Karen Sperling Art & Photography + Artistry Corel Painter Tutorials: Blog https://www.artistrymag.com/blog en-us (C) 2021 Karen Sperling. All rights reserved. karenlsperling@gmail.com (Karen Sperling Art & Photography + Artistry Corel Painter Tutorials) Mon, 02 Aug 2021 21:05:00 GMT Mon, 02 Aug 2021 21:05:00 GMT https://www.artistrymag.com/img/s/v-12/u931331126-o770482440-50.jpg Karen Sperling Art & Photography + Artistry Corel Painter Tutorials: Blog https://www.artistrymag.com/blog 120 90 Writing the First Corel Painter Manual https://www.artistrymag.com/blog/2021/8/writing-the-first-corel-painter-manual

Editor's Note: August 2021 marks the 30th anniversary of the debut of Corel Painter, or Fractal Design Painter, as it was called back then. It debuted at Boston Macworld August 6-9, 1991.
And I was there.
I wrote the first Painter manual and I was at Boston Macworld demo'ing the new software.
I then wrote the manuals for the next several versions, in addition to the Companion, the first book of Painter tutorials.
Since then, I've written many Painter books, including my Painting for Photographers series.
I wrote this blog in honor of the 20th anniversary of Painter's debut.
Above are the cover and the first page from the version 1.0 Painter manual, written by Karen Sperling.

In just about every Artistry webinar, Artistry online class or Artistry Retreat, where I teach photographers how to turn their photos into paintings in Corel Painter, the moment arrives when a student has a sudden realization. He or she will say, “Wait, if you wrote the first Painter manual, who taught YOU how to use Painter?”
The answer is, I got some help from the programmers and figured out a lot about the software on my own by painting with it at a time when I didn’t consider myself to be an artist.
Before writing the Painter manual, I had been a reporter and an editor for many years for newspapers and magazines. My mother was an artist, and I drew and painted ever since I could remember, and even minored in art in college, so I had art knowledge and painting experience. But the message at my house was clear: art was something my mother did, not me, so I mostly dabbled with art and never finished paintings. Instead, I concentrated on being a writer.
Enter Painter.
I got the gig to write the first Painter manual because Painter inventors Mark Zimmer and Tom Hedges liked the job I did writing the Shapes manual for ColorStudio, an image-editing program they wrote prior to Painter and before the arrival of Photoshop. Shapes was the name of ColorStudio’s vector tools that were later incorporated into Painter, and the writing I did for the Shapes manual was included in the Painter manual. So I’ve actually been writing about Painter since before it was Painter.
I was hired to write the Shapes manual by ColorStudio’s product manager, Betsy January, whom I had met when she and I were volunteers for the Mac Street Journal, published by the New York Mac Users Group (NYMUG).
I joined NYMUG in 1988 when I decided to buy a Mac and become a freelance writer and publisher after several years of staff writing and editing jobs, thinking that volunteering for the computer group might be a good way to network and get clients. What an understatement that turned out to be!
The first time I met Mark Zimmer was in 1989 at ColorStudio’s publisher Letraset’s headquarters in New Jersey. Mark was in town from California and I was invited to talk to him firsthand for information to write the Shapes manual.
ColorStudio may not strike the same chord for you that it would if I said Photoshop, but actually, ColorStudio predated Photoshop and at the time, ColorStudio was very respected at high-end service bureaus for the way it handled color printing. In fact, the ColorStudio printing algorithms were incorporated into the early versions of Painter and, later on, I published my printed Painter how-to magazine, Artistry, using Painter for output. At the time, Painter produced much livelier color output than Photoshop.
So being at Letraset and working on a ColorStudio manual back then was a big deal. Letraset even sent a limo to pick me up at my apartment in Manhattan.
I arrived at Letraset and was ushered into a conference room where five or six Letraset employees were seated around a conference table and who, like me, were dressed corporately in conservative suits.
At the head of the table was a computer hooked up to what looked like a television monitor. This was 1989 and I had never seen such a large monitor. Next to the monitor was a guy who clearly wasn’t from the east coast with a ponytail and sandals, Mark Zimmer.
I had notebook and pen ready (this was before laptops and iPads) and Mark started explaining Shapes. I didn’t understand him, which could be a problem since I was supposed to be the manual writer.
As he continued, I saw the others sitting around the table nodding their heads like they knew exactly what he was talking about. Since these were product development and marketing people, and not other programmers, I had my doubts that they were grasping what he was saying.
Since I had to understand so that I could write the manual, I thought I’d better speak up.
After about 10 minutes, I interrupted and said I wasn’t understanding and the others laughed and admitted they weren’t, either. I was relieved that it wasn’t just me. I asked some questions and Mark answered. I didn’t completely understand, but took the information with me and after playing around with the software to understand it better, wrote up the steps for the manual.
So that’s kind of the way it went throughout the writing of the Shapes manual and later, the Painter manuals.
Mark in California would explain a feature to me in New York by phone, but like that first meeting, I wouldn’t completely understand him. I’d get the general idea of what he was saying, then I’d play around with the software, painting with Painter, till I got what the new feature was doing.
During 1990 and part of 1991, leading up to Painter’s debut at the August 1991 Boston Macworld, I would receive a fed ex package in New York from California practically daily containing floppy disks with the latest version of Painter and its new features for me to write about for the manual. This was before email, web sites, CDs or external drives.
It was amazing to see for the very first time Painter’s tools like Apply Surface Texture, or Glass Distortion, or the Chalk, or the Felt Tip Pens, and to be paid to figure it all out to be able to write clear explanations about it, which I would write in Word and send on a floppy disk to Steve Manousos at Fractal Design, the company that Mark, Tom, Steve and 2 others formed to publish Painter.
Painter was an extraordinary technological achievement, and in those early days, I felt my participation was what it would have been like to be there for the invention of the light bulb or the telephone.
I found writing the Painter manual fascinating and challenging. I liked playing detective, discovering clues to how Painter worked, and then recording the results. In fact, I liked writing about Painter so much that I went on to do it non-stop for the next 20 years, filling the manuals for the first several versions of Painter, several published Painter books and Kindles and creating videos and classes.
The reason I had trouble understanding Mark was that he was speaking what I’ll call algorithm-ese, or computer programming jargon. After awhile, Mark’s algorithm-ese began to sound familiar to me, even though I didn’t understand it, in the way that one can tell if one is hearing French or Spanish without actually knowing the language.
I’ll never forget when Apply Lighting was introduced and Mark told me how it worked. I wasn’t hearing the familiar algorithm-ese and I asked him what realm of knowledge we were in, and he said physics, another one of those subjects that this English major somehow missed.
It turned out that my journalism experience and my art background were a perfect fit for writing the Painter manuals. I was able to interview Mark, combine what I could pick up from our conversations with what I could discover by painting with the software and write it all up in easy-to-understand steps.
Painting with Painter changed my life.
Since it was art software, playing around with Painter to see how it worked meant painting day and night, every day, for almost a year, which was the most painting I had ever done up until then.
Painting digitally gave me confidence to paint that I never had and that I was able to carry over to painting with traditional media. And the more I painted, the better I got at it. It was kind of shocking since I had never thought of myself as an artist.
After I wrote the first Painter manual, I was invited to demo Painter at its debut at the August 1991 Boston Macworld.
I had never demo’d software before, but figured I could do it because having written the manual, I knew the software inside and out, or so I thought.
I got to the Wacom booth, where Mark was demo’ing Painter, and I was up next. I thought I’d watch him for ideas for when it was my turn. But what was this? He was showing something I had never seen before, but I had just spent every day with Painter for close to a year!
Mark had written Tracing Paper into Painter the night before in his hotel room and I saw it for the first time in that demo the next day. It was just an example of how amazing those days were, to say the least. Software companies today have teams of programmers and development cycles that take years, and here was someone writing a program in his hotel room the night before the software’s debut.
I got a lot of great feedback about the Painter 1.0 manual and the guys at Fractal liked it so much that they had me write the manuals for the next several versions.
One night that stands out is a few years after Painter’s debut, I attended a talk by children’s book authors and illustrators Don and Audrey Wood. They discussed the change from creating children’s books traditionally to moving over to the computer. They went into detail about using Painter version 1.0 for all their illustrations. Don created storyboards for his talk, illustrating his experiences learning Painter. They were great drawings showing how the Woods worked around the clock to master the transition to digital, and one storyboard that I remember projected on the screen was a drawing of Don Wood with the computer and the 1.0 Painter manual that was in the form of a sketchbook open next to him, and he described his fascination with Painter and how much he loved the manual.
I told the Woods after their talk that I wrote the manual. What they did upon hearing the news really surprised me. They started bowing down to me, literally. That was pretty cool and it was a testament to how Painter touched artists’ lives then and continues to do so today, and I was honored to be a part of it from the beginning.
In the 20 years since Painter’s debut, many artists and photographers have discovered the joys of using Painter and have created amazing art with it, and I’m happy to have been involved with helping them get the most out of the software.
I’m not surprised to still be writing about how to use Painter 20 years later. I decided in college to be a journalist and using my writing to help people to learn Painter is a logical and fun field for me to be in.
What is surprising is that in the past few years, I have become an artist myself, creating commissioned painted portraits and abstract paintings that have been exhibited in Los Angeles, New York’s prestigious Chelsea art section and during Art Basel Miami Beach, the biggest art event in the U.S. I never thought I’d be an artist, and it’s thanks in large part to the time I spent trying to figure out Painter.
August 2021 update: I'm currently working on NFTs, so stay tuned for the next chapter.

