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Painter: Creating a Woodcut from a Photo

... Cher Threinen-Pendarvis

5 Cutting the black plate.

To begin making the black plate, target Layer 1 by clicking on its name in the Layers palette and open its eye icon. At the top of the Layers palette, set its Composite Method to Multiply so the white that will be generated on the layer by the Woodcut effect will disappear. Now, choose Effects, Surface Control, Woodcut and turn on Output Black and turn off Color Output in the dialog box. For more detailed edges, adjust the Black Edge slider to the left. (Derry set it to approximately 25.75.)

Settibng Black dbox
To achieve more detailed black edges, the Black Edge slider was adjusted to the left. Setting the Composite Method for Layer 1 to Multiply (above, right)

6 Cleaning up the black plate.

The settings that worked well for the detail in the pagoda left too much black in the sky. Using the Scratchboard Tool variant of Pens and white paint, Derry removed the black by painting white over the sky. He chose the Scratchboard tool because it paints with a crisp edge. An Eraser variant would have produced a softer edge.

three views
The black plate (shown with the Canvas hidden) with black in the sky (left), and with the sky retouched (center), and (right) The in-progress woodcut with both color and black plates in place

adding the clouds7 Adding clouds and texture.

Next, Derry painted simple cloud shapes on a new layer using a large Scratchboard Tool and white paint. (To add a new layer, click the New Layer button near the bottom of the Layers palette.)
Increase the size of the Scratchboard Tool using the Size slider in the Property Bar (Derry adjusted his to about 25.4).
Paint loose brushstrokes that complement your composition.
Then he dragged the layer below the black plate layer in the Layers palette so the black would appear to be "printed" on top.
(Click for enlargement)

Saving woodcut presets When you've arrived at Woodcut settings that you like, you can save them for use on other images. To save a preset, click the Save button near the top of the Woodcut dialog box and when the Save Preset dialog box appears, name your Preset and click OK. The new Preset will appear in the pop-up list at the top of the Woodcut dialog box.

For added realism, Derry completed the woodcut by adding a subtle paper texture to the colored layer.

To add texture, click on the colored layer in the Layers palette. Select Basic Paper in the Paper Selector; then choose Effects, Surface Control, Dye Concentration, Using Paper.

In the dialog box, try moving the Maximum slider to the right until a subtle paper texture effect is visible. Adjust the settings to your taste and click OK.


Excerpted from The Painter X Wow! Book by Cher Threinen-Pendarvis. Copyright ©2007. Used with permission of Pearson Education, Inc. and Peachpit Press.

The Painter X Wow! Book

Cher Threinen-Pendarvis Cher Threinen-Pendarvis An award-winning artist, author and educator based in San Diego, California, Cher Threinen-Pendarvis has always worked with traditional art-making tools. Also a pioneer in digital art, Cher has created illustrations using the Macintosh computer since 1987. She has been widely recognized for her mastery of Painter, Photoshop and the Wacom pressure-sensitive tablet, using these electronic tools since they were first released.

bullet The Painter X Wow! Book is the book that all fine artists must have to get the very most out of Painter! It's not just about using Painter -- it's about inspiring examples and techniques for creating fine art, photography, graphic design, multimedia, and film that will raise your work to a new level.

In this new edition, bestselling author and renowned artist Cher Threinen-Pendarvis takes her readers step-by-step through this revolutionary program, revealing the best practices of numerous digital artists. With her clear, instructive approach, Cher quickly gets beginners up to speed and provides more advanced users with additional insight on the latest creative and productive techniques.

coverDon't just dream about getting better --
become the best you can be with this latest edition of
The Painter X Wow! Book

If you use a Graphics Tablet

Then you must have The Photoshop and Painter Artist Tablet Book! This is the ultimate for artists, illustrators, photographers, and designers of all levels who want to tap the creative power of using a tablet with Photoshop and Painter and develop their own unique style of painting with these applications. If you don't have a tablet, you should try one! If you get into tablet painting, then you'll definitely want to pick up a copy

bullet See our complete review of The Photoshop and Painter Artist Tablet Book
bullet See our previous interview with Cher: The painter behind Painter WOW
bullet See another exclusive DTG interview with Cher: Working with Graphics Tablets


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