L.A. James shares how to fix your Wacom Cintiq 24 Pro for Corel Painter.

Setting Up Your Wacom Cintiq

posted in: Tutorials | 4

Getting your Cintiq to work with Painter causes a lot of problems for people. It caused me problems until I figured out what to do. To help save you time here is what you need to know to fix the most common problems.


I am working on the new Cintiq 24 Pro. I am working in 4 K resolution. Things might work differently for you with another Cintiq, but I’m sure it will be similar for all the new Wacom Cintiq models.


Problem 1—You get erratic lines that pop out when you try to make a brush stroke.

This isn’t a Cintiq issue. I’ve encountered this with my tablet. You can fix this problem by changing Wacom drivers. If you are on a new driver, go back in drivers until the problem disappears.

Problem 2 – Painter panels disappear, and you can’t find them. Painter says they are there, but you don’t see them anywhere.

I’m going to tackle this with the other items.

Problem 3 – Icons are small, and you can’t see them.

I’m going to tackle this with the other items.

Problem 4 – You try to paint, and you get no marks. This is all about your pen pressure.

I’m going to tackle this with the other items.

To fix problems 2-4, and probably a lot of other headaches you are about to encounter, follow these steps.

Do NOT load a workspace into Painter.

You must build your workspace from scratch for the Cintiq. If you have set up your buttons or radial dial, you must rebuild it. Don’t worry; I am going to save you a lot of time, just keep reading.

First, email me by using my contact form. Go here http://www.jameswritinganddesign.com/contact.html


I will give you the Wacom driver I have so that we can eliminate some issues right off the bat.

Second, make sure Painter is turned off, and turn your Cintiq on. If you don’t know how to set up your Cintiq look at this post


Decide if you want 4K resolution. Since you bought your Cintiq, I would set it up for the 4K resolution. The images look crisp, bright, and really really good on the Cintiq. To set up for 4K do this:

Go into your windows settings by right-clicking on your main desktop screen and scroll down to the Display settings option.  (See Picture)

I don’t have my Cintiq turned on, so you see my resolution as 1920x 1200.


On the display tab scroll down to resolution and change the “Scale and Layout” to “100%.”

Right under that, you will see (if the Cintiq is on) 3840 x 2160, which is the 4 K resolution.

It is IMPERATIVE you put the scale and layout to 100%. If you do not do this, you will have a lot of problems. The Painter interface is unable to have panels move between a 4K resolution and your other screens. If you keep it at 100%, you will not have issues. The drawback to the 100% layout is your icons are very small, which could make it harder if you are new to Painter.

I’m an advanced user, and I actually like it small. I like that I have more space for the paper. If you don’t like the small scale, you can change to 150%, but you need to take the display setting for your Cintiq to your other monitor resolution. This means you lose the 4K resolution. It’s not a deal breaker, but you must decide.

I’m going to progress with the instructions with the knowledge that you changed to the 4K resolution.

Now make sure your Cintiq is on and turn Painter on.

Painter is going to default and open on your main screen. Make sure you set your Painter interface to a default workspace and not a custom workspace.

Drag the interface down onto the Cintiq.

Use your mouse to do this, and make sure you don’t let go of the key as you drag. If you do let go, panels and ribbons will disappear into space, and you will have to start over.

Start with the interface, then drag down the navigation buttons and the ribbons. Put things like you want on the Cintiq.

If at any point you lose a panel, don’t bother trying to find it. Painter will tell you it is up, but you won’t be able to find it.

Start over.

To start over you must go back to workspaces, and tell Painter to reset to the default workspace, which will put everything back. Then close Painter down. Reopen Painter to make sure it is back to default, and the panels you lost are now showing.

It’s annoying.

Go slow, and you won’t lose panels. Don’t drag too fast from one screen to the Cintiq, or you will lose a panel or ribbon.

Remember, never put panels half on the Cintiq and half on your other screen. You are asking for problems then. Place all panels, and all ribbons, on the Cintiq. I have my navigation panel on one of my other screens a lot of the time, and I have no issues, but I keep my buttons and all panels on the Cintiq.

Once you organize your interface on your Cintiq, and you have put your panels and ribbons where you want them, go back up to the workspace option and save this as a new workspace. Call it “4K” or something similar.

Now, I can’t stress this point enough. You must always ALWAYS turn on your Cintiq before you turn on Painter, or it messes up horribly, and you will then have to fix it.

