Figure 7.22 Blades of grass created for the nozzle files. L
4. Select each blade of grass, and cut and paste it into a new layer. It is important E that each blade of grass is on its own layer.
5. Select all the layers by holding down the Shift key and clicking on each layer in the Layer palette, using the keyboard combination Ctrl+Shift+1, or using the Layers palette menu and choosing Select All Layers.
6. Group all the selected layers using the keyboard combination Ctrl+G.
7. From the Nozzle palette, choose Make Nozzle from Group.
A new RIF file is created and displayed on the screen. The individual blades of grass have been arranged in a grid on a black background. You will not be able to see the grid, but each cell is as large as needed to encompass the largest single element.
8. Save the file in Painter's native RIF format, adding a suffix nozzle to the filename.
It is always a good idea to add the word nozzle as a suffix to the file; otherwise, you will have difficulty trying to decide which files are nozzles and which are regular files. It gets harder as you make more custom nozzles.
That's all there is to making a simple nozzle file. Of course, the more images you begin with, the less repetition the nozzle file will have. Quite often I simply take the entire layer of objects, make a duplicate layer, and flip that layer horizontally, instantly doubling the number of individual elements in the nozzle. We will use this file to paint some grass in our painting.
When we use the image hose, painting grass is a pretty straightforward process. Normally, it wouldn't merit its own short section, but there is one trick I want to show you that will make the grass look a lot better.
1. Choose the Image Hose brush, Dons Foliage spray. This brush is simply a default image hose with a couple of adjustments made so it will paint the nozzle in a predictable way.
2. Click the secondary color square in the Colors palette, and then choose a dark green color from within the painting using the eyedropper.
We'll go ahead and click the primary color once we've picked a dark green secondary color. We want to do this so that when we go back to regular painting and use the eyedropper to choose colors, we're not choosing colors for the secondary color. Most brushes paint with the primary color, and if we're choosing secondary colors instead, painting can become a very frustrating experience.
!12 3. In the options bar, lower the Grain slider to about 40%. ■
§ By using the Grain slider, we can influence how much of the secondary color is x mixed with the image hose nozzle. This is a great way to make one image hose paint z multiple areas. For example, we might want to paint a row of leaves that appears to be
1 R in shadow, so we would lower the percentage of grain using the slider. We can use the § same image hose to paint leaves in sunlight by raising the grain amount to 100%. At ^ 100%, we are using the image hose with the original colors just as you created it.
2 4. Paint a row or two of grass across the bottom of the image (Figure 7.23).
5. Now raise the Grain to 100% and paint another row of brighter grass across the darker grass (Figure 7.24).
6. Go ahead and continue to paint as much grass as you want in the background. This grass adds more detail and helps visually integrate Red Riding Hood into the background.
The background is now complete. All that we need to do now is to finish painting Red Riding Hood and her gun.
Painting Red Riding Hood
Painting Red Riding Hood is a straightforward process. Virtually all of the painting was done using Dons brush. There are not many tricks and techniques in this section. You should go about painting the character any way you would like her to appear. If you're not quite sure what to do, use my image as reference.
We paint Red Riding Hood on her own layer and use the Eraser to clean up any stray edges. The gun is completely made up. Use your creativity and do whatever you would like with its design. Maybe you want to make it into a light saber? Anyway, let your imagination run free.
There can be some difficulty when painting this much red into a green background. Use the whites in both the gun and Red Riding Hood's dress to help unify the color scheme by making the whites more blue-green than gray. I also made the fabric in Red Riding Hood's basket quite green to help tie the figure into the background. Also notice that some brown colors in the basket are similar to the browns used in the thorny vines. All of these small touches help create a painting with a harmonious color scheme. You do not want any one area isolated.
Adding Weave to the Basket
The pattern on the fabric in the picnic basket is one from the Weaves palette.
1. Create a new layer.
2. Select the area over the picnic basket using the Rectangular Selection tool.
3. Fill the selected area with a weave.
4. Change the Composite Method of the layer to Overlay.
5. Erase everything outside of the edges of the fabric.
6. Lower the Opacity setting of the layer to about 60%.
7. Use the Soften effect at the default settings to slightly blur the weave pattern (Figure 7.25).
The painting is 99 percent finished at this point. We just need to add a few finishing touches, and we will be done.
I want to add a little bit more detail and finish to the path. Right now, the bottoms of the blades of grass are floating just a little bit. If I paint up some dark gravel around them, it should help make them look like they are anchored to the ground.
I am going to use a custom brush called Gravel Painter to add some dirt around the bases of the grass. This brush is located in the brush library downloaded for the book at www.sybex.com/go/painter.
Note: The Gravel Painter brush is available for download, as are all the other brushes used in these tutorials at www.sybex.com/go/painter.
Anchoring with Gravel and Shadow
We are going to paint the gravel on a new layer created above the canvas but underneath Red Riding Hood.
1. Create a new layer above the canvas but below Red Riding Hood.
2. Pick the Gravel brush and, starting with a darker brown, paint under the blades of grass, gradually getting lighter toward the bottom of the painting.
3. Paint the shadow under Red Riding Hood with the same dark brown colors used under the grass.
4. When the path is painted to your satisfaction, go ahead and drop the layer onto the canvas.
That's all there is to finishing up the path. Custom brushes can make such chores go very quickly and easily.
Adding Texture to Red's Cape
For a final touch, we will add some pattern to Red Riding Hood's cape. To do this, I
will use a different paper texture and the good old Variable Chalk brush.
1. Create a new layer.
2. Choose one of the Wallpaper paper textures. These textures are also available for download if you have not already done so at www.sybex.com/go/painter.
3. Using the Variable Chalk brush and a red color selected from the lighter areas of Red Riding Hood's cape, lightly paint texture over the cape.
4. Erase any of the brushstrokes that overlap into the background.
5. Duplicate the layer.
6. Hide the bottom layer so only the top pattern layer is visible.
7. Lower the Opacity setting of the layer until the light pattern is just visible in the light areas of the cape.
8. Using the Eraser, erase any of the pattern that is in shadow areas.
9. Reveal the hidden layer and change its Composite Method to Multiply.
10. Lower the Opacity setting of the Multiply layer until it is just visible in the darker and shadowy areas of the cape.
11. Erase any of the dark patterns that overlap into the light areas of the cape.
12. When the patterns look good over the cape, select both layers and Red Riding Hood's layer and collapse them together.
13. Use the Eraser to clean up any edges that may have gotten messy when collapsing the layers.
Red Riding Hood is finished (Figure 7.26).
A Little Lighting
The painting is finished, but the lighting effects often give that little extra sparkle to a painting. The final touch I use is to add a lighting effect over the whole image.
So in this painting, as in earlier paintings, I add a lighting effect from the Effects > Surface Control > Apply lighting menu. At this point, you should choose any of the effects you like. I again use the Splashy Color preset.
The effect was too intense, so using Fade from the Edit menu, I reduced the effect 50%.
Now the painting is finally and completely finished (Figure 7.27).
It seems like we've covered just about every possible subject in Painter, though in reality we covered only a few. It is important to see how you can build a complicated and detailed background using just a few of the more normal features among all the available ones. We really only used paper textures, patterns, and the image hose to create a very thick and dense forest undergrowth.
I do hope that you will find these techniques useful in your own personal projects. Don't worry if it takes a little bit of practice before you are comfortable using them all together. Ultimately, you will have a great arsenal of techniques to use when you work with digital paint.
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