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  Corel® Painter™ IX Brushes Guide

Brushes are the heart and soul of Corel Painter IX—and they are one of the key elements that distinguish Corel Painter from other digital painter and illustration software.

Corel Painter brushes consist of a wide range of preset painting and drawing tools called brush variants. Brush variants are organized into categories, such as Airbrushes, Artists' Oils, Calligraphy, Pencils and Watercolor. They are designed with real media in mind, so you can select a tool with an expectation of how it will behave. For example, you'll find a 2B Pencil brush variant in the Pencils category and a Fine Camel brush variant in the Watercolor category. The Brush Selector bar lets you choose a category and brush variant quickly and easily.

You can use the Corel Painter brush variants as they are or you can adjust them to suit individual purposes. Many artists use Corel Painter brush variants with only minor adjustments to size, opacity, or grain (how much color penetrates paper texture). You can make extensive on-the-fly modifications to a brush by dragging sliders in the Brush Controls. It's also possible to create entirely new brushes, or new variants of existing brushes, using the Brush Creator. Brushes, including libraries from previous versions of Painter, can be saved and loaded as desired.

Take a look at the brush categories, as well as highlights of some brush variants, you'll find in Corel Painter IX.


All Acrylic brush variants cover underlying brush strokes. Many are capable of multicolored strokes, and others interact with underlying pixels to create realistic effects.
Captured Bristle
Thick Acrylic Flat
Wet Acrylic


Airbrushes apply fine sprays of color. Computed airbrushes carefully mirror the feel of a real airbrush in action. The Wacom® airbrush stylus is fully compatible with the airbrush variants.
Coarse Spray
Fine Spray
Digital Airbrush

Artists' Oils

Brush variants from the Artists' Oils category let you mix paints as though you were working with traditional oil paints. You can use colors mixed on the Mixer palette and apply them directly to the canvas. The colors can then be blended with the oils already on the canvas. Multiple colors from the Mixer palette can be loaded on an Artists' Oils brush variant at the same time. Each stroke created with an Artists' Oils brush variant loads the brush with a finite amount of oil, which is then transferred to the image. As you apply a stroke to the canvas, the Artists' Oils brush loses oil, and the brush stroke becomes fainter. Because layers don't have the oily properties of the canvas, brush strokes applied to a layer don't fade as rapidly. Some Artists' Oils brush variants are palette knives, which allow you to mix paint directly on the canvas.
Bristle Brush
Soft Grainy Brush
Thick Wet Impasto


Artists brush variants help you paint in the styles of master artists. For example, you can paint in the style of Vincent Van Gogh, where brush strokes are multishaded, or in the style of Georges Seurat, where multiple dots combine to form an image. When you use any of the Artists brush variants, dragging quickly produces wider strokes. You can use the Color Variability settings to adjust how the Artists brush strokes are colored.
Sargent Brush


Blenders affect underlying pixels by moving and mixing them. The variants can reproduce the effects of blending paint by applying water or oil. You can also smooth drawing lines and create shading just as you would on a pencil sketch or charcoal drawing.
Just Add Water


Whether you want to reproduce the look of calligraphy pen strokes on a grainy texture or the smooth strokes of a calligraphy brush, the Calligraphy brush variants offer you a range of creative options.
Calligraphy Brush
Dry Ink


Chalk brush variants produce the thick, rich texture of natural chalk sticks and cover with strokes that interact with the paper grain. Their opacity is linked to stylus pressure.
Blunt Chalk
Square Chalk
Variable Chalk


Charcoal brush variants range from pencils to hard or soft charcoal sticks. As with other dry media brush variants, their opacity is linked to stylus pressure. You can use Blender brush variants to soften and blend the charcoal strokes. For a smooth workflow, keep your favorite Charcoal and Blender brush variants together in a custom palette.
Hard Charcoal Pencil
Soft Vine Charcoal


Cloner brush variants behave like other brush variants, except that they take color from a clone source. These variants re-create the source imagery while effectively filtering it, reproducing the image in an artistic style, such as pastel chalk or watercolor.
Original photo used as the Clone Source
Camel Oil Cloner
Chalk Cloner
Furry Cloner
Impressionist Cloner
Soft Cloner

