Pracken's Paint Shop Pro Tutorials

Fantasy Flower II


This is my second flower in a series of Fantasy Flowers I am creating.  I call them fantasy flowers because they're based on abstract ideas of flowers - the way flowers might be if you dreamed them.  I imagine this one would smell like rich spices if it had a real smell.

The inspiration for this flower was a small flower on a piece of fabric, which I thought was quite lovely.  If you would like to see the original flower, I used it in my plaid tutorial. You may find it here.

The tutorial is not difficult, but there are a lot of steps involved, and for that reason, I've rated it as an "advanced" tutorial.  But don't let that scare you off, it's really not hard!  Many of the steps involve the decorating of the flower.  Please use this tutorial as a sample of how that can be done - you can change the finishing touches to suit your tastes and make this your own creation.

For this tutorial, you will need the following:

Paint Shop Pro. I used version 7.04 but if you are familiar with PSP, you should be able to convert the tutorial without problems. You can download the latest PSP version demo here.

My selection files. Place these in your PSP selections folder or any location of your choice.

My flowerplaid fill tile.

You may download all of my materials here.

Note: I use a lot of layers in all of my creations.  Putting things on separate layers helps keep you organized and allows you to go back and change things later.  I also name all of my layers, for easier navigation and organization.  For this tutorial, I've just used numbers to name the layers.  So for each new layer you add, just give it a number, in sequence.  I'll be referring to the number of the layers in the tutorial, so if you don't name them that way, it may be confusing.

I also always save a master psp file of all my layers intact - it allows you to fix mistakes, change colors, resize, move, etc.

Ok, ready?  Then get comfortable and take a deep breath, and let's begin!

Step 1. Open a new image 300 x 450, white background.  Name this first layer "background."

Step 2. Add a new layer, name it "1."  Load selection "1." Flood fill with #877979.  Contract by 1.  Flood fill with #768E6D.

Step 3. Repeat Step 2 above for each of the following selections: 2, 3, and 4. All of your leaves will be done when finished (remember to name your layers).

Step 4. Add a new layer.  Name this layer "5."  Load selection 5.  Flood fill with 877979.  Contract by 1.  Flood fill with #B6BBD0.

Step 5. Repeat Step 4 for selections 6, 7, and 8. (Remember to name your layers).

Step 6. Add a new layer.  Name this layer "8."  Load selection 8.  Flood fill with 877979.  Contract by 1.  Flood fill with #B0828D.

Step 7. Add a new layer.  Name this layer "9."  Load selection 9.  Flood fill with  877979.  Contract by 1.  Flood fill with #F7DDA4.

Step 8. Add a new layer.  Name this layer "10."   Load selection 10.  Flood fill with 877979.  Contract by 1.  Flood fill with  #94B689.

Step 9. Add a new layer.  Name this layer "11."  Load selection 11.  Flood fill with # 877979. Contract by 1.  Open up the flowerplaid fill that you downloaded.  Set your foreground color to texture and navigate to the flowerplaid.  Set it at size 30, angle 4, and flood fill the selection.

Repeat this for selection 12 (leave the size at 30 but change the angle to 52.


Step 10. Add a new layer (name it "13.")   Move this layer to the bottom. It should be on top of the background layer but underneath all the other layers.   Load selection 13.  Flood fill with #877979.  Contract by 1.  Flood fill with #768E6D.

Step 11. Add a new layer.  Name this layer "14."  Load selection 14.  Flood fill with #877979.  Contract by 1. Flood fill  with #C199A0.

Repeat for selection 15.


Step 12. Now,  your basic flower is finished  There are two main things left to do - the shading, and the decorative touches. 

I added shading because I just like the look of it, but if you don't want to do it, you can skip this step and go on to the Decorative Touches below. If you're doing the shading, continue on with step 13.


Step 13. If you want to do the shading, you do the same thing for each layer.  I'm doing one of the leaves as a sample, but you'll do the same steps for each layer.

