Anything Photoshop or Photography

Corel Painter

Happy New Year!

Image wishing everyone a Happy New Year!
Just wishing everyone a Happy New Year! I am really looking forward to trying out some new techniques and keep working on my digital art, as shown above. I actually painted this image a while ago and decided to make into a Happy New Year greeting by adding the cute penguins brush by Altergromit and some text. There are lots of layers in this image. To get the string look, a Corel Painter brush called Spring Light was used to get this effect. It was saved down as a PSD file and where I could finish up the design. Violin and Bow are from the Design Shop.The notes are from FX Ray Music Brushes. The font is Starway. And lots of snow brushes were used – mine and other peoples to get this wintry look.

The Magic Violin

Image of violin and musical notes
This image was inspired by a wonderful piece of clip-art from The Design Shop called Vintage Violin clip art. From there the image just kept building. The background abstract city element was created in Corel Painter and a few cool brushes created in PS for more detailed elements. This whole image was just a lot of fun to do and no filters this time!…..Digital Lady Syd

Light Dawning in the Forest

Image of a bird in a painted background
Just created this little image for fun. I started image by opening up the Tree Generator in Photoshop (Filter -> Render -> Tree – not available in CS6 unfortunately) and created a 16 Young Robina tree and just playing with all the fun sliders. If you have not tried out this fun little sub-program inside PS, you should give it a spin – lots of fun! Behind the tree one of my Corel Painter textures was placed and the Hue adjusted with a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer. The bird is from some clip art that I had and it was painted and liquified. The flying birds in the background are a free download from Jai Johnson. Not much to this image. I liked the colors that resulted…..Digital Lady Syd

Getting Ready for Spring

Image of digitally painted flowers in both Corel Painter and Photoshop
This started with just a little sketching in Corel Painter and ended up like this in Adobe Photoshop! The basic sketch was done with a real small sized brush I had created from a Corel Painter video. Then just used a basic oil brush to add in some color strokes on the petals – it actually started as pinkish tones. It was saved down as a PSD file and opened in Photoshop. Started by cleaning up the petals’ color a little but wanted keep it a little messy. A stamped layer (CTLR+ALT+SHIFT+) was added and a black texture from Kim Klassen called Magic Map was placed on top and set to Subtract blend mode at 47% layer opacity. Next a personal overlay created a while back was placed on top at 69% layer opacity that gave it a bit of a Parisian feel. (See my How to Create an Overlay Out of a Texture Fun Photoshop Blog for more on this.) A Solid Color Fill Adjustment Layer set to a pink color was clipped (ALT-Click between the two layers) and set to 71% layer opacity. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle was applied using a preset I had created a while back and set it to 85% layer opacity – this turned the color scheme to the above. Several Splatter brush layers were created at different layer opacities. Some clean up and a Levels Adjustment Layer was added to finish up the image. This turned out to be a lot of fun to create…..Digital Lady Syd

The Valentine Trees

Painted Valentine Trees
Happy Valentines Day! Just had some fun painting my Valentine Trees – started in Corel Painted and ended up in Photoshop. Lots of layers here a few filters – used Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Impression (true – used after painting the image), Topaz ReStyle, Topaz Lens Effects Reflector, and Nik Viveza 2. Lots of layers for the grass and valentines added. Overall lots of fun to do. Have a great day!…..Digital Lady Syd

Sunny Winter Trees

Painted winter trees
Just having some fun painting trees, my favorite thing to paint. This image was painted for starters in Corel Painter with a solid color light gray color for the background and using several different brushes. Then Photoshop was used and mainly Aaron Blaise’s Photoshop Canvas Texture brushes were used to add more leaves and color into the image. Then I decided I did not like the image but did not know why so I walked away for a couple of weeks. Today I decided to try again and decided the overall color was not what correct. A Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was used to change the background to a bluish color which I prefer. A Red Channel Adjustment Layer (see my How to Use a Red Channel to Create a Nice Blended Image Effect Fun Photoshop blog) was used to pop the original tree luminosity and it turned out much better. I am really enjoying getting back into Painter again, but I still have to have my PS brushes to help out!…..Digital Lady Syd

Happy New Year

Painted tree landscape height=
Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year and hope all your days are sunny as above in the coming year! I just created this image in Corel Painter – have not digitally painted in quite a while so it was fun to poen up Corel Painter and see what happened! Original painting used various brushes from Karen Bonaker, Melissa Gallo, John Lowther, and a few of my own. Then it was saved as a PSD file and brought into Photoshop where a few clean up layers were created using the Clone Stamp Tool and some regular brushes to even out the tones. The image was then taken into Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Texture Effects 2 to just give a nice overall effect to pull it all together. Last step, used Nik Viveza 2 to adjust the lighting to my liking. This was so much fun to create. Feels good to paint again!…..Digital Lady Syd