 

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karenlsperling@gmail.com (Karen Sperling Art & Photography + Artistry Corel Painter Tutorials) corel painter corel painter book corel painter classes corel painter tutorials https://www.artistrymag.com/blog/2021/8/writing-the-first-corel-painter-manual Mon, 02 Aug 2021 21:02:55 GMT
Software Review: The New Corel Painter 2019 Walks Softly and Carries a Big Stick https://www.artistrymag.com/blog/2018/6/corel-painter-2019-walks-softly-and-carries-a-big-stick

Painting from imagination by Karen Sperling using the new brushes in Corel Painter 2019.

The new Corel Painter 2019 is a quiet yet powerful upgrade to the world's gold-standard painting software and I can highly recommend it.

Instead of adding a bunch of stuff you don't need just to have something to promote, Corel rolled up its sleeves, got under Painter's hood and improved performance.

So while it walks softly, that is, there aren't a zillion bells and whistles to scream about, it carries a big stick in terms of getting the job done.

Some of these under-the-hood improvements include:

• An updated user interface. The backgrounds for the palettes, windows and screen are all dark, now, and some 650 of the program's icons have been redesigned.

• A boost in performance and speed, with AVX2-compatible systems users enjoying 38% faster document rendering when zooming, panning, and rotating; as well as brushes that can be up to 75% faster and an enhanced Brush Ghost that offers a seamless stroke experience with zero lag, according to Corel.

This video shows the interface changes and a look at the brush speed:

• 36 new brushes, including a new Stamps brush category and new variants in the Selections, Airbrushes, Blenders, Dab Stencils, Glazing, Real Watercolor, Real Wet Oil, Sargent and Thick Paint brush categories. This is the walking softly I alluded to--when you first open Painter 2019, your first thought is, only 36 new brushes? But I took them for a spin and found them to be great. All the brushes from previous versions are also included so new users will have plenty to keep them busy and veteran Painters will enjoy the additional brushes alongside their old favorites.

Painting based on a photo by Karen Sperling using the new brushes in Corel Painter 2019.

• New Temporal Colors Selector and sliders in the Color panel. You can resize and reposition the Temporal Colors Selector to easily grab colors. If you're a numbers person, then you'll love the new sliders in the Colors panel that let you set your colors instead of having to choose them by eyeballing them in the hue ring and triangle.

• Improved touch control for panning, zooming and rotating.

• Enhanced click-and-drag magnifier control.

I think this upgrade is well worth the price of admission. It makes Painter feel more sturdy and responsive and is a welcomed improvement in usability.

Visit this page to download Corel Painter 2019. You can get the full version for $329 by entering my Painter Elite Master code, ELITEKS.

Click here for instructional materials, including books, videos and classes, for learning to turn photos into paintings with Corel Painter 2019.

Happy Painting!

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karenlsperling@gmail.com (Karen Sperling Art & Photography + Artistry Corel Painter Tutorials) 2019 based class Corel from on Painter paintings photos review tutorial video webinar workshop https://www.artistrymag.com/blog/2018/6/corel-painter-2019-walks-softly-and-carries-a-big-stick Sat, 30 Jun 2018 05:47:32 GMT
Painterly or Photographic Portraits? https://www.artistrymag.com/blog/2016/10/painterly-or-photographic-portraits

Painting by Karen Sperling based on a photograph by Scott Stulberg, using the Artistry Corel Painter Brushes Volume 8 brushes.

I had a conversation last night with a photographer friend about the ongoing question I have about how painterly or photorealistic to make a painting.

Painting in Corel Painter gives the artist the flexibility to choose a level of photorealism not usually found in traditional artwork. Painting traditionally with oils, acrylics or pastels, the faces will have a painterly look. But painting with Corel Painter, the end result can resemble a photograph, a painting or any combination of both.