Colored Pencils

Colored Pencils interact with the canvas texture and, unlike other dry media brush variants, apply strokes with even opacity, regardless of pressure; however, these brush variants do react to speed. For example, dragging quickly produces a thinner line; dragging slowly produces a thicker line. As with all pencil-style brush variants, Colored Pencil brush variants build to black as you draw over the same area of the image.
Colored Pencil
Hard Colored Pencil
Oily Colored Pencil


Similar to Chalk, Conté brush variants produce textured strokes that interact with the paper grain. As with other dry media brush variants, their opacity is linked to stylus pressure.
Dull Conté
Square Conté
Tapered Conté


Crayons offer a range of styles. From soft and dull to waxy and grainy, they produce textured strokes that interact with the paper grain. As with other dry media brush variants, opacity is linked to stylus pressure.
Basic Crayon
Grainy Hard Crayon
Waxy Crayon

Digital Watercolor

Digital Watercolor brush variants produce watercolor effects that react with the canvas texture. Unlike Watercolor brush variants, which work with the Watercolor Layer, Digital Watercolor strokes can be applied directly to any layer, including the canvas. For example, if you're applying watercolor effects to a photo image, Digital Watercolor brush strokes can be applied directly to the image. If you're creating a watercolor image from scratch, the Watercolor brush variants allow colors to flow, mix and absorb more realistically.

Digital Watercolor brush strokes affect each other as you apply one brush stroke on another, and they react dynamically to the Wet Fringe setting. When you achieve the results you want, you can keep the brush strokes from changing by "drying" the image. The width of Digital Watercolor brush strokes is affected by stylus pressure, with the exception of the Wet Eraser brush variant.
Broad Water Brush
Diffuse Water
Dry Brush
Gentle Wet Eraser applied to a brush stroke
Simple Water
Salt applied to a brush stroke


Distortion brush variants apply special effects that distort an image. Some variants, such as Grainy Distorto and Grainy Mover, produce blending effects. Other variants, such as Hurricane, Turbulence and Water Bubble, produce more dramatic effects.


There are three types of Eraser brush variants: Eraser, Bleach and Darkener. Eraser brush variants erase down to the paper color. Bleach brush variants erase to white, gradually lightening by removing color. Darkener brush variants are the inverse of Bleach variants; they gradually increase color density, building colors toward black. With all Eraser brush variants, pressure determines how much you erase.
Flat Eraser


F/X brush variants give you wildly creative results. Some add color; others affect underlying pixels. The best way to appreciate F/X brush variants is to experiment with them on an image and a blank canvas.
Fairy Dust
The Fire brush works with underlying colors

Felt Pens

Felt Pen variants let you create marker-style drawings. The brush variants range from fine point to blunt, and they have a variety of nib shapes and opacity levels. Felt Pen brush variants build to black as you draw over the same area of the image.
Art Marker
Dirty Marker
Felt Marker


Gouache brush variants let you paint with the fluidity of watercolors and the opacity of acrylics. These variants range from fine, detail brushes to flat or thick brushes. Brush strokes created with Gouache brush variants cover underlying brush strokes.
Detail Opaque
Thick Gouache Flat
Wet Gouache Round

Image Hose

The Image Hose is a special brush that applies images instead of color. The images it "paints" with come from special image files called nozzles. Each nozzle file contains multiple images that are organized by characteristics such as size, color and angle. Each characteristic (parameter) can be linked to a stylus attribute (animator), such as Velocity, Pressure and Direction.
Linear-Angle-B (Bearing)
Linear-Size-P (Pressure)
Spray-Size-P (Pressure) controls size and spread


Impasto brush variants let you re-create the classic technique of applying thick paint on a canvas to provide depth to your image. The depth information for the brush stroke is stored on the Impasto Layer. Some variants apply depth effects to underlying pixels, such as Acid Etch, Clear Varnish, Depth Rake and Texturizer Clear. Other variants apply 3D brush strokes with the current paint color.
Opaque Flat
Smeary Round
Loaded Palette Knife

Liquid Ink

Liquid Ink brush variants combine ink and paint to create a thick, liquid paint effect. There are three main types of Liquid Ink brush variants: ones that apply ink, ones that remove ink to create a resist effect, and ones that soften edges. Like Watercolor brush variants, a new layer is created automatically when you first apply a brush stroke. You can also create 3D effects by double-clicking a Liquid Ink layer and adjusting the Threshold and Amount sliders.
Clumpy Ink
Coarse Bristle
Graphic Bristle
Smooth Flat
Sparse Camel
Tapered Thick Bristle