Quietly Standing Out

Landscape painting with a red fox
Sometimes it just feels good to paint! Totally enjoyed trying out and practicing with Melissa Gallo’s Painting Spring brushes and paper (still have a lot to learn but enjoying it immensely). Once the basic background was painted, it was brought into Photoshop to finish up. The impasto effect was created using Kyle Webster’s Impasto Kit – Super Light Gesso 2 layer style with the Natural Media Knit Pin brush from to paint in the snowy effect. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects’s Polarization filter using the Bottom Half 2 Stops preset was applied. The Fox was created on its own layer using a free brush from and adjusting it to match my image. Topaz Texture Effects’s 1 Color Burst II was added without the vignette effect. Last step was to add Nik Viveza 2 (now free) to really showcase the fox. That was it! Loved painting this image!…..Digital Lady Syd

Waiting for Spring

Painted image of a red bird on a snow covered fence
Just had some fun painting in Corel Painter. This image was created using several of Melissa Gallo watercolor brushes from her Painting Spring class. Really nice course and am having a lot of fun watching the videos. The bird was painted in Photoshop using my friend Nicolai’s Ink brush Brezh Brow and Pastel brush Re-Cc – check out his huge variety of wonderful brushes at and his free weekly brush. Nik Viveza 2 (now free) was used to emphasize the bird just perfectly. Lots of fun playing with these brushes!…..Digital Lady Syd

Spring Is in the Air!

Painted Flowers using Paintstorm Studio
I really love painting flowers in Paintstorm Studio as the colors look so wonderful. Therefore the three pretty blossoms were painted using several Paintstorm brushes – a watercolor brush, a cross hatch brush, and two manga hair brushes for the leaves. Then in Photoshop a brush from Ruan Jia called Leaf 5 with some hatching texture added and color to create the flowers on the ground – scroll down to find download and check out all the other sources of some wonderful brushes. The birds are from a Lost & Taken set photo IMG 4721 set to Multiply blend mode at 33% layer opacity (not sure these are still available) and a Pattern Fill Adjustment Layer with a watercolor pattern was clipped to it to give a little texture to the birds. The background texture is one I created in Painter a while back. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects Graduated Neutral Density filter using 1 Stop Bottom preset. Finally Nik Color Efex Pro 4 (now free) was added using these filters:  Darken/Lighten Center, Film Efex Vintage, White Neutralized, and Vignette Filter. That was it. I really like the results!…..Digital Lady Syd

A Little Birdie Told Me So

Painted image of a bird
Just having some fun today creating this little bird. The bird, tree, and background were done in Painter. In Photoshop some Impasto effect was added to the some feathers, the music notes and clouds using a layer style. The free font is called Chiller and the wonderful Musical Note brushes are by Coby 17. It was fun to try out some different brushes in Painter ……Digital Lady Syd

A Spring Scene

Painted image of a Spring scene
Just having some fun here. Created the original image in Corel Painter – got stuck and came into Photoshop to finish up the image. The basic structure, flowers and plants were created in Painter using various brushes. In Photoshop the DoDo bird Hummingbird were from a scrapbook set called HappyUnBday by Mischief Circus (this is one of my favorite sets) and the Butterflies are from a set called Intermixture Elements & Papers by Algera Designs. A texture called Clouds Over the Pasture from Jai Johnson was added underneath and set to Hard Light blend mode – it gives the beautiful light around the bird. Several layers were added where some texture was added in using plant brushes and texture brushes. Nik Viveza 2 was used twice and Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects three times to get this final result. Also some Impasto layers were used on the plants to give a little 3-D effect to the image. This actually took quite a while as I just could not get the feel I liked. I think it is now complete!…..Digital Lady Syd

In the Country

Painted image of the Belarusian countryside
This is an image taken several years ago of the Belarusian countryside. I just watched on the Corel Painter website an older set of videos by John Derry (see Workflow 1, Workflow 2 and Workflow 3 videos) and decided to try his technique. It involves using several layers of auto-painting with different brush sizes and then adding layer masks to target your focus area. I had a little trouble following all the steps at the end, so I went into Photoshop to use my favorite brushes for cleaning up paintings. Overall I liked the final effect but I am not too sure if I liked the auto-paint results. This is definitely one you need to play with the different Painter brushes to get a pleasing effect. …..Digital Lady Syd

Merry Christmas!

