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Painting with the Retouch Tool - Part 2
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Painting with the Retouch Tool - Part 2
The Mountains and Trees
Created by: theProf

Part 2 - Mountains & Trees

In this four (4) part tutorial series, we will be creating and painting a Mountain Scene using the Retouch tool and in particular the Smudge Option. The techniques presented will provide both an orientation to using the Retouch Tool for painting and how its various options affect images.

Part 1 both explores using the Retouch Tool and its options and creates a background of clouds on a blue sky. The basic painting techniques are described in this tutorial.
Part 2 creates the Mountains and background Trees.
Part 3 creates the Lake and a Foreground Scene.
Part 4 finishes up the Painting with enhancements and a Frame.

There are no downloads needed for this tutorial series.

Creating Mountains and Trees

In Part 1 we created the background and clouds. We will create a new layer for the Mountains and another new layer for the Trees. We use much the same techniques as we did in Part 1. We will use the Spray Can to paint the mountains and trees and the Smudge Tool to blend them.

When we paint the mountains, don't worry about the bottom part as it will be defined when we paint the lake. Our mountains are in the distance so will not be well defined but will be snow capped. Our trees will be at the base of the mountains and also will not be well defined.

Mountain Scene
Smudging the White Circles

Creating the Mountains

Load your PSP Image from Part 1

Add a New Top Layer labeled 'Mountains'

Set Palette Colors

==> Foreground = Solid (brush) and Color = Black
==> Background = Solid (brush) and Color = White
Textures: Both = Null
==> Lock = Checked


Mountain Base

Paint The Mountains using the Spray Can

Turn on the Ruler as a general guide: View > Rulers
Select the Spray Can Tool with these settings:

Shape = Right Slash
Size = 50
Hardness = 5
Opacity = 15
Step = 2
Density = 25

Mountain Base

Start at the left of your canvas, about 100 on the ruler, and draw a horizontal BLACK line from left to right for the Mountain Base. The line will have blue dots throughout it, which is what we want.



Draw Four (4) Mountains

There are no changes in any setting. Also, use [Control+Z] to undo any painted mountains you don't like and just start again.

Mountain 1 starts at left of the canvas. It will be smaller than the middle mountains. Each Mountain top will look like a black triangle.
Start at top of baseline. Draw diagonally down to the base line. The top of mountain will be at about 50 on the left side ruler.

Mountain 2 starts at right of the canvas about 350 on top ruler. It will also be smaller than the middle mountains.

Mountain 3 starts in the base just under the left mountain. Paint in an upward and diagonal manner to about 50 on the left ruler (top of mountain will be at about 25 on left ruler) and then draw diagonally down to the right into the base.

Mountain 4 starts in the base just under the 3rd mountain (at about 190 on the top ruler). Paint in an upward and diagonal manner to about 30 on the left ruler (top of mountain will be at about 10 on left ruler) and then draw diagonally down to the right into the base over-lapping the right mountain.

Mountains with snow

Draw Snow on Mountains

In the Spray Can, set the Size = 20 and leave all other settings the same. Use the Right Mouse button to spray the White or switch the Foreground and Background colors.

Start with right slash.

On each mountain start on the left side and paint snow. Make a snow cap at the top of the mountain. Use a thin stroke by starting at a lower part of left side and move diagonally up the side of the mountain. Don't over do this part. The effect is to create what looks like snow ridges on the mountain.

In the center of the mountains, paint some additional ridges and light touches of the right slash.

Change to the Left Slash and paint snow in similar manner on the right sides.

The out come is a rough looking snow capped mountains.

At any given point that you do not like a stroke use the [Control+Z] keys to undo and just redo again.


Mountains with snow smudged

Smudge It

Use the Retouch Tool and Smudge Option with these settings.

First, set 'Smudge'
Size = 50
Hardness = 11
Opacity = 50
Step = 1
Density = 50

Start with right slash. Very gently smudge the left side of the mountains. Use different strokes. Sometimes sweep diagonally from left to right and down. sometimes sweep straight down. Don't over do this step. You want to leave some of the rough appearance.

Use the left slash and smudge right side of the mountains from right to left and diagonally down.

Again, use the [control+Z] on strokes you don't like and just re-do them.


Soften Mountains with snow Softened

Soften It

This next effect is very subtle. We will use the Retouch Tool with the 'Soften' Option to very lightly soften the mountains. Use these Settings:

First, set the Option = Soften
Shape = Round
Size = 255
Hardness = 50
Opacity = 100
Step = 25
Density = 100

Very quickly covering the mountains with the selection, draw the from left to right. You might want to do this twice, but no more as this just softens the painting in a subtle fashion.


