Pracken's Paint Shop Pro Tutorials

Christmas 2010:
A Retro Christmas (pixel)

House 1

This tutorial is part of my retro Christmas series for 2010. I haven't had much time or energy during most of the year to create, but did want to get some tuts up for Christmas. You'll find all the other tutorials in this series here.

This tutorial is for one of the houses (#1). I've made 4 of them. I'll give you the colors I've used, but feel free to change things around as you wish. The houses and colors are true to the style of houses in the 1950's and 1960's.

For this tutorial, you will need the following:

Paint Shop Pro. This tutorial was written for versions 10 (PSP X) and 9. However, you should have no problems doing the tut in other versions as well. You can download the latest PSP version demo here.

My canvas with the pixel outline. You may download it here.

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

First, a few notes.....

My image is just a guide. Feel free to change the colors, 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, especially with an image that has as many pixels as this one.

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. Choose your paintbrush tool and set the size to 1 and paint the outline of the piece and then paint the inside, along with any shading. (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 - just remember to make that layer active before you do so).

Step 1. Open up the pixel outline you downloaded. There are three layers - a background and two outline layers. I've given you two versions of the hosue - one plain and one with the tree and such. Just choose the one you want and make that layer visible/active. Add each layer of work you do on top of this one.

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

I'll show you the colors I used for each section of the graphic - feel free to change these as you wish.

  • House boards outline- 1; inside - 2, 3
  • Windows outline - 4; light inside - 5, black
  • Door outline - 6; door inside - 7, 8
  • Roof and front of house (the bit over the window - 9, 10, 11, 12
  • Curtains - 13, 14, 15
  • Candles in window - black, 7, 16, 17
  • Christmas tree - 25, 26, 16
  • Chimney outline - 17; inside - 18, 19, 2-
  • Snow on roof outline - 21; inside - 22, 23
  • Garland - 25, 26, 7; Bows 6, 7
  • Christmas lights - 24 (just paint these on in locations you wish

Step 2. Now take a look at your image and tweak anything you'd like to at this point. I always save all of my images with all layers intact, as a master file, in psp format (that way I can always go back later and change things around if I want to), so go ahead and save yours now if you wish. Then, delete the color chart, outline, and background. Merge visible layers. Save as a PSP file (this is the image you'll need when you assemble your neighborhood. Now, continue working through this series of tutorials and have fun!

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This tutorial was created on November 3, 2010.
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