Here's a breakdown of what is new and what is fixed in the newest 4.1.5 update:
Features and Changes:
- Save .fpa projects in Demo version
- Open .fpa projects from Demo version in the full version
Yes, you hear well! From now on, it is possible to save the .fpa projects from the Demo version. If you decide to purchase a full Flame Painter 4 license, you will be able to open these .fpa files in it and will not lose your Demo artworks.
- Fixed crash when a JPG file smaller than the default canvas was opened via the 'File' menu (originally reported via this forum post);
- Fixed crash when a new file was created after the unconfirmed image import;
- Fixed image outline when a semi-transparent image was imported (originally reported via this forum post);
- Fixed: Switching between Transform and Canvas Size tools works correctly - sometimes when switched from Transform to Canvas size tool and vice versa, they got stuck and it was not possible to cancel either one of them;
- Fixed: Edit box in Canvas Size tool can be edited correctly now;
- Fixed: Text of the memory limits in Preferences are displayed correctly now;
- Fixed: Read-Only files now cannot be overwritten (originally reported via this forum post, the issue is common for both Flame Painter and Rebelle and will be also fixed to Rebelle's next update).
You can download the Flame Painter 4.1.5 update the following ways:
- from your Community account (go to 'My profile' > 'Purchases' tab),
- from Flame Painter’s Download page, or
- directly from the Flame Painter 4 menu: 'Help' > 'Update to 4.1.5'.
Definitely let us know how you like working with the update via Flame Painter’s menu: 'Help' > 'Send Feeback'.
Your Escape Motions Team
Cover image by Louis Dyer | www.louisdyer.com
One hundred years ago, the world was facing a new reality. It was two years after the First World War and Dadaism boldly provoked the art scene with its absurd play, criticism of social conventions and denial of traditional art forms. Coincidence, play, absurdity were the main weapons with which the artists wanted to inflict a blow on a society torn by its own contradictions. On the one hand, the tumultuous socio-political development, on the other hand, the peaceful life and stale air of traditional galleries and cultural institutions.
At that time, Max Ernst appeared on the art scene as a self-taught artist from Germany, who, like many other young artists, enlisted in the First World War. This deeply traumatizing environment made him feel that modern times were losing ground and were full of absurdity. The feeling emerged from the subconscious, which supplied him with several difficult-to-define images. His interest in subconscious processes corresponded to Freud's research of conscious and unconscious mind, as the source of many of our actions.
Max Ernst - The Fugitive
After 1924, Dadaism gradually grew into the surrealist movement with its automatically created drawing without conscious correction. The drawings are full of shapes flowing from the subconsciousness and gradually revealing hints of specific shapes, erotic motifs, and natural forces. Max Ernst, as an artistically untrained but talented and sensitive young man, becomes a pioneer of various forms of Dadaism and Surrealism.
One day in 1925, his subconsciousness forced him to put the paper on the floor of his room and capture by friction the structure of beautiful, washed-out wood. The discovery of frottage has become a technique with great potential. Max is no longer limited by the lack of drawing training. The sources for expressing his subconscious are everywhere around him. Anything that has even a slightly bumpy surface can be transferred to the paper by rubbing with a pencil and thus directly touching the subconscious through the material. By capturing and composing various plant and industrial surfaces, compositions of non-existent animals, countries, or even whole worlds can be created.
Max Ernst - Little Tables around the Earth
But Max doesn't want to make this world clear. He again immersed in the metaphorical language in the artwork titles to bring other hints, other layers of meaning into the work. He connects his techniques with the world of literature, where he uses old textbooks and engravings as a source of surreal collages that arch back to our subconscious.
Max Ernst - She Keeps Her Secret
It has been a hundred years since these special times. Today, frottage is known in every school. It belongs to the basic equipment of both art buddies and professionals. From Ernst's legacy, less tragic, erotic, and more play, humor and formal beauty remained in it.
After a hundred years, we are experiencing new traumas, new problems. A stream of subconsciousness emerges again through reflections on a pandemic, climate problems, and new challenges for the society. We have new possibilities for capturing the flow of our subconscious. We have digital graphics tools. Many of them are as if behind the glass, they do not allow direct contact with the material. However, there are exceptions – Rebelle is one of them. It is different in the sense that its instruments encourage our memory to remember the beauty of real materials. It wants you to enjoy the pleasure of direct contact with the material in the digital world.
Ľubomír Zabadal - Plačúci / Crying (digital painting made in Rebelle 3)
Unlike traditional frottage, where only surfaces with a distinctive structure can be captured by the pressure of a pencil, Rebelle allows us to use any object around, thus opens up new possibilities for us. All you have to do is to look around your surroundings, take a picture of an interesting object or texture, and place them into Rebelle like a new paper. Using the pencil or pastel tool and a gentle touch of the graphic pen, you can examine how the material is appearing on the surface. Something unexpected can be created by inserting more and more textures and combining them in original ways.
Ľubomír Zabadal - Dirigent / Conductor (digital painting made in Rebelle 3)
It's an adventure similar to when Max Ernst saw and captured a painting on the wooden floor of his apartment almost a hundred years ago!
Ľubomír Zabadal - Cesta / Route (digital painting made in Rebelle 3)
Author of the text and digital frottage images is Mgr. Ľubomír ZABADAL, PhD. - an expert for traditional art media and assistant professor at Department Of Creative Arts and Art Education at UKF University, Slovakia.
Today, let us present to you Simon Lovell - an artist whose delicate watercolor style immediately won our hearts. This experienced Rebelle Featured Artist was kind enough to share insights on how he approaches his creative projects and talks about the importance of "recharging the batteries".