Many artists and photographers painting with Corel Painter today use this flexibility to create paintings with photorealistic faces and painterly backgrounds. Truth be told, I prefer a more painterly result, even for the faces, but I stick to more photorealism because it seems more people prefer it.

Or do they?

That was the conversation last night. The photographer told me he, in fact, prefers the painterly result, which was good news to me.

Of course, that's one of the many benefits of painting with Corel Painter, having the flexibility for the end result to be whatever you'd like.

Let's do a straw poll. Tell us in the comments whether you prefer a painterly painting, like the one at the top of the page, or a photorealistic one, like the one below, or something in between.

And next time you either commission a painting or purchase materials to paint them yourself, consider that the look of the painting is completely up to you!

For techniques for painting based on photographs in classic and painterly styles, read Painting for Photographers Volumes 1, 2 and 3, available in print at Amazon and here at the Artistry website in ebook format.

Click here to commission a painted portrait.



Painting by Karen Sperling based on a photograph by Karah Sambuco, using the Artistry Corel Painter Brushes Volume 8 brushes.

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karenlsperling@gmail.com (Karen Sperling Art & Photography + Artistry Corel Painter Tutorials) Beverly Hills portrait artist Corel Painter Corel Painter book Corel Painter class Corel Painter Classes Corel Painter tutorial Corel Painter tutorials Los Angeles paintings based on a photos Los Angeles portrait artist Sherman Oaks portrait artist Studio City portrait artist https://www.artistrymag.com/blog/2016/10/painterly-or-photographic-portraits Thu, 13 Oct 2016 05:24:39 GMT
Overcoming Fear of Creativity https://www.artistrymag.com/blog/2016/9/overcoming-fear-of-creativity

Painting by Karen Sperling based on a photograph by Karah Sambuco, using the Artistry Corel Painter Brushes Volume 8 brushes.

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself."-Franklin Delano Roosevelt

How true that line is for people who want to commission a portrait or learn how to paint one themselves.

And yet, some let fear get in their way every time they want to do something involving creativity.

So how do you stop feeling fearful? You don't, in my experience. You learn to feel the fear and do the scary thing anyway.

As I paint my latest commissioned portrait in oils, I notice I am afraid at every turn to mess up the whole thing. And yet I keep going, anyway, because it has to be done.

I even feel fear writing this essay on fear! And still I'm doing it.

There's a saying going around the internet--life is 10% what happens and 90% how you react to it. To me that means, you can't help what happens or how you feel about it--in this case, 10% feeling the fear. But 90% is taking charge and doing whatever you want to do despite your emotions.

So let's look fear in the eye and see how to stare it down.

First, if you feel fear about doing anything creative, ask yourself, what are you afraid of?

One possibility is that you are afraid of rejection. You might be afraid that people will say you aren't any good, or your idea is bad, or you'll never be able to do what you are planning.

If rejection from people criticizing you or your idea is the thing you fear, then the question is, what do you care what the critics say? Sure we want our ideas and work to be well-received, but what if they aren't? What do all the naysayers know? Maybe our ideas and work are great and it's the naysayers who don't know what they're talking about. Just follow your ideas and even though it scares you to, don't give up just because of fear of what "they" will say.

In fact, I can tell you from experience, that most things you do will find an audience nowadays. Look at it this way, you thought of it, someone has to see things the way you do. And with the internet, it's easier than ever to find all the someones who will appreciate your creativity.

Another fear is that you can't do what you want. You're afraid to try because you're afraid what you do will be awful. Henry Ford summed it up when he said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”

The fear that you might not be able to do something like paint a portrait or hire someone to paint one for you is true because you will never try. If you think you can paint or hire someone to paint for you, then you will be able to. Of course, taking steps like studying the art theories and painting steps will improve your chances of being able to paint and researching art theories will help your prospects of hiring the right painter to paint for you.

Believing that you can do it will lead to doing it sooner than believing you can't.

Where does fear of pursuing creativity come from, anyway?

I'm not a psychiatrist, but I play one as a fiction writer, one of my millions of hobbies. In writing fiction, I like to study human nature.

So here are a couple of theories about where fear of creativity comes from.

The primary source of fear, in my experience, is a lack of support growing up and general bashing of anything you ever do by your family. Best not to try to do anything. Then you won't get rejected by your family. Sure there are tough kids who rise above the absence of encouragement. But many creative types just believe all the negativity. Creatives go through life consciously or subconsciously fearing pursuing creativity because of these early reactions from those around them. And most try to forget about doing anything creative to avoid the fear and the rejection.

But the ideas and creativity don't go away, so not trying leads to frustration.

Lose/lose!

Another source of fear may just apply to females--we don't have the same experience coping with rejection that guys have. Think about it. Guys have to ask girls out on dates, guys have to try out for sports teams, guys have to deal with being on the team and losing. Guys learn to deal with rejection while girls grow up playing with dolls.

Interestingly, this subject just appeared in a news item about Amy Schumer. She criticized the fact that a Boys' Life Magazine cover concerned careers while the Girls' Life Magazine cover featured fashion. Boys do seem to get a different message.

This isn't to say that men don't feel fear about pursuing their creativity, but I can only talk about personal experience as a female. If you want to add anything in the comments about your experiences, male or female, please do!

Succumbing to fear isn't an option for me because it would mean missing out on all the things that interest me. There isn't a safe pursuit or zone--fear is intertwined with anything and everything I do. Looked at another way, I would never accomplish anything if I gave into the fear I feel all the time.

So here's my suggestion to you if you want to pursue your creative interests but are held back by fear.

I'm not going to tell you not to have fear. We can't control our feelings.

The suggestion is, feel the fear and do it anyway. You have nothing to fear but fear itself. Let's say the worst case scenario happens. You paint a painting based on a photo and it is ridiculed by everyone you know. As a child, this would be devastating. It was for me. But you're grown up, now. First, if you have people in your life who would ridicule you, then consider eliminating them, or at least, not showing them anything. Second, the people who are ridiculing you probably don't have the same knowledge and background as you do, so just take everything they say with a grain of salt.

Here's another thing to consider. It's not really true that 100% of people you tell an idea to or show your work to will ridicule you. You're going to get positive feedback, too--it's just the law of averages. In fact, if you even think about your childhood you might even remember a neighbor, a relative or a teacher who did encourage you. It wasn't 100% negativity. It just feels that way. So the next time you're afraid that everyone will make fun of your idea or your painting, you can rest assured that not everybody will make fun of you and the ones who do don't know what they're talking about!

You have to trust me on this. I have personal experience with it.

Here's another point to consider. If you don't know if your idea or work are good, then you are relying on the reactions of those around you to determine your creativity's worth. The way to combat the fear of their reactions, then, is to know more than they do. Study art history, study painting, become knowledgeable about your ideas and work. Then when you share it with others, you will already know if it's good. You don't need to find out from the people you're showing it to because you are more knowledgeable about it than they are.

