Pracken's Paint Shop Pro Tutorials

Saltbox Ensemble:


This is a series of 3 tutorials - you'll make the chest, the saltbox houses, and the sheraton mirror. You will be making everything you see in this tutorial from scratch. The tutorials use vectors (easy ones, don't panic!), some shading, and some simple drawing. And best of all, when you're finished, you will know you made every single piece yourself!

This is the tutorial for the chest. You'll find the tutorials for the saltbox houses here and the sheraton mirror here .

Before you complete the tutorial, be sure to read my Terms of Use.

This tutorial was written for Paint Shop Pro versions 9 and 7.

For this tutorial, you will need the following:

Paint Shop Pro. I used version 9 and I've also included comments, as appropriate, for PSP 7 users. You should be able to do the tutorial using other versions of the program as well. You may download the latest PSP version demo here.

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

Step 1. Open up a new image 350 x 350, white background. Copy>paste as new layer the color chart you downloaded, and move it to the top of your canvas, out of your way.

Step 2. Set your foreground color to black, background to color #1. Choose your preset shapes tool, rectangle, and use the settings in the screenshot. [Note: Since toolbars can be customized, yours may look a little different than mine].

[PSP7 users: your settings will look like this:]

Draw a rectangle approximately 225 x 50 (watch the numbers in the bottom of your screen). [Note: When you create items using vectors, they will automatically be placed on a new layer. Also, to keep things organized, I always name my layers].

Edit>copy>paste as new vector selection. Place this copy below the first one. Repeat. You'll have three rectangles. [Note: Screenshot has been resized down, yours will be larger].


Step 3. Draw another rectangle approximately 225 x 35 (it'll automatically be on a new layer), and move it to the bottom of your chest. You need to edit this piece just a wee bit. I find it easier to edit with the layer visibility turned off, but that's up to you. Visibility is turned off in the following screenshots (to turn visibility off, just click the "eye" for the layer on your layers palette).

You should have this:

Now you need to get it ready to edit. To do that, you need to convert to path. Right click on the layer on your layers palette>convert to path.

Click on your pen tool and then click on Edit mode

[PSP7 Users: click your object selector tool, then Node Edit].

You're going to add 3 nodes. Hold down the "Ctrl" key while clicking your mouse on the bottom of the box, in approximately the places I've done (I've circled them in red for you in the screenshot).

Move the two outer nodes you added, up a bit (circled in red in the screenshot).

Hold down your shift key and click on the 3 nodes you added to select them all. It should look like this:

Right click>Node type>symmetric. Now your image should look like this:

Click on the node on the left. You'll notice a handle with a circle on one end and an arrow on the other. You can move these handles to shape the node. You want the shape just a little smoother, so pull the handle out just a little bit like this.

Repeat to the node on the other side. You can check to see how your shape looks by turning the layer visibility back on. If you don't like it, you can edit some more (just click the pen tool>edit mode again).

When you're satisfied with your shape, right click>apply. [PSP7 users: right click>quit node editing].

Step 4. Change your background color to color #2. Choose your preset shapes>rectangle, same settings as before, and draw a small rectangle approximately 225 x 10. Place it at the bottom of the chest.

Copy>paste as new vector selection three times. Move the rectangles into position like mine (use your object selector tool to move vector items around).

Step 5. Change your background color back to color #1. Draw a rectangle approximately 20 x 230 and place it on the left side of the chest. Edit>copy>paste as new vector selection, and place on the right side.

Step 6. Draw another rectangle approximately 270 x 15 and place on top of the chest.

Step 7. Now's the time to adjust things as you need to. To make items longer/shorter/wider/narrower, choose the object selection tool and click on the layer you want to adjust. Then just move the sides or ends as you need to.

Step 8. Now you need to add the knobs. Set foreground to black and your background to a gold gradient (one comes with PSP, or you can use one of your own).

Choose your preset shapes tool and navigate to the "X5" shape that comes with PSP.

Draw a small shape approximately 22 x 22. Place it on one side of a drawer. Edit>copy>paste as new vector selection 5 times. Arrange the knobs on your chest as you wish.

Step 9. Now you can save your chest as a preset shape. If you don't want to save it, just skip to step 10.

Hold down the shift key while clicking on each of the vector layers on your layers palette. When done, they should all be "bolded," like this:

Right click>Group. Your layers will now look like this:

Right click on the "group" layer and rename it to whatever you want your preset shape to be named.

Click edit>export>shape. Type in the name of your shape. It should now be saved. To check, just click on your preset shapes tool and navigate to it among your shapes. Try it!

Step 10. You're done with the vectors now. Right click on the vector layer on your layers palette (mine's named "vector 1"), then click convert to raster layer.

Step 11. Now to add some shading. Selections>select all>selections>float. You'll see the "marching ants" around your chest. [Note: you're doing this so you can add shading and it won't go outside the lines of your chest].

Add a new layer. Set your foreground color #3.

Choose your airbrush, using the settings in the screenshot.

Spray some color on similar to mine. [Note: If you want a more "country" look, you can spray on more color, or use black].

Choose your smudge brush, using the settings in the screenshot.

Soften the colors out just a bit.

Step 12. Optional. I made a cloth for my chest. To do that, you'll need to make the fill pattern. Open a new image 40 x 40. Add a new layer. Set your foreground to color #4 and background to color #5.

Choose your paintbrush, using the settings in the screenshot.

Paint blocks of color, using the diagram, using colors 4 and 5 in the places indicated.


Save your image as a .jpg file and it's now ready to use as your fill.

Return to your chest image. Set your foreground and background fills to pattern and choose the tile you just made. Set the scale to 20.

Add a new layer. Choose your preset shapes tool, triangle, same settings as before except leave "create on vector" unchecked. Draw a triangular shape approximately 150 x 70 on top of your chest.

Step 13. When you're satisfied with your creation, delete the background layer and the color chart layer. Merge visible layers (layers>merge visible). Save the chest as a psp file. You can close the image for now.

You'll find the tutorials for the saltbox houses here and the sheraton mirror here .

Once you've made all the pieces (chest, saltboxes, and mirror), open up a new image 600 x 600, white background. Copy each piece and paste it as a new layer onto your new canvas. Arrange as you wish. My finished product is at the top of the page.

I hope you've enjoyed this series of tutorials, and please let me know if you need any assistance.

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Screenshots of programs used in this tutorial are copyrighted to their respective authors.
This tutorial was created on April 11, 2005.
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ŠPracken 2003-2012