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Dennis Orlando

Name: Dennis Orlando
Occupation/Profession: Digital fine artist/painter
Employer: Self-employed
Location: Churchville, PA
Hobbies: working in my shop, wood carving and engraving, making furniture, computers and electronics, landscaping and gardening

How long have you been in this profession?
I've been a fine artist creating paintings and drawings for about 32 years. I've been creating digital paintings since 1991. At the same time, I've also spent 25 years in advertising and marketing as a studio owner, creative director, art director and designer.

Why did you choose this profession?
From the age of six I wanted to be a musician, but I discovered I wasn't very musically inclined. Painting and drawing allowed me a way to express my thoughts and emotions. I've always been more of a visual communicator than a verbal one.

How did you get started?
I had a much later start than most artists I know. The schools I attended placed little to no value on art education. At 16, I took my first art class in high school and, with lots of encouragement from a great teacher, I was hooked. From that point on, that's all I ever wanted to do or be.

What are your most important accomplishments?
After my three children, I would say having my digital paintings published in 16 books, my work exhibited internationally, and winning some very cool awards.

Describe a special moment in your career.
In December 2001, I received an e-mail from the managing editor of a major electronics design magazine in Mainland China. He was very familiar with my work and asked for permission to interview me for a feature story about my paintings and me. The interview process was handled completely through e-mail, and large, high-resolution files had to be sent through a Chinese government agency for inspection before going to the publisher. After about two months, I received this magnificently printed magazine featuring a seven-page interview and 14 of my paintings, and all of the text was printed in Mandarin Chinese.

History with Painter
How long have you used Painter?
Since 1991

Why did you choose Painter?
It was the only choice. Nothing else works like Painter!

Do you have any interesting/funny/noteworthy stories?
Back in 1991, before I owned a graphics tablet, I painted with a wired mouse, and even then as I painted—with what felt like a brick—I could see the power behind Painter's natural media tools. I created about six very successful paintings that way, before buying my first tablet.

What are your top 5 favorite Painter features:
Color variability
Library of available paper palettes
Tracing Layer
Ability to create custom brushes
Endless combination of standard brushes and variants

What are the Painter features that allow you to distinguish your art?
Use of HSV color sliders to create interest and add variations to each brushstroke in an Impressionist manner; Graining Variant brushes used in conjunction with paper textures; and mixing of digital media—oil, pastels and watercolor in the same painting.

Is it possible to get the same results with other digital painting software?
I haven't found anything that even comes close to the package of powerful tools in Painter.

How do you feel about Painter?
There is nothing else like it! Painter opened up avenues of creative exploration for me that I would have never discovered. In my opinion, there wouldn't be digital painting without Corel Painter. I've been using Painter since 1991 and I still haven't explored all its available features. Every time a new version is released, I'm like a kid in a toy store; I know I'm going to need days to just play!


I adjust the "HSV" Color sliders on the Color Palette when sketching in the composition or blocking in larger areas of color. This technique also works well throughout the entire painting process, by making areas of the canvas appear more active. I vary the amount of "HSV," much in the same way the impressionist would pick up multiple colors and variations of tones in a single brushstroke.

I like to combine this technique with the use of mixed digital media. I'll use a grainy rough pastel over a canvas texture, then use a grainy distortion brush to pull another color through it, and then blend some areas out further with a grainy water brush. I can soften areas and then go back easily and define harder edges. This push and pull of color and paint on the digital canvas is what I enjoy the most.

These techniques allow me to work in a fashion that feels very natural to me and helps me achieve the painterly look I'm after.

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