Painter Tips & Tricks


Post any cool Painter tricks and useful tips you have discovered or read about here.


PDF version:…&highlight=

And here’s another one:

If you are working on a seperate layer, and your brush is leaving strange marks when it shouldn’t(for example, Opaque Round brush with the resaturation set to 0, and the bleed up, for blending), then just do this: duplicate the entire canvas layer, and paint on the duplicate layer. If you want to do some parts over, you can just erase and have the original canvas layer show through.



Though in Painter 8, we have the Info palette that gives us a small real-time view of our painting, and also have the Navigation icon at the lower left corner of the image window that allows us to view and navigate the entire image using a slightly larger view of the entire image, there’s also a way to quickly take a peek at the entire image at 100% zoom.

In Edit > Preferences > Customize Keys (Painter 8),


in Edit > Preferences > Function Keys (Painter 7 and earlier versions),

program F keys or Shift+F keys to do the following:

File > Clone (this opens an exact, flattened copy of your image at it’s current state of development).

File > Close

Using these three methods, you have some good options for quickly viewing your image at various stages.

Using the Navigation icon, you also have a very good way of navigating your image while zoomed in, without having to zoom back out to go to a different area of the image and continue working.

When the Navigate icon is clicked, a small view of the entire image pops up with a red rectangle defining the area of the image that’s currently in view in the image window. Click and drag the rectangle to whatever other area you want in view, then click in the image to close the small pop up window.


I tend to just hit “m,” and then click the choices on top. I don’t use the Navigation since I usually hit control+m to maximize my working space.

Oh, and tab will hide/show all the palettes you have open. Very handy for people that hate UI clutter.


If your brush is leaving strange “white marks” on a seperate painting layer, in the Layers pallette, just click on the “Pick up Layer”, this will cease the painting marks your speaking of (well in 7 anyway)Lunatique, but it must be checked for each layer.


In the Painter Wish List thread, Lunatique said:

When I say stupid, it meant that in Painter, you can’t see the actual line when you are trying to do a line, until you click the second time–only to see that the line didn’t line up to something you wanted. In Photoshop, you click and drag, and you can see the line as you move it, and it makes lining up to the horizon, or a vertical column…etc much easier.

I don’t know if you meant straight lines or freehand lines, Lunatique, but if you did mean straight lines:

  1. Hit the “V” key to draw straight lines.

  2. To align a straight line brushstroke with another straight line, or straight edge, click once at the beginning of the brushstroke.

  3. Click and hold at the end of the brushstroke. You’ll see a ghost line representing the brushstroke.

  4. Drag to align the brushstroke, then let go.

If you’re using the Pen tool rather than the Brush tool:

  1. Click once to establish the beginning point.

  2. Click again to establish the ending point. As you do this, you’ll see a ghost line representing the actual line.

  3. If the line is not aligned with another line or edge with which you want it to be aligned and the ending point is not already active (red), hit the “H” key to activate the Shape Selection tool.

  4. With the Shape highlighted in the Layers list, drag a window around the ending point.

  5. Use the up, down, left, and right arrow keys to nudge the ending point into position and make the line align with whatever other line or edge with which you want the Pen line to be aligned.

Using the Grid can also help to align objects when either straight line brushstrokes or Pen lines are made.


Ooooh, tricky! Thanks! See, this is why I needed you here so badly. I just paint in Painter, and don’t know too much of the other aspects of Painter.


I find there are a few brushes I use over and over again.

Right clicking on the Image you are working on while using the brush tool brings up a list of brushes in the current brush catagory this is by far the fastest way of switching brushes in Painter. Unfortuneatly you can only switch to brushes in the same catagory.

Solution: Create your own brush catagory and store your favourites in it.

How its done: (sorry I can’t be more specific but I don’t have painter right in front of me at the moment).

Check the Painter manuals for how to create a new brush catagory - I remember that you need to select a small area of your picture to use as an Icon for your brush catagory but I don’t remember the command.

now you can select any brush of any type and go to the copy option (press the right facing arrow on the paintbrush options palette - its in that menu) to copy the current brush to the new brush catagory you have created.


i remembered a painter trick wherein you can paint over the “already painted” areas but i cant really remember what site it was. prolly u can help me regarding this matter :smiley:

PS: Lunatique, your works are tight!


lui 2.0

Since this Sticky thread is a place to share tips and techniques, I’ll begin a new regular thread where we can discuss your question. I’ll need more information in order to answer it.



I think Painter is a fairly complicated program, especially for new users, so it surprises me that this thread is this short. the things below took me quite a while to figure out, while this should be the place to find this kind of information.

  • enlarging brush size with the [ and ] keys is slow, hold Ctrl and Alt while dragging to specify a brush size in the fast way.

  • in a custom palette, hold shift to drag icons around

  • if you are used to a lot of layers, you better change your techniques or go back to photoshop: painter is built for a few layers max, dropping (merging) them when finished. It does not contain advanced layering techniques


Hey here’s a tip that works well for me.
If you have a Graphire3, you can put a photo or whatever under the trasparent pad.
I’ve put in the keyboard shortcuts card that came with my boxed version of Painter8.
(I know it doesn’t fit entirely… but…)

After a while you know them all by heart… almost all :slight_smile:



I think you mean the Pick Up Underlying Color box at the top of the Layers palette, not “Pick up Layer”.

