What to do next
If you havenít been painting with me so far,
now is the time to start. If you donít have Painter and a tablet use
traditional pastels. I have started a gallery, so if you like send me a
link to your portrait and I may add it to the tutorial users gallery (see
When you work with children it is important to let the pose be natural so
that they are comfortable and to work fast. Chat with the child first and
show a friendly interest to gain the childís confidence. Never tell a
sitter to keep still. To keep their attention, for a very small child, put
a tissue on your head and, ever so slowly, let it fall. Then show surprise
and laugh and put it back on your head. Children never tire of silly games
and you can concentrate on your painting as the child gazes with
excitement at your head. For older children, TV is good to keep the
sitter's head in position but, with your back to the screen, you need
separate lights on your work and the sitter. For an adult, I arrange that
they return to their pose when I say their name which gives them time off.
About this portrait
Colour: A few well-chosen colours can create
richness. Less is often more. For this painting, the red was chosen
because I could see that together with the other colours this particular
red would create flesh tones.
This isnít how I normally work, I just felt like it this morning.
Tomorrow I may use two complimentary colours, or freely dip into all
colours. Every day is different for me.
Tutorial page 7 of 7
How to trace photos in Painter
1. Donít trace on the tablet. Scan the photo if necessary.
2. In Painter crop and size the photo so it is the shape and size you want
for your portrait. Use the Crop tool to cut off edges and Canvas>Resize
to get the photo the size you want the portrait to be. Keep dpi at
72 or higher.
3. Find the exact size of the result from Canvas >
4. Create a new canvas of this size and the correct paper colour from the
5. Make the photo the Clone source from the File >Clone Source flyout
6. Click the Tracing Paper icon, and trace the photo.
7. Donít change canvas size until you have finished tracing.
Fiddle with the size and position of the windows so you can see the photo
beside the canvas as well as ďthroughĒ it.
About the tutorial
This tutorial is part of an ongoing project for
a book on starting computer art. Meantime we have an AVI movie and a
Painter script of the portrait being painted. Email us if you are
interested in the book or a CD containing the script and the movie.
Tracing Paper Icon
Photo cropped, resized and ready for tracing showing original beside it.
About the artist
Thereís more about me on my home page and
examples of my digital work in my Digital Portrait Gallery (see links
below). If you want to talk to me about commissions, demonstrations,
lectures or whatever, I would love to hear from you. I would also love to
hear about how you liked the tutorial.
Credits and copyright
Art by Jeanie Mellersh
2002 & 2003
Web page design and production
Nick Mellersh .
A digital portrait from life