This is a relatively easy tutorial. It involves a little bit of vectoring, shading, preset shapes, selections, and some simple drawing. Most folks should be able to complete it without problem, but I do assume that you have a basic working knowledge of PSP.
My canvas with selections saved to alpha channel. You may download it here.
You'll also need my color chart. Right click on it and save to your computer.
Step 1. Open up the canvas you downloaded.
Step 2. Copy your color chart and paste it as a new layer onto your canvas. Move it to the top out of the way. When you need a color, just click on it with your eye dropper tool.
Step 3. Add a new layer. Load selection 01. To load an item from alpha channel, go to Selections>Load/Save Selection>Load Selection from Alpha Channel. Make sure "Replace selection" is checked, and nothing else is checked.
To choose a selection, just click on the box to the left (it's circled in red in the screenshot) and navigate to the selection you want. It'll show up in the preview window on the right. Then just click "Load."
Flood fill with color #1. Float the selection. You can either go to selections>float, or, you can use the keyboard shortcut "Ctrl+F".
Set your foreground color to color #2 (that way it'll show up in your list of recent colors). Apply a cutout (effects>3d effects>cutout) with the settings in the screenshot below. Click on the shadow color box and choose color #2 from your list of recent colors.
Repeat the cutout but change the horizontal and vertical to -2.
[Note: Feel free to change the settings on the cutout as it pleases you, it's a bit of a personal preference which settings look best to you].
Step 4. Repeat Step 3 for selection 02, but change the fill color to #3 and the cutout color to #4.
Step 5. Add a new layer and place it underneath your vase layers (but on top of the background layer). Set your foreground color to null and background to color to #5.
Choose your preset shapes tool>oval, using settings in the screenshot.
Draw an oval shape for the back of your vase, similar to mine.
Step 6. Now you'll need to draw some stars on your vase. PSP comes with several star shapes, but I wanted mine to look a bit more primitive. So I modified one and then made a preset shape from it.
[Note: If you don't want to make your own star shape, you can just use the one that comes with PSP. If you're doing that, just skip to Step 8 below.]
Set foreground color to null, background to color #6. Choose your preset shapes tool, same settings as before, except check the "Create as vector" box.
Navigate to the "star2" shape that comes with PSP. Draw a small star on your canvas. It should look like this. [Note: Since you're drawing with vectors, your star will automatically be placed on a new layer].
Click on your pen tool and your image will now look like this.
Now you'll just move your nodes around as you wish, to make your star shape different. You want it to look a little lopsided and primitive.
In order to preview your star without seeing the nodes, just right click anywhere on your image>apply. The nodes will disappear. To re-enter the node editing mode, Just click on the Edit Mode icon on your toolbar (or click your pen tool, then right click on your image and choose edit mode).
Here's the way my star nodes looked when done.
When your star looks the way you want it, right click>apply.
Step 7. Now you need to save your star as a preset shape. Go to your layers palette and click on the star layer. Right click>rename. Name it whatever you want your shape to be called.
Go to File>Export>Shape. Type in the file name and cick Ok. Now your shape will show up in your list of preset shapes.
Step 8. Now you just need to draw some stars on your vase. Set foreground to null, background to color #6. If you draw the stars as vector, it's easier to rotate them and resize (just click on the object selector tool and use it to resize/rotate your stars).
You could also draw them on raster layers and use the deformation tool to rotate (but you lose some resolution of the image this way).
If you draw your stars as vectors, they'll automatically be placed on separate layers. If you draw them as raster, you'll need to add new layers.
So, draw some red stars on your vase. Then change your background color to #3 and draw some more. Finally, change your background color to #1 and draw some on the top of your vase. If you've drawn using vectors, go to your layers pallete and right click on the layer>convert to raster. Here's how mine looks.
Step 9. Now you need to make your leaves. You'll use vectors to make a leaf and then save it as a preset shape to use.