  • With your selection tool (any shape), draw all the way around the leaf.
  • Gently click anwhere inside it to select it. You'll see marching ants around it.
  • Contract the selection by 1.
    You're selecting and contracting so you can spray some color on without it running into your outside border.
  • Now you'll spray on some color.  I always do this in a new layer, as I find that it makes it easier to work with and smudge around, but that's my personal preference.  Choose your airbrush with the settings in the screenshot. Choose a darker color (I used #63785C) and spray around the outside edges of your leaf.  Then choose a lighter color (I chose #EAF0E8) and spray a bit on the center of your leaf.

  • Choose your retouch tool with the screenshot. Then just smudge the colors around.  I usually start at the outside and work inward and then move to the inside and work outward, gently smudging as you go.  There's really no easy way to explain how to do this, just experiment and you'll get a "feel" for what works best for you.  And of course, the more shading you do, the better you'll get.

  • Repeat these steps for each of your layers. Here's what mine looks like after adding shading to all the layers.

Decorative Touches

Now, time to move on to add the decorative finishes to your flower.

In these steps, feel free to change things as you wish.  These decorative touches are just samples.   You'll be adding new layers for each of the decorative touches you add.  Also, if you've added any shading layers, make sure the new layers you add are on top of the shading layer - otherwise, what you add won't show clearly.

Step 14. Make layer 1 active.  Add a new layer.  Set your  foreground color to #4E6246 and your background color to #B5CCAC.  Choose your draw tool, freehand line.  Draw some lines on the leaf.  Repeat to the other leaf (layer 2).

Step 15. Make layer 14 active.  Add a new layer.  With your foreground and background colors the same as in the last step, draw 3 small closed loops, similar to mine.

Step 16. Add a new layer.  Set your foreground color to #C08E82 and your background color to #F5DBA3.  Choose your preset shape tool, ellipse.  Draw 3 small circles (I put each on a separate layer).  Position them on top of the 3  loops you just drew.

Step 17. Now hide all layers except the 3 loops and the 3 circles. Merge visible.  Then make all the layers visible again (go to layers>view>view all).

Step 18. Duplicate and paste the merged image as a new layer, 3 times. (You'll need to rotate them into place).

Step 19. Duplicate it once more and paste as a new layer.  Put this layer on top of layer 15.  Make sure the bottoms of all of these layers  you just added are lined up - these stems will be on top and will show if it's uneven.

Step 20. Make layer 8 active.  Add a new layer (if you've added shading, make sure this layer is on top of the shading).  Choose your draw tool, freehand line - set your foreground color to  #808080 and your background color to null.  Draw some lines on the top of the flower part.

Step 21. Make layer 9 active.  Add a new layer (if you've done shading, make sure it's on top of that layer as well.  With your  foreground color set to 86817E, use the selection tool (circle) to draw some circles.

Step 22. Make layer 5 active.  Add a new layer  Move this layer underneath layers 5, 6, and 7.  Choose your draw tool, freehand line, color  #86817E, draw some lines (I put them all on the same layer).

Step 23. Make the last layer you added active (the one with the lines).  Add a new layer.  Set your foreground color to  #86817E and your background color to  #F0E0BF.  Choose your preset shapes tool and draw some circles on the ends of the lines you just drew.  I put all of mine on separate layers so I can rearrange them.

Step 24. The only thing left to do now is tweak it if  you wish.  I found that a couple of the layers didn't line up quite the way I wanted, so I just adjusted them a bit to make them more even (e.g., the blue bits of the flower).  Change things as you wish, add items, subtract items, colorize, etc.  Use your imagination! 

I must say that I almost stopped writing this tutorial at several points, as it felt like there were so many steps, and I wondered if anyone would want to complete them all (and honestly, I was getting tired of making all those screenshots <g>).   But, I decided to plow on through and get it done.  Whew!  Hope you enjoy it!

I'd love to see any creations you make as well as any feedback on this tutorial.  And of course, if you have any problems completing it, just let me know.

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This tutorial was posted on November 21, 2003.
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ŠPracken, 2003-2012.