Discord Forum for Digital Artists

Discord is a FREE chat/forum app that you can access on your computer, tablet or phone. You can use it to discuss art, share images of your art, get feedback on your work, ask questions and interact with the community.

All you need to do to access this forum is create a FREE Discord account and then join my Discord server.

Learn more about Discord: https://discordapp.com

Corel Painter Essentials 8 Course

Learn how to master Painter Essentials 8 with Downloadable Video Lessons

In this course, Painter Master Aaron Rutten guides you through all of the important tools and features of Corel Painter Essentials 8 while teaching you many of the digital painting tricks and techniques he has learned throughout his career. In addition to discovering Painter’s content and features, you’ll also learn fundamental illustration skills that you can use to create art like a pro.

This Corel Painter Essentials 8 course is suitable for beginners and intermediate Painter users who want a comprehensive review of Painter’s content and features. After this course, you’ll be more confident using Painter’s interface and tools.

LEARN MORE »

Buy Now
Skill Level: Everyone
Compatibility: Windows & Mac
Course Length: 3 Hours
Video Quality: 1440p & 1080p
Resource Files: Templates and artwork to follow along with
Access: Download or Stream
Corel Painter Training
Landscape Painting Courses

You may be able to learn more about Corel Painter Essentials with my courses for the full version of Corel Painter.

corel painter master course

How to Make an NFT of Your Digital Art

What is an NFT?

Crypto Art, or NFT Art, is artwork that has been turned into a collectible on the blockchain. Without getting too technical, NFTs are a recent technological advancement that solves the problem of selling original digital art by allowing buyers to have a unique proof of purchase. You could download my low-res preview from the listing page, but it would be worth nothing. The NFT is worth whatever people are willing to pay to own it, just like a traditional painting or a limited edition print.

Should the creator choose to, they can also allow buyers to resell the crypto artwork, so NFT paintings could be an investment that makes a profit for the buyer.

You could also think of NFTs as a way to support the creators you love. Rather than buying a print or joining an artist’s Patreon, you could buy one of their NFTs.

How to Buy an NFT

There is a bit of a learning curve to buying and selling NFTs, but it’s not too hard. For those of you who may be interested in purchasing this painting, you’d need to: Download a wallet app like Coinbase Wallet, purchase some Ethereum with your native currency, and then link your wallet to Rarible by scanning a QR code with your phone. It sounds like a lot, but each app guides you through the steps.

nft digital art preview on rarible

I’ve just started my own Crypto Art collection and my first NFT is for sale on Rarible.

You can make an offer or buy one of (3) limited edition images which include a printable hi-res copy and the Photoshop PSD with layers.

How to Sell an NFT

If you’re looking to create your own NFTs, I’d recommend rarible  or mintable. Mintable has a free option, but I liked Rarible’s process better, so I paid a bit to mint my NFTs. Yes, there is some cost involved, but it’s comparable to investing in prints and frames to sell a piece. Opeansea.io is also great and can index your NFTs from other websites.

Each website will walk your through the process, but essentially, you add the artwork files to a listing, enter information like a price and description, and then you pay in Ethereum to mint the item into a collectible on the blockchain. It’s best to do this when there is less congestion, otherwise the fee to mint an NFT can be higher than necessary.

Once minted, you can sell or gift the NFT artwork and it can continue to be resold on the public market. The minted artwork exists inside your crypto wallet until you sell or transfer it to a buyer’s wallet after a payment has been agreed upon. Each website offers different pricing models, but many offer Buy It Now as well as an auction feature.

Aside from losing the money/Ethereum you paid to mint the artwork, you aren’t committed to anything. If you create an NFT and then decide that you want to change the price or delete it, you can do that. However, if a buyer purchases one of your NFTs, they own it for life.

It’s also worth pointing out that the value of Ethereum changes constantly, so the value of your artwork is linked to that as well. For example, 1 Ethereum might be worth $1,800 one day and $1,700 the next. If you’re selling an NFT for 1 Ethereum, then the price of your artwork fluctuates over time.

This could be the future of digital art, so I’m excited to see how it works out.

