Introduction to Painter 12: Part 1

Instructor: Elaina Moore-Kelly



The first time I ever opened Corel® Painter™, I took one look and immediately closed the program. I didn’t open it again until I had enrolled in an online class. It didn’t look like anything I had ever seen before and I didn’t know where to begin. If this has been your experience, then this is the class for you. These lessons have been written from the viewpoint of the person who has never used Corel® Painter™ before.

As you work your way through the lessons and complete your assignment each week, you will find the interface becoming less intimidating and you will learn how to use this wonderful program to enhance your own artistic abilities. The lessons are available in PDF format and include two supplemental videos.

This class is the first in a continuing series specifically written for Corel® Painter™ 12. If you are using an earlier version of the program, please see Skip Allen’s classes for Painter 11.

Skill Level



Please note: Students must have a working knowledge of their operating system, especially:


  1. How to create and name new folders.
  2. How to locate files in their computers
  3. How to open and save files
  4. How to unzip files

Software Requirements

  • Microsoft® Windows® (XP SP3), Microsoft® Windows® Vista or 7, or Apple® Mac OS® X operating system
  • Corel® Painter™ 12
  • Service Pack 1 (The most current Service Pack as of this posting)

Hardware Requirements

  • A computer capable of running Corel® Painter™ 12
  • A pressure sensitive graphics tablet, such as those made by Wacom

Note: Corel® Painter™ has been optimized to integrate seamlessly with a pressure sensitive graphics tablet such as the inexpensive Wacom Bamboo, or the multi-featured Wacom Intuos. Although you can use the program with a mouse, you will find many of its features to be most effective with a tablet. You may want to consider buying one at some point in time.

There is initially a bit of a learning curve, but once you begin to use the tablet and pen in conjunction with Painter (and many other programs) you will be both amazed and excited by how real the painting and drawing effects seem as you work.

Before Class

It’s very likely that the driver which came with your Wacom tablet has been updated. If you are experiencing any problems with your tablet, please check this page for the latest driver and install it before class begins.

Need some tips on setting up and/or using your tablet? Check out the videos on this page (scroll down the page to locate your tablet).

Week One

The Painter Interface, Part 1
Customizing your Workspace – Intro
Saving and exporting a Workspace
Painter Preferences – Brush Tracking
New Document Dialog
Painter Preferences – Color Management
Painting exercise
Brush Selector: Brush Categories and Variants
How to save a .jpg file with Painter
Painter Image Formats
Doodling with Painter

Week Two

Setting preferences-continued
Panels and Palettes
The Color panel
Zoom Property bar: Zooming for detail
Learn to paint an apple

Week Three

Toolbox – Overview
The Crop Tool
Resizing images
Grabber Tool
Changing Paper color/dropper tool
Re-size the canvas to create a frame
The Clone Panel
Quick Cloning an image
Temporal Colors palette
Clone a Hibiscus

Week Four

The Navigator panel
The Mixer Panel – in Depth
Gif of Jpeg: What’s the difference?
The Dodge and Burn tools
Changing the color of the Tracing paper
Trace and paint an orchid from a photo