Tips and Tutorials

How to Ask
Corel Painter Questions in
Forums Around the Painter Community

Written by Jinny Brown

It's always heartwarming to hear another person has fallen in love with Painter. I love Painter too, and have since the moment my first version was installed on my computer one night in 1995.

Whether or not you've fallen in love yet, if you want to learn Painter and enjoy it, you'll no doubt have a lot of questions, especially at the beginning.

In the 12 years since 1995, reading forums and answering question, I've noticed new users are often vague with their questions. The result is wasted time while we try to get the necessary information and the new user waits for the answer(s).

So we can provide useful and accurate answers reasonably quickly, here are a few rules of the road:

When asking questions about Painter, it's important to be very specific, especially when it comes to brush variants. They're all different, with unique brush control settings so it's like groping in the dark when we don't know exactly which brush variant we're talking about. That's before the user has made brush control adjustments so it can get even more confusing without enough information.

Here's a list of things to think about when you've run into a problem or just want to ask a question:

• The Painter version you're using including patches/updates if any have been installed. For instance:
  • Painter 7 or Painter 7.1
  • Painter 8 or Painter 8.1
  • Painter IX, Painter IX 9.1, or Painter IX.5
• Specific brush libraries by their exact names.

• Specific brush categories by their exact names.

• Specific brush variant(s) by their exact names.

• Brush control adjustments you've made to the brush variant(s).

• The exact name of the current Paper when you use each of those brush variants and any adjustments you've made in the Papers palette.
Since many Painter brush variants interact with the current Paper texture, it can make a distinct difference in how the brush stroke looks.

• If you're working on Layers, are they transparent, or are you painting on areas of the Layer that are transparent?
Painting on Layers can present problems, depending on what's already on the Layer, the brush variant you're using, and any brush control adjustments you might have made, and whether or not the Pick Up Underlying Colors box is checked or the Preserve Transparency box is checked.

• Have you reset your Brush Tracking.
This tells Painter how you paint, or how you're painting at the time, and Brush Tracking needs to be reset every so often to be updated to how you're painting at that time.

In case you don't know how:
  1. Go to:
    Edit > Preferences > Brush Tracking (Windows)
    Painter IX (or Painter X) > Preferences > Brush Tracking (Mac).
  2. Paint a brush stroke on the scratch pad using your normal hand pressure.
  3. Click the OK button. 
• Your goal is when creating this image, if you think that may affect the answers to your questions.

• It's sometimes important to know what platform you're on so mention that too unless you know it's not important in the particular instance.

• Your OS and updates. For instance, I'm using WinXP Home SP2.

• Any other information you think might have a chance of affecting the answers to your questions.

Don't feel overwhelmed by this list. You probably won't need to include everything with your questions but the list is offered to help you think about what's important to include, in your specific situation.

See you around the Painter community!

© Jinny Brown
February 26, 2007