Here's something else to consider.

If you don't create anything, you will never get any positive feedback, either. I can also tell you from personal experience that it is amazing to paint a painting or commission one that people rave about! It doesn't make the fear go away for the next creative pursuit, but it does make you realize that much of the fear has more to do with the past than the present.

I don't pretend to know all the reasons behind why we fear pursuing creativity. What I have offered are just some of the things that I have found that are true for me and maybe they will resonate with you.

Even if none of what I've written rings true for you and you don't know why you fear your creative pursuits, it doesn't matter. The bottom line is, feel the fear and do it anyway. The reason to feel the fear and do it anyway is that you will be commissioning paintings or painting yourself, which is what you'd like to do, instead of thinking about it and wishing you could.

FDR was right! You have nothing to fear but fear itself.

 

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karenlsperling@gmail.com (Karen Sperling Art & Photography + Artistry Corel Painter Tutorials) Beverly Hills portrait artist Corel Painter Corel Painter book Corel Painter class Corel Painter Classes Corel Painter tutorial Corel Painter tutorials Los Angeles paintings based on a photos Los Angeles portrait artist Sherman Oaks portrait artist Studio City portrait artist https://www.artistrymag.com/blog/2016/9/overcoming-fear-of-creativity Mon, 26 Sep 2016 04:11:59 GMT
Good Communication for Great Painted Portraits https://www.artistrymag.com/blog/2016/4/good-communication-for-great-painted-portraits
Drawing by Karen Sperling.

I handed in this sketch to a new client for a new commissioned painting for a TV cover today. Not surprisingly, the client loved it. That may sound like incredible hubris on my part, but it's not, it's a testament to the client's ability to communicate what he would like.
The client had apologized for his specific requirements for the painting. But instead of taking offense at his direction, I welcomed it. I knew it would be a lot easier to submit something he liked than it is for someone who is vague and not sure of what he or she is looking for in a commissioned painting. And sure enough he liked this first draft and now I go to the next step. painting the painting.
So clients and photographers commissioning portraits: be specific about what you have in mind so that the artist might provide you with what you seek, and artists and photographers: be sure to try to encourage your clients to specify what they would like to see. Communicating up front will lead to a smooth-running project throughout.

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karenlsperling@gmail.com (Karen Sperling Art & Photography + Artistry Corel Painter Tutorials) Beverly Hills portrait artist Corel Painter Corel Painter Classes Corel Painter book Corel Painter class Corel Painter tutorial Corel Painter tutorials Los Angeles Portrait Artist Los Angeles paintings based on a photos Los Angeles portrait artist Sherman Oaks portrait artist Studio City portrait artist https://www.artistrymag.com/blog/2016/4/good-communication-for-great-painted-portraits Fri, 01 Apr 2016 09:28:40 GMT
Corel Painter 2016 Book New Foreword https://www.artistrymag.com/blog/2016/3/corel-painter-2016-book-new-foreword
Paintings and design by Karen Sperling based on photographs by Sterling Hoffman.

I have been working on a new Corel Painter 2016 book, Painting for Photographers Volume 3.
I invited professional photographer Sterling Hoffman to write the book's Foreword and he just completed it. I am honored that he wrote the Foreword and humbled by his kind words.
Here's what he wrote:
Webster’s defines “artist” as “a person who creates art: a person who is skilled at drawing, painting…a skilled performer.”
Karen Sperling has made a career out of being an exceptional artist.
I am a photographic portrait artist and had the good fortune to meet Karen through my circle of friends and colleagues in the photography industry several years ago. There was an instant connection. What fascinated me about her was her passion. Passion in her words—passion in her ideas. A true artist has a burning desire to create and to leave their creations for the enjoyment of generations to follow. Hers is art that fills the viewer’s soul with love and pride.
I was looking for an artist to paint my portraits. But not just any painter; I wanted someone who was more than a technician. I desired someone who understood the nuances of color and detail while having an appreciation and respect for my work as if it were her own.
There is a huge opportunity for today’s photographers to embrace painted portraits. The rewards are both financial and aesthetic. Working with Karen to digitally paint and then embellish with oils my canvas prints enables me to offer these masterpieces to my clients for far more than I could a basic photographic portrait. The enhancements raise the value as clients marvel at this new hybrid art form that renders the portrait with all the beauty and charm of a traditional oil painting and with the realism of photography.
But Karen goes beyond being a stellar painter! She is also an educator. There are those who have knowledge and want to keep it to themselves and there are those who have knowledge and want to pay it forward. Karen is an author and educator, writing books for those wishing to emulate her skills and conducting workshops for those wishing hands-on experience. Her latest book, “Painting for Photographers Volume 3,” will serve as a teaching manual and a reference for aspiring, amateur and professional artists alike.
Enjoy, learn, grow and profit!
Sterling Hoffman
Sterling Portraits, LLC
www.facebook.com/SterlingPortraits
Thank you, Sterling, for the great Foreword!
Painting for Photographers Volume 3 is being made possible by the kind support of readers who have pledged financing toward the book in advance of its publication. In return, they have been receiving .pdf pages as they become available and will receive the printed book when it is published.
There's still time to join in the fun and to help get Painting for Photographers Volume 3 published.
Visit this page for more information.
Thank you to all the supporters of Painting for Photographers Volume 3!

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Learning to Paint in Corel Painter Takes Time https://www.artistrymag.com/blog/2016/1/learning-to-paint-in-corel-painter-takes-time

Painting by Karen Sperling based on a photograph by Cherie Steinberg.

Sometimes new Corel Painter users are too optimistic. They think they will be able to create masterpieces the moment they sit down and start using Corel Painter.

It's OK to be optimistic, except when it makes you feel discouraged when the reality that you will have to work at painting sets in.

To paint in Corel Painter, you need three things: art theories, software steps and practice. And pursuing all three takes time.

And it's not like you ever reach a point where you are done learning. I've been using Painter since I wrote the first manual over 20 years ago, and I always learn something new about Painter every time I use it. And every painting presents a new set of challenges.

So many people get discouraged because they can't create a great painting the first time they use Painter, or even the second or fifth.

Some blame the software, others blame themsevles.

But I can tell you from experience that it's just a matter of not getting discouraged and putting in the time to learn the art lessons and Painter steps and practicing. Eventually, you will be able to paint.

And the opposite is true, too--if you don't take the time to learn and practice, you probably won't be able to paint in Painter, though there are exceptions, but mainly those who are experienced artists with traditional tools. If you are a photographer interested in turning your photos into paintings in Corel Painter, then you will be creating better paintings sooner by taking the time to learn art theories and Painter steps and practicing.

