(Click on the above graphic for an explanation of the FBN skill ratings.)

This tutorial written by Cathy on February 7, 2004
with Paint Shop Pro Version 8, but experienced
users of PSP7 should be able to complete it also.

***** COMPLETE TUTORIAL *****

* * * PREPARATION * * *

This tutorial is different than what I usually write.  Unlike most of my tutorials, there are no "exact" instructions and you will be relying on your own imagination. I have included many screenshots to help you follow along, so please be patient and give the pages time to load.

For this tutorial you will need:

1. Paint Shop Pro, which you can get at the Jasc site.

2. Flower and foliage tubes of your choice. I found some wonderful tubes at Pixels by Judy. Judy has graciously allowed me to offer the tubes I used in my image for download from this page for your use in completing this tutorial. I highly recommend taking the time to browse the Pixels by Judy site to see the wonderful selection of tubes she has to offer. The screenshot below shows the tubes I have used, reduced by 50%. Click on the image below to download a zip file containing these tubes:

3. The following color swatches (right click and save to your hard drive):


(base colors)


(grass hilite colors)


(water hilite colors)


(bridge colors)


(tree colors)

4. Patience and some imagination...with this type of tutorial (painting) there are no "exact" instructions and no two images will be the same. You will need to follow along using the screenshots as your guides

The best advice I can give you is to SAVE, SAVE, SAVE!!!  There's not much worse than losing all your hard work due to a program or computer lock up or melt down!!!  So...save your work often...I will be putting reminders throughout the tutorial:

Save 

As with any of my tutorials, please feel free to use any colors you like to create you own unique image.

Okay, let's get started...

 

 

* * * CREATING OUR BASE * * *

1. Open a new image:

Width: 400 pixels
Height: 300 pixels
Resolution: 200 pixels/inch
Raster background
Color depth: 16 million colors
Transparent checked

2. Save your image as "my_stone_bridge.psp".

3. Rename your Raster 1 layer "base-white" and fill with white.

4. Add a new layer, name it "base-black" and fill with black.

5. Add a new layer and name it "sky".

6. Change your foreground color to the sky color.

7. Click on your Airbrush tool and set to the following:

Shape: Round
Size: 40
Hardness: 35
Step: 25
Density: 50
Thickness: 100
Rotation: 0

8. Spray color along the top of your image, putting down more color along the edges and less along the bottom, as shown below:

9. Add a new layer and name it "grass".

10. Change your foreground color to the "grass 1" color.

11. Click on your Airbrush tool and change the size to 20.

12. Paint on some grass then change your foreground color to the "grass 2" color and add more grass as shown below:

Save 

13. Add a new layer and name it "water".

14. Change your foreground color to the "water" color.

15. Using your Airbrush tool (size: 30) spray the empty area of your canvas with the water color. (You should have some overlapping the grass and sky.)  Move this layer beneath your sky layer:

16. Make your "grass" layer active and add a new layer. Name this new layer "beach".

17. Change your foreground color to the "beach" color.

18. Using your Airbrush tool (size: 15) spray some sand along the edges of your grass:

  Save
 

 

 

* * * ADDING HILITES * * *

Note: when adding your hilites, you can also go back to your base color swatch and use those colors while highlighting.

1. Add a new layer and name it "grass hilites".

2. Click on your Airbrush tool and change the Opacity to 50.

3. Using the colors from the grass hilites swatch and adjusting the size as needed, spray hilites on your grass, just "going with the flow" as there is nothing precise about this step:

4. Make your water layer active.

5. Add a new layer and name it "water hilites".

6. Using the colors from the water hilites swatch and adjusting the size as needed, spray hilites on your water, using the darker shades in the foreground. Switch between colors and overlap your colors to get plenty of shades on your canvas. Play with the hardness and opacity to get just a touch of your color:

  Save

 

 

* * * BLENDING AND SHADING * * *

1. Turn off the visibility for your bottom two layers ("base-white" and "base-black") and your water layers ("water" and "water hilites"); then merge the remaining layers (Layers/Merge/Merge Visible).