For a more detailed tutorial on creating an NFT, watch my YouTube video:

How to Make an NFT of Your Digital Art (Tutorial)

DISCLAIMER: This is not a sponsored post, but if you sign up for Coinbase using my affiliate link, I will earn free Bitcoin. You can also earn free Bitcoin by buying or selling $100 or more of crypto.

Wacom One Review – Affordable Display Tablet

The Wacom One is Wacom’s most affordable display tablet to date. This Wacom One review will be presented from a digital artist’s perspective.

Quick disclaimer, this is not a sponsored video, but Wacom did send me this tablet unconditionally to review as I please. As always, all opinions in this review are my own.

Wacom One – 13″ Display Tablet

Now if the name Wacom One sounds familiar, you’re not the only one. (See what I did there?) There is also the One by Wacom which is a non-display tablet, potentially adding some confusion for those of you who are searching for these devices online.

Repeating names for multiple products seems to happen a lot at Wacom. And although it’s confusing, my guess is that perhaps there has to be some benefit to doing it this way. Personally, I would have called it Wacom Two, but I digress.

One By Wacom (without a screen).

In 2019 Wacom released the Cintiq 16 which was a more budget-friendly display tablet, but now in 2020 we see the price being lowered even more for a Wacom-quality display tablet. This is great news for artists who really want to draw directly onto a screen, but don’t have a whole lot of money to invest in the professional-level features that often accompany display tablets.

The Wacom One is lean and mean. It has the essentials you need to make digital art and not much else. So let’s dive into this device and take a look at some of the specs. I’ll also do some painting on this device so you can see how it performs.


Specs & Features

Screen

The screen measures 11.6 inch wide by 6.5 inches tall. It’s 13.3 inches diagonally. The screen resolution is 1920×1080, and the color gamut is 72% of NTSC, which is a little over 70% Adobe RGB, or around 93% of sRGB. So it’s not the best screen in terms of clarity or color accuracy but it will do the trick.

It won’t win any awards for color accuracy, but it’s decent.

The Wacom One is using an AHVA display with a Wacom EMR digitizer like you might see in a tablet like the Samsung Galaxy Note.

There is no touch capability. I wouldn’t even bother trying. And there is a matte anti-glare film applied to the tablet. The film is applied very well without any bubbles or edges peeling off.

Anti-glare film and virtually no bezel to interrupt your lines.

One really cool feature is that there’s virtually no bezel to interrupt your pen if you make a stroke that goes off of the active area. The bezel will catch your pen slightly at the very edge of the tablet, but there’s a pretty decent buffer zone before your pen hits that edge. The bezel design of the Wacom One is much closer to the Cintiq Pro models which I like.

Pen

Now let’s discuss the pen. The pen has over 4000 pressure levels which is more than adequate for drawing and painting. The pen resolution is 2540 LPI.

While most pens have two buttons, this only has one.

Pen Tilt is supported which is great. You can use Pen Tilt to change the angle of your brush dab or to shade with the side of your pencil.

Tilting the pen allows you to change the angle of your brush strokes.

Wacom’s pen does not require a battery or charging and it performs much better than non-Wacom pens. Even with the more budget minded tablets Wacom is offering, you’re still getting a top-of-the-line pen experience.

No eraser, no mistakes.

The pen is lighter and smaller than the Pro pens and similar in look and feel to the one that comes with the Intuos. The pen only has one button rather than two, and it does not have an eraser.

Yet another cryptic location for the spare nibs.

There are three spare nibs hiding behind the legs.

As far as using other pens on the Wacom One, the Wacom One does not support other Wacom pens like the Art Pen or the Pro Pen 2. But it does support other types of EMR pens. I have this STAEDTLER, Noris digital pen which looks a lot like a pencil and it works great on the Wacom One. I can even vary the width of my line by pressing harder or lighter. There are a few other pens that are supported and more pen brands will be added in the future.

Staedtler Noris Digital for the Wacom One.

Now if I do some quick line tests, the line quality is great, it’s very smooth, there’s no significant line jitter. Even if I’m doing diagonal lines, there’s virtually no parallax or offset to the cursor.

The line tests with the Staedtler Pencil are great too. I notice that the Staedtler Pencil grips the surface more. I prefer the feel of the Wacom pen, but the Staedtler Pencil could be a nice option perhaps for note taking or sketching. Having a button on the pen is definitely useful too.