Painted Christmas Card of a winter scene
Merry Christmas and hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday! Enjoy the season!…..Digital Lady Syd

Full Moon Rising

Image of a full moon in an Aspen Tree forest
This image was painted using some of Karen Bonaker’s Painter 2016 Holiday brushes that she is graciously giving away to us Corel Painter lovers! I have to be honest and say I had to tweak the brushes quite a bit to get the correct effect (in her downloaded brush she had the Damping set to 60%, not 33% like the default in the Options Bar) – mainly changed in the Liquid Ink panel the Ink Type to Ink Plus Color from Ink Only and tried different settings for the various slider like the Volume and Jitter sliders. Also unchecked Continuous Time Deposition box and set the Boost to 38%. Went into the Particles-Common panel and tried different settings for the Chaos, Smoothness and Damping sliders. Several brushes were created using different settings and I think I finally got some decent trees! A background I had created in Painter was added behind the image. The image was saved as a psd file and taken into Photoshop where I got this night effect – set an adjustment curve to the Negative (RGB) preset.  The moon was stamped in using Fantasy Brushes Moon 2 brush. Did a lot of manipulation to get the moon to look correct. Some clone clean up and that was it. Lots of fun to do and I wish to thank Karen for always giving us the most fun brushes during the holidays!…..Digital Lady Syd

Looking for Dinner

Painted image of an egret in a stream
This is an image I created mainly in Corel Painter using John Lowther’s Landscape brushes – still learning how to use them but they are beautiful brushes! I have done a couple different iterations of this image, but I think I like this one the best. My birds are always my favorite subjects so here is another one. I did have to use Photoshop to add the egret (in the set called rEgrets I’ve Had A Few by Midnight Touch that are really nice egret brushes). Once the bird was added, used the Mixer brush to add detail and color to the face and body. Frostbo Grass Set 2 brushes (my favorite Photoshop grass and reed brushes!) were used on individual layers and a Gaussian Blur filter set to a Radius of 3 was used to soften the strokes to fit in with Painter reeds and grasses. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects was opened and the Single Tone Filter set to Morning preset was applied to warm it up. Topaz ReStyle was opened and the Zambezi Zest preset was used to bring out some more autumn looks – in ReStyle the Color Style was set to Soft Light Blend Mode and then back in Photoshop the layer was set to 65% opacity. A Solid Color Adjustment Layer was set to medium gray, Color blend mode, and 55% layer opacity -the areas I wanted to appear a little more vivid was painted back in the layer mask. That was it! It took a while to get this the way I wanted it. Just takes some experimentation. Lots of fun!…..Digital Lady Syd

A Wintry Day

Image of a wintry scene created in Corel Painter

Just trying out the Watercolor category in Corel Painter. Usually use Photoshop to do the watercolor effects, but I finally got around to watching Jason Maranto’s videos on the Painter 2015 brush engine and learned how to use them. This image mainly used a Painter 2016 brush in the Watercolor category called Speckle Wash with the opacity changed for the various areas of the image. In Photoshop Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects was opened and used the Graduated Neutral Density Filter, and Topaz ReStyle using the Tierra Frost preset. Really enjoyed doing this image!…..Digital Lady Syd

My Imaginary Landscape

Landscape painted in Corel Painter 2016
This image was my first created in the new Corel Painter 2016. This used a Spring Particle brush that Corel Master Winifred Whitfield is giving away to use with the her video called Watercolor Spring Particles. This brush can be very addictive, especially if you follow her instructions and make a few variants of your own. Most of the image was created in Painter which can put each color and stroke on different layers if you want. The surf effect was created using the Eraser Tool in Painter. In Photoshop some of the sharp edges on those painted patterned layers were cleaned up where the Painter strokes overlapped a little too much. On a stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) on top, Topaz Lens Effects was opened. A Dual Tone filter was applied using the Top Left Red Leak preset and changing a few of the sliders to get a more pronounced sunset feeling in the sky. The last step was to use Nik Viveza 2 to help guide the eye through the image. Both of these filters could have been applied in Painter. That was it. Lots of fun with this brush and the new Painter version……Digital Lady Syd

