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Painting Snow
written for Painter 7, Painter 6, and Painter 5/5.5
by Jinny Brown  e-mail
copyright 1994 - 2002, Jinny Brown
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I hope you have a lot of fun painting your snowy scene and whether or not you find ways to improve on these very basic methods, please upload the final result to your website and send me the web page address (no e-mail attachments, please). 

I'd love to see your painting.

Happy Holidays!

Painting Snow on the Ground

You may be comfortable simply painting snow directly on the Canvas or a Layer using any of a number of brush variants, and adding highlights and softly colored shadows. If not, the two following methods for painting snow on the ground may help.

Painter 7 and Painter 6 Only:

This method takes a good deal of practice to control the brush strokes, so it may not be the one you prefer to use. Try it on a test Canvas to see how it works for you.

To paint snow on the ground, one brush variant you might try is the Impasto's Gloopy variant. Lowering the amount of depth can make it easier to control the effect: Brush Controls palette's Impasto section > Depth slider. Touch up will probably be required after the snow is roughed in and the Layers flattened, or Grouped and Collapsed (see below for some touch up suggestions). 

Painter 7, Painter 6, Painter 5/5.5:

This method allows for more control than using the Impasto's Gloopy variant and, though it may take longer it is, in my opinion, easier and more flexible. It allows you to quickly rough in highlights and shadows on multiple Layers (Painter 5/5.5 Transparent Layers) to indicate snowy hills, then smooth and blend them until you're happy with the final result.

To rough in your snowy ground, or hills, pick white as the Primary Color, then choose the Pens' Flat Color variant, change the Size to 23.5, open a New Layer
(Painter 5/5.5 open a Transparent Layer), paint a curved, "hill shaped" brush stroke across the entire image. This represents the farthest hill and the horizon line. Then use Effects > Surface Control > Apply Surface Texture with the following settings:

Using: Layer Mask (Painter 5/5.5, Using: Transparent Layer Mask)
Softness: 13.7
Inverted: box unchecked
Amount: 100%
Picture: 100%
Shine: 40%
Reflection: 0%
Brightness: 1.15
Conc: 4.00
Exposure: 1.41
Light Color: white
Light Direction: upper left radio button
Display: 0.33
Show Light Icons: box checked

Repeat on multiple Layers (Painter 5/5.5, multiple Transparent Layers), painting additional  "hills", each one in front of the last until the ground is covered with snow.

At this point, the snow will look very unfinished. Don't worry, it'll soon be fixed. 

Use the Layer Adjuster tool (Painter 5/5.5 Floater Adjuster tool) to reposition the brush strokes so lighting and shadows look better placed and, if necessary, use Effects > Orientation > Scale to stretch the Layer (Painter 5/5.5 Transparent Layer) to cover the Canvas horizontally, or to make your "hill" higher (uncheck Constrain Aspect Ratio and type the number into the Height or Width box).

Use the Liquid's Just Add Water variant to smooth out, and blend, awkward transitions from light to shadow and the upper edges of each brush stroke, especially along the horizon line (Painter 5/5.5 use the Water's Just Add Water variant).


Click the appropriate target link below to go to the Falling Snow tutorial for your Painter version:

Tutorial for Painter 7 and Painter 6
Tutorial for Painter 5/5.5


Falling Snow

Painter 7 and Painter 6:

1. Pick white as your Primary Color.

2. Choose the Pens' 1-Pixel variant and restore it to its default settings: 

Brushes palette > Variant menu > Restore Default Variant

3. In the Brush Controls palette's sections, make the following setting adjustments:

GENERAL
Opacity: 80%

SIZE
Size: 15.0
Min Size: 100%

SPACING
Spacing: 200%
Min Spacing: 8.0

EXPRESSION
Resat: Random

RANDOM
Jitter: 4.00

4. After making these setting adjustments, save the custom brush variant and name it "Snow", or another appropriate name not already used by Painter

Brushes palette > Variant menu > Save Variant

Then restore the 1-pixel variant to its default settings (see Step 2 above).

5.Using the "Snow" variant, paint in random directions to make the "snowflakes" look appropriately scattered.

6.Adjust the above settings as needed to get the effect you want. For example:

  • Instead of relying on the Expression section Resat: Random setting for varying color saturation (or the appearance of varying opacity) within the brush stroke, you might want to change the Expression section's Resat: setting to None then manually raise or lower brush Opacity and paint where you want to make some "snowflakes" appear nearer or farther away. The effect will also depend on the background color used, as there needs to be enough contrast for the varying opacity brush strokes to show properly. 
  • If you increase the brush Size, the "snowflakes" will be farther apart. If the brush Size is decreased, they'll be closer together and may begin to look like a line of "snowflakes" rather than being scattered more naturally.
Since you've saved the custom "Snow" variant, you can make as many setting adjustments as you want and then save the new custom variants when you find combinations you like better. You can always restore the "Snow" variant to its original settings (see Step 2 above).

Hope you have a lot of fun painting your snowy scene!


Falling Snow

Painter 5/5.5:

1. Pick white as your Primary Color.

2. Choose the Pens' Pixel Dust variant and restore it to its default settings: 

Brushes palette > Variant menu > Restore Default Variant

3. Using palettes accessed from the Brushes palette's Control menu, make the following setting adjustments:

SIZE (opens the Brush Controls: Size palette)
Size: 25.0
+/- Size: 1.50

SPACING (opens the Brush Controls: Spacing palette)
Spacing/Size: 30%
Min Spacing: 1.0

SLIDERS (opens the Advanced Controls: Sliders palette)
Opacity: Random

4. After making these setting adjustments, save the custom brush variant and name it "Snow", or another appropriate name not already used by Painter

Brushes palette > Variant menu > Save Variant

Then restore the Pixel Dust variant to its default settings (see Step 2 above).

5. Using the "Snow" variant, paint in random directions to make the "snowflakes" look appropriately scattered.

6. Adjust the above settings as needed to get the effect you want. For example:

  • Instead of relying on the Sliders palette's Opacity: Random setting for varying opacity within the brush stroke, you might want to change the Sliders palette's Opacity setting to None then manually raise or lower brush Opacity and paint where you want to make some "snowflakes" appear nearer or farther away. The effect will also depend on the background color used, as there needs to be enough contrast for the varying opacity brush strokes to show properly. 
  • If you increase the brush Size, the "snowflakes" will be farther apart. If the brush Size is decreased, they'll be closer together and may begin to look like a line of "snowflakes" rather than being scattered more naturally.
Since you've saved the custom "Snow" variant, you can make as many settings adjustments as you want and then save the new custom variants when you find combinations you like better. You can always restore the "Snow" variant to its original settings (see Step 2 above).
 

Jinny_____


Jinny Brown, November 5, 2002

PAINTER 7 TUTORIALS

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©1994 - 2002, Jinny Brown
e-mail

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

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