am getting somewhere with an image, whispers "You know David Cole would have done it much, much better"!  Kind regards, James.

James, nice to hear from you again.  Painter watercolour brushes ...  yes, I have to say that my experience is much the same as yours.  I do not find the Painter Watercolour or Digital Watercolour brushes easy to use and I have not done a single picture I like with these brushes.  They ought to give good results but I don't find they do the way I use them, and in particular use them in Painter's Colour Clone mode.  For me, the best transparent watercolour tool is still the Wow brushes and technique in PS.  I am talking here about transparent watercolour, not opaque w/c like gouache.  To me the most difficult simulation is transparent w/c - there are quite a few routes to opaque watercolour (which can look like acrylics or oils for that matter) - and most of the "watercolours" shown in DPReview Retouching Forum and elsewhere look to me like opaque w/c (which are easier).  I'm sticking with PS for watercolours for the time being, and if you haven't tried the Wow technique do try it (details in my response to an earlier enquiry below).  I will probably keep experimenting with Painter watercolour brushes but I'm not expecting an early breakthrough!  David


30 August 2005 This is Harry Ellerton again, from Long Island, New York.  I think that we  "talked" before -- and you have been very helpful.  Your posting on the DPReview forum- yesterday- of those 10 step renditions of that original man, are just great -- I just downloaded and printed them out--I need to, you know.  I always look at your previous postings -and they are always great.  My question today, though, is , if one really needs Painter along with Photoshop to achieve your painting effects?  I am rather good with Photoshop CS, but would like to at least come close without having to use Painter. I don't know, if you use the Impressionist plugin, but by using it in PS one should really come pretty close to your great end effects. I just don't seem to get it done. May I ask you to try - in PhotoShop alone -  and let me know the steps and settings?  You see, I run a PhotoShop Users Group here, and would like to demo some of your great stuff, if I could come close with PS alone.

Harry. You raise a very interesting question.  A few months ago I would probably have said that PS can do everything that Painter can do.  I am not so sure now that I have spent more time with Painter.  In particular, I find that Painter makes much more convincing natural media brush marks than PS.  Maybe if I practiced how to produce customized PS brushes I would eventually get close, but right now I find it much easier to simulate oils, gouache, and opaque acrylics, and particularly bristle brushes, in Painter because the brushes are more subtle, and give more realistic effects.  Indeed, almost all the brushes I now use in Painter I have customized myself.  It is easy to create brushes in PS but they are less sophisticated than those in Painter.  I have created some bristle brushes in PS which superficially look ok but unfortunately do not operate satisfactorily as clone patter brushes.   There are of course things that PS does very well indeed, and I use it mainly for prepping pictures, correcting blemishes and making finishing touches.  But I don’t use it when I want to simulate brushstrokes – as I did in the portrait sketch you mention.  PS just doesn’t cut it for me here.

I have used Impressionist both with Painter (in Colour Clone mode) and Photoshop.  It is quite useful when you want to abstract all or part of a picture.  Steven Friedman does good things with Impressionist (see his link on my Painting Links page) but he uses it with Painter not Photoshop.

The answer to your question is, yes, I do need Painter as well as PS for the range of different styles I do (and for my last portrait sketch in particular), and no, Impressionist isn’t a substitute for Painter.  It may be that there are wizards out there who can make PS imitate Painter but I’m not one of them!  The other thing of course is that once you begin to get a feel for Painter it’s great fun to use.  Sorry – this isn’t the answer you wanted.  Good luck with your group.

15 August 2005   Hi david, your work is excellent. Thanks for all the tips and info to help new ones get started. I downloaded the fo2pix trial program suggested, but it doesn't seem to have an exe file or appear in Photoshop filters. Any suggestions, thanks Hugh - (Hugh subsequently emailed to say he'd sorted out the problem - D)

27 July 2005   Hi, David. I'm a watercolorist turned digital artist, too, and I will watch your progress with interest. Great website. Catherine

Catherine - thanks.  Good luck with the digital work and I'm looking forward to seeing some pictures.  I am not really a digital artist because nearly all my pictures are manipulations of photos with varying amounts of hand painting using a digital tablet.  I admire digital artists who start with a blank screen.  Much more demanding than what I do. David

21 July 2005  I love your work!  I have posted some questions and comments in your new gallery thread on my site at  ...hope you have time to look.  Phyllis
1 July 2005   Great site - love the artwork.
28 June 2005   Thank you for having website as this is very useful as I'm doing A2 Art and I have used area to take photos and using inspiration from your work I will produce similar works and if you have any more general work please can you add to your website.  Jack

8 June 2005   Hi David, I really like the brushstroke effect in your image ['ChickensFinal', Artwork7].  It beautifully approximates the effect of the thick application of oil paint with a brush...Can you tell me how this was accomplished (software, brush, effect etc)...Thanks in advance, Joe Rokovich

Joe - thanks.  The image was prepped in PSCS2 (lighten up shadow areas, simplify areas where detail is not needed, saturate colours a bit more), then to Painter 9 where the photo was cloned in colour clone mode using Artist Oils brushes with any Impasto effect turned off.  I don't think I used any actual Cloner brushes.  Then back to PS for final sharpening and colour saturation.   That's it - hope it helps.  David

25 May 2005   David: I looked at each of your paintings! You inspired me! Cristina

9 May 2005    Hi David, I'm a digital artist from Holland and got your name from Steven Friedman. I really do like your works, some are even unbelievable, especially the ones like the people walking towards the sea (Artwork 3) and some flowers (I believe you call them daffodils?) Another thing; I've never heard of a lot of the software you're using.  I only use Painter 9, Digital Image Suite and a bit of Photoshop.  Dear David could you recommend me some software you are using? My home page is unfortunately for you only in Dutch but the pictures are of all languages.   Greetings, Ad, Holland and hope to hear from you.

Ad - thanks, I'm very glad you like some of my work.  In return, can I say that I have visited your website and I think your landscapes are some of the very best oil simulations I have seen. The technique is terrific and they are genuinely painterly with strong compositions and great colours - I would love to have done them myself!  I strongly recommend that visitors to my website also visit yours.  I will certainly be back to admire and learn from your work.  I would love to know which Digital Suite filters/brushes you are using with your oil simulations.

Software.  On my list, the only software that I use primarily for digital painting manipulation is Photoshop CS2, Painter 9, buZZ 3 and Photodraw.  BuZZ is a range of filters (from fot2pix) which is very over priced and has just one really useful one - the Simplifier.  This is very good when used in watercolour simulations - but the Simplifier can be bought separately I think and is worth having.  Photodraw has the same filters as the more recent Digital Image Suite which I think you use, and like you and Steven, I use this with Painter and PS.  The other software mentioned is mainly for photo processing though LucisArt has a filter which is quite good for bringing out detail in paintings.

The watercolour simulations of the people on the beach and the daffodils were done entirely in Photoshop CS using the Wow technique (see below for more details) and a few standard Photoshop brushes, and maybe a touch of PS Dry Brush filter.  That was it.  Nothing else. David

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