2. Rename this merged layer "background".

3. Turn on the visibility for your "base-black" layer (this will make it easier to see your colors).

4. With your "background" layer active, click on your Smudge Brush and change your settings to the following:

Shape: Round
Size: 10
Hardness: 20
Step: 1
Density: 100
Thickness: 100
Rotation: 0
Opacity: 50
Sample Merged: Unchecked

5. Using your Smudge Brush, start by defining the edges of your grass (you can use your Airbrush to add more color at any time if you think you need it - I found I needed to add more dark green at my edges) and continue blending your colors (adjusting the Hardness and Opacity as needed - I ended up with my Hardness as high as 40 and my Opacity as high as 80). I started blending horizontally, then used short vertical strokes, then more horizontal blending :

6. Turn off the visibility for all layers EXCEPT "water" and "water hilites"; merge these two visible layers and rename this merged layer "water".  Turn on the visibility for all your layers. (Layers/View/All)

7. With your "water" layer active, click on your Smudge Brush and start blending your colors:

8. Merge your "water" and "background" layers and rename the merged layer "background".

9. Use your Smudge Brush to blend the edges around your water, using short strokes. I also toned down the hill I had in the upper right corner:

 

  Save

 

* * * PAINTING OUR BRIDGE * * *

1. Make your "background" layer active and add a new Vector layer named "bridge". (Layers/New Vector Layer).

2. Change your foreground color to "bridge 1" and your background color to null.

3. Click on your Preset Shapes tool and choose ellipse, with the following settings:

Shape: Ellipse
Retain style: UNchecked
Anti-alias: checked
Create as vector: checked
Line style: solid
Width: 25
Join: left icon
Miter limit: 15

4. Use your Preset shape tool to draw an ellipse as shown below:

5. Convert your "bridge" layer to raster (Layers/Convert to Raster Layer).

6. Click on your Eraser tool and erase the bottom portion of your ellipse, so your bridge starts and ends on grass:

  Save

7. Change your foreground color to "bridge 2".

8. With your "bridge" layer active, add a new raster layer and name it "bridge details".

9. Click on your Paintbrush tool and use the following settings:

Shape: Round
Size: 1
Hardness: 100
Step: 1
Density: 100
Thickness: 100
Rotation: 0
Opacity: 100
Blend mode: Normal
Stroke: Continuous UNchecked
Wet look paint: UNchecked

10. Using your paintbrush, start defining your bridge. Don't worry about going outside your bridge area, we will clean this up later. You need one continuous line, as shown below, from the top (just right of center) to the bottom right, to define the top of the bridge:

  Save

11. Make your "bridge" layer active.

12. Float your selection (Selections/Select All; Selections/Float).

13. Add Noise (Adjust/Add/Remove Noise/Add Noise) with the following settings:


(preview panes cropped to reduce load time)

14. Apply a Guassian Blur of 0.5 (Adjust/Blur/Guassian Blur).

15. Defloat your selection (Selections/Defloat).

16. Make your "bridge details" layer active and invert your selection (Selections/ Invert).

17. Hit your delete key to remove excess pixels.

18. Float your selection (Selections/Select All; Selections/Float).

19. Emboss your selection (Effects/Texture Effects/Emboss).

20. Apply a Guassian Blur of 0.5 (Adjust/Blur/Guassian Blur).

21. Merge your "bridge details" and you "bridge" layers; rename this merged layer "bridge".

22. Deselect (Selections/Select None).

  Save

23. Click on your Lighten/Darken Brush and use the following settings:

Shape: Round
Size: 10
Hardness: 50
Step: 25
Density: 100
Thickness: 100
Rotation: 0
Opacity: 75
Stroke: Continuous UNchecked
Mode: RGB
Swap mouse buttons: UNchecked

24. Use your Lighten/Darken Brush, alternating between the left and right mouse buttons (left to lighten; right to darken), to highlight your bridge as shown below:

  Save

25. Duplicate your bridge layer (Layers/Duplicate).

26. Using your Mover Tool move your duplicate bridge slightly up and to the right.

27. Move this layer beneath your bridge layer (Layers/Arrange/Move Down):

  Save

28.  Using your Lighten/Darken Brush (same settings) darken the "inside" portion of your back bridge to give some depth:

  Save

29. Merge your "bridge" and "copy of bridge" layers and rename your merged layer "bridge".

30. Duplicate your "bridge" layer and rename this new layer "bridge reflection".

31. Flip your image (Image/Flip) and use your Mover Tool to move the upside down bridge up to meet the original bridge on the left side:

