Pracken's Paint Shop Pro Tutorials

Love Letter (Pixel)


Here's one more tutorial for Valentine's Day - it's a pixel tut. I assume that you have a basic working knowledge of PSP in order to do this tutorial.

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 pixel outline in PSP format. You may download it here.

You'll also need my color chart. Right click on this image and save it to your computer.


My image is just a guide. Feel free to change the colors, apply cutouts or not, or add other effects to your liking. I put everything on its own layer (and name each one). That way you can easily go back and change colors later and correct any mistakes you've made. It makes a lot of layers, but it also keeps things organized and will save you a lot of heartache.

It makes it easier if you enlarge your graphic (use your magnifier tool) so you can see the pixels clearly. Feel free to save my images in this tut too, and enlarge them as necessary to see.

The basic procedure for each piece will be the same. You'll add a new layer. Set your brush size to 1 and paint the outline of the piece in a darker color and then paint the inside in a lighter color (Hint: to do the inside coloring, make the outline layer active, choose your magic wand and click inside the section you want to color - then apply the color on your new layer).

I've applied a cutout to some pieces, usually using the same color as its outline color; and sometimes I apply two cutouts.

To apply the cutout, select and float the selection (selections>select all>selections>float). You'll see the marquee ("marching ants") around the selection. Apply a cutout (effects>3d effects>cutout), using the settings in the screenshot (the shadow color will change for each selection). For some items, I repeated the cutout, changing the horizontal and vertical to -1 instead.

[Hint: When you're going to add a cutout, set your foreground or background color to the shadow color you're going to use. Then, when you apply your cutout, just right click on the shadow color box and choose the color from the recent colors displayed there.]

Step 1. Open up a new image 150 x 150, white background. Copy>paste as new layer the color chart you saved. Move it to the top of your graphic out of the way. When you need a color, just click on it with your dropper tool

Open up the pixel outline you downloaded. Copy>paste it as a new layer onto your canvas.

Step 2. Here are the colors I've used for each section of the graphic. along with the color charts for each.

Outline - 1
Inside - white
Cutout - 1

Outline - 2
Inside - 3
Cutout - 2

Outline - 4
Inside - 5
Cutout - 4
Flower center outline - 6
Flower center inside - 8
Flower center cutout - 7

Leaves, Tendrils
Outline, tendrils - 9
Inside - 10
Cutout - 9

Step 3. Once you've applied all your colors, go back and see if there's anything you want to change - now's the time to do that. You're done with your color charts now, so you can delete all of them.

Step 4. I've added text to mine - to do that, just add a new layer, choose a font and message of your choice, and add (I've used Hearts, color #4 for mine).

Step 5. Once you have things to your liking, delete the outline and color chart, hide your background layer and merge visible layers. Save in whatever format you prefer (I always save in psp format).

I hope you've enjoyed the tut, and as always, please let me know if you experience any problems ;o)

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Screenshots of programs used in this tutorial are copyrighted to their respective authors.
This tutorial was created on February 7, 2005.
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ŠPracken 2003-2012