— In Progress —
+Okay, next! Next we have our little Halloween girl, Hayleen. When I saw this little clip art, I saw so many learning opportunities in her. With Hayleen’s little dress, we are going to attempt some advanced pixel techniques. But what’s the first lesson going to be you ask? We’re going to prepare the outline for painting! Yay!
Here, I’ve attached the zip file with little Hayleen inside. Unzip her and take her over to your Paint Shop Pro.
Have a good look at your Hayleen outline. First things first, duplicate Hayleen and close the original. Only work on the copy! Now we need to remove the white background. Let’s save Hayleen as a transparent gif. Do you remember how? Okay, I’ll help. Just go to File, Export, GIF Optimizer as below.
In the next screen, select Areas that match this color. To set the color for transparency, left click on the white background of Hayleen and the white will be selected for transparency. Notice how the cursor turned into the Eyedropper. You don’t have to worry about the other tabs in this window. Notice how Hayleen looks transparent in the upper right-hand window. This is showing you that the white background is now transparent.
Now click on OK and save your transparent gif. Be sure to use a different variation of the name. I’ll call mine hayleen1.gif. You can close this file now.
Okay, now open Animation Shop. Huh? Are you still with me here?
Go ahead, open Animation Shop and open your transparent Hayleen that you just made. She looks transparent! Now just copy (Control c). Go back over to Paint Shop Pro and paste (control v). There’s your transparent Hayleen.
Usually at this point, I select my colors. Of course, I may start out with these colors but as I progress, I will always change colors as I go along. It’s allowed! Here’s my Autumn colors if you want to use them. At least it’s a starting point.
Here’s a little hint. If you have trouble selecting colors (like me), I have found that it is easier if I just paint with any color and then change the colors later. Of course, you have to set up your outline where each item is on it’s own layer. Then you can select a layer and recolor it using Colorize, or my favorite, Hue/Saturation/Lightness. This is the decisions that you have to make before you paint. I have found that it’s ultimately important to put all the sections of your outline on a different layer if you have a Members Area. This way you can make many different colors of the same graphic without having to repaint it. Can you say Tube Packs? Hee! Be sure to put each section on its own layer! Okay, get busy and draw your outline with all the sections on different layers. I’m going to go do mine and I’ll be back in a minute or two.
A little tip here! When you are pixeling in your sections on different layers, say you have a line with 20 pixels. Instead of drawing 20 pixels one at a time, click the first pixel with the color you have chosen then hold down the Shift Key and click on the last pixel in the line. Yee haw! They’re all pixeled in! This also works with single pixels that are in an angle. Just click on the first one, hold down the Shift Key, and click on the last one in the angle. It’s Magic ……. and such a timesaver!
I’m done! I’ve drawn each section on a layer of its own. I have 7 layers not counting the Frame 1 layer, which is turned off. Here’s how Hayleen looks now.
Please understand, you don’t have to do this with your outlines! I only do this because I know I’m going to want to recolor some of the sections. It’s very important for you to know what you want to do with your outline before you start. This will save you time later. And, of course, if you completely blow it and can’t do what you wanted with this outline, well, remember, you saved the original and closed it. It’s safe and ready for use when you screw up! Yay!
Okay, now start filling your sections with the light shade of the border pixels like I’ve done below.
Okay, now for the ruffles, well, pleats actually. These can’t really be called ruffles but we’ll see. We never end up with what we planned, right? It’s our art and we can do whatever we please with it! Now, you don’t have to do it this way but I love drawing lines that I can work with. We are going to draw the defining line on each pleat. Make your foreground color the same color as the orange border and turn off the background color.
Select your Pen tool and these are the settings.
Draw your line beginning at the little indention and go up as far as you think is right. Now, right click on the top node at the top of the line and select Node Type, Cusp. Right click again and select Node Type, Curve Before. Grab the little handle that is sticking out and curve the line to define the pleat. This is what it should look like now. Cool?
Now move onto the next and the next and the next! All of these will be on one layer. This is kind of fun! No? Geeeezzzzz. When done, convert the Vector layer to a Raster layer. Here’s my pleats.
Now for the paint! Get your Magic Wand and select the skirt. Now grab your Airbrush and use these settings.
Basically, you will paint the outer edges and pleats with your dark color. Just run the Airbrush around the edges and up each pleat. Now select your light color and use the paint to highlight the skirt in the middle of the pleats and a little above the pleats. Here’s what I have so far. I went ahead and did the whole dress. See, I started out with orange and I ended up with pink. I recolor everything!
Notice how the dress looks textured. That comes from lowering the density in your Airbrush settings. Also, did you notice something else about the skirt? Anyone? Well, you’re going to think I’m crazy but remember all the time we took drawing those lines for pleats? Well, it’s at this point that I delete those pleat lines. Huh? Yes! I only draw those pleat lines so that I can put the shading in the skirt exactly where I want it to be. You don’t have to draw those pleat lines, of course. You can just shade the pleats freehand, but me? I SUCK at freehand! Anyway, I think it looks better without the lines and the dress looks pretty dang good if you ask me!
Now let’s do the hat. Click on the layer that the hat is on and select the top of the hat with the Magic Wand. We will paint the hat with the knowledge that we will want it a different color later. This means that it really doesn’t matter what color you use to paint with because you are going to recolor it later. So, I’ll just leave Hayleen’s hat this awful green color. Yuk!
Oh, look! I’ve done her hair, her cheek rouge and her eye. Lord, I need a tutorial on how to do eyes! Anyway, select your Airbrush with the same settings we used before. Run your Airbrush around the edges of the hat and inside the hat with the dark color. Then spritz the light color in the middle to give the hat its definition.
I like the way the texture gives the hat its felt look. You are really painting now, ladies! Now is the part where I leave you on your own to finish up our little Hayleen. Remember I teach you the technique but let your talents take over and express yourself with your paintings! And these are paintings! It sure ain’t the old cutout and shadow effect! And, of course, painting your pixels like this, well, there’s not another pixel in the universe just like yours! Sure takes care of the old copyright problems! Here’s my little Hayleen all ready to play!
And here is my Hayleen in her Halloween best. A little note here: I saved my completed Hayleen as a jpg. She has 1,922 colors! I saved her with the first layer as being the background of this page. A gif has only 256 colors and that’s not enough for Hayleen!
Now you can duplicate the different layers of Hayleen and recolor all those pieces that we preserved. You can make so many things with Hayleen with all her different colors. I’m attaching a Tube Pack that I made for y’all to keep and use. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a Tube License, you don’t need one for Hayleen! I hope you’ve learned a lot from this tutorial! Email if you have any questions, I’m always lurking about. Have a lovely evening! Luvs, Janet