Pracken's Paint Shop Pro Tutorials

Candle Face


The inspiration for this tutorial was an old Victorian Christmas card. Many times I will see something and try to create it from scratch - such was the case with this. I really liked the idea of a face inside a candle this way.

This tutorial is written for the more advanced user of PSP. I have included screenshots, but for many of the steps, I am assuming that you already know how to do certain things, and so I have not explained them in full detail. It also involves freehand drawing, so yours will likely not turn out the same as mine, just be creative with it. I give you general guidelines so you can use your own imagination and make a finished product that reflects you. If you are a beginner trying this tutorial and are having problems at any of the steps, just email me and I'll see what I can do to help.

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 file. Place this in your PSP selections folder, or another location of your choice. My gradient. Place this in your PSP gradient folder. You can download my materials here.

(Optional) Eye Candy 4000. You can do the tutorial without this filter.

Ok, ready, let's go!

Step 1. Open a new image 300x500, background color your choice.

Step 2. Add a new layer. Load selection 1 (go to selections>load from disk and then navigate to the location you placed the selection file). Flood fill with the gradient you downloaded ("pracken_candle"), or another gradient, color or your choice.


Step 3. Next, you'll make just a little shading bit at the top of the candle. Set your foreground color to a darker shade from your candle (I used #462018). Select your candle (to to selections>select all), and keep it selected.

Choose your airbrush and use the following settings: round, size 10, hardness 30, opacity 30, step 25, density 30. Spray a small circle at the top of the candle.

Choose your smudge brush and use the following settings: size 20, hardness 40, opacity 35, step 20, density 40. Smudge the colors around just a little bit.

Pracken Candle Face

Step 4. Now to make your wick. Add a new layer. Set your foreground and background colors to #462018. Choose your preset shapes tool, triangle. Draw a small shape. Use your derformation tool to shape it. (Or, you could also draw it freehand if you wish). It should look something similar to this.

Step 5. Now draw the flame. Add a new layer. Set your foreground and background colors to whatever you wish. I used the gold gradient in PSP for mine. Choose your preset shapes tool, oval, and draw a small oval for your flame. I drew mine as a vector so I could shape it bit, but you don't have to do that if you don't like vectors.

Add a new layer. Choose your airbrush (same settings as before) and spray shading colors as you wish. I usually spray a darker color around the edges and then a lighter color in the center. For this, I used #DE7208 and #FEE9CC. Once done, use your smudge brush (same settings as before) to soften it out a bit. It should look something like this.


Step 6. Now to make the wax drippings. Add a new layer. PSP comes with a waterdrop tube (and it looks close to wax drippings), so choose it to add various sizes of waterdrops on your candle. I put each drop on its own layer. Put as many (or as few) as you wish. Here's mine.

Step 7. Now, it's time to draw the little face on your candle. I can't give you specific directions to do this, as it's not a cut and dried procedure. I'll give you the general steps, and just use your imagination to create yours. Feel free to draw your face like mine, or create an entirely new one.

Add a new layer and place it on top of your background layer but underneath everything else. Set your foreground color to #46101.

Choose your airbrush (adjust the brush size down as needed), and spraycolor around until you have something roughly approximating a face. Then change colors to draw the eyes, lips, and cheeks (each on their own layers).

The final step is to use your smudge brush to soften the colors out. Here's what I had when finished.

Step 9. Since my candle had Christmasy colors, I decided to add some holly at the bottom for a base (I used the holly tube that comes in PSP). You can use your imagination for what to do at the bottom of your candle.

Step 10. The final step (which is optional) is to add a glow behind the flame. I did this using Eye Candy 4000. On the same layer as your flame, open Eye Candy Gradient Glow filter with these settings: diffuse yellow, glow width 75, soft corners 25%, overall opacity 74, and draw only outside the selection checked. Here's how it looks.
Pracken Candle Face

Step 11. Once you have all the layers the way you want them, save as a master .psp file - that way you can go back later and change the look of your candle if you wish.

Then hide the background and merge visible layers. Save as a transparent psp file. All done! I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial.

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Screenshots of programs used in this tutorial are copyrighted to their respective authors.
This tutorial was posted on October 31, 2003.
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ŠPracken, 2003-2012.