This step finishes the mountains. If your mountains are too dark, you might want to lower the opacity to somewhere around 70 - 75 %. Next, we will create the trees. But, first Save Your Work.


Paint The Trees using the Spray Can

In this exercise, we will actually create a single tree on a new canvas. Once satisfied with it, we will size it using the deformation tool and the resize feature. Then we will paste it to our painting, duplicating it until it covers the base of the mountains.

Setting the Palette Colors

Foreground = Light Green (0, 192, 0)
Background = Dark Green (0, 64, 0)

New Canvas:

200 x 200, White Background, 16 M Colors
Add new Top Layer labeled 'Tree'


Basic dark green tree

Paint a Basic Tree

Use the Spray Can with these settings:

Shape = Round
Size= 20
Hardness = 5
Opacity = 50
Step = 75
Density = 50

We will paint a basic fur tree: Use the Right Mouse Button for the Dark Green and the Left Mouse button for the Light Green color.

->Highlight the Tree Layer.
->'Using Dark Green', start near the top-center and draw a line of circles straight down to near the bottom-center.
->Then, start just below the top of the line and begin drawing branches curving them slightly upward.
->Make each lower set of branches just a bit longer.
->When finished, it will look like a tree of circles with lots of white in between the branches and white dots in the circle.


Added light green  to tree

Add Light Green to Tree

Give the tree more definition by adding circles of light green to the tree. Make the left side of the tree lighter than the right side.

->Starting at top and left of the center of the tree, paint with light green on top of and above the dark green circles.
->Also, paint in the white spaces as well.
->Tip the edges of each branch with a light green circle.
->On the right side of the three, paint over the dark circles.
->Finally, add some more dark green circles to the center of the three.


Tree resized and shaped

Resize and Shape Tree

We will first resize the tree and then use the deformation tool and create a tall thin pine tree.

Resize with these settings:

Image > Resize
Percentage of Original = Checked
Width and Height = 25
Resize all Layers = Unchecked
Maintain Aspect Ratio = Checked
Click on Ok

Use the Deformation Tool

->Click on the Deformation Tool.
->Click on top middle node and move up until tree is about 1 inch high.
->Click on left middle node and move in so tree is about 1/4 wide.
->Click on 'Apply"

Use the mover tool and center the tree

Use Effects > Sharpen >Sharpen More

In the Tree layer Set the Mode Option to Darken


Tree resized and shaped

Smudge the Tree

Use the Smudge Feature of Retouch. Make sure these settings are present.

Tool = Smudge
Shape = Horizontal
Size = 10
Hardness = 50
Opacity = 50
Step = 1
Density = 50

Begin with Horizontal
start outside of tree and at left - top
Draw cursor horizontally and zig-zag back and forth down the tree.

Then Change to the Vertical Option
Start at the bottom and left of tree and draw straight up.
Move cursor back to bottom and just to the right.
Repeat the up stroke and again until all of the tree has been vertically smudged.

Again, use Effects > Sharpen > Sharpen More

This completes the tree. We will now copy it onto our main canvas.


Trees pasted to main canvas

Painting (pasting) Trees to Main Canvas

We will copy our tree and then paste it as a new layer a number of times on our Main Canvas. Use the Mover tool to position the trees at the base of the mountain.

First, Copy the Tree [Control+C].
On your Main Canvas, highlight the Top Layer. Then Paste the tree as a New Layer. [Control+L]
Move tree to the left with about 1/2 on mountain base and the other 1/2 on the blue below.
Repeat with [Control+L] and then moving tree until you have placed trees horizontally across the canvas.
Vary the height of each tree and leave some space between some of the trees.
Overlap some trees as well.

Use [Control+Z] to undo any pasting and then re-do.

When satisfied, turn off all layers but the tree layers
Highlight a Tree Layer and use: Layers > Merge Visible
Label the 'Merged' layer = 'Trees'
Set Mode Option to 'Hard Light'
Use Effects > Sharpen > Sharpen More
Turn on All Layers.

Save Your Work to use in next tutorial.


Part Two is now Finished

We have painted Mountains and Trees. Do not worry about 1/2 of trees in the blue as we will modify them when we do the next tutorial. In Part Three we will create a Lake and Add Land to the Front of our Canvas.

Have fun experimenting with Smudge and Mountains and Trees.