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Fantasy Art Tutorials in the FARP Section

Painting in Paint Shop Pro

By Cassandra A. McDaniel


Black And White
Figure 1: Black and White

Step 1: Begin with a line drawing

   First, open your image in Printshop, scan it from paper, or make a line drawing using the paintbrush tool. If you're using a picture of your own, there are a few things you're going to want to do before you begin. Make sure it's a grayscale image first. You'll want to erase any stray lines; and clean up the lines by going to Colors>Adjust>Levels. You'll want to move the black and white triangles closer to the middle, and the gray closer to the white, until the image looks good. Once the levels and lines have been cleaned up, you're almost ready to start. I've already cleaned up the line drawing for Griff.

   If you don't have your Layers Palette open, use the little button or go to View>Toolbars and click on the box next to the Layers Palette.Create a new layer, by right clicking on the first layer and then clicking on New (In PSP7 you can click on New Raster Layer.) Name this Layer Outline. With white as your Background color, copy the first layer (the one with your drawing) and paste it As A Transparent selection... on your Outline Layer. When the selection is defloated it should end up on the Outline layer you created. See Layer - Figure 1.


Layer - Fig 1

Step 2: Adding Solid Color
When you add color, you obviously want the color to be underneath the outline. Create a new layer (Layer 2), and drag it in the Layers Palette so that it's between the Outline and the Background. See Layer - Figure 2 bellow.


Layer - Fig 2
Figure 2: Layer 2 contains just flat color
   Using the Lasso tool Lasso Tool, either freehand or point to point, I prefer the latter, select an area to be filled with color. This is probably the hardest task to follow the line. Once the area is selected, choose a color and make sure that Layer 2 (or whatever you called this layer) is active, then fill the selection. The result should look like Figure 2.
   Repeat this process until the entire character has been filled with solid color. If you decide to change a color you can use the Magic Wand tool to select the appropriate color, then fill it with the new color.

Figure 3: Shadow

Layer - Fig 3

Step 3: Adding Shadows

    Guess what, time for another new layer! Before you do anything else, set the layer's mode to Multiply. This can be done both by the pull-down menu on the Layer Palette, or double clicking on the layer to bring up the Layer Options. What this does is makes anything you draw in that layer act like a marker or watercolor rather than regular paint; the color underneath still shows through. (See Figure 3)
    Make sure this layer is between the Outline Layer and Layers 2, then select a medium-light gray. (See Layer - Figure 3) I use a gray with all three RGB values equal to 150. The using the Airbrush tool, and a well sized brush, color the areas that should be shadows. You'll notice that instead of the gray, you'll see a darker version of the color below because of the layer's mode.

    As far as where the shadow's should go, it helps to observe real life. Light doesn't bend, so shadows will always be on the same side of the figure.

    Shadows in real life are quite a bit more complicated than what I've done here, but you're welcome to make shadows more life-like. Things to remember are that a cast shadow has a harder edge than a form shadow, and often there is a reflected light, or secondary light affecting the form shadow.

Don't worry about going outside the lines, we'll deal with that in step 5.


Step 4: Adding Highlights

   One more layer to be added, sandwiched between the outline and shading. Set this layer to either Soft Light or Color Dodge depending on how much of a difference you want your highlights to make.
   Using the Airbrush again, white, and a smaller brush size; paint the highlights onto your figure. Keep in mind that like shadows, highlights flow on one side of the figure. Areas closest to the source of light will be highlight. Also highlights can be used to show what kind of texture a surface has. Hair will pick up brighter highlights than skin, so you can add another layer to double the highlights.

   If you've set the Layer to Dodge you'll notice that the effects are quite dramatic, and probably too much. Don't worry. After you've painted on all the highlights, run Image>Blur>Gaussian Blur (or Effects>Blur>Gaussian Blur For PSP7) You'll want to play with the setting of the blur, but generally anything

Figure 4: Highlights

Layer - Fig 4

between a setting of 3 and 8 is good. You can also lower the Layer Opacity until the highlights look correct to you.
   If you used Soft Light, the highlights will be a lot more subtle, which will be good if you want a softer look to your picture. You can increase highlights by adding another layer set to the same mode and painting additional highlights on top. Or you can add a layer set to Soft Light on top of a layer set to Dodge, it's really up to you.

Figure 5: Finnished Product

Step 5: Finishing the Picture

The next step I did, was to make sure the background layer was not visible, and then Layer>Merge Visible. This puts all visible layers together on one layer. Then I just set the fill toll to a tolerance of 50 and filled in around the picture, getting rid of all the excess color outside the outline of Griff. Added a background and TADA! The finished Giff.

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