Excellent line quality and pressure response even for a budget pen.

Build Quality

Now let’s move on to discuss the build quality of the Wacom One. The device itself is 8.9 inches by 14.1 inches with a thickness of 0.6 inches. It’s very lightweight at only 2.2 pounds.

The stand is built in to the tablet. There are two legs that fold out to bring the tablet to an angle of 19 degrees. The legs are surrounded by a rubber grip, and the bottom edges of the tablet have rubber grip as well. This means that whether the legs are extended or the tablet is laying flat, it won’t slide around when you draw on it.

Folding legs allow the tablet to be slightly angled.

There are no external express keys on the Wacom One, but you can get the optional Express Key Remote if you like.

Optional Wacom Express Key Remote.

There’s a nice fabric pen holder in the top center. You just slide your pen in and out of this. As far as the screen temperature I didn’t notice any warmth.

The edges and the back of the tablet are kind of an off-white color.

Pen holder works well to keep the pen from getting lost.

The Wacom One comes with a one year warranty and I’d say the build quality feels great. The tablet does not flex much when you’re bending it and the edges are smooth and rounded. Overall I’d say the thickness is closer to the Intuos Pro or the Intuos 2019. And I can’t help but notice that the Wacom One is kind of similar in design to the XP-Pen 15.6 Pro, but without the external buttons.


Compatibility

Now let’s discuss compatibility. The Wacom One requires an HDMI video connection and a standard USB-A port for the data connection. The USB-C, USB-A, HDMI and power are all combined into an X cable. The power end of the connector is a USB-A connection which plugs into this AC power adapter and this adapter can be converted for different outlet types and then the USB-C cable connects to the tablet.

Connections: USB-C, HDMI, USB-A combined into a proprietary cable.
Power adapter connects to a USB-A cable. Connection to tablet is USB-C.

The Wacom One is compatible with PC and Mac and it requires Windows 7 or later, or Mac OS 10.13 or later. And just for clarity, there is not a built-in computer in the Wacom One. It must be connected to a Windows, Mac or a compatible Android device such as the Samsung, Galaxy S8, S10+, and some of the Samsung Galaxy Notes as well as some other types of phones.

Connecting to Android

Now in order to connect the Wacom One to a compatible Android device, you’re going to need either Wacom’s adapter which is not included, or a USB-C mini hub. Once you’ve connected the Wacom One to your Android device you can open the Samsung Desktop if you’re using a Samsung device, which expands to fill the active area of the tablet and you can draw just like you could on a desktop computer. It’s not like the Intuos Android that I reviewed recently, where only part of the tablet can be drawn on and it only works as a mouse cursor on your phone. — This here is legit. A phone or tablet could legitimately replace your desktop or laptop workstation for creating basic digital art.


Installation & Software

Now let’s discuss installation and software. Installation was very easy to set up. All I needed to do was plug the tablet in and install the driver and it worked. I didn’t have any driver issues.

I can use the Wacom control panel to customize the pen button for each app individually or globally for all apps. And there’s lots of other options you can tinker with.

Bundled Software

The Wacom One also comes with some bundled software. The software’s only available for Windows 10. There’s Bamboo Paper which is a note taking app. There’s Clip Studio Paint Pro which offers you a free license for up to six months. (This is a great digital drawing and painting application.)

You can also get Adobe Premiere Rush which is kind of a simplified video editing application. This is very useful for doing video editing on the go if you’re doing vlogs and travel videos and things like that.

Adobe Fresco is coming soon. They’re offering six months license but as of the making of this video it’s not available quite yet. And even if you don’t like that bundled software you can get lots of great free alternatives such as Krita.

Demo painting made with Clip Studio Paint Pro bundled software.

What Can You Do With It?

So what can you do with the Wacom One? You can take notes, you can edit photos, you could edit videos, you could of course do some light drawing and painting on this device, you could do graphic design and more.

Writing with the pencil feels very familiar.

A couple of features that I think are cool is that this tablet can be powered by portable battery bank or a desktop or laptop via USB. You’ll of course need two USB ports, one for data and one for power. But it’s neat to see that you can use this thing without having to plug it into a wall.

You can also use the Wacom One as a portable monitor through HDMI. So for example you might want to use a monitor to preview your video recordings or your photography.


