Useful Digital Skills for Artists

Imaging Skills

Print& Scan

Web Skills

Cynthia Beth Rubin

Basic Painting In Fractal Painter

1. Open up a new Document in Painter

  • Use the Pressure Sensitive Pen to Launch Painter, so that it will know that you have a tablet (otherwise you will not be able to paint properly)
  • Click on the Launcher to Open Painter
    (or go to Applications on Hard Drive)
    (or go to Graphics Applications under the little Apple in the upper left)

  • Choose:
    • a small size (600 x 400 pixels)
    • white paper background color (to do this click on the paper color)
  • Go to FILE, down to SAVE AS
  • Save it as a .psd (leave the suffix in the title: bark.psd) or as a painter document. do not use jpg.

2. Select your brush to make a simple line or form in Fractal Painter

  • Under WINDOW go to TOOLS


    Select BRUSHES by click on the Brush icon
    Use whatever brush is Selected for your first mark.
  • Just make a free line.
  • This will be easiest if you use the PEN rather than the Mouse. Painter works best when you let your tools be pressure senstive!
  • Use whatever color is selected to start, (unless you are painting white on white!).

    SAVE any time!

3. Change your Painting Tool.

  • Be sure that you are still clicked on the Brush in the Tool Bar.
  • Double Click on the Brush Icon in the Tool Bar.

  • You will see a selection of Brushes appear
  • In Painter, many DIFFERENT TOOLS act as Brushes.
    Choose the one that looks like a brush.
  • At the Bottom of the Menu, you will see a WRITTEN LIST of Brush types: Oil Paint, Hairy Brush, etc.

  • Choose the Brush that you want to use.

  • Some Tools Work more naturally than others. To Start, use the 3 tools shown above:
    • Brush
    • Felt Marker
    • Chalk


  • Under FILE, go Down to SAVE.
  • Get in the Habit of SAVING as you go along

4. Select your Painting Color



  • Click on Color (the left menu in this dialog box).

  • In the Art Materials Menu, you will see a color wheel.

  • To Change the Paint Hue, click on the outer ring.

  • To Change the Value and Saturation, click within the triangle


5. Begin Painting!

  • Change Colors as you go along.
  • Change Brushes as you go along.

6. SAVE -- the image is not yet SAVED

  • Under FILE, go Down to SAVE.
  • The first time that you SAVE, you need to be sure to save in YOUR FOLDER
  • Give your image a nice easy SHORT name, without spaces, slashes, or periods.
  • Choose the right format: PSD or TIFF should appear after the name if you plan to open the image in Photoshop. Only save in Painter format (RIFF) if you plan to continue to work in Painter.
  • Never save as a jpg, eps, or pdf unless you have a reason to do so.

    Save regularly - the computer does not care if you are finished or how horrible your image is - you will care if the computer crashes and you loose everything!

7. Continue to Experiment by Modifying your current Brush.

  • Be sure that you are still clicked on the Brush in the Tool Bar.
  • Look for the Controls Window. If it is not showing, go under WINDOW in the menu.
Modify your current brush using this dialog box.

This is not the same as changing tools or brush style.