Pracken's Paint Shop Pro Tutorials

Fantasy Butterfly


This butterfly tutorial was done by request. I had a lot of fun doing this one and hope you'll enjoy it as well. It's not difficult, but I do assume that you have a basic working knowledge of PSP and its tools. I also provide screenshots to help you along the way.


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 gradient. Place this in your PSP gradients folder.

Eye Candy 4000 - Swirl. Eye Candy 4000 is a commercial filter, but you can download a free earlier version (Eye Candy 3) here. I'm not sure if the settings are the same, but it's still worth downloading as it's a great filter.

My Eye Candy swirl presets. Place this in your Eye Candy Swirl folder.

You may download all of my materials here.

Optional: Sparkles. You can find a nice selection of sparkles here or here.


Save this color swatch to your desktop - as I tell you what number to use, just click on the color with your eye dropper.


Step 1. Open a new image 300 x 300, white background.

Set your foreground color to #1 and your background color to #2. Then change your foreground color to gradient and navigate to the pracken_butterfly gradient you downloaded (set the style to sunburst, horizontal 50, vertical 50, repeats 0, invert gradient checked). Note: I've made this gradient using foreground/background colors. That way, if you wish to change the color of your butterfly, all you need to do is change the two colors you use and they'll automatically appear in your gradient.

Add a new layer (name it "butterfly"). Load selection 1 (go to selections>load from disk - then navigate to the location where you placed the selection files). Flood fill with the background color. Contract the selection by 4 (go to selections>modify>contract). Flood fill with the gradient Deselect.


Step 2. Now select the butterfly again and float the selection (you're doing this so you can get the dark purple bit as well as the gradient). To select, you can go to selections>select all>float. Or you can choose your selections tool (any shape) and draw all around the outside of the butterfly - then click on it and it'll automatically be floated. You'll see marching ants around it.

Open Eye Candy, and choose the swirl preset. Navigate to the pracken_butterfly preset you downloaded (in Eye Candy, (just click on "settings" and you'll see it in the list).


Step 3. Now, you'll do selection 2, but then will follow these same steps for all the remaining selections:

  • Add a new layer. Load selection 2.
  • Flood fill with color #2. Contract by 2. Flood fill with the gradient (change the style to linear and the angle to 35.
  • Deselect. Select and float (as you did in step 2 above).
  • Apply Eye Candy Swirl and use the pracken_butterfly2 preset.
  • Lower the opacity of this layer down to about 55.


Step 4. Repeat Step 3 for each of these selections: 3, 4, 5, and 6 (note: for 4, 5, and 6, change gradient angle to 119).


Step 5. Make the layer with selection 3 on it active. Add a new layer. Set your foreground color to #2. Choose your airbrush with settings in the screenshot. Spray on a small circle of color.

05fbutterfly  06fbutterfly

Step 6. Now hide your background layer and your "butterfly" layer. What will be visible is all the little inside bits of the butterfly. Merge visible layers. Duplicate and paste as a new layer. Mirror. Move into position on the other side of your butterfly. Turn your other layers back on. This is what you should have.


Step 7. Add a new layer. Set your foreground color to color #2 and your background color to color #3. Load selection 7. Flood fill with color #3. Choose your airbrush and spray some of color #2 on the head. Keep selected. Apply an inner bevel with settings in screenshot (enlarged to show detail).

08fbutterfly    09fbutterfly

Step 8. Add a new layer. Place this layer underneath the last layer you just did. Choose your draw tool, freehand line, size 1. Turn your background color off and draw two little purple lines for the antennae.


Step 9. Add a new layer. Set your foreground color to #2 and your background color to white. Choose your preset shapes tool, ellipse, line size 2, antialias checked (everything else unchecked). . Draw a small circle (hold the shift key down while drawing to make it perfectly round). Then lower the opacity of this layer down to about 30-40.

11fbutterfly    12fbutterfly

Now you'll just make more of these little circles. For each one, put it on a new layer. I've made them several sizes, sort of progressively smaller. When done, I lowered the opacity of some of the layers down, and left some of the others at 100%. When you're satisfied with your creation, hide all layers except these circles and merge visible layers. Duplicate this layer. Mirror it. Then make all layers visible again and move the circles into position on the other side of your butterfly. Here's what mine looks like.


Step 10. This step is optional.... I wanted to add some sparkles to my butterfly. To do that, add a new layer (put it on the bottom, on top of your background layer but underneath all the other layers). Choose a sparkle tube of your choice (depending on the tube you use, you may need to resize the tube down a bit.) Apply as many sparkles as you like.

For my finished graphic at the top of the page, I also changed my background color to a darker color.

Step 11. When finished, save as a master psp file. That way you can go back later and change the colors. To change the colors, just change your foreground and background colors and the gradient will reflect that. I made this one using #BC9ABC for the foreground color and #855D85 for the background.


And that's it. All finished! Hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and let me know if have any problems with it.

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Screenshots of programs used in this tutorial are copyrighted to their respective authors.
This tutorial was created on April 15, 2004.
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ŠPracken 2003-2012