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Painter X Creativity Digital Artist's Handbook by Jeremy Sutton

This book is more like an art class. The author, Jeremy Sutton, teaches the technical aspects of CorelR PainterTM X and then goes beyond that to share his hard-earned tips and expertise for digital art creation and production. His personal secrets are what makes this book stand out among the crowd. The goal of the author is to teach readers both the software and also creativity. Although it still has the same format as previous books, this latest effort not only covers the new Painter X features but has been rewritten with new and better projects.

One of the many features in this book that makes it more like an art class than a book is how the author walks the reader through the setup for their own digital art studio from optimizing their computer and color management to fine tuning the Wacom tablet. Besides this technical stuff, the author discusses his own production tested techniques. I especially liked his Project-Version-Notes folder and file naming convention.

From this point, the author discusses the Painter X tools and interface and then how to customize the palettes and workspace for your own needs. Painter X brushes are the next topic and Sutton includes a nice glossary of sample brush strokes for each of the major brush categories. Next, he discusses how to experiment with different brush variants and how he maintains and organizes his ever increasing list of favorites. This production tip alone will save the reader much wasted time.

The thing that makes any artwork stand out from the crowd is the ability of the artist to go beyond the basics of the software. One way to do this is to create your own brushes, textures and patterns. After discussing the ins-and-outs of these features, Sutton shows you how to use your own customized tools to take your artwork to the next level.

The second part of the book concentrates on several case studies that demonstrate design and composition. Sutton discusses some methods that are only available in a digital environment such as generating several variations of the same artwork as a starting point for a project. Finally, he discusses how creating scripts can be a time saver and a teaching aid.

There were a few things that I have seen covered in books of this type for many years including techniques for creating a digital painting from a photo and digital collage. Although these topics are still popular, I would have preferred that those pages of the book were used to introduce some new ideas.

Readers have come to expect this type of book to have supporting tutorial image files and extra goodies such as brushes and training videos and this book has that. There are some nice extras including custom workspace layouts that the author has built for his own production needs and uses throughout the book. Any artist knows how useful these real world, production proven resources can be compared to the usually list of bland goodies found on a book's CD.

Jeremy Sutton's artwork is collected worldwide and he is the author of several books and video tutorials.

Authors: Jeremy Sutton
ISBN: 0240809297
Publisher: Focal Press
Pap/Cdr edition
336 pages
Published: August 2007



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