Watercolor in Artrage

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ArtRage is an easy to use digital paint software with many possibilities for the digital scrapbooker or artist. The tools in ArtRage work very similar to the the art tools of the physical world. The best way to work with ArtRage is to use it with a Wacom tablet. There is more precision with a pen than with a mouse. This tutorial uses ArtRage 4, Bamboo Create and Photoshop CS3.

Upon opening ArtRage, click on FILE>NEW PAINTING, a window will appear. Under Screen Size, type in width and height size. For standard digital scrapbooking, 3600 px for both. Where it says Printed Size is: 12×12 at, type 300 pixels/inch.

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At quick glance, there is a color wheel on the lower right side for quick color selection. On the lower left side, the selection of brushes and art tools. At the top right, there is a layer box. ArtRage supports layers and will save and export to Photoshop in layers. Top left bar are file selections including undo and zoom buttons.

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To start, import a doodle or line drawing. This is a doodle from Cilenia Curtis. Select FILE>IMPORT IMAGE FILE TO LAYER. Find the drawing and select to import into ArtRage.

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Create another layer in the layers box by clicking on the plus sign.  The layer should be above the drawing.

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Select the watercolor brush and click on the tool size. This will bring up a box. Type in 200%.

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Start to use the brush to color in the drawing. Remember to be in the layer ABOVE the drawing. With the watercolor brush, it acts like real watercolors. The color will start to fade. Picking up the pen/mouse will act as if lifting the brush to reload with water. Putting it back down will give it more intense color. The brushed image will carry similar streaks as in watercolor.

When painting in the layer above the line drawing, select the right bottom button on the layer for blend modes.

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Go to BLEND MODE>MULTIPLY.  This will cause the line drawing layer to show thru the paint layer.

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For additional fun brush settings, click on Settings above the brushes/tools to open up further selections. Next to No Preset, there is a tiny sideways arrow. Select this and then Watercolor. There are further selections to play with. For example, JUST WATER acts as if additional water was added to the paint and thins it out more.

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For additional texture and realism, add an overlay by selecting FILE>IMPORT IMAGE FILE TO LAYER and select a watercolor texture. This will be placed in its own file ABOVE the paint.

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Change the blend mode by selecting the bottom right side button on the layer, BLEND MODE>OVERLAY.

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This texture happens to be black and white.  If using a colored texture file, it will affect the painted color layer beneath. To turn it black and white, select EDIT>ADJUST LAYER COLORS.

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A box will appear. The four sliders will effect the color of the texture in the layer. To make the texture black and white, slide the color over to -100%. The preview will show the effects.

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For more painting, do not forget to select the PAINT layer and not the texture layer or the line drawing layer. To view the drawing without the texture overly, click on the EYE on the top left button of the layer.

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To save as an ArtRage file, select EDIT>SAVE PAINTING or EDIT>SAVE AS. To save as a Photoshop layered file or another type of file, select EDIT>EXPORT IMAGE FILE, then select the type. Try out a demo of the latest Version 4 to get a feel for this type of software. It contains many of the features of the full package with limited save and export, but its a great way to evaluate this product before you purchase it.

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