Corel Painter Master - Wonman Kim

Name: Wonman Kim
Occupation/Profession: Concept artist, freelance illustrator
Employer: Game developer: Krgsoft, Uzdream, Zininsoft, NHN
Book publisher: Garimwon, Korea piaget, Itempool Location: Seoul, South Korea Hobbies: Fitness, games


How long have you been in this profession?
I started as a cell film animator in 1998, and I've also worked as a concept artist for game manufacturers. I'm currently working as a freelance illustrator.

Why did you choose this profession?
I like to use my imagination, and I've always enjoyed drawing and painting to illustrate a story from start to finish. And I like to conceptualize ideas.

How did you get started?
When I graduated from "animation college," I was lucky enough to find work as an animator and concept artist. I also worked as a concept artist for a game developer, and as an illustrator for the promotion pieces of the games. I currently work as a freelance illustrator in the publishing industry, creating cover art and illustrations for children's books.

What are your most important accomplishments?
I'm proud of my games illustrations and concept art images, as well as my book illustrations.

Describe a special moment in your career.
I'm not sure I can think of anything in particular. Every moment is special to me.

History with Painter

How long have you used Painter?
I started to use Painter in 2000.

Why did you choose Painter?
Painter is very good at simulating traditional techniques. It made it easy for me to make the transition from traditional to digital painting.

Do you have any interesting/funny/noteworthy stories?
A few month ago, a friend of mine gave me an old picture of his grandmother and asked me if I could do something with it for her birthday. I recreated the image in Painter and it was very moving to see the reaction from the grandmother and her family members when they saw the result. They couldn't believe you could do that on a computer!

What are your top five favorite Painter features?
I like most of them, in particular the natural media tools.

What are the Painter features that allow you to distinguish your art?
I really like working with rough strokes.

Is it possible to get the same results with other digital painting software?
It's possible to get decent results with other applications, but it's a lot of work and they don't give you nearly as many possibilities. I certainly prefer Painter.

How do you feel about Painter?
It feels like a very friendly piece of software to me, because it allows me to work directly on my art. I don't have to think about the technical details too much, which is very liberating to me.


I begin work with a custom Color Set that will print well in CMYK. I use a variety of "off the shelf" Painter brushes rather than building my own, and I put them in a Custom Palette for easy access. I make all my work by layering bits of this and that.

Step 1:
I start out by making a rough color sketch, focusing on the relationship between light and shadows. I often use simple water brushes and oil pastels.
Step 2:
I then add a few solid structures and buildings. Using square pastels, oil pastels and switching between wet and cover methods, I also enhance some of the building details.
Step 3:
During this stage I make the image size larger. I use the large chalk and simple water color to add a more solid front structure to the city.
Step 4:
I create more details to the front buildings by using oil pastels, digital airbrushes and simple water brushes. Creating the lighting details at the building's bottom adds a lot to the overall impression.
Step 5:
I finally add some distant objects and clouds. I use a simple water cover brush and digital airbrush to add light emitted from the buildings. The final touch is to tweak the color balance.