Creating a Custom Organic Oily Brush


Creating a Custom Organic Oily Brush

In this blog post, I wanted to try to combine some tips for creating custom brushes, as well as some tips into quickly transforming photos into paintings.

So the first thing I want to do is create a brush that will feel very organic and oily. Then I will use the brush to convert a photo into a painting.

NOTE: I am NOT an artist emoticon



There are many ways to achieve this in Painter. I could use a mix of various types of brush technologies (Blend Camel Hair mixed with Real Bristle, Artist's Oils, Static Bristle with Resaturation & Bleed etc.), and I would get a wide range of very different results, and they could all be very pleasing. There isn't only a single way to get the brush you want in Painter, and this is what makes Painter so powerful!

But today, I wanted a brush with a specific organic shape. For this purpose, I will use the "Captured Dab" technology along with the "Growth" effect.

Whenever I want to create a new brush, I often try to find one that is a least a bit similar to what I want to achieve. Then I modify the brush to get the effect I want.

Below are the steps I used to create the "Organic Oily" brush variant, which you can download at the end of this post.

Step 1. Select Captured Bristle from the Acrylics category as a starting point. This brush is stamp based, so it's as good a starting point as any.

Step 2. Create the footprint/shape of your brush.

- Create a blank document, size 500x500 pixels.

- Launch Growth effect (under Effects - Esoterica), and use settings similar to these:


- Click and drag from the centre of the document to the edge to create a large shape, without going outside the document.



Tip: You can try repeating steps 3 and 4 until you like the shape you get.

- Click on: Select - All.

- Click on: Brushes - Capture Dab (This captures the image to be the footprint of the brush)

Step 3. Show brush controls.

- Window Menu - Brush Control Panels - General

Step 4. Select an oily media.

- Change brush method and submethod to be "Drip - Grainy Drip". This method has a greasy effect which is what I am looking for.

- Set Grain to 100%. (For drip brushes, this makes the effect stronger).


Step 5. Make the brush size change with pressure.

- Set size to 30, minimum size to 0, size expression to pressure and size step 10%.


Step 6. Make the brush have some differences in orientation, so that the footprint will not always be in the same direction.

- Set the squeeze to 99% to allow the brush to rotate.

- Set angle expression to source (this will make the brush rotate with changes in color from the clone source).

- Set angle range to 360 degrees

- Set angle step to 10 degrees



Step 7. Make the brush have some randomness in dab positions.

- Set jitter to 0.2


Step 8. Enable cloning so that the brush will pick up color from a source.


Step 9. Save brush

- Brushes Menu - Save variant and give it a name.


Here is a sample stroke created with the brush.




Ok now we are ready to use this brush to transform a photo into a painting.


Step 1. Choose a nice photo emoticon and open it in Painter.



Step 2. Select the photo as the current clone source. This will make your new brush pull the colors from the photo.


Step 3. Paint directly on the photo, adjusting the brush size, and using pressure to control your brush.

Some tips for painting:

- Use broad strokes (larger size) in the sky and other areas.

- Use finer brush size for detail areas.

- Follow the contours of the shapes.

Some additional tips:

- You can use the underpainting palette to prepare the photo before using it as a clone source. For example, use Smart Blur to remove details from the original photo.


-You can use the Apply Surface Texture effect to add a canvas texture to your painting.


Here is a quick sample result...

I'm not an artist, but I think this could be a good starting point, and someone with more talent could start adding colors and more depth as well as refined strokes to the painting.



If you would like to try out this brush, here is the link:

UPDATE: You can download the variant in the much easier sharing format here, I still add to zip it to conform with the blog software... sigh!



Let me know if you have any questions or comments on this brush or any other types of brushes emoticon

Happy painting!



As suggested out in one of the comments, you can use this brush to paint colors if you turn off cloning.

Here is a sample of some of the brush work details that you could get. You can see that the brush can give some nice "rough edged" stroke which helps to make it look less digital and more natural.




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