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ArtRageTeam's avatar

Watercolor Presets

The Watercolor tool in ArtRage comes with a range of presets to help you start painting. You can also create your own custom brush presets by changing the tool properties in the Settings menu. (Note: some of these presets aren't available in all editions of ArtRage, because they use settings that aren't in every version).

Tip For Watercolor Painters: ArtRage has a Watercolor Blend Mode. You can find it in the Layers menu, and it creates a more realistic watercolor 'layering' effect.

ArtRage is a natural media painting program developed by Ambient Design. You can learn more about it here
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CrystalHubbard's avatar
I currently only have the demo version. I am still learning but do all of the above effects/features come included with the demo or is it only with the official version? I Love the program so far. :) 
ArtRageTeam's avatar
The demo version only has four of the above presets, but the actual Watercolour tool is exactly the same - you can still get all the above results by playing around with the settings a bit (presets are just saved shortcuts, basically). You're always welcome to ask us for help with specifics!

(And it's great to hear you're enjoying ArtRage)
CrystalHubbard's avatar
Oh yes. I totally love the program. Hopefully in the next month I can get pro. The youtube videos and forums are also inspiring. I've been lurking in the watercolor aspect but I'd like to also get into using the pencil feature. I've always used Corel for pencil/pastel and watercolor (ew) but it only took one round of using the demo and I was hooked with ArtRage. If I can manage a somewhat realistic pencil drawing/sketch in AR that'll make it easier than using Painter for it or having to import sketches traditionally (I don't have a scanner hehe). 
ArtRageTeam's avatar
Oh, that's awesome. Hmm, for pencils... It does depend a lot on the effects you're after (sketchy vs clean lines), but you might want to look into:

- changing the canvas texture (it has a huge effect on the pencil). You can also set individual layer texture, so you can sketch on one layer, paint on another.
- some of the custom sticker spray brushes people have created, especially SomeoneSane's here… (you can't install many custom resources with the demo, but they might give you an idea of what you can do).
- some users just prefer using the ink pen Sketchbook Pro Pencil in Artrage by rad66203
CrystalHubbard's avatar
Thank you for going into more details for me. The links you provide I think are exactly what I'm looking for. I have to research more what stickers do though. hehe I had missed that feature. When you have a moment, I have two more questions for you if you didn't mind redirecting me.

I normally draw using oatmeal paper. An example is….

Do you suggest that if I imported a sketch/drawing, that I trace or use the tracing paper? Is there an easy way to take pencil/ink lines from something similar (cut/paste) and put it in another layer? It probably wouldn't look right using the watercolor painting over it? :D It's okay if I would have to redraw something digitally. I was just curious.

My other question is for watercolors, is there a feature I'm not seeing (in the manual/tutorials) to make the painting have a runny look as well as salt or the tell tale circles?

(droplet example)…
(dripping example)…
(dripping example)…

I've been studying the manual and looking at youtube videos until I get the full version and I'm super geeked. \(^.^)/

Thank you again for your time and consideration.
ArtRageTeam's avatar
Stickers are basically images you can stick somewhere. The sticker spray uses those images to create brush patterns - similar to creating a brush in Photoshop.

Just clarifying, you want the lines, so that you can separate them out from the background? There are a few ways to go about this.

1. Just trace it, as you suggest.
2. Use the Select tool (dotted lines, inner circle on tool wheel) and pick the Magic Wand (5th along) to select either the lines or areas of colour. Then either copy-paste those sections to a new layer, or just delete the stuff you don't want (Spread will help you select fuzzy areas). 

e.g. I did this in less than a minute and I wasn't being very careful:
Magic Wand Lines by ArtRageTeam  

3. Layer Blend Modes or just turning opacity right down (similar to tracing)
These are very handy for things like colouring under images and having the white areas be invisible and the dark lines show up (e.g. Multiply Blend Mode). I like to duplicate my drawing and have one layer as the background that I colour above, one on top with blend modes so I can see through it.

Note: Edit > Adjust Layer Colors may help here. 
Selecting/ using blend modes is a bit trickier with such a dark image, but you can mess around with the brightness and contrast until it's very easy to select the lines you want. You can also just use the Fill Tool! (Once you actually HAVE those lines, you can 'lock transparency' from the layers menu and recolour them however you want).

To get that 'edge' effect for drippy paint or circles, try:

1. Turning Thinners up to 50-60% and Loading to 100%
Watercolor Dripline Effects by ArtRageTeam  

...then, as a bonus, you can pick the background colour and run a second stroke inside the first to really 'wash out' the inside of the stroke (see the lines with asterisk scribbles under them for examples).

The circles... don't really need anything special. Color Bleed only matters if you're mixing colours, but otherwise stick Loading up to 100%, have Thinners anywhere between 20-80% (for different effects) and make sure Paper Wet is OFF. You can also get some neat effects if you mix in extra dabs to existing areas of paint. You'll also often get better results with more interesting canvas textures :D

Watercolour Spots by ArtRageTeam  

2. The Gloop Pen (fat green tool, silver tip). It's basically 'water based ink pen' or 'pen like watercolours', but it's all about edge effects (Pseudo-Water Blob is probably best for your purposes just to get started)
Gloop Pen Runny Watercolor Effects by ArtRageTeam  

And definitely play around with the settings a bit
Gloop Pen Spots by ArtRageTeam  

You can also go over lines afterwards with the watercolour brush, or the 'Wet' palette knife.

If you're really into realistic watercolours, take a look at this tutorial series:… (Also, we have a 'Watercolor' blend mode in the layer blend modes - I'd use that instead of the Multiply blend mode for most things).

The forums are also great for this sort of thing, lots of artists who actually use traditional media regularly so know what they're recreating :D 
CrystalHubbard's avatar
Wow! I didn't think I could get even more excited about the possibilities. :) Thank you for going above and beyond providing generic read the manual information.

I will keep looking at the forums and take notes for what people have been using. I'm curious about using the stickers to achieve other effects as well as other features.

Using layer modes and textures sound pretty cool as well.

That gloop pen is going to be awesome!

That's pretty cool that you were able to remove that oatmeal paper background. If I had a blank oatmeal paper imported can the watercolor canvas still be used (for texture effect)? I hope that makes sense.

Thank you for the screen shots. Those were very helpful. I just tried doing some gesture/figure drawing studies. This is going to be awesome!  
ArtRageTeam's avatar
We do have a very comprehensive manual ;) But it doesn't really cover techniques, it would just end up too big. Most of our tutorials come out of people asking us questions like this, so it's actually pretty helpful :D

You can definitely import your paper as a texture - import it as a canvas grain in the Canvas Settings (import as a grain for texture, pattern for image/colour, or both).
Take a look at the canvas in… - it's an imported image of sketching paper.

And the second half of this post discusses how to add canvas grains:…
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