I'm new to Painter and not an actual painter in any form. I've seen some of Sargeant's paintings, with the marvelous brush strokes,and I love the Painter Sargeant brush. But I was wondering if anyone could explain why the Sargeant brush only works on the Canvas layer?
Sargent brush is built using one of painter's legacy brush methods, either drip or liquid. those two were created years before corel's acquisition of painter, and by design, they can not add paint onto empty layers, as was already mentioned before - they can push it around on the edges and work as expected if it's already added in. by some reason, wherever it's technical incompetence, or just general lack of interest in developing non-gimnick features, corel have never revised and improved any of those two over past decade and half of owning the brand. that being said, you can modify the sargent brush (go to brush settings under window -> brush settings -> general), and change its method to cover -> soft cover, for example; this will affect this brush types' signature fluid blending quality (cover brushes are more opaque, while liquid/drip ones feel like highly thinned out paint, or gel medium with a little bit of pigment, painting wet-on-wet, depending on your brush tweaks and personal painting preference.) alternatively, you can paint something with an oil pastel, or an artists oil brush, and glaze it over with the default, untouched sargent; the third option will be copying and pasting visible layer contents (edit -> copy visible -> paste) and painting on the pasted layer, progressively duplicating it in case you like having something to roll back to later.
In case nobody noticed -- in the newly released Painter 2018 the Sargent brush (along with any other Liquid/Drip-based brushes) will now work on blank layers, as well as blend to transparency on any layer.