Who Is This For?

So who is the Wacom One for? The Wacom One is a great starter display tablet for beginners or younger artists with smaller hands who may also want to move their tablet between rooms or maybe even take it to school.

Android compatibility means the Wacom One might even be a good tablet for photographers who shoot on their phones to do some editing on the go. And with the bundled Premiere Rush software, vloggers can even edit their videos and view them on a larger screen without having to lug around a laptop. Best of all Premiere Rush syncs with the desktop version through the cloud.

It also feels great for note taking. If you wanted to create video tutorials where you write out math equations, you could do that with the Wacom One. If you’re a college student, you can connect it to your phone and use it to take notes during lectures. And I have to say, handwriting on the Wacom One felt really natural while using the Staedtler Pencil.


Comparisons

And now for some comparisons. Should you get the Wacom One or the Cintiq 16 which is a bit more expensive?

The Cintiq 16 offers a better pen, it has a better display that is a bit brighter, its drawing area is of course a bit larger, it has an option for an attachable and adjustable stand and the Cintiq 16 is compatible with the Art Pen which can sense rotation and other types of Wacom pens. However, the Wacom One is definitely thinner, lighter and more portable, especially if you’re planning to work primarily on a compatible phone or tablet. The Cintiq 16 with the stand attached can be quite bulky.

Cintiq 16 compared to Wacom One 13.

The Wacom One is also a more-affordable alternative to the Intuos Pro, if you don’t mind trading some of the pro-level features for a display that you can draw directly onto.

Intuos Pro Medium compared to Wacom One 13.

Price

And now for the price. The Wacom One sells for $399. You can purchase the Wacom One through Wacom’s website or an online retailer. Since I no longer support Amazon with affiliate links, you can show your appreciation for this review by becoming a Member of my YouTube channel.


Pros & Cons

So let’s talk about some pros and cons. The pros of the Wacom One are that it’s a very low-profile and lightweight device. It comes with limited bundled software. The Wacom One offers excellent pen quality that’s only exceeded by Wacom’s Pro Pens. The Wacom One supports other types of EMR Pens which is great. And it supports some Android devices.

And now for the cons. The Wacom One does not include the adapter to connect it to an Android device, but you may not need it, so I guess it does keep the cost down. Just be aware that the Wacom One only supports certain Android devices.

The Wacom One does not have any express keys and it does not support touch, so that means you’re going to have to lug around a keyboard if you are planning on using this with a phone or tablet only.

Concerning the stand, 19 degrees is not the most comfortable angle to draw at. And there’s no way to adjust the angle to a more vertical orientation.

And then my last gripe is that the white color on the bottom of the tablet and the edges could collect stains over time. It could be dirt from your hand or it could be grime that’s on your desk.

White is never a good color for something that will be face down on a desk.

Conclusion

And now for my conclusion. 2020 seems like it’s going to be the year that smartphones give desktop computers a run for their money in terms of being capable digital art workstations. Of course, phone hardware is nowhere near professional level, but for artists who are new to digital art, a phone is now a legit tool for making art.

I’m also happy to see Wacom offering an even more affordable display tablet because I believe non-display tablets are on their way out. It feels so much better to see what you’re drawing underneath your pen and I’m glad the Wacom One puts that experience within the reach of more artists.

Now I know there will be comments saying that there are Wacom alternatives that offer more for the same price. I feel like I’m beating a dead horse here, but I urge you to check out my comparison video of the XP-Pen Artist 15.6 Pro to a Wacom tablet, so you can get a feel for what the real differences are because tablets are more than just specs on a website.

For example, you certainly can get a pen with higher pressure levels, but if the pen doesn’t respond to light pressure, then what’s the point? Or you might get lines that are always wavy or have unexpected tapering when you choose a Wacom alternative. So please be #DigitalArtSmart and watch some reviews before you buy a tablet and don’t go off of specs alone.

Read more of my Drawing Tablet reviews on my website or check out my YouTube channel.

Watch my video review of the Wacom One.

Corel Painter 2021 Webinar

Landscape Painting with Aaron Rutten

In this webinar, Corel Painter Master Aaron Rutten presents an exciting and informative landscape painting demonstration using the new Thick Paint Compatible brushes in Corel Painter 2021.

