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This is a very basic tutorial, in which we shall use several of Paint Shop Pro's tools and facilities. We are going to make a winner's rosette (or a political supporter's rosette if you like), and it can be adapted to make a rather surreal flower. You will not need any plugins, tubes or downloaded textures. We shall make all that we need with PSP alone.

First, open a new image 110x110 pixels, resolution 72, 16 million colours, background transparent. Set the foreground colour to a royal blue. I used R 32, G58, B214. To set one of the colours, click on its displayed colour on the right of the screen, and type the numbers I give against Red, Green and Blue in the dialogue box, then click OK. Set the background colour to a lighter blue. For this I used R 122, G 211, B 244.

You will need to use the control palette and the layer palette, so go to View/Toolbars and make sure that both are checked.

outlined ellipseSelect the shape drawing tool shape tool and on the control palette set shape ellipse, style outlined, outline width 3 and check anti-alias. Draw a vertical, petal shaped ellipse in your 110x110 image.

Select the magic wand tool magic wand and on the control palette set match mode brightness, tolerance 20 and feather 3. Click inside your ellipse, and you will see that the centre has been selected, but the selection also runs onto the outline by about half its width.

Use Selections/promote to layer.

Select the fill tool fill tool and on the control palette set Fill style solid colour, match mode RGB value, tolerance 200, opacity 100. Right click inside the selected area of your ellipse. The centre will be filled with the light blue, but because of the anti-aliasing you will see that the fill does not come right up to the outline. You must also right click on the bit of the outline which is inside the selection, so that there are no gaps between the coloured centre and the outline. Don't worry if the fill has now covered a little of the outline. We can remedy that easily.

On the layer palette you have, at the bottom Layer 1, and above it Promoted Selection. Put your cursor on Promoted Selection, hold down the left mouse button and drag it below Layer 1. Your outline ellipse is now above the fill and hiding any spots where the fill ran into it.

petalUse Selections/Select none followed by Layers/Merge/Merge visible. This is the basic 'building block' of our rosette, and you should save it as 'petal.psp', but also keep it open in PSP.

Now open another new image, this time 300x300 pixels, but all the other settings the same as your smaller one.

Use the magic wand tool again, change feather to 0, keep the other settings as before, and in the petal image, click in the area outside the petal. Use Selections/Invert. To avoid getting a white halo around the petal when we copy it, now use Selections/Modify/Contract set at 1, followed by Selections/Modify/Feather set at 1. Click on the left button of these three copy/paste buttons buttons - which will copy the petal to the clipboard. If you do not have these buttons on your toolbar, use Edit/Copy for the left one, Edit/Paste/As new Image for the middle one, and Edit/Paste/As New Layer for the right hand one.

first petalClick on the frame of your larger image to make it the current one, then on the right one of the three buttons to paste a copy of the petal into the image on its own layer. Make sure that the moving tool move tool is selected, click on the petal, drag it to the top centre of the image, and line it up so that the point at the bottom is at the point where 4 of the transparency grid squares join. This will help you in lining up the others we are going to put in. The illustration on the right shows the positioning, but it is only a small portion of the whole image.

Paste another copy of the petal as a new layer. You will now have layers 1,2 and 3 on the layer palette. Make sure that the top one, layer3, is the selected one. (It should be if you have not touched the layer palette since pasting the second copy of the petal.) Click on the rotate button. rotate If you do not have this button on your toolbar, use Image/Rotate. Set the settings as shown below, then click OK.

rotate settings

two petalsUse the moving tool and place it above the upright one, with the point at the bottom in the same position as the upright one, as shown on the left. Repeat the copy/paste as new layer, adding 10 to the Free figure in the Rotate settings for each one, and lining them up with the previous ones, until you have pasted one with that figure set at 90.

Do not be tempted to copy/paste the last rotation you did and keep the rotation figure at 10. Rotating blurs an image very slightly, but as long as you always go back to the original and rotate another copy of that, the blurring will not be noticeable. If you make copies of the copies, by the time you get to the last one the image will be very degraded.

10 petalsYou will now have 11 layers on your layer palette, and 10 petals, as shown on the right.

Save your image as rosette.psp. Now use Layers/Merge/Merge visible. You will now have only one layer, called Merged, on your layer palette, but the background will still be transparent. It would not be transparent if we had used Layers/Merge/Merge all (flatten).

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