Emergence painting demo on Paintboxtv this November 19th

Portland Fish Market

San Francisco-based artist Jeremy Sutton and long-time Painter instructor has been using Emergence lately (see the above image). Jeremy has asked if I’d demo the brushes for his PaintboxTV members.

I will be demonstrating my Emergence brushes on Jeremy’s PainterLab, a feature of his Paintboxtv website. PainterLab is an informal monthly virtual Q & A session, open to all current PaintboxTV Premium Members, where you can get help with your technical and artistic questions, feedback and advice on projects, learn more about Painter and pick up useful tips and techniques. You need to be a current member at the time of the PainterLab – it is included in a PaintboxTV Premium Member subscription.

If you are not a Paintbox TV subscriber, don’t worry. I will be creating an instructional video that essentially covers the same content. I’ll be posting it after the November 19th PainterLab demo.

Interesting new creativity series: Artistic Journeys

Writer and artist L.A. James has created Artistic Journeys: Insights from Digital Artists Around the World, a unique series of interviews with a range of digital artists, exploring their backgrounds and what makes them tick. The series will cover an artist a month through August 2020. I am honored to be the subject of this month’s interview. You can read the interview here.

New Artwork Using Emergence

West Bottoms, kansas city

Ever since releasing Emergence, I’ve been working on how to best employ it in my own art. Emergence brushes are designed to create a complex texture within each stroke. As a result, this complexity needs to be contrasted against simple shapes and line-work.

I have a long history of taking photographs of architectural elements utilizing a flat orthogonal point of view. Using such a photo as a starting point, I have been able to break the composition down into its simplified parts and fill the separate areas with Emergence brushwork. The idea is to create a balance between the source photo and its painted representation.

Original Photo

An interesting byproduct of this balance is an internal compositional flexibility making it easy to crop the image into further related compositions similar to a fractal.

West Bottoms Detail

west bottoms detail

I’m going to be printing the full image at a scale that enables the textural complexity to compete with the simplified shapes and lines.

Emergence 1.1 for Corel Painter Released


After a couple of hiccups, Emergence 1.1 for Corel Painter is now live. Current users have been sent an update email with download instructions. If you are a current user do not receive an update email, email me and I’ll get it to you. Emergence 2020 is also now available for sale here.

This update includes a Workspace file for Painter 2020. It additionally includes a manual installation option that can be installed in Painter versions 2017-2020. This enables the ability to create and save Look files that binds both an Emergence brush and desired Paper grain into a single custom button for easy retrieval.

The manual installation option can be installed into any existing Painter workspace. Many users have asked for this capability so that Emergence can be installed into a user’s preferred workspace.

If you have Painter versions 2017 thru 2019, you must use the manual installation to replace the previous workspace file. Choose a preferred workspace and install Emergence 1.1 there. I will not be updating the 2017-19 Emergence workspaces; the manual installation is now the standard installation for older versions of Painter. I am doing this to reduce the updating process. It is simply too time-consuming to create multiple different workspace files for all versions of Painter.

There are new installation and Look management videos that demonstrate how to create your own library of Emergence brushes. Please take the time to watch and refer to these videos for customizing your installation of Emergence.

Emergence Update for Painter 20/20 Due Out this Friday


I’m pleased to announce that a Painter 20/20-compatible update for Emergence will be coming out this Friday, July 12. This update will feature the ability to install Emergence into any existing Painter Workspace, which has been the #1 user request.

Existing Emergence users will receive an email (using the email used for your purchase) with a download link for the update package. An Emergence 20/20 workspace will be included as an alternative method of installation, as well.

New purchases of Emergence will include the 20/20 update as part of the package.

Emergence User: Michael Cetta

High Line • Artist: Michael Cetta

Upon retirement, Brooklyn born & raised artist Mike Cetta immersed himself in photography, focusing on people and street scenes. Fast forward a few years when Mike encountered digital artist Tim Shelbourne and his school, The Artists’ Quarter. Mike says:

I knew immediately that this is what I was looking for: a way to paint using my photos as the reference images…I paint in a style that is true to how I experience the world around me.

Mike’s paintings exhibit a refined style that he has developed over the years. It’s an over-simplification to describe these works as cloned photos. Cloning techniques may act as a catalyst in Mike’s overall style, but it is merely a tool towards realizing a vision in the mind’s eye. Looking at Mike’s portfolio at his website, the last thing you’ll think of is cloning.

Mike has a particularly convincing way of relinquishing the photograph’s natural proclivity for fine detail and replacing it with simplified compositional blocks filled with painterly texture. Detail is minimized, with each stroke defining no more and no less required in support of the imagery.

Beyond the formal elements, Mike’s paintings provide an entree into real places populated by real people. The viewer can easily get caught up in the variously depicted human interactions and emotions. What Mike has accomplished is a pleasing balance between technique and subject.

Mike recently added Emergence to his painting toolbox. He finds Emergence’s textural brushstrokes fit right into to his stylistic workflow:

I used your brush at full size and with added paint no cloning....wonderful to use and it works just as well in cloning mode as it does with adding paint. I will definitely be integrating these into my workflow....you’re definitely on to something here and these feel like the most natural brushes I’ve ever used.

In the closeup detail below, you can see how Mike has utilized the random brushstrokes to apply an overall gesso’d surface to the brushwork. Additionally, by removing the curved horizontal lines normally created by lens distortion, Michael is further acknowledging the surface plane of the painting. The result is an interplay between the three-dimensionality of the subject and the flat surface of the digital canvas.

High Line Detail

Looking to add some new spice to your digital paintings? You may be interested in Emergence, available here. If you are already using Emergence, send me a JPEG and a short description of your work and I’ll feature it here on the pixlblog.