What you will learn:

  • Landscape Painting Techniques
  • How to Use Thick Paint Compatible Brushes
  • How to Use New Painter 2021 Features

Fri, Sep 25, 2020 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM PDT

The webinar will be recorded and posted to YouTube.com/paintertutorials

Download a free 15-day trial of Painter today. www.painterartist.com

2020-09-25T10:00:00

  days

  hours  minutes  seconds

until

Webinar Goes Live

Artist’s Guide to Erasing Facebook

  • Does looking at social media make you feel depressed, angry or anxious?
  • Do you equate your self-worth with how many likes you get on a post?
  • Do you feel like social media is necessary to facilitate your relationships?
  • Do you log in to social media, even though you know there is nothing new to see?

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then it may be time to step back and re-evaluate your relationship with social media. This kind of behavior is not healthy, and it’s certainly not productive.

That’s why a growing movement of artists are saying NO to social media giants. These companies misuse our work, violate our privacy and profit from those who seek to manipulate society.

The time has come to kick social media to the curb. I’ll help you get started.

I erased Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and I’m still thriving. You can do it too! (It’s the least we can do for the survival of our species.)

B-B-BUT I NEED SOCIAL MEDIA FOR MY BUSINESS

adult alone anxious black and white

I’ve heard that excuse too. (In fact I think it was me that said it.) As an artist, I get that we have to use the internet to some degree. (I’m obviously not quitting YouTube any time soon.)

Using social media to share your art is one thing, but wasting your time looking at other people’s photos and posts does nothing to advance you as an artist. I’m not saying “don’t use social media“, I’m saying “use social media responsibly“.

At the end of the day, do you really want your brand to be associated with these companies and their shady business practices? If so, why? Is it because everyone has a Facebook page for their business? Alpo can afford to have a Facebook page because they have an advertising budge with a lot of zeros in it. They aren’t making ends meet by posting pictures of happy dogs, they are out there on the streets slinging chow for pooches.

Let me give it to you straight: You don’t need a Facebook page to run your art business. Set up a real website, why don’t ya!

“Why don’t we just create our own blogs and share them with each other? Isn’t that really all Facebook is doing?”

Here’s an idea: Why don’t we just create our own blogs and share them with each other? Isn’t that really all Facebook is doing? — It serves photos and text to people who subscribe to each other.

I’m blogging right now and it feels so much better knowing that this post isn’t going to be attached to some sort of scuzzy plot to make money. [Check out my new Corel Painter Course – Pre Order Now!]

OK, LET’S DO THIS!!!

you got this lighted signage

Deleting Facebook is relatively easy. You can download a package of all of your artwork, photos and other content like comments, so you won’t lose any of those precious drunk posts.

Here’s how to deactivate Twitter. (Insert cartoon bird squawk)

And finally, the hardest one is going to be deleting Instagram. I recommend you rip it off quickly. It will hurt a lot at first, but the pain will subside.

  • Make sure to also delete these apps off of your phone so they can no longer track and sell everything you do online.

NEXT STEPS

photography of woman surrounded by sunflowers

Now that you’re free of social media, you may begin to notice changes in your life:

  • Your body may begin to feel slightly different. Over the course of a few weeks, your brain may begin to regenerate and you may find that you feel better both mentally and physically.
  • Be prepared to fill your free time with something else. — Make art, learn a new language, take vibraphone lessons.
  • You’ll need to maintain relationships without all of those fancy Facebook features. Why not follow each other’s blog? Or there’s video chat, e-mail, texting, and hand-written letters.
  • At first, it may feel difficult to resist the urge to reactivate your accounts. Just hang in there!
  • If you’re still trying to add hashtags to things, that’s perfectly normal. That should clear up on its own, but if it does not, consult with your doctor.
Need more inspiration? Learn why I deleted my Facebook in 2019.

Corel Painter 2021 Course

Learn how to master Corel Painter 2021 with Downloadable Video Lessons

In this course, Painter Master Aaron Rutten guides you through all of the important tools and features of Corel Painter 2021 while teaching you many of the digital painting tricks and techniques he has learned throughout his career. In addition to discovering Painter’s essential content and features, you’ll also learn essential illustration skills that you can use to create art like a pro.

