Pracken's Paint Shop Pro Tutorials

Southwestern Series: Peppers

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I decided to make a few Southwestern items. As I find time, I will try to add more. You will find the other southwestern items here. To do this tutorial, you will need a basic working knowledge of PSP and its tools. It involves a little drawing and shading, but I provide screenshots to help you along the way. Most folks should be able to complete it without difficulty.


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 selection files. Place these in your PSP selections folder (or any location of your choice). Download them here.


Step 1. Open a new image 250 x 350, white background.

Here are the colors you will be using for this tutorial. Download the swatches to your PSP workspace and then just use your dropper to click on the color you need.

Main colors:
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Shading colors:
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Step 2. The Peppers.

I drew several different shapes for my peppers, as I think that gives it a more realistic look, but you don't have to do that. You could use only 1 or two different shapes if you wish. You can either do this with selections or by drawing your own.

Using selections. If you don't wish to draw, I'm including just two selections for you to use. Just add a new layer, load the selection (they are selections #1 and 2). Flood fill it with the red or green color, and then apply shading (see below). You'll need to duplicate these layers and rotate them into position as you like. I'm only providing a couple of selections so you'll be encouraged to draw some more on your own!

Drawing. If you do wish to draw your own peppers, you will just draw them freehand. You can do this with or without using vectors. The good thing about these peppers is they don't have to be perfect, so it's hard to make a mistake!

Set your foreground and background colors to either the red or green color. Choose your draw tool, freehand line, size 1, antialias checked, create as vector unchecked, close path unchecked. Then just draw a shape.

Or, if you want a more precise method, you can create it as a vector. Now a lot of people get scared about using vectors (I know, I've been there lol), but they really are wonderfully handy to know. So here's just a teeny weeny bit of vectors.

Leave your colors the same. Leave the settings on the freehand draw tool the same too, except check the "create as vector" box. Then draw a pepper shape.

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Now the one I drew isn't too bad, but I wanted to shape it just a teeny bit. Click your object selector tool (circled in green).

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Click "node edit" and your image will look like this:

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See those little boxes? If you click on one of them, you'll see arrows. Pulling the arrow will change the shape. I wanted to round out the top a bit so I just pulled the arrows out. I also pulled the bottom down a bit.

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When done, this is my result. Just experiment a bit and you'll be shaping peppers like crazy in no time flat! lol.

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You can draw as many shapes as you like. I drew several. Just draw each pepper on its own layer (when adding the layers, just go to layers>add vector layer). After you draw your pepper, you'll need to convert the layer to raster. To do that, you can either go to layers>convert to raster, or you can make the layer active on your layers palette, right click on it, and then choose convert to raster.

Arrange them into location as you wish. Here's what mine looked like when finished.

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Step 3. Ok, now that you've drawn your peppers, it's time to add some definition to them. To do this, you'll apply some shading. You will use this same technique for all the parts.

  • Select your shape by going to selections>select all>float. Or, alternatively, you can choose your selection tool (any shape) and draw around your pepper. Then click inside it to select (you'll see marching ants).

  • Add a new layer. Note: You don't have to do this, but I always prefer to do my shading on new layers.
  • Choose your airbrush with the settings in the screenshot (note: adjust the size of the brush up or down as you wish).

    Spray a darker color around the edges and a lighter color in the center. Use the color chart above. So for example, if you're doing the red peppers, you would use the first two colors in the chart.

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  • Choose your retouch tool, smudge brush with settings in the screenshot. Smudge the colors around a bit to soften. It doesn't have to be perfect!

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Just repeat the the above steps for each item you want to shade.

Step 4. Ok, Now you'll make the little bits that go on top of the peppers. You can draw it if you wish, or you can use my selection. To use the selection, add a new layer. Load selection 3. Flood fill with green. Float. Apply shading as above.

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Hide all layers except the green bit and its shading. Merge visible layers. Make your other layers visible again. Duplicate the green top bit layer as many times as you wish and rotate into place on top of some of your peppers. Here's mine:

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Step 5. Next, you'll make a leaf. You can draw it or you can use my selection. To use the selection, add a new layer. Load selection 4 from disk. Flood fill with green. Float. Apply shading as above.

Hide all layers except your leaf and shading, and merge visible layers. Duplicate this layer, and rotate. Move your leaves to the top of your peppers, similar to this;

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Step 6. Add a new layer. Place this layer on top of your background layer but underneath all the other layers. Set your foreground color to green and your background color to null. Choose your draw tool, freehand line, size 2. Draw some lines at the top of the peppers and anywhere else that you've placed one of the green tops.

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Step 7. Add a new layer. Place this layer underneath the stems you just drew. Set your foreground color to #3 above and your background color to null. Choose your draw tool, freehand line, size 2. Draw a bow shape. Add shading if you wish.

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Step 8. Add a new layer. Place this layer on top of all of your layers. Set your foreground and background colors to #3. Choose your preset shapes tool, ellipse (anitalias checked, create as vector not checked). Draw a small oval shape. Apply shading if you wish.

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When you're satisifed with your creation, hide the background layer and merge all visible layers. Save as a psp file.

And that's it! All done. I hope you've enjoyed the tut, and as always, please let me know if you have any problems.





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This tutorial was created on March 26, 2004.
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ŠPracken 2003-2012