Pracken's Paint Shop Pro Tutorials

Southwestern Series:
Pixel Thunderbird


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.

This is another pixel tutorial. I have drawn this tutorial from scratch, but am providing a selection for the outline for you to use. If you wish, you could also use mine as a guide and draw your own instead of using the selection.

To do this tutorial, I assume that you have a basic working knowledge of PSP and its tools; however, I also provide screenshots to guide you along the way. And of course, if you run into difficulty, just let me know.

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. I have saved the outline as a selection. Make a folder for the selection and save it there. You may download the selection here.

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


Step 1. Open a new image 200x 200, white background.

Open up the color chart you saved. To make it easier to use, you can paste it as a new layer onto your graphic and move it to the very top. That way, it's easy to refer back to, and when you're done with the tutorial, you can delete that layer.

You'll basically be using two colors for each of the various pieces of this tutorial. You'll use the darker color for the outline or shading, and then the lighter color for the fill. To make it easier, just set your foreground color to the darker color and your background to the lighter color.

Step 2. Add a new layer. Load selection 1 (go to selections>load from disk - then navigate to the location where you placed the selection files). Flood fill with color #1. Deselect it.


Step 3. Choose your magic wand and click inside the areas I've chosen (hold down the shift key while clicking to select them all). Flood fill with color #2 (note: screenshot is enlarged). Keep selected.


Float the selection (you can do this by going to selections>float, or you can hit "ctrl+F" on your keyboard).

Now you will apply a cutout. For each cutout you do, you'll be using the darker color for the shadow color. To do this, you'll need the html color code of the color. To find this number, just click on your styles foreground color.


Your color popup window will appear. You'll see the html code at the bottom (I've circled it). Highlight the number with your mouse, right click, and choose "copy."


Now apply your cutout (go to effects>3d effects>cutout), using the settings in the screenshot below. (To set the shadow color, just click on that box with your mouse. Your color popup window will appear again. Highlight the html code at the bottom again, right click and choose "paste." Then click ok. Your shadow color will be set.)

05swthunderbird   05swthunderbird

Step 4. With your magic wand again, choose the areas I have done in the screenshot below, and flood fill with color #4. Float. Apply cutout with the same settings as above, except change the shadow color to color #3.


Step 5. Choose your magic wand again and select the areas I have done. Flood fill with color #6. Float. Apply cutout but change settings to: horizontal 2, vertical 2, opacity 100, blur 2. Change the shadow color to color #5.


Step 6. Choose your magic wand again, and click on the remaining areas. Flood fill with color #8. Float. Apply cutout using same settings as above, but change shadow color to #7.


Step 7. Set your foreground color to #1. Choose your paint brush, size 1, and draw a few pixels on the head for an eye.


When you're satisfied with your creation, hide the background, delete the color chart, and merge visible layers. And that's it, all done!


I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial, and please let me know if you have any feedback, questions, or comments.

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Screenshots of programs used in this tutorial are copyrighted to their respective authors.
This tutorial was created on April 29, 2004.
All content, graphics, and tutorials on this site are
ŠPracken 2003-2012