This Corel Painter 2021 course is suitable for beginners and intermediate Painter users who want a comprehensive guide through Painter’s content and features. After this course, you’ll be more confident using Painter’s interface and tools.

LEARN MORE »

Buy Now
Skill Level: Everyone
Compatibility: Windows & Mac
Course Length: 17 Hours
Video Quality: 1440p & 1080p
Resource Files: Workspace, Brushes, Reference PDFs and more
Access: Download or Stream

Free Sample Lessons

01. Getting Started with Painter 2021
05. Color Basics, Erasing, & Sampling Color
39. Layers
60. Real Watercolor
62. How to Photo Paint with Painter 2021
Corel Painter Fundamentals
Landscape Painting Courses

Learn more about Corel Painter with my free tutorials and paid courses.

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Corel Painter 2021 Coupon

SAVE $100 OFF COREL PAINTER 2021

Don’t pay full price! Use my Corel Painter 2021 coupon code to apply a $100 discount on the FULL VERSION of Corel Painter.

  • Corel Painter coupon is valid only at painterartist.com
  • Not valid for upgrades, sales or student versions
  • If the coupon code does not work, it may not be valid in your region
  • This is an affiliate link that I earn commission from, at no additional cost to you
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Master digital painting with my video training courses for Corel Painter 2021.

TIP: You can put the $100 you saved on Painter toward my course.

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5 Ways To Ruin Your Digital Artwork

Learn about 5 common ways to completely destroy your digital art and discover some solutions to prevent yourself from ruining your work.

Here are some quick tips from my YouTube video. Watch the full tutorial for more details.

#1 – Over-applying Effects

PROBLEMS:
  • Heavy use of effects or filters makes the image appear over-processed and too digital.
  • Image looks tacky.
  • Color/Luminance info is lost when over-correcting.
  • Original “feel” is lost.
SOLUTIONS:
  • Add effects to separate layers or use Live Effects.
  • Reduce the opacity of the effect to make it more subtle.
  • Don’t over-process – Use the Histogram to look for lost information in highlights, midtones, shadows and saturation.

#2 – Overwriting Your Original

PROBLEMS:
  •     Original, hi-res, or layered file is accidentally overwritten by a smaller or alternate version.
  •     Files or folders are accidentally deleted.
  •     Drives are reformatted by mistake.
SOLUTIONS:
  •     Always remember to keep your original intact by saving duplicates when you need a smaller size or alternate format.
  •     Be careful not to overwrite your files, folders or drives.
  •     Save files to a secondary drive other than your main OS drive.
  •     Backup your important files regularly on more than one device.
  •     Keep your files labeled with descriptive, unique names and keep them organized in folders so you know where to find them.

#3 – Merging Layers with Unexpected Results

PROBLEMS:
  •     Merged layers adopt a blend mode that makes the pixels blend in an undesired way with the underlying layers.
  •     Previously invisible pixels become opaque.
SOLUTIONS:
  • Merge layers one at a time, often starting from the bottom and working up. Merging blend mode layers with a “base” default layer works best.
  • Merging layers of the same blend mode is OK, but merging layers of two or more different modes will default to a single mode and the layer will look different.
  • Wait to merge problematic layers until the end of the painting and do a merge all layers.

#4 – File or Layer Gets Corrupted While Saving

PROBLEMS:
  • Application or computer crashes during save and the file is no longer able to be opened.
  • Part or all of the file is distorted or is filled with aberrations like blocks or solid color rectangles.
  • Layer or layers are distorted or have bands of transparent pixels.
SOLUTIONS:
  • Always save iterations, save often and use any available backup features (Painter’s auto-backup and Photoshop’s auto-save).
  • Save before adding complex masks.
  • Save before doing any processor intensive tasks or applying filters.

#5 – Converting to a Different Color Mode

PROBLEMS:
  • Color information is augmented, reduced or discarded when converting to a different color mode.
SOLUTIONS:
  • Avoid converting from a wide-gamut profile like Adobe RGB to sRGB because it will drastically reduce the color detail in your image.
  • Avoid converting to grayscale mode because it will discard color information.
  • Avoid converting to CMYK because it may augment some colors. If using CMYK color is necessary, start the piece in CMYK mode.
  • Always save a copy of your work before converting profiles.