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All of the artists we know paint the old-fashioned way: with a brush. But we're fairly awed by what you can do with a mouse or a tablet.

The new Corel Painter 2019 is out, and it's worth taking a look at what artists are doing with it. Some of these people start with a photo and produce the kind of work sold at art festivals. After some digging, we found them at Instagram.com/CorelPainter.

We were curious about trying it ourselves. So we installed the free trial version from painterartist.com, and clicked on "Discovery Center" inside the program. This was Joy's job, and she encountered some difficulty right away. Tutorials have to be approved by a long line of corporate types who feel they have to make some changes or they're not doing their job. All bases must be covered. The trouble with covering all the bases is that long before you've touched them all, you feel like dumping the whole program. In short: Too much information. Much too much information.

Hacking her way through the underbrush of Corel tutorials, Joy was intrigued to see one titled "Painting like Bob Ross." Though now deceased, Ross still appears on public television in reruns, and they're still popular. This software will not paint a Bob Ross painting for you, but it explains his methods. Go to Learn.corel.com/tutorials/paint-your-very-own-mystic-mountain.

The biggest change in the latest version of Painter is its look and speed. Everything loads much faster, and the background is dark so as not to intrude on your art. It has added more brushes, like Real Watercolor, Real Wet Oil, and Sargent. If your Windows computer has a touch screen, you can use your fingers to reset a picture, zoom in or out of the scene, or pan around.

The program isn't cheap at $429, but there is an "education edition" for only $99. Many companies have these education version deals, and usually you just have to give a student or faculty identification; sometimes you don't have to show anything. If you want to try other digital art programs for free, and have already finished the Corel Painter free-trial period, try MyPaint, GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program), and Krita, all available as a free download.

YOUR VIDEO ON AMAZON PRIME

If you've always wanted to be a movie producer, here's your chance. A company called 3 Roads Communication will make your production available on Amazon Prime. And it's free.

We looked at several homemade videos that ended up as choices for Amazon Prime users. One was strictly for train buffs, but there are plenty of those. Another covered Civil War battle re-enactments. A third called "Dinner for Hire with Chef Bernard," takes you into a house party to see how a professional chef prepares party food. Another, "Heart Child" is about teaching autistic children to ride a skateboard.

To get your video on Amazon, go to 3Roads.com and click "Services." Then click on "Amazon Prime distribution," which is on the left side of the screen. You can even make money based on the number of minutes your video is viewed, but 3Roads gets 30 percent.

FACEBOOK TIP

Joy's friend Margie sometimes complains about all the notifications she gets from a woman's club Facebook page. But she doesn't have to put up with that, and neither do you.

If one of the Facebook groups you belong to is annoying, click "Groups," (on the left side of the Facebook page on your computer), then click the tiny picture of a gear and "edit notifications." You can turn them all off, be notified when your friends post, or get the highlights. Or click "leave group."

APP HAPPY

The Trading Game is a free app for Android and iPhones. It starts off teaching you about "Forex" or foreign exchange trading. If you answer three questions correctly, you get $750 in play money to trade virtually. But the game won't let you spend it, even virtually, until you've taken more quizzes or read more about trading on their site. Maybe you're the next George Soros.

THE NUMBERS REPORT

Fake news has changed the way people interact with Facebook. According to a Reuters report, more and more users no longer trust it for news of the world.

Worldwide, over half of participants in a research study said they were concerned about fake news. The highest concern is in Brazil, Spain and the United States. In Brazil, 85 percent of people are concerned; in Spain, 69 percent; and in the United States, 64 percent. Its lowest percentages are in Germany (37 percent) and the Netherlands (30 percent), where recent elections were largely untroubled by concerns over fake content.

Bob and Joy Schwabach can be reached by email at bobschwab@gmail.com and joydee@oncomp.com.

Business on 08/04/2018

Print Headline: Painting programs turn time with computer into an art

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