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Customer Review

21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Selection of Artists, But the Book's Size Makes it Clumsy, January 2, 2011
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This review is from: Secrets of Corel Painter Experts: Tips, Techniques, and Insights for Users of All Abilities (Paperback)
Length:: 0:24 Mins

I just want to say it's nice to see someone putting out more books of this sort. Painter touted as the most natural digital painting program - because of its ability to emulate more traditional media, ironically has a problem. Most books show you how to paint and create digital art in Photoshop, but most tutorials I have encountered teach you how to edit a photo to look like something painted traditionally in Painter. This leaves many illustrators interested in the process looking long and hard for Painter tutorials and the likeness.

This book is actually somewhat small, but thick. This makes it a bit awkward to read, even more so if you haven't taken out the DVD in the back. The DVD is protected in a cardboard sleeve located in the very back of the book. I personally find these DVD jackets irritating because it's far more likely you'll end up damaging the book if you're not careful removing the sleeve.

The other problem with its size is that the screenshots in the book are rather small. Although you're provided with the a gallery on the dvd, unfortunately, screenshots not so much. Sometimes you'll find something in a screenshot that the artist doesn't mention in his/her brief process tutorial.

The book I received had a small hole/tear on the last page. It didn't affect anything I was reading fortunately, but I am upset about the handling of the book. What I should also mention is that it's likely you may also receive the blurry print run as I have on pages 251-266 it's not illegible but it is obnoxious. The fortunately didn't seem to carry to the images on these pages.

So... let's talk about the content. Content is pretty much what I expected it to be. There are 17 artists featured in this book, each gives a small tutorial along with a brief bio and captions that give you tips. They also feature educational levels which I don't exactly find important. You don't need a degree in art, but lots of dedication so you can practice and improve - so personally I'd love to see more info on how many years was it till an artist felt comfortable in his/her craft.

As I mentioned previously there is also a companion DVD. If you bought an e-book version, you can also contact the authors and receive the accompanying DVD. The content of the DVD could be worked on. While it was easy to run, the content could use a bit sprucing up. Pop the DVD in, and there is no "autorun" you just hit the "start.html" and get a silly "agree/disagree" dialog. Once you agree you are taken to a very plain white page link listing of each artist featured. While I don't mind the simple setup, the other problem I had is that you need to explore the DVD to get to the other content like brushes or videos. So it makes the "start.html" rather pointless. You can just simply browse to each artist's folder.

Of the 17 featured, only 5 of those artists have additional content. Mike Thompson having the most goodies contribution to the DVD. I'm a bit surprised since John Derry had nothing - who is a longtime partner in creating Painter.

I actually enjoyed the content of most of the artists, save the "generic anime art" in this book. I really think they could have chosen someone more representing of this genre. When I saw that artist's work the colors were off - like they were were either overly saturated, or poor color palette choices, other times looking chalky. That artist could work more on color theory. Other than that, there was a very good and wide variety of styles so something for everyone can be found in this book. You can find a fantasy painter, someone more modern, comic book style, concept art, etc..

I really hope Corel decides to push out more of these kinds of books because there really is a shortage of illustrative content and their process and considering Painter's great amount of useful tools it needs to promote itself as a digital painting medium that illustrators and photographers alike can use and not just a "Digital painting medium that can do nifty things to your photos"

Overall, I'd give this about 3 1/2 stars but Amazon only lets you grade in whole stars.
No that is not me in the video just a couple of noisy co-workers!
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 8, 2011 7:02:14 PM PST
Elsevilla says:
you should be in the book next time, contact corel.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 9, 2011 6:43:36 PM PST
S. Jenkins says:
This is from a publisher that was promoted by Corel. The author of the book is actually very nice. I don't need to be in the book so much as I just would like more material of this kind to be available so it isn't some "regurgitated group long associated with Painter" I'd like to see it expand like the abundance of Photoshop users.

Posted on Mar 6, 2011 9:48:15 AM PST
BettyBoop says:
im so glad you wrote this review. im so dissapointed. i just bought this book FULL price and i put the DVD in, and im completely dissapointed. The dvd has nothing useful. I was expecting an abundance of video tutorials, but i dont see any, nor 'painter movies' like it states on the back of the book.

I've recently purchased painter, and ive been searching the web for days now. All ive found are tutorials on how to make a picture look like a painting. I'M NOT INTERESTED IN THAT! ARGH! It's becoming very distressing to me. I see that people work in painter and can produce great work, but where are some step by step guides??? Even the corel website is lacking, and when i have gone through the tutorials, they're either inaccurate or not in depth enough for me.

all in all, im just really dissapointed with the whole experience...maybe i should have gotten photoshop, there is a plethora of info regarding that. :(

Posted on Mar 20, 2011 9:28:09 AM PDT
A. Maes says:
Does the DVD have all the brushes or just from 5 artists?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2011 3:38:08 PM PDT
S. Jenkins says:
Only some artists submitted their custom brushes.

Posted on May 24, 2015 1:44:41 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 24, 2015 1:46:58 AM PDT
FreeSpoken says:
I so agree, after searching high and low it's sad such a great program has so little educational documentation. If I buy one more Cher Threinen-Pendarvis book I might scream, even though she's darn good at this and her books are nice enough, each iteration is nearly identical, and I now have a stack of WOW books from Painter IX on. The DVD's associated with my other Painter books sound far better than this though. My copy of this book is on the way and won't be here till next week. I ordered it after downloading the sample to Kindle but after purchasing the hard copy instead was surprised the sample offered for viewing on my computer has nearly no sample to speak of compared to that on my tablet version. I went with the traditional book even though they offer to mail the DVD on request as I don't have postal delivery where I live and these offers invariably only send media through that method rather than UPS or FedEx ground.

Thanks for the sneak peek and honest evaluation, you did a great job of covering this book, noisy co workers and all! I understand your frustration as I also use Photoshop (another ton of educational books for that), but no software is like Painter for natural media hands down. For me, between Photoshop, Painter, and Illustrator, there's precious little I can't do given the effort.

I highly recommend learning digital technique from Bert Monroy when and wherever you can find it in books or online. He did great tutorials on at one time, published books, and still does tutorials for His background in digital art is impressive. Burt specializes in photorealism and he's very straight forward while keeping the process fun.

Also don't forget to utilize the power of Youtube video search to find tutorials and free brush content as well as Devient Art's site. Happy creating!
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