The practice is up to you, but I can help with the art theories and Painter steps. All of my instructional materials on this website have both the art theories that have been passed down through the centuries and the Painter step-by-step instructions to get you painting, though not immediately, very soon after that.

So though it may seem like bad news that you won't be able to paint in Painter immediately, the good news is, you will be able to paint in Painter eventually. Never give up!

 

 

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karenlsperling@gmail.com (Karen Sperling Art & Photography + Artistry Corel Painter Tutorials) Corel Painter class Corel Painter tutorial Corel Painter video Corel Painter workshop paintings based on photos, paintings from photos https://www.artistrymag.com/blog/2016/1/learning-to-paint-in-corel-painter-takes-time Wed, 27 Jan 2016 09:52:34 GMT
Announcing the Debut of Karen Sperling's Newly Renovated Artistry Website! https://www.artistrymag.com/blog/2015/11/new-Corel-Painter-website
Screen shot of the old artistrymag.com website.

Welcome to my Artistry website's new look! After a year of construction, I'm excited to debut this new version of my Artistry website, where you'll be able to commission portraits based on your photos or learn how to do them yourself!

I have had my artistrymag.com website, featuring first my Artistry magazine that I used to publish, then later, my Corel Painter books, videos and classes, since 1997. It was originally created from scratch by a webmaster and I have been adding to it all these years by editing pages of html code.

As the years went by, websites became more and more sophisticated and to try to keep up with the internet's evolution,  I updated and modernized the site's graphics several years ago. Then a year ago, it got to the point that publishing my website became like riding a horse in the age of the automobile. Everyone was speeding past me on the internet until finally, I had to trade in the old gray mare and join the 21st century.

And here it is! My new website!

I originally intended this to be my art website, but the snazzier the website got, the clearer it became that I couldn't get along anymore with the old-fashioned Artistry Corel Painter instructional materials website, so I slowly brought over my books, classes and videos to this website. The result is a hybrid where you can either commission a portrait or learn how to paint one yourself. Maybe ultimately this combination makes sense. You can see my latest commissioned portraits and either hire me to do them for you or see the possibilities for learning how to create your own.

So take a look around and come back often. And let me know in the comments how you like my new Artistry website!

 

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karenlsperling@gmail.com (Karen Sperling Art & Photography + Artistry Corel Painter Tutorials) Beverly Hills artist Beverly Hills photographer Beverly Hills portrait artist Beverly Hills portrait painter Corel Painter Corel Painter Book Corel Painter Classes Corel Painter beginners tutorials Corel Painter lesson Corel Painter portraits Corel Painter seminar Corel Painter tutorials Corel Painter videos, Corel Painter webinars Corel Painter workshop Digital Art Classes Elite Corel Painter Master Karen Sperling Karen Sperling Los Angeles artist Los Angeles photographer Los Angeles portrait artist Los Angeles portrait painter Painting Photos Painting for Photographers Painting photos in Painter Santa Clarita artist Santa Clarita photographer Santa Clarita portrait artist Santa Clarita portrait painter Sherman Oaks artist Sherman Oaks photographer Sherman Oaks portrait artist Sherman Oaks portrait painter Studio City artist Studio City photographer Studio City portrait artist Studio City portrait painter child photo child portrait children's photo children's photography children's portrait hand-painted portraits kids photography kids portrait kids' portrait painted children's portrait painted photos painted portraits painting from photos painting photos in Corel Painter portrait painting with Corel Painter portraits from photos turn photos into paintings turning photos into paintings https://www.artistrymag.com/blog/2015/11/new-Corel-Painter-website Fri, 20 Nov 2015 21:09:20 GMT
Writing the First Corel Painter Manual https://www.artistrymag.com/blog/2015/10/writing-the-first-corel-painter-manual

 

Corel Painter celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. It debuted at Boston Macworld, August 6-9, 1991. I wrote the first Painter manual, and this blog is written in honor of the 20th anniversary. Above are the cover and the first page from the version 1.0 Painter manual, written by Karen Sperling.

