SLP Curriculum Guide #02, Materials Palette
Curriculum Guide Index

In Guide #01 we began with just exploring PSP and its layout. We also looked at some duplications of features/functions in the File Menu System and Toolbars. To become fully acquainted with all nuances of PSP time is required so continue exploring.


Palettes, (Materials and Layers and Tool Options are three of the more used palettes) provide the foundation for image creation and photographic enhancement. Each Palette has many features and functions that as learned allow for more intricate image creation and development. Keep in mind that learning all there is to know about PSP is a life long and exciting adventure.

GUIDE #02: Materials Palette

The Materials Palette lets us set 'colors' with ability to enhance them as 'gradients', 'patterns' and/or 'textures'. Though not a necessity, one can learn how to use either decimal or hexadecimal values to define a color. These values (hexadecimal) are often used on web pages to define colors.

For advanced work with colors one can get acquainted with the H (hue), S (saturation), and L (lightness) values. Learning the interrelationship between the dec/hex and the hsl values helps advanced users to create very finely tuned colors.

Exercise #1: Setting Colors, Basics

Set colors using different techniques and/or approaches:

  • a. Use the Color Wheel and mouse and watch how colors change dependent upon where the two circles are on the Color Wheel and Color box.
  • b. When exploring the Color Wheel positioning for color selection, note the Decimal values for R (red), G (green), B (blue). Also, note the HSL values.
  • c. Change the RGB values to set colors and note how the color wheel circles change. As well, note how the HSL values change.
Exercise #2: Working with Gradients

Gradients are color blending patterns that can be used to create interesting and unique background colors for other parts of an image. There are many presets of gradients that come with PSP. Explore both the gradients available and various options for displaying gradients as backgrounds.

  • a. Choose a Gradient. Explore the various options (Style, Angle, Repeats, Invert). Flood fill a canvas and use Ctrl+Z to undo in order to explore other value settings.
  • b. For other than Linear Style, explore the Center Point and Focal Point values to see how various settings allow for creative and interesting background patterns. Also, explore the values Angle and Repeat to see which gradient pattern and style create different results.
  • c. Choose a Pattern. Explore how Angle and Scale options alter the basic image.
  • d. When relatively familiar with colors, gradients and patterns, use the Texture feature and add textures to the color combinations. Experiment with using different layers for different effects.


  1. When completing a tutorial or series of tutorials, and having placed them upon your web page, post in the SLP Forum your completed work using this layout:
    • Name or Screen Name.
    • Web Site URL.
    • Version of PSP using.
    • List of Tutorials completed.
    • From exploration of using colors, gradients, patterns, textures for backgrounds and from exploring their various option values, post some of your unique results.
      • Indicate what color, gradient, pattern, texture used.
      • Indicate what option values
      • Add comments on your results and findings of interest.
      • Share your questions and comments in the SLP Forum and your graphic results in the member Gallery SLP Album as well as in the Forum.


Curriculum Guide Index