A Wintry Scene

Painted image of a wintry scene using Corel Painter and Photoshop
Just practicing my painting some more. Love painting these wintry scenes even though it is so hot outside. Not too much to this image other than it was first painted in Painter, then taken back into Photoshop, taken back to Painter, and ended up in Photoshop. Phew! Used several brushes in each program. Two textures, each with a Hue/Saturation Adjustments Level  clipped to it, with the Saturation slider set to -100 so no color was added, only texture. Just fun to paint!…..Digital Lady Syd

Macaws Being Macaws

Image of two macaws
This rather unique image of these two Macaws, a Scarlet and a Blue and Yellow, was taken at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm a while ago. Not sure how I get such funny pictures of birds! I really wanted to take Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReMask 5 through its paces and it worked really great on this image. (See my Digital Lady Syd Reviews Topaz ReMask 5 blog.) After creating a layer mask in ReMask, one of my Painter backgrounds was placed underneath the birds. A Regular brush layer and a Mixer brush layer were used to paint some of the feathers and the branch they were on. Then the texture was duplicated twice and placed above the birds. One was set to Multiply blend mode at 59% layer opacity and one to Overlay blend mode at 60% layer opacity. A stamped layer was placed on top. I felt the birds looked too bright before this was done. Therefore Topaz Lens Effect’s Fog I preset was applied (Amount 0.19, Angle 135.4, and Diffusion 0.14) to get the softer color effect, especially in the lower part of the image. That is all that was done to get this soft feel to these interesting birds…..Digital Lady Syd

First Signs of Winter

Painted image of a wintery scene
Totally enjoyed myself painting this little wintry scene. I think the recent hot weather in Florida has gotten to me! Used a very textured paper in Corel Painter 15 and mainly an Oil Brush and Blender that smeared some of the edges. In Photoshop used some of Grut’s brushes (these are a fabulous collection of brushes) to fill in where the trees did not look quite right.  A texture was applied with no color (used a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer clipped to it and set Saturation slider to -100) to get even more texture. Last step was to add Topaz (see sidebar for website link) ReStyle Desaturated Warm III preset for the final color effect. It really is fun just to paint!…..Digital Lady Syd


Image of painted flowers
These are just some flowers I started painting in Corel Painter 2015. This used the Basic Paper with the default settings. Only an oil paint brush and a blender were used. Just a lot of fun to paint. I then brought the image into Photoshop and duplicated the background. Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Glow was opened and my SJ Mysterious II Water preset was applied. This mainly made the image more vivid. Once out of the plug-in, Grut’s O Rooster Suit brush was used in PS to smooth out uneven lines and do general clean up. Nik Viveza 2 was used to make sure the red flower was the focal point. I really enjoyed doing a little free-style painting……Digital Lady Syd

Horses Checking Me Out

Image of grazing horses with painted mountains
Created this image using a texture I painted in Corel Painter and a horse image from Belarus. This is basically just painting the horses into the texture by using a black layer mask on the horse image above. Then used Topaz (see sidebar for website link) Lens Effects Toy Camera filter Awesomeness I preset as a start, then applied the Reflector filter to lighten up the whole image. On a stamped layer Topaz Restyle was used and just the bottom colors were changed to darker tones. Then mainly just some clean up – love the the results……Digital Lady Syd

A Tricolored Heron That Fell in a Painting!

Image of a painted Blue Heron
I seem to have an endless supply of these bird images from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery. It is such an incredible place to get bird images in the Spring. This is just another example of one of the magnificent birds hanging out looking for a mate. This time I actually used a layer mask to separate most of the bird from the tree limbs behind him. Since I was going to paint him, it did not have to be perfect. The bird was painted using Fay Sirkis’s (from KelbyOne) Precious Diamond Blender brush (her Mixer brushes are wonderful), then changing to it to add color when needed. This is my favorite brush for painting birds and has been used on most of my bird paintings. The texture is made up of two textures I created in Corel Painter 2015. Both textures used Quick Fix Color Brushes from Karen Sperling’s Artistry Quick Fix Video (#4 in this case) Series (check them out-and inexpensive way to learn Painter and she provides some of the best Painter brushes!), and the second also used a blender I created, and the other used Karen’s . They were placed underneath the bird and on a New Layer on top, the edges of the bird were blended into the texture. An Exposure Adjustment Layer (see my How To Do a Quick Eye Sharpening in Photoshop blog) was used to sharpen the eye. On a stamped layer on top, PS Camera Raw’s Radial Filter was used to add focus to the face and beak – painted out with the brush parts of body not to be emphasized. A Selective Color Adjustment Layer’s White Color was selected to make the white color behind the bird stand out just a little more – set Black slider to -37. That was it. I was pleased how the texture fits with the bird……Digital Lady Syd