In just about every Artistry webinar, Artistry online class or Artistry Retreat, where I teach photographers how to turn their photos into paintings in Corel Painter, the moment arrives when a student has a sudden realization. He or she will say, “Wait, if you wrote the first Painter manual, who taught YOU how to use Painter?”
The answer is, I got some help from the programmers and figured out a lot about the software on my own by painting with it at a time when I didn’t consider myself to be an artist.
Before writing the Painter manual, I had been a reporter and an editor for many years for newspapers and magazines. My mother was an artist, and I drew and painted ever since I could remember, and even minored in art in college, so I had art knowledge and painting experience. But the message at my house was clear: art was something my mother did, not me, so I mostly dabbled with art and never finished paintings. Instead, I concentrated on being a writer.
Enter Painter.
I got the gig to write the first Painter manual because Painter inventors Mark Zimmer and Tom Hedges liked the job I did writing the Shapes manual for ColorStudio, an image-editing program they wrote prior to Painter and before the arrival of Photoshop. Shapes was the name of ColorStudio’s vector tools that were later incorporated into Painter, and the writing I did for the Shapes manual was included in the Painter manual. So I’ve actually been writing about Painter since before it was Painter.
I was hired to write the Shapes manual by ColorStudio’s product manager, Betsy January, whom I had met when she and I were volunteers for the Mac Street Journal, published by the New York Mac Users Group (NYMUG).
I joined NYMUG in 1988 when I decided to buy a Mac and become a freelance writer and publisher after several years of staff writing and editing jobs, thinking that volunteering for the computer group might be a good way to network and get clients. What an understatement that turned out to be!
The first time I met Mark Zimmer was in 1989 at ColorStudio’s publisher Letraset’s headquarters in New Jersey. Mark was in town from California and I was invited to talk to him firsthand for information to write the Shapes manual.
ColorStudio may not strike the same chord for you that it would if I said Photoshop, but actually, ColorStudio predated Photoshop and at the time, ColorStudio was very respected at high-end service bureaus for the way it handled color printing. In fact, the ColorStudio printing algorithms were incorporated into the early versions of Painter and, later on, I published my printed Painter how-to magazine, Artistry, using Painter for output. At the time, Painter produced much livelier color output than Photoshop.
So being at Letraset and working on a ColorStudio manual back then was a big deal. Letraset even sent a limo to pick me up at my apartment in Manhattan.
I arrived at Letraset and was ushered into a conference room where five or six Letraset employees were seated around a conference table and who, like me, were dressed corporately in conservative suits.
At the head of the table was a computer hooked up to what looked like a television monitor. This was 1989 and I had never seen such a large monitor. Next to the monitor was a guy who clearly wasn’t from the east coast with a ponytail and sandals, Mark Zimmer.
I had notebook and pen ready (this was before laptops and iPads) and Mark started explaining Shapes. I didn’t understand him, which could be a problem since I was supposed to be the manual writer.
As he continued, I saw the others sitting around the table nodding their heads like they knew exactly what he was talking about. Since these were product development and marketing people, and not other programmers, I had my doubts that they were grasping what he was saying.
Since I had to understand so that I could write the manual, I thought I’d better speak up.
After about 10 minutes, I interrupted and said I wasn’t understanding and the others laughed and admitted they weren’t, either. I was relieved that it wasn’t just me. I asked some questions and Mark answered. I didn’t completely understand, but took the information with me and after playing around with the software to understand it better, wrote up the steps for the manual.
So that’s kind of the way it went throughout the writing of the Shapes manual and later, the Painter manuals.
Mark in California would explain a feature to me in New York by phone, but like that first meeting, I wouldn’t completely understand him. I’d get the general idea of what he was saying, then I’d play around with the software, painting with Painter, till I got what the new feature was doing.
During 1990 and part of 1991, leading up to Painter’s debut at the August 1991 Boston Macworld, I would receive a fed ex package in New York from California practically daily containing floppy disks with the latest version of Painter and its new features for me to write about for the manual. This was before email, web sites, CDs or external drives.
It was amazing to see for the very first time Painter’s tools like Apply Surface Texture, or Glass Distortion, or the Chalk, or the Felt Tip Pens, and to be paid to figure it all out to be able to write clear explanations about it, which I would write in Word and send on a floppy disk to Steve Manousos at Fractal Design, the company that Mark, Tom, Steve and 2 others formed to publish Painter.
Painter was an extraordinary technological achievement, and in those early days, I felt my participation was what it would have been like to be there for the invention of the light bulb or the telephone.
I found writing the Painter manual fascinating and challenging. I liked playing detective, discovering clues to how Painter worked, and then recording the results. In fact, I liked writing about Painter so much that I went on to do it non-stop for the next 20 years, filling the manuals for the first several versions of Painter, several published Painter books and Kindles and creating videos and classes.
The reason I had trouble understanding Mark was that he was speaking what I’ll call algorithm-ese, or computer programming jargon. After awhile, Mark’s algorithm-ese began to sound familiar to me, even though I didn’t understand it, in the way that one can tell if one is hearing French or Spanish without actually knowing the language.
I’ll never forget when Apply Lighting was introduced and Mark told me how it worked. I wasn’t hearing the familiar algorithm-ese and I asked him what realm of knowledge we were in, and he said physics, another one of those subjects that this English major somehow missed.
It turned out that my journalism experience and my art background were a perfect fit for writing the Painter manuals. I was able to interview Mark, combine what I could pick up from our conversations with what I could discover by painting with the software and write it all up in easy-to-understand steps.
Painting with Painter changed my life.
Since it was art software, playing around with Painter to see how it worked meant painting day and night, every day, for almost a year, which was the most painting I had ever done up until then.
Painting digitally gave me confidence to paint that I never had and that I was able to carry over to painting with traditional media. And the more I painted, the better I got at it. It was kind of shocking since I had never thought of myself as an artist.
After I wrote the first Painter manual, I was invited to demo Painter at its debut at the August 1991 Boston Macworld.
I had never demo’d software before, but figured I could do it because having written the manual, I knew the software inside and out, or so I thought.
I got to the Wacom booth, where Mark was demo’ing Painter, and I was up next. I thought I’d watch him for ideas for when it was my turn. But what was this? He was showing something I had never seen before, but I had just spent every day with Painter for close to a year!
Mark had written Tracing Paper into Painter the night before in his hotel room and I saw it for the first time in that demo the next day. It was just an example of how amazing those days were, to say the least. Software companies today have teams of programmers and development cycles that take years, and here was someone writing a program in his hotel room the night before the software’s debut.
I got a lot of great feedback about the Painter 1.0 manual and the guys at Fractal liked it so much that they had me write the manuals for the next several versions.
One night that stands out is a few years after Painter’s debut, I attended a talk by children’s book authors and illustrators Don and Audrey Wood. They discussed the change from creating children’s books traditionally to moving over to the computer. They went into detail about using Painter version 1.0 for all their illustrations. Don created storyboards for his talk, illustrating his experiences learning Painter. They were great drawings showing how the Woods worked around the clock to master the transition to digital, and one storyboard that I remember projected on the screen was a drawing of Don Wood with the computer and the 1.0 Painter manual that was in the form of a sketchbook open next to him, and he described his fascination with Painter and how much he loved the manual.
I told the Woods after their talk that I wrote the manual. What they did upon hearing the news really surprised me. They started bowing down to me, literally. That was pretty cool and it was a testament to how Painter touched artists’ lives then and continues to do so today, and I was honored to be a part of it from the beginning.
In the 20 years since Painter’s debut, many artists and photographers have discovered the joys of using Painter and have created amazing art with it, and I’m happy to have been involved with helping them get the most out of the software.
I’m not surprised to still be writing about how to use Painter 20 years later. I decided in college to be a journalist and using my writing to help people to learn Painter is a logical and fun field for me to be in.
What is surprising is that in the past few years, I have become an artist myself, creating commissioned painted portraits, and abstract and figurative paintings that have been exhibited in Los Angeles, New York’s prestigious Chelsea art section and during Art Basel Miami Beach, the biggest art event in the U.S. I never thought I’d be an artist, and it’s thanks in large part to the time I spent trying to figure out Painter.
Come to think of it, it’s lucky I couldn’t completely understand Mark Zimmer. Maybe if I could, I wouldn’t have had so much practice painting, and would never have become an exhibited and commissioned artist.
Funny how things work out.

 

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karenlsperling@gmail.com (Karen Sperling Art & Photography + Artistry Corel Painter Tutorials) corel painter corel painter book corel painter classes corel painter tutorials https://www.artistrymag.com/blog/2015/10/writing-the-first-corel-painter-manual Wed, 28 Oct 2015 22:13:46 GMT
Choosing Learning Materials https://www.artistrymag.com/blog/2015/10/choosing-learning-materials Hand-Painted Portrait of SistersHand-Painted Portrait of SistersPainting by Karen Sperling based on her photo.

 

I have been slowly transitioning from my old websites to this one and I'm not completely done, yet, but I'm getting there.

One thing that has happened in the transition has been the streamlining of my Corel Painter instructional materials web pages.

I have had my artistrymag.com website since 1997 and as a result, the kinds of instructional materials have changed over the years with the growth of technology. I began by offering a printed magazine, Artistry, which is where the artistrymag.com name came from. Then I began offering Artistry as pdfs on CD's when pdf's became popular, then when the internet started to take off I started to offer pdf's as downloads. Then came videos and first I offered them on DVD's and then as downloads as our internet access got faster and better able to handle them. In between all this, I have always taught in-person classes and published printed books.