Simon, you are a skilled and experienced artist active for many fruitful years in the creative industry. Tell us, what are some of the projects you’ve done in the past you are most proud of?
I have had been fortunate enough to work on many projects in the industry over many years. Though the commercial industry is often not as fun, free, and creative as personal work, there have been some great projects. One that stands out to me as enjoyable and I am immensely proud of would be Sea World Australia. I was asked to produce several illustrations of sea-life (whales, dolphins, sea lions, and more) that were then to be designed into T-Shirts and other merchandise. I had free artistic license throughout the whole project, from concept through to application and production. It was a thoroughly enjoyable & rewarding experience.
I also used to work for a company that designed and produced merchandise for the old Warner Bros. Studio stores. Though there are strict ‘licensing’ frameworks one must adhere to when developing licensed Character work, I was able to be very free and creative within those bounds. A series I developed for this group was “Looney Tunes Goes Hollywood” where I illustrated many of the beloved WB characters into classic ‘Hollywood’ situations. Such as Bugs into Boulevard of Broken Dreams, and Daffy into the classic Marylin pose of her skirt blowing up, with Daffy’s feathers doing the same (in classic ‘Looney Tunes’ awkwardness).
That sounds fun! Your watercolor paintings are a combination of great technique, clear focal point and tasteful color balance. What do you believe are the key elements in creating a good painting?
Apart from the two you already mentioned here ‘focal point and color balance’, there are several things. Something that stands out as imperative for me would be ‘emotion’. There must, for me, be a strong emotional connection to what I am painting. Even if it is a ‘contracted’ piece; I must find some point of connecting emotionally to what I am doing – otherwise it is pointless. The work will be boring, tedious, and bland and this will certainly come out in the final product. I have scrapped or started over more pieces than I can possibly count because I have missed some point of contact here.
Many may also want a clear picture of where they intend to end up when developing a piece. I tend to only have a vague idea of this. I think in the creative process one must remain flexible. This works together with the emotion I was referring to. Let your ‘feeling’ for the subject, as well as for the medium, drive your direction in the work. There is often an intense beauty in how your medium reacts, moves, or interacts with the substrate most unexpectedly that can completely change an artwork's direction almost instantly. You must be ‘in the moment’ – the medium is a partner in the process.
I also treat my digital work as though I were developing in traditional mediums. I don’t rely too much on the ability to layer, undo, redo, etc. Treating it as traditional work, and using mistakes as surprises and direction changes really helps with a creative process for me. It forces one to become a better artist. I think we should always pursue that as the main objective.
And always listen to music that moves you as you work!
We love how you capture life and movement in your illustrations. On your website, you mention that you find inspiration in nature’s rhythm. We do agree that observing the perpetual motion of life can be an endless well of inspiration. How often do you recommend to ‘charge the batteries’?
As often as you can! Life, people, animals, insects, wind, rain, thunder, ANYTHING at all is always in motion. A simple breeze or gust of wind, and the way a leaf moves in reaction to it.
Although you’re a trained traditional artist, digital technologies found their way to your creative process. How did you come across our Rebelle software?
I love technology! It is a problem at times, as I could spend so much on the latest and greatest, but my wife keeps me grounded. But I always keep an eye on what is happening and on new developments. With the advent of portability and robustness of operating systems in various tablets, I found that many developers were coming out with great sketching tools, and being able to sketch and doodle anywhere is very appealing to me. I was always wanting someone to develop some software that could actually emulate watercolors to at least a believable level. Many boasted they did, but all fell so far short that it was ridiculous. Though I work primarily digitally at present, I actually really dislike work that looks “digital”. Too ‘perfect’, an obvious ‘fakeness’ to it – kind of contrived.
Then in my searching, I came across Rebelle. I thought it was just going to be another imitation of what was already out there but downloaded it anyway. I didn’t bother reading too much on instructions and just went at it. I was blown away with the watercolor and paper interactions. I must have just played with the drip engine for 3 hours or more. Then I was SOLD! I delved into more of the instructions on the software and became more and more enthralled with the program. There really is no other software that as closely emulates the real world of watercolor.
What is its #1 feature that helps you replicate the traditional media on your digital canvas?
As I mentioned above, replicating traditional media is as much about mindset as it is about the platform one is developing on. Striving to NOT succumb to the eases of undoing, and relying on filters, color adjusting tools, etc. but to treat it as you would a pencil on real paper. Outside of this, Rebelle’s papers, and media interactions with it are paramount to help replicate real-world looks and feels. Especially the drip engine, and blow tools. Also, when blending, the ability for blenders to also interact with the paper – as it would – and not simply smudge smoothly, provides even more levels of believability.
You have a beautiful collection of artworks on your website that are available for sale. Which paintings are your best-sellers?
Yes, a lot of my works are for sale at https://www.simonlovellart.com.
Can you reveal what projects are you working on at the moment? What are you up to?
I am currently working on a few more wildlife works that have been commissioned. Outside of those, I am beginning to do some semi-abstracted landscape type pieces mostly experimental at present.
I did get some new hardware also. I really needed to be able to run Rebelle wherever I was at, and with the same efficiency as I did on my studio computer. Although the price tag is really quite exorbitant, I purchased the Acer ConceptD 9. It is an amazing machine, though “portable” may not fit everyone’s definition, I absolutely love it. And most importantly I can run Rebelle on it as satisfactorily I can on a robust desktop machine!
Thank you for your time, Simon! We enjoyed it immensely.