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One of the biggest challenges in digital painting is choosing the right colors. Each type of traditional media has limitations based on the pigments available. Watercolors, for example, have a limited color range even when mixing various paints. Paint software, however, offers an unlimited number of colors, regardless of the medium you are trying to emulate. Using watercolor brushes, but unrealistic colors, will not create a traditional looking painting.

An interesting feature in Corel Painter exists in the color swatch dialog. It can really help you build an appropriate color palette. The first step is to open an image, a scan of an actual watercolor or oil painting for example, that contains the type of color palette you wish to use. Then select the triangle at the upper right of the color swatch dialog. A menu appears with several options available.

Paint Swatch Dialog

Select "New Color Set from Image". Painter will sample and create a color set of the swatches available in the image. Providing you use an appropriate source, you should now have a proper color range that will allow you to create a more true to life traditional painting.

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