Questions and Answers About
Downloading and Organizing
.XML Brush Variant Files
written by Jinny Brown - thanks to Painter 7 users with good Q's
© 1994 - 2004

The following answers were given when people wrote to ask about how to download the .XML Brush Variant files and where to place them, along with some other questions. I hope this will make it easier for you so you can get on with enjoying the brushes and painting great images. Questions are paraphrased to protect the innocent. ;o)

Q: When I click the .XML Brush file download link, I get a page full of text. What's up with this?
A: That's the actual .XML Brush file content.It's a text file that contains instructions for Painter 7 to build the brush. Although you could copy and paste it into a text editor, save it with the .XML extension, then place it in an appropriate folder under Painter 7 > Brushes, there's an easier way:
(Based on Win98, using Netscape 4.77. Please adapt these instructions for your OS and Browser version.):
1.Right-click the .XML file link.
2.Choose Save As Link.
3.Save the file to the Painter 7 > Brushes > Painter Brushes > Water Color folder. When you open Painter 7, the brush will now be listed with the other Water Color variants in the default Painter 7 Brush Library (named Painter Brushes Library).
4.If Painter was open when you downloaded the .XML Brush file and placed it in the appropriate folder, in order to make it appear in the Brushes palette without having to shut down Painter 7 then reopen it, first load another Brush Library, then load the Painter Brushes Library again. Now the brush you just downloaded should appear in the Water Color's Brush Variant list.

Q: Why are there no JPG files to download with some of the .XML Brush files?
A: Because for Painter 7 brushes, JPG files are:
1. Associated with Brush Categories (the JPG is the Brush Category's icon image that you see in the Brushes palette).
2. For Captured Brushes (the JPG is the Captured Dab that you see in the Size palette when you click the Preview window). 
Since many of the brushes posted on the Painter 7 Custom Water Color Brushes page are single Brush Variants, neither Brush Categories nor Captured Brushes, they don't use associated JPG files.

Q: What if I don't want to mix downloaded Custom Brush Variants into my default Painter Brushes Library or any other existing Brush Library?
A: That's a very good question because, for one thing, it's generally good to learn how to manage Painter 7 Brush Libraries, Brush Categories, and Brush Variants just so you know where things are. Another reason is that Brush Libraries can become too large and slow down Painter's performance. A third reason is that you may want to organize your Brushes to suit your personal working style and needs for efficiency and convenience.

If you prefer to keep downloaded Custom Painter 7 Brush Variants separate from the default Painter Brushes Library:
1. Read the Painter 7 User Guide, Chapter 2, The Workspace, in the section named "Libraries and Movers", it's sub-section named "Using Brush Libraries" beginning on page 25. This will give you some idea of how Painter 7 Brushes are managed.
2. Look in your File Manager under the Painter 7 folder to see the hierarchy for organizing brushes and associated .JPG files in Painter 7:

Painter 7 folder

  • Brushes folder
    • Brush Libraryfolder - contains one or more Brush Categories and their associated .JPG icon files - for instance, the default Painter 7 Brush Library is named Painter Brushes.
      • Brush Categoryfolder- contains one or more Brush Variants - for instance, the Water Color Brush Category.
      • .JPG icon file associated with the Brush Category and has a matching file name except for the .JPG extension - for instance Water Color Brush Category and associated Water Color.jpg Brush Category icon file.
        • Brush Variant .XML Brush file - has an associated Captured Dab .JPG file only if it's a Captured Brush - for instance, the Brush Variant named WCDryCamel-antique-pool.xml is not a Captured Brush so it has no associated .JPG file.
To use a specific example, if you download the first brush on the Painter 7 Custom Water Color Brushes page, the link for which reads "Jin's 1st Brush" and the file name for which is "WCDryCamel-antique-pool.xml", to the default Painter 7 Painter Brushes Library's Water Color folder the structure would be:

Painter 7 folder

  • Brushes folder
  • Painter Brushes Library folder
    • Water Color Brush Category folder
    • Water Color.jpg Brush Category icon file
      • WCDryCamel-antique-pool.xml Brush Variant
Since the WCDryCamel-antique-pool.xml file is a single brush, if you want it to be in its own Brush Library, you'll first need to create a new Brush Category:
1. Open Painter 7, choose the Water Color's WCDryCamel-antique-pool Variant, paint a small image or a few brush strokes close together, and draw a square selection around some part of the painting you like.
2. In the Brushes palette's Brush menu, choose New Brush, and give the New Brush (Category) a new name, for instance, Custom Water Color. This creates a new, empty Brush Category.
3. In the Water Color Category's list of Variants, highlight WCDryCamel-antique-pool and, in the Brush palette's Variant menu, choose Copy Variant.
4. In the Copy Variant dialog box drop down list, choose Custom Water Color and click the OK button. Now the WCDryCamel-antique-pool Brush Variant is in both the Water Color Brush Category's Variant list and in the new Custom Water Color Brush Category's Variant list. 
5. Go back to the Water Color Category, highlight the WCDryCamel-antique-pool Brush Variant and in the Brush palette's Variant menu, choose Delete Variant. 
6. Now the WCDryCamel-antique-pool Brush Variant only appears in the Custom Water Colors Brush Category's Variant list. Notice that the Custom Water Color Brush Category has it's own icon created from the selection you made in Step 1. 

Now you'll need to create a new Brush Library to hold your new Brush Category and associated Brush Category .JPG icon file:
1. In the File Manager, open the Painter 7 > Brushes folder and create a new folder named Shared Brushes (meaning brushes Painter users create and share with each other.. or use any name that suits you).
2. Your WCDryCamel-antique-pool.xml Brush Variant file is now in its own Custom Water Color Brush Category folder that can easily be moved, along with its associated Custom Water Color.jpg Brush Category icon file, into the Shared Brushes Library: Open the Painter 7 > Brushes > Painter Brushes folder.
3. Hold down the Shift key, then click to highlight both the Custom Water Color Brush Category folder and the associated Custom Water Color.jpg Brush Category icon file.
4. Drag the highlighted folder and file into the Painter 7 > Brushes > Shared Brushes folder. Now you can load the Shared Brushes Library just as you would load any other Brush Library, from the Brushes palette's Brush Category list's Load Library command. 

That's it for this question. Hope it helps make things more clear and you'll find it easy to manage your brush folders and files from now on.


Jinny Brown, October 1, 2001
last modified May 3, 2004

©1994 - 2004, Jinny Brown

All Corel Painter screen prints on these pages are used with permission from Corel Corporation.