Set foreground color to null, background to color #7. Choose your preset shapes again, same settings as above, except make sure "create on vector" is checked. Navigate to your oval shape.
Draw a small oval on your canvas. Click on your pen tool. Then right click anywhere on your image and choose "convert to path." Your image will now look like this:
[Note: The reason you did this was to get the vector image ready for editing].
Now you'll see the four little boxes (nodes) around your shape. You're going to need to edit these a bit. I've turned the visibility of my layer off so I can see what I'm doing better.
Click on the node at the top and move it up a bit.
You'll notice a little handle at the top. Grab the left side of the handle and pull it down similar to this.
Now grad the node on the right side of your oval and move it out, to widen the shape, like this.
Just play with your image until you have something you like. When done, right click on the image>apply. Here's my finished leaf.
Step 10. Now save your leaf as a preset shape, just like you did with the star in Step 7 above.
Step 11. Now choose your preset shapes tool and navigate to your leaf shape. Draw leaves wherever you like. I've created mine as vectors, to make it easier to reside and rotate. Here's what I have so far.
When your image looks like you want it, right click on the layer>convert to raster layer.
Step 12. Now to add some shading to your leaves. Make your leaf layer active. Choose your selection tool (any shape) and draw all around the leaves. Click inside on the image to select and float it (or, you can go to selections>select all>selections>float). You'll see the marquee ("marching ants") around your image. [Note: You're doing this so you can spray on color and it won't go outside the edges].
Add a new layer. Set foreground color to #8, background to #9. Choose your airbrush, using settings in the screenshot.
Spray some of the darker color around the edges and the lighter color inside, similar to this. Keep selected (sorry, my screenshot doesn't show it, but you should see the marquee around yours still).
Now choose your retouch tool>smudge brush, using settings in the screenshot.
Smudge the colors around, to soften, like this. When done, you can deselect.
Step 13. Add a new layer. Set foreground color to #8, background null.
Choose your pen tool>draw freehand, using settings in the screenshot.
Draw lines on all of your leaves.
Step 14. Add a new layer and place it underneath all of your leaf layers. Choose your pen tool again, same settings as before, except change the width to 2.
Draw some stems underneath your leaves.
Step 15. Add a new layer and place it underneath all of your layers (except the background). Set foreground color to #6, background null. Choose your pen tool again, but change the mode to "draw lines and polylines" and the width to about 6.
Draw a straight line up from your pot.
Step 16. Set foreground to color #5, background to #1. Choose your preset shapes tool, same settings as before except "create on vector" is unchecked.
Navigate to the star2 shape (or you could use the one you made if you'd prefer that one). Draw a star on top of the line you drew.
Step 17. Select and float the star (selections>select all>selections>float). Set foreground color to color #4. Choose your paintbrush and paint half of the star blue. Keep selected.
Set foreground color to #6, background to null. Choose your pen tool again, width about 4. Draw some lines down the other side of your star (don't worry if they overlap, we'll get rid of that).
Now to get rid of the overlap (your star should still be selected, with the marquee around it). Go to selections>invert. Then go to your layers palette and click on the layer with your red lines on it. Hit the delete key on your keyboard, and the overlap should now be gone. Now you can deselect (go to selections>select none, or just choose your magic wand and click outside the image).
Add a new layer. Set foreground to null, background to color #1. Choose your preset shapes tool again, and draw some little stars on the blue side.
Step 18. This step is optional, but I liked the effect. Add a new layer. Choose your tube tool and navigate to the confetti tube. Change the settings to match the ones in the screenshot.
Draw a little confetti around your plant, as you wish.
Step 19. When you're satisfied with your image, delete the color chart and background layers. Merge visible layers and save in whatever format you prefer (I save mine in PSP format).
And that's it, all finished, ready for a sparking 4th of July!
Screenshots of programs used in this tutorial are copyrighted to their respective authors.
This tutorial was created on June 25, 2006.
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