Why doesn't the brush or pen work in Corel Painter X3?

Troubleshooting the Intuos tablet pen in Corel Painter X3

Scribbles with different brush tools

To continue the saga of converting images from ink drawings to digital (see also my previous posts), I have converted several more drawings and learned more lessons along the way which I hope may help others.

Firstly, I still had trouble with one of the drawings when I tried to add colour with chalk - nothing was happening! In my post From ink drawing to digital with Painter X3, I mention several blogs that have helped me troubleshoot problems.

In this case, I had so much going on with the drawing that I couldn't figure out what the problem was - I'd already created many layers, selections, and channels, and used several different brush/chalk types and paper types. This is due to my impatience, wanting to get on with the drawings rather than work through tutorials until I learn how to use Painter and the tablet properly.

Eventually I gave in, opened a new file and chose plain paper and the chalk tool. I discovered that by using a larger chalk diameter, and varying the pressure of the tablet pen, I could indeed make a mark. If the tool is too small or the pressure too light, you may not make a mark. Also, for some tools (for example the Grainy Hard Chalk) the colour builds up slowly and at first it seems as if nothing is happening.

I coloured the next two drawings using the gouache paintbrush tool, which is more user-friendly.