How do I do it?

(or, What is a virtual paintbrush?)

To create my portrait paintings, I employ a graphics tablet using a stylus (digital pen) as my virtual paintbrush. My Corel Painter software turns pen strokes made on my tablet into artists’-media-emulating marks on my monitor screen: watercolor washes, oil bristle brush, palette knife, pastels, colored pencil, charcoal, liquid ink (brush- or pen-applied,) airbrush… the list and the variations within each media and stroke are almost endless.

arabianDesertHorse
see this Arabian Costume horse art print at Desert Arabian

Physically, I am drawing upon the tablet on a horizontal desk surface rather than an upright vertical surface like an easel (nice, because upright aggravates my tendency to shoulder bursitis.) I see the strokes on my monitor as I make them; I work with dual monitors on my Mac, with the artwork on my larger screen and my tools and my tool menus mostly on a second monitor.

Tactile sensation is different from hand-painting of course, but still satisfying because the tablet is pressure-sensitive. That means that when I bear down harder, the width and/or density of the stroke increases (and vice versa) which gives it a real artist’s tool feel and allows for plenty of nuances and flourishes and refining.

See related topics at right, including Virtual painting
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Connie Moses– Blog: petArtistWithPeaches
website: PortraitsWithHorses.com (horse and pet portraits)

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