Home  >  Tutorials  >   PSP 9 Tutorials  >
Tutorial no. 6 of Prof's PSP 9 Art Media Tutorials  >
Art Media: Pencil Art
E-mail this tutorial to a friend Email to a Friend

Art Media: Pencil Art
Created by: Prof

The Art Media feature of PSP 9 has a number of different media that one can use to paint/draw pictures. One of these features is the 'Colored Pencil' which one can use to sketch and draw pictures. This tutorial will explore how to use the Colored Pencil rather than how to sketch or draw a particular picture.

Introductory Remarks

As I explored using this feature I was very frustrated because I am not an artist, nor do I sketch pictures that are good representatives of objects. I have tried animals, fruit, foliage, and other objects all to very little avail in reproducing them as a painting. However, I found out a bit in how the Colored Pencil works and how to use it.

Thus, as I have said in my other tutorials on the Art Media features, one can have a lot of fun just practicing and going forward in the pursuit of painting in a freehand fashion. The same point is made in using the Colored Pencil. Also, this tutorial primarily uses a pen and tablet rather than the mouse because of the greater control and ability to obtain various and different effects.


Materials Palette - Materials Box  Materials Solid Color Option

The Color Palette

The Mixer palette is only used for oils and the Oil Brush. To set the colors for all the other features including the Colored Pencil just use the Materials palette and the Foreground Materials box. Thus, if one wishes variations of color in a particular part of the drawing one changes the colors in the Materials palette accordingly.

I began exploring the Pencil using Black as the color rather than trying initially to use colored pencils because I needed to learn how to control the pencil for the drawings. However, one could begin the exercise using any color wanted.


Canvas Texture

One feature of the Art Media feature is the 'Canvas Texture'. There are a number of different possible canvas textures one can use when starting a new Art Media image. The best way to understand this feature is to just experiment with different textures for the canvas and seeing how the painting or drawing will look.

I have illustrated five different textures. As a rule, I tend to use the default canvas texture of 'Canvas simple' which is illustrated in #1 at the left. The other canvas textures I am illustrating include but are not limited to:

  1. Canvas simple
  2. Grain fine cloudy
  3. Hatch fine
  4. Paper coarse
  5. Paper standard directional

One decides for the canvas texture when creating a new image, by first selecting the 'Art Media Background' and then choosing a canvas texture from the drop-down list.


Art-Media Colored Pencil Tool (PSP 9)

Pencil Style

There are three different styles that will work with the Colored Pencil or stylus/tablet. Each style has a different look or outcome. In part the effect will be dependent upon the angle the pencil/stylus is held and the pressure on the tablet. The illustration has a left line drawn at size 3 and then again at size 30+ to give a better illustration of the style.

  • Tilt: A linear progression or darkening as the stylus is moved across or down the canvas which varies the lightness/darkness of the edges of the stroke.
  • Tip: Though one can angle with this style, often it is best used with the stylus straight up and down. One can vary the pressure on the tablet to vary the lightness/darkness of the stroke.
  • Edge: This style is often used for shading. It can also be used with the stylus straight up and down and varying the pressure on the tablet for different effects.

Pencil Size

  • The left stroke uses a pencil size of 3 and the right stroke is a size of 50 for each of the three illustrations.
  • The 'Tip' style at a small size is used for outline and sketch work while larger sizes will produce a larger and potentially darker stroke.
  • The larger size is best for the 'Edge' style for shading effects.

Other Pencil Options

As with most Art Media brushes/tools the other options are also available. Thickness is available when the Head Tracking is set to 'Fixed Angle'. Rotation will rotate the tip angle and is particularly noticed and used when Thickness is at a low value when one wants particular strokes and direction for the strokes.

Softness will affect the lightness/darkness of the stroke without needing to use pressure on the tablet. At 100% the stroke is dark and at 1% the stroke is light.

As a rule I draw with the 'Tip' set to a size of about 3 and with Thickness at 100% or Head Tracking set to 'Track Path'. When I use 'Edge' I often set it to a size of 50 or more and often set Head Tracking to 'Fixed Angle' and Thickness to 1.


Let's Sketch

The basic techniques described above were used to create this sketch of a tree in the foreground of a lake backed by mountains. This tutorial is not designed to help you sketch a scene, only to introduce you to using the Colored Pencil.

The illustration was drawn using a white canvas and a black color for the Pencil. The initial drawing was done by having the style set to 'Tip' and Softness set to 0 (zero) and a Size for the Tip of about 3.

I drew the branches of the tree first, then used a small circular motion to create the leaves. I finished the tree by making the trunk of the tree larger.

I then added grass, then the mountains. The mountains, sky and water were drawn with the style set to 'Edge'. And, once I had the basic outline of the sketch, I then went over sections with the style set to 'Tip'.

The second illustration shows how to use colors. I used various greens for the leaves and the grass, browns for the tree, greys for the mountains and blues for the water and sky. For the sky, the pencil style was set to 'Edge'. I finished up the colored sketch by using a black pencil set to 'Tip' and outlined some of the areas to highlight them.


Final Comments

Drawing is not something I do well. It is something though I enjoy doing and I spend hours just doodling and attempting to create. I have tried still life of fruit, animals such as a bear, faces, and other objects. As I have often said, just go for it. Paint, draw, play and you will develop a style for creating some very nice drawings.

Enjoy – Prof –