36. Change the Blend Mode on your "bridge reflection" layer to Soft Light (Layers/Properties).

37. Use your Eraser Tool to erase the portion of your reflection which is NOT over water. Once you have the major portion erased, change your opacity to 7 and soften the edges):

 

  Save

 

* * * PAINTING OUR TREES * * *

1. Add a new layer and name it "tree 1".

2. Change your foreground color to "tree 1" and your background color to "tree 2".

3. Click on your Paintbrush tool; click on the Preset button and choose the preset "Snow".

4. Change the Size to 15.

5. Paint a shape for a tree at the left side of your bridge, as shown below (we want the tree to be leaning down to the water):

6. Change your foreground color to "tree 3" and your background color to "tree 4".

7. Touch here and there on your trees to add highlights (I found that by switching between my left and right mouse buttons and using small circular strokes, I could get nice highlights without changing colors):

8. Add a new layer and name it "tree 2".

9. Using the same method, add a tree on the right side of your bridge:

10. Add a new layer and name it "tree trunks". Right click on this layer and choose "Arrange/Move Down" (do this twice) to place it beneath your "tree 1" layer.

11. Change your foreground color to "tree 5".

12. Click on your Paintbrush with the following settings:

Shape: Round
Size: 3
Hardness: 50
Step: 1
Density: 100
Thickness: 30
Rotation: 0
Opacity: 100
Blend mode: Normal
Stroke: Continuous UNchecked
Wet look paint: UNchecked

13. Using your tree shapes as guides, paint the trunks for your trees.

14. Change your foreground color to "tree 6".

15. Change the size on your Paintbrush to 1 and paint some highlights.

16. Use your Smudge Brush (set to size 5) to blend the colors (you may have to zoom in on your image while working this part):


 

17. Merge your "tree 1", "tree 2" and "tree trunks" layers and rename this merged layer "trees".
 

  Save

 

* * * CREATING OUR TREE REFLECTION * * *

1. Make your "tree" layer active.

2. Use your Selection Tool, set to Rectangle, to surround your left tree.

3. Promote this selection to it's own layer (Layers/Promote Selection to Layer).

4. Rename this new layer "left tree reflection".

5. Deselect (Selections/Select None).

6. Flip your image (Image/Flip).

7. Use your Mover Tool to move this image up until the trunks meet.

8. Change your Blend Mode to Soft Light (Layers/Properties).

9. Use your Eraser tool (change your opacity back to 100) to erase any of your "reflection" which is NOT over water. Change your Opacity to 7 and Hardness to 50 then soften the edges near the shore:

  Save

10. Now we have our bridge reflection showing through our tree reflection, so we need to get rid of it.

10. With your "left tree reflection" layer active, float your selection (Selections/Select All; Selections/Float).

11. Defloat (Selections/Defloat).

12. Make your "bridge reflection" layer active and hit your delete key.

13. Repeat the above steps for your right tree:

  Save

14. Delete your "base-black" layer.

15. Merge visible your remaining layers.

16. Rename this layer "base image"

17. Now you can do any fine tuning. I used my Smudge Brush to blend any sharp edges (base of tree trunks, base of bridge, top and bottom of bridge):

  Save
 

 

 

* * * ADDING FLOWERS AND FOLIAGE * * *

1. Adding new layers as you go, place foliage and flowers to complete your image:


(I used many layers, placing my flowers and foliage on separate
 layers, which allowed me to move and rearrange as needed)

2. Add any other enhancements you'd like to your image (birds, animals, etc) and using any of the tools available enhance your image any way you'd like.

3. Remember to add the reflection if you add anything behind your water!

4. Once you are happy with your image, merge all layers.

 

  Save

 

* * * ADDING SUNLIGHT * * *

1. Click on Effects/Illumination Effects/Sunburst and use the following settings:


 

2. Apply a frame or framing technique of your choice:

 

  Save

 

 

All Art Work & Graphics Designed by Cathy
This tutorial originally written on February 7, 2004
Copyright � 1999 - 2003 by Cathy.
All rights reserved.
Revised: April 06, 2008.