Tutorials - Bunch o' Painter Tutorials - by Cris Palomino


[left][i]This is the first in a series of tutorials I will be doing on my favorite program. While I love the Painter brushes available to me, I also love the very specific shape type brushes that so many of us use in Photoshop. This shows how to make those brushes in Painter using Captured Dabs. Most of the time I use them in a scatter method and so you will see the base scatter settings I start out with in this tutorial and then refine to look more like what I want.

I recommend that if you get in the habit of using these type of brushes, that you learn to experiment and think out of the box with them. Go back and retouch what you lay down. Vary them and mix them with other brushes and techniques.

It’s a process and you are the creative force behind the brushes.

Have fun!

  • Cris

    Creating Captured Dab Brushes in Painter for Concepts and Painting

    [i]This is a short tutorial on creating brushes similar to those used in Photoshop, but made for use in Painter IX/IX.5. They work very similar, but used in conjunction with the painterly brushes normally found in Painter, can yield some great effects.

I am fond of the organic feel I get if I draw my dabs rather than use photographic sources directly (if you do use photo sources, it’s copyright-safe to use your own photos). I suggest you cultivate a large stock of reference from wonderful places such as PBase.
[i]This is just one example of how to do this and hopefully you can extrapolate from this method.

 [/i][left]1.  Observation.  Find a photo with an interesting shape to duplicate. You may want to use it for an image similar to the photo or a creative use of it for foliage, skin, architectural textures...any number of things.
 I like to use a soft pencil to draw my shape. This is from some kind of sea sponge. I really loved the shape of the holes in this. Most brushes I draw are done on a 256x256 canvas. Dabs can only be captured from the canvas.
  1. Use whatever you want to draw the shape. These are my pencil settings I like to use. I vary the size and the opacity. Most brushes I draw are in grayscale. Color will appear first and deepest in the darkest areas.


  1. To create a brush, and preserve your original presets, you want to save a variant of a brush. I have brushes I have created for which I like the settings. A bit of randomization, a bit of opacity, size and angle variation. So I will save a variant from one of these. These are my favorite base settings.

    1. Save the variant with a unique name different from the “donor”.

    1. Select that donor.

     Make sure you square marquee around the brush.
  2. With the donor selected, use the fly-out menu from the Brush Selector to Capture Dab. (If it is greyed out, try marquee’ing around the brush again.)

  1. To apply the dab, you need to resave the variant. Make sure the name matches the new name you gave the brush. It will ask if you want to replace it, say yes.

You will now see the dab show next to the variant name in the brush selector.

  1. Test the brush.

    In this case, I wanted more space between the dabs and less jitter, so I adjusted the Spacing and Random controls.

    I adjusted once more and liked the settings, so I resaved again to save the settings.

  1. I played with the settings, made them closer to make a larger hole.

   And then made the brush much smaller to add some light colored ridges.

The key is to be imaginative and use your powers of observation. This could be used for scarification and design. It could be an eye shape. Who knows…it’s all up to you.

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial and found it useful.

[right] - Cris[/right]


Heya Cris,

Didn’t see this til just now. Thanks a lot! I’ll send out the alert. :slight_smile:

EDIT: I’ve added your link here:

Notification of New Open Figure Drawing Workshops / + TUTORIALS - SUBSCRIBE HERE!




Great tutorial, I’m going to start using Painter again, so this will come in handy, especially considering the small amount of Painter tutorials online. Thanks for sharing :slight_smile:


I didn’t know it was possible to do something like that with Painter. I feel so emo-noob now. LOL. I’m subscribing to this thread right now! Thanks a lot for sharing this knowledge, Cris! <3


This reply is my official way to subscribe. Thanks for the tutorial. This will be a huge help.


Thanks for sharing the knowledge, Cris. This tutorial help me to create a brush, but I ran into some trouble, thought maybe you could help.

There’s a nice brush in PS which I want to transfer into Painter. I made an image, captured the dab, but now here’s the problem.

The brush in PS

And here it is in Painter

You can see there’s a problem how it behaves. I tried changing the expression found in the Angle tab, but that didn’t help. Any ideas?

Here’s the image from which I captured the dab in case you’ll need it.

Thanks in advance!


Hey, Razz.

Download the brush. I made this using a pencil variant. You could try saving it as another brush type to play with the look…also try the Brush Creator and Transposer and Randomizer. Remember to always save a variant if you’re going to change it…and once you make the changes, save the variant again.

Hopefully this is closer to what you want. Squeeze set to 99 and the the angle expression set to direction allow the dab to turn with the direction of your stroke. Sometimes you need to play with the angle. In the case of your dab, 0 seemed right.

Let me know how it works out.


Thanks you, Cris, that’s close to perfect of what I needed. Appreciate your help. See, the tutorial IS very useful, I’m more or less starting to make brushes to help me work in Painter :slight_smile: Thanks again!


Really glad to hear that, Razz. :slight_smile:



A really great way to quickly make some custom brushes I think.
Thanks Cris! (btw I really regret not being able to follow your workshop)


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