Let's make a mask.

We'll be working with the Selection Tool, the Brush Tool, the Fill Tool, Masks, and Layers. Part 3 uses an external freeware plugin filter. This tutorial is at the intermediate level and was written for PSP 7, but you should be able to work through it in other versions as long as you know your way around. Part 2 has specific details for some differences in PSP 8 & 9.


Create a new image. 400x400 Black


Activate the Selection tool. selection tool


Open the Tool Options palette and use these settings:

  • Selection type = Rounded rectangle
  • Feather = 20
  • Antialias = checked
tool options

Start at 50x50 and draw a rounded rectangle to 350x350.
When you let go of the mouse button, your selection will feather.

make your selection

Set your foreground color to White. Background color doesn't matter. Textures set to null.

forground color white

Activate the Fill tool. fill tool

Open the Tool Options palette and use these settings:

  • Blend mode = Normal
  • Match mode = None
  • Opacity = 100
  • Sample mergerd = UNchecked

Click once inside the selected area.

flood fill settings

Deselect: Selections > Select None

Your image should look something like this now.

mask image

Activate the Brush tool. brush tool

Open the Tool Options palette and choose a brush. (I'm using a custom brush. Click the brush that is circled in the image to the right to find your custom brushes.) Change settings to suit the look you want. This is what I used.

Note: Custom brushes are available on the web. The creation of custom brushes is beyond the scope of this tutorial. Do a google.com search on psp brushes and you'll come with a ton of links to check out. :) If you'd like to use my brush you can download it HERE. Extract the VikkiBrush.jbr file from the zip into the Brushes directory in PSP 7.

brush settings

Make sure that your Foreground color is still set to white and draw/dab/swirl the brush around the edges of the white area on your image. Play with it, go around the edges as many times as it takes to get the look you want. Switch brushes, brush sizes, opacity... Be creative...


When you get the look you want save the image as a jpg. I keep these masking jpg images in a folder called "maskjpgs" so I can find them easily.

my mask

Ok... Take a break. Get up and stretch. When you're ready we'll go on to Part 2.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

If you enjoyed this tutorial I'd love to hear from you. If you need help with anything here or if the steps aren't clear, please let me know and I'll try to explain it better.

Mask Edges | Lettering with a Mask | Gradient Mask

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