Secrets of Corel Painter Experts is a thick book for what is basically a showcase of great Painter artwork, and there are only 17 featured artists so each one gets several pages to show their talent. I review some of these “showcase” books from time to time—fewer tutorials, more spectacular art to show off—and this one really impressed me with its breadth and depth of work as well as some decent tutorials.
Interestingly, I’ve seen many Photoshop books and I get less excited by the end results than those I see in Painter books. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen so many mind-bending, “wow” Photoshop images that nothing surprises me about Photoshop anymore. Painter is less-known and artists sometimes start with a blank file so I see fewer Painter projects and I am really impressed when I see a perfect blend of imagery and painterly technique that Painter does better than anyone else.
With that in mind, Secrets of Corel Painter Experts obviously impresses me with the quality of work. There’s an ecliptic mix of painters, illustrators and photography pros in this book so styles differ and I like some more than others, but they are all excellent. I particularly enjoy the illustrators (Mike Thompson, Dwayne Vance) and the fantasy/comic painters (Wonman Kim, Brian Haberlin). Brian’s chapter happens to show artwork from an upcoming sci-fi/fantasy graphic novel called Anomaly, which looks awesome. I will be reading it because of the art in this book.
I was a little surprised to see small tutorials included in every chapter. They are not long but each one is related to the artist’s work shown in the book and I am really glad they were willing to share some techniques with readers. The tutorials themselves are only really long enough to give the germ of an idea or technique, but serious readers will be able to make good use of them. A DVD is included with Secrets of Corel Painter Experts, but I’m disappointed because they don’t really support the tutorials. The DVD basically contains gallery pages of the artists’ work, a demo of Painter 11 (now out of date with the release of Painter 12). Some artists have also included some brushes and textures they use.
Painter users should definitely pick this book up. It’s also a good buy for fans of digital illustration in general, because the work shown here is excellent and has a variety of subject matter. It can be a little expensive at just under $45, but it’s a high-quality book from top to bottom.
Secrets of Corel Painter Experts
Daryl Wise and Linda Hellfritsch
Published by CENGAGE Learning