Pracken's Paint Shop Pro Tutorials

Victorian Holly

(Updated October, 2006)

This is a really quick way to make some pretty sprigs of holly, with a Victorian flair. The tutorial involves a bit of shading and smudging, and most folks should be able to complete it without difficulty.

October, 2006: I'm using this holly in my Santa's Workshop tutorials, so be sure to check out that series of tuts. This tutorial was originally written in 2003 for PSP7. I've now updated it so users of later versions of PSP (8, 9, X) may also be able to do the tutorial.

For this tutorial, you will need the following:

Paint Shop Pro. You may download the latest version of PSP here. You should have no problems doing this tutorial in Versions 7, 8, 9, or X.

My canvas with selections saved to alpha channel. You may download it here.

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


Step 1. Open up the canvas with alpha selection you downloaded.

Step 2. Open up the color chart you downloaded. Copy and paste it as a new layer onto your canvas. Move it to the top, out of your way. When you need a color, just click on it with your dropper tool.

Step 3. Add a new layer. Load selection 1 from alpha channel (go to Selections>Load/Save Selection>Load Selection from Alpha Channel. Click on the box to the left and navigate to the selection. It'll show up in the preview window on the right. Then just click "Load."

Flood fill with color #1. Keep selected.

Step 4. Choose your airbrush, using the settings in the screenshot. Spray some color around the outside edges, similar to mine.

Choose your retouch tool>smudge brush, using settings in the screenshot. Smooth the colors out a bit. Deselect,


Step 5. Add a new layer. Set your foreground color to #3, background color to #2. Choose your pen tool>draw freehand, using settings in the screenshot.

Draw some lines on your leaf, similar to mine. Lower the opacity of this layer down to about 40.


I also sprayed a lighter color in between the spine bits. To do that, just add a new layer and place it underneath the spine you just drew. Use your airbrush and spray color #3 in between the lines. Use your retouch tool>smudge brush to soften.

Step 6. Hide your color chart and background layers. Then merge visible layers. Turn your color chart and background back on.

Duplicate this holly leaf layer twice. Use your derformation tool to rotate the 3 pieces into a position you like.

Step 7. Add a new layer. Set your foreground color to null, background color to #4. Choose your preset shapes tool>circle, using settings in the screenshot.

Draw a small circle (hold your shift key down while drawing to make it perfectly round).

Select it (selections>select all>selections>float). Add a new layer. Use your airbrush (set the size down to about 4-5) and spray a little of color #5 on your berry. Use your smudge brush (size down to about 4-5) to soften. Deselect.

Hide all layers except your berry and the shading layer. Merge visible layers. Turn all your other layers back on. Duplicate the berry twice and move into positon in the center of your leaves.

Apply a drop shadow (effects>3d effects>drop shadow)to each of the berry layers, using these settings: vertical 1, horizontal 1, opacity 25 , blur 1, color black.

Step 9. Add a new layer. Place it underneath your leaves. Set your foreground color to #1, background to null. Choose your pen tool (change width to about 3), and draw some tendrils out from your leaves.

Step 10. When you're satisfied with your image, delete the color chart and background layer. Merge visible layers. Save as a psp file.

And your holly is ready for the holidays. Please let me know if you experience any problems with this tutorial.

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Screenshots of programs used in this tutorial are copyrighted to their respective authors.
This tutorial was created on November 21, 2004,updated on October 13, 2006.
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