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Painting with the Retouch Tool - Part 4
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Painting with the Retouch Tool - Part 4
Final Touches
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.

The Final Touches

In the first 3 parts, we created the background, clouds, mountains, trees, lake and foreground land. This final lesson will now enhance the picture and have some fun.

The first part of this tutorial will display some illustrations for adding images to the foreground to create more objects, such as grass, rock pathway, trees. These examples will provide some ideas of other painting options as well as use of tubes to enhance the picture. Minimal instructions are given in this part to allow you to create your own foreground enhancements. You might even want to try your hand at creating an old wooden hourse or building with a fence and pathway. Just have some fun.

The final part of this tutorial will use a couple of other PSP features (Illumination Effects, Frames useing Bevels and Eye Candy.) We will also sign our picture. Instructions will be given for these illustrations.

Mountain Scene

Scene with Painted Grass

Illustration #1: Creating Grass with Retouch

Load your PSP Image from Part 3

Use: Windows > Duplicate. Then, Close the Original PSP file to save it should you wish to rework those layers.

The illustration for grass uses some of the same techniques used in previous lessons. The Spray Can creates some initial small circles using two shades of green. Then using a small size vertical brush, the grass is created with 'smudge' using very small strokes upward through and over the circles.

When the initial clumps of grass have been created, they are copied and then pasted to the canvas as a new layer many times to create the grassy areas. When satisfied, the grass layers are merged.

This illustration has a Grass Layer with the mode option set to 'Difference' and the Copy of the Grass Layer mode option set to Overlay. The grass was initially placed to create a path from the Lake.

Tube Grass

Illustration #2: Creating Grass with Tubes

Grass Tubes were used for this illustration. The initial tube used was 'Lawn' which was sized a bit and rotated and a second copy similarly was pasted and shaped to make the base for the grass effect. Then other grass tubes (Glass Blades, Field Grass and Forest Plant) were used to accent the lawn. The layer was then sharpened to get a bit more color contrast. A brown land area was left below the grass for a Stone Wall Effect.


Stone Wall

Illustration #3: Creating a Stone Wall

Rock Tubes were used to create a single wall which was then copied and pasted as a new layer and then resized larger to create the front wall. On the back wall, a drop shadow was used to create a shadow effect on the pathway. The front wall was further enhanced using a duplicated layer of its outline over the earth area and then mode options were used to create the effect. To vary the coloring of the rock walls, colorize was also used. And, both walls were 'sharpened'.

Subtle Effects

Illustration #4: Creating some Subtle Effects

On this layer, there are flower tubes, a leafy vine, the geese tube, and the monach butterfly tube. All tubes were done in smaller than the default size to give some perspective to the scene as well as some color.


The Final Scene

Illustration #5: Creating Foreground Trees

In the Final Enhancement, Tube Trees were added to give the whole scene depth and perspective. The Trees were enlarges and only portions of their branches were used.

This illustration is now the final scene image. In the next steps we will use some additional PSP features to add light (light source) and a Frame.

Save your Work as a PSP file.


Scene Illuminated

The Final Steps

We have finished the basic painting and enhanced it with some tubes. Now, we want to use a very neat PSP v7 Effect, the Illumination Effects, to create a lighting source that gives our picture more realism. Then we will add a Frame and sign our picture because it will be ready to hang on our wall.

  • Step 1: Preparation
    • Duplicate your Canvas: Window > Duplicate [Control+D]
    • Close the PSP file.
    • Merge All layers: Layers > Merge > Merge All (Flatten)
    • In the Layer Palette, 'Promote to a Layer'
    • Label Layer: 'Scene'
    • (Optional): Sharpen the Image: Effects > Sharpen > Sharpen

  • Step 2: Illumination Effect
    • Use: Effects > Illumination Effects > Lights
      • Light Source = On
      • Color = Gold (255, 207, 145)
      • Intensity = 15
      • Direction = 135
      • Horizontal = -80 (minus)
      • Vertical = -60 (minus)
      • Smoothness = 0
      • Scale = 60
      • Cone Size = 89
      • Asymmetry = 1000
      • Darkness = 45

      • Save As 'MyTopLeftSoft'

    Scene with Picture Frame

  • Step 3: Frame it!
    • Use: Image > Picture Frame
    • Select a Frame you Like (Gold Classic)
    • Check 'Frame Outside of Image'
    • Click on 'OK'


    Inner Bevel

  • Step 4: Create an Inside Frame
    • Add an Inner Bevel to inside Frame.
    • Use Magic Wand (RGB, Tolerance = 0, Feather = 0)
    • Click inside the Frame Layer
    • Highlight the Scene Layer
    • Use: Effects > 3D Effects > Inner Bevel
    • Bevel = second row, 3rd from left (or your choice)
    • Width = 6
    • Smoothness = 0
    • Depth = 3
    • Ambience = 0
    • Shininess = 0
    • Color = white
    • Angle = 315
    • Intensity = 50
    • Elevation = 30


    Your Painting is Finished

    We have painted Clouds, Mountains, Trees, a Lake, Foreground (Land) and added enhancements. Some additional ideas that you might like to explore:

    1. Add your signature: Either use the Free Hand or Line Draw Tool or use the Text Tool.

    2. Save your Work first as a PSP file. Should you wish to work any part of the painting you will have the original.

    3. Before using the painting on a Web Page, Duplicate Your Work, and then Merge All (flatten) it which reduces the file size considerably.

    4. Consider resizing your Merged Canvas to a slightly smaller size as well. Save it both as a JPEG file to preserve the quality and as a GIF file to also lower the file size with little loss of quality.

    5. Find a nice place to Display your Picture.

    The Retouch Picture

    Until then, enjoy -- Prof --