Painting tips from Karen Sperling

200510bc_sperling03 Composites

By Karen Sperling

When I turn a photo into a painting in Corel Painter, I often composite the photo, adding elements from other photos if necessary, before painting. If you want to combine photos, do the compositing as your first step.

For instance, I wanted to add flowers from another photo I took to the original photo from a wedding I photographed with a Fujifilm FinePix S3 Pro digital SLR and a Nikon 24-120mm lens from Alkit.

Painting ©2005 Karen Sperling

200510bc_sperling01 ©2005 Karen Sperling

A quick way to fill an area in Painter with, for instance, flowers, is to use the Effects menu.

I opened the photo I was compositing on the left, and opened a photo I wanted to clone from on the right. I chose the Cloners' brush and the Soft Cloner variant. Next, I selected with the rectangle the area I wanted to fill. I then clicked back on the brush in the Toolbox. To bring in flowers from the photo on the right, I opt/alt-clicked in the flower image on the area I wanted to clone from.

I then made the composited image the active window and chose Effects: Fill, clicked next to Clone Source in the dialog, then clicked OK. The selected area was now filled with the flowers from the designated clone source.

200510bc_sperling02 Artist, author and photographer Karen Sperling is the original Painter expert. She wrote the manuals for the first several versions of Painter and authored several Painter books and many Painter magazine tutorials. Sperling teaches Painter to artists and photographers at movie companies, design firms, universities and professional photography organizations. She currently publishes Artistry Corel Painter tutorials and Artistry Tips and Tricks newsletter, and leads Artistry Corel Painter Retreats, all of which include information about art concepts in addition to Painter instructions. She paints commissioned portraits, and her Painter art has been displayed in several group shows. Karen's art, and information about her tutorials and classes, can be found at


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