Now as I transition to this spiffy modern website, several things have become clear.

My previous books and my upcoming book are more popular than ever. The previous books were written for Corel Painter version 12 and still apply to the more recent versions, namely X3, 2015 and 2016 because the interface is the same. I have decided to write a new book now because Painter 2016 has some great new brushes and features and because I have some great new techniques for turning photos into paintings for everyone. It's interesting that books were the first phase of my various Painter instructional offerings and they still remain a viable learning tool for photographers and hobbyists interested in finding out how to use Painter.

Something else that has become clear to me in the updating of my website has been how important in-person and online classes and videos and private lessons have become. I would say that years ago, most people turned to books for learning how to use software like Corel Painter and while it's still true today, I would also say that large numbers of people rely on online and in-person classes, videos and private lessons to help them to get the most out of Painter. And not everyone learns the same way. While some would rather have the long-term experience of an online master class, others would like information in quick fixes, while still others would prefer videos and classes in between.

In the case of Corel Painter learning materials, one size definitely doesn't fit all, and maybe with this new site, it will be easier to find the instructional materials that will help you in your goal for learning to turn photos into paintings in Corel Painter. Please get in touch with me with the contact info below with questions about what would be the best way for you to learn Painter-I'm happy to help you to decide!

Happy painting!

 

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karenlsperling@gmail.com (Karen Sperling Art & Photography + Artistry Corel Painter Tutorials) https://www.artistrymag.com/blog/2015/10/choosing-learning-materials Fri, 09 Oct 2015 06:26:57 GMT
Choosing a Style https://www.artistrymag.com/blog/2015/9/choosing-a-style  

Hand-Painted Horse PortraitHand-Painted Horse PortraitElegant, lightly painted, classic, traditional, studio portrait.
Painting by Karen Sperling based on a photograph by Don Ling.

Light touch painting by Karen Sperling based on a photo by Don Ling.

Whether you are a client interested in commissioning a portrait, a photographer who would like to offer painted portraits to your clients or someone who would like to learn to turn your photos into paintings, the question will come up about what painting style to choose.
Bottom line: not all paintings based on photos are the same. Different artists and different photographers all have different styles and tastes and you can choose whatever style you like.
In terms of style, I find that photographers in general prefer what I call "light touch" painting--very little painting added to their photo. Traditionally, the studio poses with the light touch painting have been the primary offering, going back to John Singer Sargent and all the way back to the Renaissance. I would say the father of this kind of modern hybrid portraiture is Phillip Stewart Charis, who recently passed. I had the honor and pleasure of working with him when I painted one of his photos for my first Painting for Photographers book and he told me that every portrait he created was with the idea that it would be the centerpiece of the family's home.
Many of today's high-end photographers follow in Mr. Charis's footsteps and offer this style to their clients.
Some photographers use the light touch painting style for their more contemporary photos. The photos may not be formal studio portraits, but they have been turned into paintings with the lightest addition of some painterly strokes.
Some people prefer a more painterly approach or you may like the traditional light-touch painterly style. Or you might like something else!
What I'd like you to consider is that you can choose any style for paintings based on photos. Don't get turned off to the "painted photo style." There isn't one style-it can be any style you or you and your artist come up with!
As for me, I've been turning photos into paintings longer than most, since I wrote the first several Corel Painter manuals. I have an art background and as time has gone on, I've gotten into painting for clients and for photographers for their clients and for myself and I've gotten as far as displaying my abstract paintings in New York!
I have a hard time fitting myself into one look or style. I use Picasso as my role model, not that I paint like him, but because he didn't have one style--he enjoyed exploring and painting in many styles throughout his career, including, which many people don't know, very realistic portraiture.
As a result, I have decided to show a range of styles and I let the client or the photographer or the student choose the one he or she would like for their portraits or studies. I have organized my styles into collections in the top left-hand corner of this website, ranging from light touch (the Windsor collection) to Impressionistic (The Parisian), and I plan to add even more artistic choices soon. I even had a client ask me for a pop art style, not something I'd ever done, and I created a painting for them of their wedding that they loved. That was a perfect example of what I'm suggesting-this client didn't see what he was looking for on my website, but contacted me anyway and asked if I could do the style he was interested in. That's what I think you should try-do some googling of artists' styles through the ages in addition to current artists. You may decide that the light touch painting style is the one for you after all, or you may find another style that you think you would like instead.
Offering a variety of painted styles is something I wonder about for photographers, too--why not show clients several different styles based on your photos? I wonder if it wouldn't lead to more sales. Clearly your clients like your style of photography, but maybe they'd like something different for their painting instead of your photo with a few brushstrokes? It would be interesting to try and you might get additional sales.
Bottom line-there isn't one definitive painted style. Take some time to explore all the possibilities--you might wind up deciding you prefer the light touch painted style after all, or you might find that a more painterly approach hits the spot!

Impressionist-style painting by Karen Sperling based on a photo by Shannon Marie Phillips-Long.

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karenlsperling@gmail.com (Karen Sperling Art & Photography + Artistry Corel Painter Tutorials) https://www.artistrymag.com/blog/2015/9/choosing-a-style Wed, 09 Sep 2015 18:49:52 GMT
Paintings Have Their Own Personalities https://www.artistrymag.com/blog/2015/8/paintings-have-their-own-personalities
Painting by Karen Sperling based on her photo.

When it comes to painting paintings based on photos (or imagination, too), practice doesn't necessarily make perfect. One would think that it would, that one could learn a set of steps, some art theories and turn out painting after painting, but it doesn't work that way, for me, anyway. I find that each painting has its own unique set of painting mysteries that need to be uncovered and solved, ranging from which brush to use to what colors to choose. One solution does not fit all. This is the challenge, the frustration and ultimately the satisfaction of painting. It it were easy or repeatable, it would be boring. Because each painting begins with no clue about how to proceed, the steps from start to finish are scary, exciting and one hopes, rewarding.
Take the above painting, for instance. It was based on a photo I took during a wedding. I really didn't have a plan in mind for the final look of the piece, beyond that it would be sort of dreamy based on the subject's expression. The project was fun for me because of the way in which the painting revealed its personality to me in the process.


Source photo.

The photo started out as a snapshot before the wedding. I cropped it to focus on the woman.


Cropped photo.

Next, I thought I'd turn the photo into a black and white image. I love the look of black and white and I thought black and white enhanced the mystery of the subject's expression.


Black and white version.

