Pracken's Paint Shop Pro Tutorials

Christmas Card


I really dislike it when stores start stocking Christmas items this soon. So why in the world am I doing a Christmas tut so soon? lol....well, I've got a bunch of tuts in my head I want to get done for Christmas this year, so figured I'd better start now if I wanted to finish them in time. This one was inspired by an old Christmas card - you'll make the wintery scene above, drawing the entire image from scratch. Then you can decorate the card as you wish.

[Note: I've made this tutorial for use on the web, but if you want to print it, you could certainly do so. Just make the image larger and be sure to use a minimum of 200 dpi resolution].

For this tutorial, you will need the following:

Paint Shop Pro. This tutorial was written for versions 10 (PSP X), 9 and 7.04 You can download the latest PSP version demo here.

My color chart. Right click on this and save it to your computer.


Step 1. Open up a new image 500 x 375, white background. Copy the color chart and paste it as a new layer onto your canvas. Move it to the top out of your way. When you need a new color, just click on it with your dropper tool.

Step 2. Add a new layer. Set your foreground color to #1, background to #2. Choose your pen tool>draw freehand, using settings in the screenshot. [Note: PSP 7 users: choose your draw tool>freehand line].

Draw a snowbank shape somewhere on your canvas. I started at the bottom left.

Continue adding new layers and drawing different banks until you have something you like. Putting each bank on its own layer helps you move things around. Feel free to move banks on top of or underneath others, just arrange them until they look as you want them to be. Here's how my finished ones look.

Step 3. Add a new layer. Choose your airbrush, using the settings in the screenshot. Spray some of color #1 along the outlines of your banks.

Choose your retouch tool>smudge brush, using settings in the screenshot. Soften out the color a bit.

Step 4. Now to draw the trees. Add a new layer. Set foreground to color #3, background to null. Choose your pen tool again. Change the width to about 3 and draw a trunk for your tree.

Change the foreground color to #4 and your brush width down to 1. Draw some branches on your tree. They don't need to be perfect.

Choose your airbrush again, same settings as before. Spray some of colors #4 and 5 on your tree branches. Here's mine.

Hide all layers except for your tree pieces. Merge visible layers. Turn all layers back on.

Step 5. Duplicate your tree layer (layer>duplicate). Name this layer "light tree" and turn it off for the moment.

Now you can leave your tree dark if you wish, or change the color to something else if you wish. I decided to give mine an embossed look. To do that, go to Adjust>hue and saturation>hue/saturation/lightness, and use the settings in the screenshot.


Now go to effects>texture effects>emboss.

Name this layer "dark tree" and turn it off for the moment.

Step 6. Turn your "light tree" layer back on. Go to adjust>hue and saturation>hue/saturation/lightness, and use the settings in the screenshot (or others as you wish, feel free to experiment).


Step 7. Now you just need to make dupicates of your light and dark tree layers. Arrange the duplicated layers around your snow banks as you wish. I've resized some of mine down. I've placed some trees on top of the snowbanks and some behind them. Just experiment until you have a scene that strikes your fancy. Here's mine so far.

Step 8. Make your background layer active. Flood fill it with color #6.

Step 9. Add a new layer and place it on top of your background layer (underneath all your other layers). Choose your airbrush, same settings as before, and spray some of colors #7 and 8 for water. I also sprayed a little of color #2. Choose your smudge brush (same settings as before) and soften the colors out a bit.

Step 10. Make your background layer active again. Add a new layer. Choose your selection tool>rectangle. Draw a shape approximately 1/2 of your sky, like this.

Flood fill with color #7. Use your smudge brush to soften the top, to blend it, like this.

Step 11. Add a new layer. Set foreground color to null, background to color #2. Choose your preset shapes tool>ellipse, using settings in the screenshot, and draw a small circle in the sky (hold your shift key down while drawing to make it a perfect round shape).


Choose your smudge brush again. Change the Density to about 45 an opacity to about 30 (feel free to play with these settings). Smudge the sun a bit to make it look as though it's glowing.

Step 12. Add a new layer. Choose your text tool and add whatever text you'd like. My foreground color is set to null, background to color #6. The font is Edwardian Script, size 48.

Step 13. Now your card is basically done. When you're pleased with it, delete the color chart and merge all layers. You could leave it this way if you wish, but I chose to embellish mine just a bit.

Open up a new image 500 x 375. Paste your color chart as a new layer and move to the top out of your way.

Flood fill your background with color #7. Open up your merged card. Copy and paste it as a new layer onto the new image.

Make the background layer active. Choose your airbrush and spray some of color #2 around the edges of your card (I wanted a snowy effect). Soften with your smudge brush. Spray more as you need to.

Make your card layer active and spray some more snow on it in places you wish.

I also added a few sparkles here and there.

Feel free to enhance your card in any way you wish. When you're satisfied, delete the color chart and merge all layers.

I had a lot of fun creating this card and hope you've enjoyed making it as well. Happy Holidays!

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Screenshots of programs used in this tutorial are copyrighted to their respective authors.
This tutorial was created on October 23, 2005.
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