The Reference Panel in Painter X3

Peter Stapleton Painter X3 reference panel

Peter Stapleton demonstrates how to best use the new Reference Image Panel in Corel Painter X3

For some people, reference can be a contentious issue. A lot of people feel that it is cheating but I’ve always felt that using reference is essential for professional work.

Directly copying reference isn’t what it about; just having something to refer to is helpful to getting your mind around the subject.

In any case, how is someone to know how to draw something unless they know what it looks like? Keeping a reference folder is important for every artist.

Painter X3’s new Reference Image Panel is the perfect new tool to have reference right there where you need it, removing the need of having to switch programs, look away from the screen or having a second screen handy.

Reference panel Painter X3

1. You can find the reference image panel in the ‘Window’ drop down menu at the top of Painter. You have the ability to resize and reposition the panel to any dimension and position you need. Keeping it close to your current area of painting is a good idea. Click the bottom left icon to select a reference image from your collection.

Reference panel Painter X3

2. Use the pan and zoom tools to focus on a specific detail of an image. Holding down the cmd (mac) or ctrl (pc) key with the zoom tool will zoom out.
The best way to use reference is to try to really look at the reference and figure out the best brushes and methods needed to be able to render the subject at hand. Try not to directly copy, as that doesn’t help you to learn as much as applying your own interpretation.

Reference panel Painter X3

3. Even when you don’t need a specific piece of reference, it’s beneficial to have some work of your favourite artist at hand. I find that even if there really isn’t anything directly related to the current image it can help stir up ideas or solutions to current problems I’m having with whatever I’m drawing.

About the artist:

Peter Stapleton is an Australian freelance artist who specialises in illustration and concept art.

Go and see his art on his site.

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