If this happens to you, you are better off turning Painter off and restarting it. This should fix it, but no guarantees. You might have to redrag everything back to its proper spot.

Now you are at the checking things out stage.

Close Painter, and then start Painter. Did it all go straight to the Cintiq? It should have. If not, go back and rebuild it all, and then save it as a 4K workspace again.

If we get this far, we can continue.

The next steps will be to fix pen pressure.

I am going to assume you didn’t change any default settings on your Cintiq. If you did, then you must go back and put it at default.

Do you know what Global Brush tracking is?

If not go to your help file within the Painter interface to read about it.

In a nutshell, Global tracking resides over Painter to help it determine your pen pressure compared to others. When you buy or get brushes, the people that made those brushes might be very heavy-handed. They might push hard on their stylus, and you might be light handed and press lightly. This means you are never going to see a mark on your Cintiq.

To change the Global Brush tracking and to understand it, is kind of involved. You need to get yourself out a pencil, pen, or any brush that allows a difference in pen pressure. You might need to try out a couple of brushes for this step.

You then must make a mark within the dialogue box.  Painter will analysis your mark and recalibrate the settings to make it work for you. The Global Brush setting within your preferences is different than the Brush calibration panel, but it looks the same. Global brush tracking resides over the whole Painter interface, and brush calibration is for each individual brush.

So, make a mark on the screen and see what you get.

Use your typical pen pressure.

With your Cintiq screen, you don’t want to push heavy because you will eventually mess it up. To have that close parallax the sensors are very close to the glass, and I’ve heard pushing hard can really muddle it up. I naturally have a light touch. If you are heavy handed start training yourself to be lighter with your strokes. Not only will it keep your Cintiq in good shape, but it will help you later on.  People who are heavy-handed start getting pains within their hands.

Now get out the brush calibration panel (it’s under the windows tab—brush Control—Brush Calibration).

On the bottom corner of the brush calibration mini panel is a flyout menu. Click that, and do a typical light scribble you would normally do. Then go back to your paper and try the same mark again.

You should notice a difference.

I always thought that if I had my Global Brush tracking set, I would be good to go. However, I have brushes that didn’t behave like the creator of the brush demonstrated. I now calibrate each brush to get the marks that the creators get, so I recommend you keep your calibrate brush panel always open on your interface.

Remember your art pen and new Cintiq pen will behave differently, you must set your Global Brush tracking for each pen, and you want to get in the habit of using the Brush Calibration panel when a brush isn’t making the mark you want.

Do you see a change in the brushes? If you don’t, keep playing with your settings.

You also have to realize some brushes don’t have a lot of change, so that’s why it’s important to try a couple of brushes out. You won’t notice a big change if you are using a blending brush.

If you use your art pen (if you have one), you are going to notice that you don’t get as much as the new pen. It’s unbelievable how different it is. If you are going to draw, use your new pen. If you are painting and need rotation, use the art pen.

Now we are at the last stage.

I learned to set up the radial buttons on my Cintiq from Skip Allen. If you want to learn all the ways, you can set up your buttons and radial dial, I recommend his newest class, which you can find at www.digitalartacademy.com

If you would like to save yourself time and have your Cintiq set up in a similar pattern, you can contact me at the above link I gave you. I will send you what you need to set up your buttons and dial like Skip’s, which will save you at least a full day of work.

I have an HTML file that will show you the keyboard shortcuts used, so if you want to reprogram something or change something you can just look at what was already used. I also have a Painter shortcut preference file for you to load into Painter. Skip gave me his, and I just added to it. I also have my Wacom preferences, which will map all the shortcuts in Painter to the buttons I assigned it to. Plus, I have my radial menu built pretty much like Skip’s, which means you don’t have to go up to the main menu all the time. It’s a great time saver.

I thoroughly enjoy my Cintiq. I use it daily, and I paint and draw for a couple of hours on the weekend. I wish I would have bit the bullet and bought one much sooner. I was hesitant because of all the negative issues people were addressing with Painter and Photoshop. It was too expensive not to work, and I was afraid it would sit in the corner and collect dust. Don’t listen to negative feedback. People just are not setting it up correctly.

If you found this post helpful, and you want to show your appreciation, you can buy one of my books 😊
Yep, that would make me happy, and you even get something out of it, which you can pass on to another if you like.


You can find my books here: http://jameswritinganddesign.com/books.html

4 Responses

  1. Kathryn

    Thank you for taking so much time in helping me set up my Cintiq. I can’t thank you enough.

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