Once the Pick Up Underlying Color box is checked, it will pick up underlying color when you work on any and all Layers. You’ll need to uncheck that box when you no longer want to pick up color below the Layer you’re working on.

This method should only be used with the knowledge that any new Layers added later, below the Layer where you painted with the Pick Up Underlying Color box checked will be affected by that picked up color, as it will now be over new colors, not the original color that was picked up from the previous underlying Layer. It could look pretty awful, in other words.

Another way to prevent white in brushstrokes that pass over transparent areas of a Layer is to adjust the Resaturation slider to 100%. That will change the brush variant’s characteristics so it will no longer work as a blender, but you can change it back to its original settings any time you want:

Brush Selector Bar menu > Restore Default Variant


It’s difficult to pick out all tips and tricks from so many threads but if you want specific information, use the Search function. If you still don’t find what you want, post a message asking where it can be found. It might just be that the appropriate keyword(s) are needed to find that information, or someone will remember threads where it can be found.

Painter is a very complex program and not only for beginners. It takes years to learn it well and even after using Painter daily since 1995, I still discover new things frequently. It’s best to bite the bullet and read the User Guide, at least enough to know generally where to find information and to become familiar with Painter terminology.

  • if you are used to a lot of layers, you better change your techniques or go back to photoshop: painter is built for a few layers max, dropping (merging) them when finished. It does not contain advanced layering techniques

Many Painter artists work with a lot of Layers, and do it successfully. It’s when the image is large and the Layers contain a lot of color or other complex imagery that it can become a problem. It can help to do the following:

Group Layers not in use.

Close Layer or Group Eye icons when they don’t need to be seen.

Group and Collapse Layers when possible.

Save frequently using File > Save As rather than File > Save and save the image using a series of numbered file names.

Close Painter after working for an hour or so and if you’re using Painter 6, Painter 7, or Painter 8, delete the Pre-built Brush File found in the following loction for your Painter version:

Painter 6 main application folder

Painter 7 > Brushes folder

Corel > Corel Painter 8 > Brushes folder

Painter IX limits the Pre-built Brush File size to a maximum 200 MB so it is expected that this file will no longer need to be deleted by the user. Its size depends on the brush variants used during a given Painter session, or multiple Painter sessions. We’ll see in time how this works on users’ systems with varying amounts of hard drive space and RAM. So far, I have not had a problem letting the Pre-built Brush File grow without deleting it.

Painter’s Layer, Layer Mask, and Alpha Channel system is more like that of Photoshop with each new version. I think you’ll find that in Painter IX and even earlier versions Painter 7 and Painter 8, most things done with Photoshop’s Layer system can be done in Painter, even if somewhat differently.

The terms for merging Layers in Painter are Group (to group multiple Layers) and Collapse (to “merge” Layers in the Group).

In Painter 6, Painter 7, and Painter 8, if a Group of Layers contains any Layers set to Composite Methods other than Default, the Collapse command is greyed out.

In Painter IX this problem has been fixed. Layers set to any Composite Method can be Grouped and the Collapse command is available.

The term Drop is used when the artist wants to drop the Layer (or multiple Layers, Text, or Shapes) to the Canvas.

When we highlight one or more Layers, Text Layers, or Shapes, then use the Layers palette menu command Drop and Select, the items are dropped to the Canvas and selected all at once.


Ive just download the demo of painter 9 and after i read this thread ive been tottaly blown away.
In 15 mins I am cruseing through painter.
My question is I cant figure out to make a key that rotates the canvas 15 degrees
and another key that does the opposite.
can i hold a key, click and drag to rotate the canvas?


depleteD: you can. Hold spacebar+alt and drag to rotate the canvas. Hold spacebar+alt and click to reset.


yea found out that E does that as well but alt+space is way faster. I have another question.

WHen I hold shift to lock my straight line with a brush. I want it alligned to the screen not the canvas. SO I can rotate the canvas and hit the right angles for my straight lines.

Thx guys. This thread rules.
Are there any good sites dedicated to painting tips and techniques? Imm just starting out. I really enjoy it but I want to get good quick. Screw Practisin :stuck_out_tongue:


When your image is rotated using the Rotate Page tool, and you want to draw a straight line that’s aligned with the Painter screen, not with the rotated image, click the “V” key for Straight Line painting, paint the line, then click the “B” key to go back to Freehand painting.


Yea thts what I use. just wondering if i could have a relative positioning on the shift feature. Ah well.


***** I just noticed the "
Keeping Painter 6, Painter 7, and Painter 8 Running Smoothly
" thread *****

oops - sorry! Ignore This Post

I am using Painter 8

I am expriencing a lag from the time I draw a line (freehand brush), to the time it appears - the line slowly pushes itself forward.

Is this just a performance problem on my system: xp-pro; cpu 800 mz (yeah yeah I know… time for an upgrade); 1.25 gig of ram.

Is there anything in the software I can do to improve performance?