Pracken's Paint Shop Pro Tutorials

South Pole Christmas (Pixel Tutorial)


I've drawn this new pixel tutorial and am providing my outline for you, along with color charts for the colors I used. Feel free to get creative though, and change the colors if you wish.

To do this tutorial, I assume that you have a basic working knowledge of PSP and its tools.

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. The outline is in PSP format. You may download it here.

My color charts. Right click on them and save to your computer.

Tree Color Chart

Presents Color Chart

Penguin #1 Color Chart

Penguin #2 Color Chart

Penguin #3 Color Chart
penguin #3colors

Igloo and Background Color Chart

You will be working with an outline of the graphic. Magnify it as many times as you need to in order to see clearly. Pixels are great, but they do weary the eyes looking as those teensy lines.

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.

I've magnified screenshots of each section as much as I can without using tons of bandwidth. Feel free to save them and magnify them as much as you need to so you can see exactly where the colors go.

The basic procedure for each piece will be the same. You'll do the outline of the piece in a darker color and then paint the inside in a lighter color. I've applied a cutout to some pieces, usually using the darker outline color.

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). 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.

Note: for some sections, I also applied a second cutout changing the value of the horizontal and vertical to negative numbers instead of positive (e.g., apply the cutout with horizontal and vertical at +1 and then repeat it with horizontal and vertical at -1). Feel free to play around with the settings until you get something you like.

Ok, ready? Then let's get to pixeling.

Step 1. Open a new image 200 x 200, white background. Open up the color charts you saved and paste them as new layers onto your canvas (I put each on a separate layer to make it less confusing). Move the color charts to the top of your canvas, out of the way. When you need a color, just click on it with your eye dropper. To make it easier, when you're working with a color chart, turn the other ones off.

Step 2. Open up the pixel outline you downloaded. Copy and paste it as a new layer onto your canvas.

I started working with the tree and worked my way over to the right side of the graphic, doing the igloo and background last; however, you can do the pieces in any order you wish - each section of the graphic is labeled below, so if you want to do them in a different order than I've done, just go to that section.


Step 3. Make the tree color chart active. Choose your paintbrush, size 1.

For each section of the tree, use the following colors:

  • Outline of tree: 1
  • Inside of tree: 2; cutout shadow 1
  • Snow outline: 3
  • Snow inside: 4 cutout shodow 3
  • Ornament outline: 5
  • Ornament inside: 6; cutout shadow 5
  • Star outline: 7
  • Star inside: 8


Step 4. Open up the presents color chart. Use the following colors to paint the presents. Start with the one on the left and work your way to the right.

  • Present 1 outline: 1
  • Present 1 inside: 2; cutout shadow 1
  • Present 1 bow outline: 10
  • Present 1 bow inside: 11; cutout shadow 10
  • Present 2 outline: 3
  • Present 2 inside: 4 cutoutshodow 3
  • Present 2 ribbon outline: 5
  • Present 2 ribbon inside: 6; cutout shadow 5
  • Present 3 outline: 7
  • Present 3 inside: 8; cutout shadow 7
  • Present 3 ribbon outline: 3
  • Present 3 ribbon inside: 9; cutout shadow 3
  • Present 3 bow outline: 10
  • Present 3 bow inside: 11; cutout shadow 10

Penguin #1

Step 5. Open up the penguin1 color chart. Here are the colors for the first penguin (the female one on the left). I've started at the top of her head and worked down.

  • Body outline: 1
  • Body inside: 2; cutout shadow 1
  • Collar and skirt outline: 3
  • Collar and skirt inside: 4; cutout shadow 3
  • Vest outline: 5
  • Vest inside: 6 cutoutshodow 5
  • Beak and Feet outline: 7
  • Beak and feet inside: 8; cutout shadow 7
  • Hair outline: 9
  • Hair inside: 10
  • Eyes: white

Penguin #2

Step 6. Open up your penguin2 color chart. Start at the top of his head. Here are the colors to use:

  • Hat top outline: 1
  • Hat topinside: 2; cutout shadow 1
  • Hat outline: 3
  • Hat inside: 4; cutout shadow 3
  • Face and body outline: 5
  • Face and body inside: 6 cutoutshodow 5
  • Eyes: white
  • Chest: 7
  • Beak and Feet outline: 8
  • Beak and feet inside: 9; cutout shadow 8

Penguin #3

Step 7. Open up your penguin3 color chart. Here are the colors to use (start at the top).

  • Hair outline: 1
  • Hair inside: 2
  • Body & face outline: 3
  • Body & face inside: 4; cutout shadow 3
  • Eyes: white
  • Beak and feet utline: 5
  • Beak and feet inside: 6 cutout shodow 5
  • Scarf outline: 7
  • Scarf inside: 8; cutout shadow 7

Igloo and Background

Step 8. . Open up your igloo colors. Now you'll make the igloo, the snowflakes, snow, and sky. For the snow, just color the entire bottom of the graphic, starting at the line that divides the snow from the sky. For the sky, just paint above that line, filling your canvas. Here are the colors to use.

  • Igoo outline: 1
  • Igloo inside: 2
  • Igloo door inside: 3; cutout shadow 1
  • Snowflake outline: 1
  • Snowflake inside: 2
  • Snow outline: 1
  • Snow inside 2; cutout shadow 1
  • Sky: 4

Step 9. Now you just need to add your text. Just add a new layer, choose a font and color of your choice, and add whatever words you wish. I also applied a drop shadow to mine (horizontal 1, vertical 1, opacity 23, blur 1).

Step 10. And that's it, you're finished (how are your eyes? lol). I always save my graphics as master psp files with all layers intact - just makes it easier to go back later and change things if I wish to do so.

Then, delete all your color charts and the outline layer. Merge visible layers.

I hope you've enjoyed this tut, and as always, please let me know if you experience any difficulties.

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Screenshots of programs used in this tutorial are copyrighted to their respective authors.
This tutorial was created on November 27, 2004.
All content, graphics, and tutorials on this site are
ŠPracken 2003-2012