Once the basic composition and tones were established, it was time to do the painting. This is where the painting's personality takes over. As the painting emerges, you get into a certain pace and a certain mindset. And they are different for each painting. They say art is about the artist's expression and while I would agree that's true at the end, I do think the painting's nature and individuality dictate the final result as much as the artist's skill and talent. Working on a commissioned painting vs. one you do for yourself can either be seen as a challenge or limiting. I see it as a challenge to try to come up with something that the client will love and as far as being limiting because I don't get to do whatever I want, I actually like having to fit into certain parameters. Instead of feeling restricting, having to think about the clients' tastes actually helps the painting process because you have fewer decisions to make.
As you paint, the brushstrokes that you need for the particular painting become clear. For me, the painting always is tentative at first as I try to find the movement of the brush and the look of the brushstrokes for the painting. Then as I fill more and more of the canvas, the painting becomes a little more aggressive as the painting takes on its own character. By the end, sometimes I can't stop looking at the painting because I'm as surprised by it as the clients!
Keeping in mind that the artist creates something unique with every painting and that paintings can take on their own personalities, if you're a client, it's always a good idea to commission paintings by an artist who is interested in helping you to discover the right personality for the paintings he or she will paint for you by discussing what the painting means to you, what colors suit you and if you have a certain style in mind. You can see some examples of my various styles in the Galleries link at the top, left of this page.
If you're a student, it's helpful to remember the notion that your paintings will reveal themselves to you. If you do, the learning will seem less like work to you and more like discovery of your--and your paintings'--own personal styles.
You'll find a video with the steps for painting in this style and others under Artistry Quick Fix Videos in the Corel Painter Videos link at the top of this page.]]>
karenlsperling@gmail.com (Karen Sperling Art & Photography + Artistry Corel Painter Tutorials) https://www.artistrymag.com/blog/2015/8/paintings-have-their-own-personalities Fri, 21 Aug 2015 09:00:18 GMT
Why Photographers Love Paintings Based on Photos https://www.artistrymag.com/blog/2015/8/why-photographers-love-paintings-based-on-photos classic portrait based on a photo
Painting by Karen Sperling based on a photo by Linda Gregory.

I am seeing continued growth in photographers' interest in offering paintings based on their photos to clients. I see two reasons for this interest:
1. Paintings appeal to clients and with their high prices, also appeal to photographers;
2. Offering paintings based on photos is a way for photography studios to set themselves apart from their competition.
In fact, I continue to see more and more photographers adding paintings based on their photos on their websites, with some photographers showing paintings based on their photos exclusively--no unpainted photos at all!
And what software does everyone say is the gold standard for paintings based on photos? Why, Corel Painter, of course! (Enter my Elite Corel Painter Master code ELITEKS when you purchase and get Painter for $329!). Many also use Photoshop for paintings, but the trend I see is that Painter is the way to go for the best results!

Corel Painter portrait
Painting by Karen Sperling based on a photo by Ebert Studio.

There are two ways for photographers to ride this wave of painted portraits popularity.
You can either learn to turn photos into paintings yourself with my Artistry books, in-person and online classes and videos, or you can subcontract the painting.
How to choose is based on your interests.
In terms of doing the painting yourself, my feeling has always been that all photographers are natural artists. Art is a visual medium like photography and it isn't that big a leap for photographers to learn to paint. I call my books Painting for Photographers and not Painting for Construction Workers not because I don't think construction workers could learn to paint, but because it's more of a natural progression for photographers to pick up a brush (or stylus).
The downside is that learning to paint takes time. I recently saw a photographer ask on Facebook if there were a quick filter to get the painted effect you get with Corel Painter. The answer is, no. I understand where the photographer was coming from--he wanted to be able to capitalize on the painted portrait trend without having to invest the time and money to do so. But no filter or action can give you the look of painting by hand, brushstroke by brushstroke, in Painter.

Corel Painter portrait
Painting by Karen Sperling based on a photo by Sterling Hoffman.

Meanwhile, you will find yourself loving painting. Photographers find that pursuing their interest in painting turns into a passion. One of my past professional photographer students who is very successful selling paintings based on his photos told me that if he doesn't have a painting to paint he is unhappy.
Just because you're a photographer doesn't mean you will love to paint, but if you do think you'd be interested in painting, then you probably would enjoy pursuing it.
The other way to go if you'd like to offer painted portraits to your clients is to hire someone to paint for you. Of course, if you do, then you have to pay your painter. But you can include your artist's fee in the portrait price and still make a great profit with paintings based on photos. I know for a fact that many of the owners of the high-end photography studios that feature paintings based on their photos are hiring artists to paint for them and are making nice profits with paintings. Offering painted portraits to clients has become a great growth category for photographers. Whether you decide to do the painting yourself or have someone else do it, including painted portraits in your product line is sure to please both clients and you.

Update: Richard Jones added this on Facebook:
Hi Karen, I'm not as close to the market as you are, so this opinion is purely anecdotal-intuitive. I believe adding a hand painted look gives the image more uniqueness. I know it isn't true, but some people look at a photo and think, "I could do that." I don't think many of us look at a painting and say that. A good painting depicts a mood much better than any photograph can. So, I think photographers want to have an emotional element in their work and that's why they are moving in that direction.

Corel Painter portrait
Painting by Karen Sperling based on a photo by Don Ling.

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karenlsperling@gmail.com (Karen Sperling Art & Photography + Artistry Corel Painter Tutorials) https://www.artistrymag.com/blog/2015/8/why-photographers-love-paintings-based-on-photos Tue, 04 Aug 2015 15:54:42 GMT
Welcome to my new art website https://www.artistrymag.com/blog/2015/5/welcome-to-my-new-art-website I'm happy to introduce my new art website for my painted portraits and abstracts. It's kind of like getting a new car. The old one got you places, but the new one is much more fun to drive.
Art websites like this are usually divided up by subject matter, i.e., children, families, weddings, etc., while the style of the paintings is uniform throughout.
I find it hard to stick to one style because I enjoy experimenting with painting and I love so many different kinds of art, whether it's classic, Impressionistic, black and white, color. So I have designed this site in a different way. Instead of dividing up the sections based on subject, I have arranged galleries by style. This way, you can choose the style of painting that you prefer and then I can apply that style to any subject.
I have also included a gallery of my fine art abstracts. They are available for purchase and I'm also available for commissioned work to create a unique painting for a specific space.
Thank you for taking a look around my new website and I look forward to painting beautiful portraits and abstracts for you!

 

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karenlsperling@gmail.com (Karen Sperling Art & Photography + Artistry Corel Painter Tutorials) Beverly HIlls portrait artist Hand-painted portraits Los Angeles paintings based on a photos Los Angeles portrait artist Sherman Oaks portrait artist https://www.artistrymag.com/blog/2015/5/welcome-to-my-new-art-website Fri, 22 May 2015 19:30:43 GMT