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Digital Painting with Gradients
Part 1 of 2

To see results sent by one of the groups that used this tutorial please visit this page.

small version of finished image This is a beginners/intermediate tutorial written for PSP7, but could just as easily be done in PSP6 as long as you know your way around in there.    :)

It uses the Selection tool (including precise selecions), the Fill tool (gradients), the Deformation tool, and Layers, with use of tubes optional in your finished image. The tubes I used in mine (gulls and sailboat) were found at Page of Blues which is sadly now closed.

Let's begin...

  1. Open a new canvas 300x300 with a transparent background.

  2. Settings for Fill tool Activate the fill tool The fill tool and use the following settings:

    Style = Gradient
    (Click triangle on Foreground Style swatch to bring up menu)  -->

    In Tool Options palette:
    (Press letter O on keyboard if palette not already there)
    Blend mode = normal
    Match mode = none
    Opacity = 100%.
    Tool Options Palette

  3. Pick a light blue color for your foreground color swatch and a navy blue for your background color. (Click on the color swatch to activate the color dialog box) This capture shows #E7E7FF (light) and #000084 (dark)
    light blue foreground, navy background
    Go here for help picking colors. It will open a new window... Close that to come back here.

  4. Click on the Styles Foreground swatch to bring up the Gradient dialog box and use the following settings:
    Gradient dialog box
    Gradient = Foreground-Background (click the arrow to the right of the color swatch to see your possible selections. #1 in capture above)
    Angle = 180%
    Repeats = 0
    Style = Linear (#2 in capture above)

  5. Click on the Edit button and then on the diamond on top of the gradient line. Slide the diamond over to the right until the number in the Gradient location box says 77%. OK
    Edit the gradient

  6. Click once on your new canvas.   click once to fill with gradient

  7. Tool Options Activate the Selection tool selection tool and look in the Tool Options palette:
    Selection Type = Rectangle
    Antialias = checked
    Feather = 4

    Double click selection tool Double click on the Selection tool and enter the following settings:
    Left = 0
    Right = 300
    Top = 200
    Bottom = 300
    Custom size and position = checked
    OK

  8. Activate the Fill tool.

  9. Change the Foreground Texture from Null to Texture. Change Foreground from Nul to Texture

    Click on the Foreground Texture swatch and choose Ocean from the list.
    Choose Ocean
    Click on the Foreground Style swatch to bring up the Gradient dialog box.
    Change the Angle to 0

    Click on the Edit button.
    Change the Transparency Opacity setting to 50%.
    Move the left color pointer back to 50
    Edit the gradient.
    OK

  10. Click inside the selected area on your canvas.

  11. Misty morning at sea Selections/Select none. It's starting to look like a misty morning on the ocean now.

  12. Now let's put in the sunrise.
    Activate the Selection tool. Open the Tool Options palette. Use the following settings:
    Selection type = Circle
    Feather = 8
    Antialias = checked

  13. Starting at your horizon line, draw a small circle. It will expand when you're finished due to the feather effect.

  14. Go back to the Tool Options palette and make the following changes:
    Selection type = Rectangle
    Feather = 6

    The beginning of the sun... While holding the Control key down (this takes away from your selection), draw a rectangle over the bottom part of the circle with the top part of the rectangle being level with the horizon line. When you're finished you'll have a half circle that feathers a bit down over the water.

  15. Activate the Fill tool and use the following settings:
    Blend mode = Normal
    Match mode = none
    Opacity = 100%.

    Click on the Foreground Style swatch to bring up the Gradient dialog box.
    Sunburst gradient
    Gradient = Foreground to background
    Style = Sunburst (arrow in capture to right)
    Horizontal = 30
    Vertical = 40
    Repeats = 0

    Click on the Edit button and change the opacity back to 100.
    OK

  16. Change the foreground color swatch to a fairly dark red and the background color to orange. I used #CF1313 for red and #FA9108 for orange.
    Red foreground and orange background

  17. Change back to nul Change the Foreground Texture back to Null.

  18. Click two or three times inside your selection depending on how big and bright you want your sun to be. Since your selection is feathered, your selected area will not fill up with flood fill. Each click will add a bit more size as well as color depth to your sun. Leave your sun selected...

  19. You should have something like this now.
    The sun...


When you're ready, move on to part 2



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