Hand Painted Plant

This is what we will be making

Painted plant in a pot

I got the idea for this tut from one of the lessons in the Custom Brushes class that Nanette is teaching at LVS Online. Nanette has been on the internet for a long time. She has a wonderful site which offers stationery and PSP tutorials. Be sure to visit her at Nanette´s Place.

Note: This tutorial is for intermediate to advanced PSP users and as such, will not contain detailed instructions for every phase.

This tutorial was done using PSP version 7. One of the features I used (Artistic Effects>BrushStrokes) is only available in this version; however, if you're thoroughly familiar with PSP you can probably figure out a workaround using version 6. In order to complete this tutorial you will need the following:

A. Paint Shop Pro...get it at: www.jasc.com

B. The zip file containing the three custom brushes I made for this tutorial Custom Brushes. After you download the zip file, find the folder in Paint Shop Pro named "Brushes" and unzip the three brushes into it.

Note: These brushes are my original images. You're welcome to use them for any personal purpose. Please do not offer them for download or use them for a Commercial site. If you want to share them with your friends, I´d appreciate it if you sent them a link to this tutorial. Thanks!

C. Your imagination - a necessary ingredient for any tutorial :O)

Blue divider with butterfly

Note: This is a long tutorial, so don´t forget to save as you go along.

O.K., Let´s get started:

1. Open a new image, 300 x 300 pixels, transparent background. Flood fill it with white.

2.    Add a layer. Choose a light green for your foreground and a dark green for your background, then select your paintbrush tool.

3.   Click on the little brush icon in the corner of the tool options.

PSP tool options-paint brush

A menu will pop up. Click on the word "Custom".

Custom brush in PSP

A small box will pop up with a picture of a custom brush in the window.

More custom brush settings

Click on the little arrow and another window will pop up showing the images of the brushes you have stored in your Brush folder. Select the dark, solid leaf.

Custom brush images

4.    Now, right click in the center of your image and you will see this:

Green leaf shape

Since you put it on a new layer, if you want to change the position, you can do so.

5.   Add a new layer.

6.   Repeat step 3, only this time select the Outline Leaf brush, and using your light green foreground color, left click over the dark leaf. Choose the deformation tool and play around with it until the light green leaf is shaped and sized more in proportion with the darker leaf. This is what your image should look like now:

Dark green leaf with light green veining

7.   Activate the dark green leaf layer, select all, then touch the leaf in the center with the Magic Wand. Re-activate the light green leaf layer. Now, only the leaf shape will be selected. (This is to keep you from "coloring outside of the lines" Winking Smiley.) Choose your retouch tool and use these settings:

Settings in PSP-retouch tool

Try to "push" the color from the jagged edges of the light green leaf out towards the edges of the dark green leaf and blur the lighter color so that it appears to be part of the lower layer. Then smudge the leaf veins until they have a softer look. I used the the airbrush with the light green color to fill in a bit on the edgesand then continued blending with the retouch tool.

Green leaf with paint spray on it

Hint: As you work, you may want to adjust the hardness and density settings of the smudge brush. This is a very individual thing and you´ll have to practice with the tool in order to determine what works best for you. Just as with a "real" painting, each artist must determine the size, shape and texture of the brushes which work best for him or her.

When you're satisfied with the way your leaf looks, go on to Step 8.


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This tutorial is my own creation, any similarity to any other tutorial on the Internet is unintentional. It is copyrighted by Nightshadow and is not to be copied or reproduced in any way under penalty of law. Graphics lists, please e-mail me for permission to post my tutorials and don't forget to send me a link to the results page....I love to see how people interpret my tuts Pink "Smiley".

NOTE: Any image you make using this tutorial is completely your own property.

© Blue Rose Design 2002