Painter 11 is here, if your not familiar with painter, allow me to clue you in on a “secret weapon” that professional photographers have in their arsenal to raise their work above the level of the amateur and prosumer photographers.

Painter is a software product from Corel. It retails for around $400 for a full version or $199 for an upgrade. If you are curious you can get the academic priced version of Painter 10 for around $49 (or $99 dollars with a training cd by Jeremy Sutton included) at academic superstore.

If you want to see an example of painter, just look at the banner at the top of this blog, I shot this picture in my backyard, cleaned it up in photoshop and “painted” it with painter.  The whole process took around 2 hours and I had quite a showpiece for my efforts. A larger uncropped version of this image can be seen on my outofnapkins page on flickr.

Bonus: There are 3 main stages for my painter images.

  1. I start off by selecting quick clone under the file tab at the top. then I select the detail oils brush 15 from the oil brush category. I size the brush up to between 50 and 100. I select the “clone color” setting in the color pallette, then paint over the entire image.
  2. Then I select the opaque bristle spray from the oils category and paint over the entire image a second time. I use a larger brush for background areas and reduce the size of the brush as I get closer to the main focus of my image (kind of like using depth of field to draw attention to the subject).
  3. Finally I select the soft cloner brush from the cloners categ0ry, set the opacity to about 10% and brush back a little detail to take the edge off of the “digital” look while retaining the painter effect.

A well done painter looks great on a fine art canvas or gallery wrap.  These items can easily be added to your product list as premium items.