Oil Pastels

Oil Pastel brush variants produce the thick, rich texture of natural pastel sticks. Most Oil Pastel brush variants cover existing brush strokes with the current paint color; however, the Variable Oil Pastel brush variants blend the underlying color into the brush stroke. As with other dry media brush variants, opacity is linked to stylus pressure.
Oil Pastel
Chunky Oil Pastel
Variable Oil Pastel


Oil brush variants let you create effects you'd expect from oil paints. Some variants are semitransparent and can be used to produce a glazed effect. Other variants are opaque and cover underlying brush strokes. For realistic interaction with the Mixer palette, and to apply multiple colors in a single brush stroke, try using Artists' Oils brush variants.
Fine Camel
Opaque Flat
Smeary Round

Palette Knives

You can use Palette Knife brush variants to scrape, push or pick up and drag colors in your image. Only one Palette Knife brush variant, the Loaded Palette Knife, applies the current paint color. Palette Knife dabs are always parallel to the shaft of the stylus.
Loaded Palette Knife
Palette Knife applied to a brush stroke
Smeary Palette Knife


Pastels range from hard pastel styles that reveal the paper grain to extra-soft pastels that glide on to completely cover existing brush strokes. Their opacity is linked to stylus pressure.
Artist Pastel Chalk
Soft Pastel
Square Soft Pastel

Pattern Pens

Pattern Pen brush variants let you use a brush to apply a pattern to an image. You can vary features such as the size of the pattern and the transparency. For example, Pattern Pen Micro decreases the size of the pattern, and Pattern Pen Transparent applies a semitransparent version of the pattern.
Pattern Pen
Pattern Pen Masked
Pattern Pen Marker is based on the current color


Pencil brush variants are great for any artwork that would traditionally require pencils, from rough sketches to fine line drawings. Like their natural counterparts, Pencil brush variants interact with canvas texture. All of the variants build to black and link opacity to stylus pressure. The width of Pencil strokes varies according to the speed of the stroke, so dragging quickly produces a thinner line and dragging slowly leaves a thicker line.
2B Pencil
Cover Pencil
Greasy Pencil


Pen brush variants, like the Scratchboard Rake and Bamboo Pen, create realistic effects without the drawbacks of natural media pens, which can clog, spatter or run dry.
Croquil Pen
Scratchboard Tool
Thick and Thin Pen


Photo brush variants let you modify digital images or existing artwork. For example, you can clean up photos by adjusting color or removing scratches, add a blur effect or sharpen an image.


Sponges let you create a variety of textures by applying the current paint color to cover or blend existing colors. Some Sponge brush variants apply dabs of paint at random angles with each click of a stylus. Wet sponge brush variants, such as Grainy Wet Sponge, apply sponge dabs as you drag across the canvas. Smeary Wet Sponge variants let you blend the current paint color with existing colors as you drag across the canvas.
Dense Sponge
Grainy Wet Sponge
Smeary Wet Sponge


Sumi-e brush variants let you create flowing Sumi-e–style brush strokes. Choose from a variety of brush sizes and shapes to re-create traditional Sumi-e brush strokes.
Coarse Bristle Sumi-e
Detail Sumi-e
Sumi-e Brush


Tinting brush variants let you apply effects to photos or existing artwork. For example, you can apply translucent color to areas of a black-and-white photo using the Basic Round brush variant. By applying each color to a separate Gel or Colorize layer, you can adjust the opacity of each color layer independently for a more subtle or dramatic effect.
Basic Round
Soft Grainy Round


Watercolor brush variants paint onto a watercolor layer, which enables the colors to flow, mix and absorb into the paper. The watercolor layer is created automatically when you first apply a brush stroke with a Watercolor brush variant. The layer lets you control the wetness and evaporation rate of the paper to effectively simulate the natural media. All Watercolor brush variants, except Wet Eraser, interact with the canvas texture. You can use Watercolor brush variants to apply a watercolor effect to a photo by lifting the canvas to the watercolor layer. To paint directly on the canvas, use a Digital Watercolor brush variant.
Diffuse Flat
Splatter Water
Wet Camel