Home  >  Tutorials  >   PSP 8 Tutorials  >
Creating Gradients and Patterns Using Images
E-mail this tutorial to a friend Email to a Friend

Creating Gradients and Patterns Using Images
Created by: Barbara Townsend


Making gradients is easy. I have found the difficult part is in choosing colors. Nature has a way of giving us a good display. Picking colors from photos is one way to this. After choosing your photo, pick and choose what colors you like about them. Afterwards we are going to use the gradient we created to make an exciting new pattern.

(Although this tutorial is written for PSP 8 I don't think anyone working with PSP 7 will have any problems using it.)

Download File Download File
In this tutorial, I am using a picture I made of a marigold that I cleaned and tubed. If you also wish to use it you can download it with the file on the left. You may tube it, too, if you wish.

Open Image     Dropper Tool

Choosing Colors for the Gradient

Open the marigold picture from your download or another picture or photo of your choice.

Use the Dropper tool to move over the photo and select colors that are pleasing to you. Write the values down as you go that you like. Make a decision what color you want in the middle and the ends of your gradient. The last color should be the same as the first.

I have selected five for this lesson. Some are repeats as I want to keep this tutorial simple. I have them lined up in this order:
– #B52921
– #F93C12
– #FCA511
– #F93C12
– #B52921

You can use any combination or as many different colors as you like.


Materials Palette - Materials Box

Creating the Gradient

Click into one of the Material boxes (it doesn't matter if you choose the Foreground or Background Material box) and select the Gradient tab. Click on the Edit button to open the Gradient Editor dialog.

In the Gradient Editor dialog, click on the New button. Type in a name for your new gradient (I named mine "Marigold") and click on OK.

Under the Types section in the Gradient Editor dialog, you see three sections for editing gradients: the Gradient section, the Transparency section and the Result section. We will be working in the Gradient section, and as you move along you will see the results showing in the Result section. We will not be concerned about the Transparency section today as we are not going to create a transparent gradient.

On the left in the Gradient section, you see boxes and fields named Fore, Back, Location and Custom. Next to the Custom field is a color box which we will click into to open the Color dialog and change the color values as we build the gradient. The Fore(ground) and Back(ground) buttons show the current colors of your Material palette.

Under the bar to the right of these boxes and fields, there are two markers (looking like little paint tubes), one under each end of the bar. When the top of the marker is highlighted it will be black and that will be the active one.

If you get too many markers under the bar, simply drag off those you don't need. Should you need an extra marker, click under the bar and it will be added.


Starting with the first marker, click into the color box and enter the values for the first color. Then click into the empty space under the bar, to the right of the first color, to get another marker and set its values. Click again twice for two more markers to the right of the preceding markers and set their values, then select the marker at the right end of the bar and set its values, too.

The values for five markers are:

  1. Color = red (Red=181, Green=41, Blue=33; #B52921)
    Location = 0
  2. Color = orange (Red=249, Green=60, Blue=18; #F93C12)
    Location = 25
  3. Color = yellow (Red=252, Green=165, Blue=17; #FCA511)
    Location = 50
  4. Color = orange (Red=249, Green=60, Blue=18; #F93C12)
    Location = 75
  5. Color = red (Red=181, Green=41, Blue=33; #B52921)
    Location = 100

You should now have five markers, evenly spaced with these colors. Click on OK. Your new gradient is now added to the gradient drop-down list in your Material dialog.


New Image

Creating Patterns from the Gradient

Now we are going to use this gradient to create some patterns – wild and crazy!

Create a new image, 350 x 350 pixels, transparent background.

Materials Palette - Materials Box  Materials Gradient Option     Flood Fill Tool

Click into the Foreground Materials box, choose the Gradient tab and locate the gradient we just made using the marigold photo. Change the settings to:
– Angle = 92
– Repeats = 999
– Style = Radial
– Horizontal and Vertical Center Point = both 50

Tip: When you go over the gradient with your mouse, the cursor changes to the Move tool symbol; you can also now use your mouse to move the center point where you want to have it.

Select the Flood Fill tool and flood-fill your image. Examine your beautifull pattern.

New Image

Create another new image, 350 x 350 pixels, transparent background.


Change the settings of your gradient to:
– Angle = 125
– Repeats = 150
– Style = Radial

With your mouse, move the center point in the gradient to the upper left hand corner (Horizontal and Vertical Center Point = both 0).

Is that not something different!

Flood-fill the new image.


Go back to the gradient and move the center point across to the opposite corner.

Now flood-fill the same image, on a new layer. You may have to move the cursor around a bit to achieve a different effect, work on several new layers, change Opacities and Blend Modes – the possibilities are many.

I finally ended with the pattern that you see on the left.

Save Image

When you have a pattern that you like and want to keep, save it as a .psp or .pspimage file into your My PSP8 Files\Patterns folder. You will now have it in your Patterns drop-down list whenever you want to use it.


I hope you have as much fun with this as I had, and I am looking forward to seeing what you do with it.

Until the next time – Happy PSPing!

Barbara T.