Getting started with Painter IX
Company Lynda.com | Price $69 | Web www.lynda.com | Mac and PC

Painter, for the beginner or those new to a digital workflow, can be a daunting prospect. This is mainly due to its vast feature set – tons of brushes, a zillion palettes and some quite essential tools hidden away in menus. Painter IX, as you’ll know if you read our review last issue, is the standard as far as digital art tools go. And if you’re serious about digital painting, you need to learn this tool like the back of your hand.

The double-CD set (not a DVD) contains 11 hours of tuition, so it’s good value in terms of minute per pound or dollar. And it’s neatly organised. There are 14 chapters, each divided into different disciplines within Painter, such as painting, sketching and working with layers.

The package goes from absolute basics (opening a file, saving) to some detailed explanations of preferences and how to customise Painter. The tuition is shared by well-known trainer Tanya Staples and Painter co-creator John Derry. While we cannot in any way dismiss the genius of Derry, we sometimes wish he was a tad more enthusiastic.

Obviously the one thing this CD can’t give you is talent or specific techniques. As a primer into the powerful natural media software that is Painter, however, this does a grand job.