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Painter tips from Karen Sperling

Impressionist style

Painting ©2005 Karen Sperling

This is a painting I created in the Impressionist style in Corel Painter IX from a photo by Zarek. I wanted to put the little girl into a chair in a garden, so I composited the original photos before painting it.

Photos ©2005 Zarek and Karen Sperling

To seat the girl in the chair, first I opened a photo I took of a chair and selected all (cmd/ctrl-A). Then I chose Edit > Copy, clicked on the little girl photo to make it the current image and chose Edit > Paste. The chair came in as a layer. You can also choose the Layer Adjuster tool and click and drag the selection from one image into another, and it comes in as a layer.

Next I resized the chair layer to fit the layout. I turned down the layer’s opacity by moving the top slider in the Layers palette. I chose Effects > Orientation > Free Transform. With the Layer Adjuster tool selected from the Toolbox, I held the shift key and clicked and dragged on a corner until the chair seat was lined up with the stool seat. Next I chose Effects: Orientation: Commit Transform. The chair was now lined up with the stool. Then I painted in the layer mask so that it appeared that the girl was sitting in the chair.

Effects > Orientation > Free Transform; note reduced opacity in layers

For the rest of the steps for turning a photo into an Impressionist painting, please see my November 2005 Artistry Tips and Tricks!

Issues of Artistry Tips and Tricks are $14 each. You can get a special Professional Photographer discount for the November issue. Send a payment of $7.50, the price per issue for a subscription, to via PayPal, and in the notes section type "Professional Photographer November 2005 tutorial discount," and you'll receive the password and download instructions. Don't click the Buy Now button at the Artistry Web site, or you'll pay the full $14. This offer is good just for the November 2005 issue of Artistry Tips and Tricks.

Artist, author and photographer Karen Sperling is the original Painter expert. She wrote the manuals for the first several versions of Painter, authored several Painter books, has had many Painter tutorials published in magazines and has taught Painter to artists and photographers at movie companies, design firms, universities and professional photography organizations. She currently publishes Artistry Tips and Tricks newsletter and Artistry Corel Painter tutorials, 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