If you are using PSP7, use this tutorial. If you are using PSP8, please click here.
uses a drawing
you to edit
as you draw.
can be used
or any time
you use the "Point-to-point" setting
for the Draw tool.
If you've never worked with vectors before, you may find this tutorial somewhat
complicated. I have, however, tried to be as thorough as possible so that with
a little time and patience you can follow along.
Images have been resized for illustrative purposes, and have been optimized to decrease download time.
Before beginning, let me say that, even if you follow the instructions exactly,
you will probably not get results that are identical to the image that I have
created. This difference will be caused by a variety of factors, such as image
size, placement, shape variations, etc. Because of the many variables
that can create differences, use the settings as guides.
If you find a gradient angle that you like better, or even colors, by all means
I write most of my tutorials to teach techniques and PSP capabilities,
the resulting image is just a plus. : )
Open a new 600 X 300 pixel image with a white background.
Create Three Gradients
In this next step, we are going to create the main gradient for the body and
for detailing, and then we will create two versions of this gradient with
varying opacities for
fins and fin lines.Setting the opacity for individual
objects as needed, instead of setting it for the entire layer, will make it
possible to export the shape with the various opacities in the image intact.
- Under the Styles section of the Color Palette, set the stroke style
to Null and
the fill style to Gradient.
- Under the Styles section of the Color Palette, click on the button
containing the gradient to open the Gradient dialog box.
- Click the the "Edit" button.
- Click the "New" button and name this first gradient "Goldfish
This gradient will be used for the body and detailing.
- You should now see a Gradient Editor dialog box. Under the Gradient
section of the dialog box (illustrated below), click on the left marker
click the Custom button.
- Click on the color swatch beside the Custom button and, in the color
dialog box that appears, type #FEF7EC in the HTML code entry area.
- Click on the right marker to select it, click on the color swatch
and use #F4A72E for the dark orange.
- Click the diamond above the color bar (midpoint) to select it, and
then set the location to 50%—either by typing the percentage into the
Location entry area or by dragging the midpoint.
- Click the "Copy" button, name this version of the gradient "Goldfish
2". This gradient will be used for the fins.
Under the transparency section of the Gradient Editor
dialog box, click on the left marker and change the opacity to 60,
and then click on the right marker and change the opacity for this
marker to 60 also.
- Click the Copy button again, and name this third gradient "Goldfish
3". For this gradient, click on the left marker and set the opacity
to 70, and then click on the right marker and change the opacity to 80. This
gradient will be used for the fin lines.
- Click "OK" to save the gradients and exit the Gradient Editor.
The gradient settings dialog box should now be visible.
- In the Gradient dialog box, change the gradient back to "Goldfish
use the following settings:
Invert gradient: unchecked
Style: Linear Gradient
- Click "OK" to exit.
Create the Goldfish's Body
Activate the Draw Tool with
the following settings. Use Figure 1 and the instructions
below to create the body shape for the goldfish. Create the body shape toward
the left side of the canvas so that you have plenty of room for the tail fin.
Draw - Tool Options
Type: Point to point
Line style: #1 Solid
Create as vector: checked
When adding nodes to create the contour, keep
all clicks confined to the canvas. If you click outside the canvas, Node
and you will have to reset. Knowing this can save you a lot of time and frustration.
Tip: When adding nodes, if you make a mistake, don't start
over. Hit the Delete key on your keyboard, select the last node added, and
- Click to create Node 1.
- When clicking to create Node 2, hold the mouse button in and drag to create
a curve node.
- Repeat the click and drag process to create curve nodes for Nodes 3-7.
As you create these curve nodes, you may need to right-click on the canvas
and choose either Node Type > Symmetric or Node Type > Asymmetric to
change the curve node type. Changing the node type
ways so that
you can better control the depth and shape of the curves you create.
- Create a curve node for Node 8 and then, with Node 8 selected,
right-click on the canvas and choose Node Type > Cusp from
the vector editing menu.
- Adjust the handles on the node to create a small point with a curve on
either side, as illustrated.
- Click to create Node 9.
- With Node 9 selected, right-click on the canvas and choose Node Type >
Line After from the context menu.
- Click outside the canvas to complete the contour
and exit Node Edit mode.
A line segment will close the contour between
Node 1 and Node 9 because we checked the "Close path" option
in the Tool Options
dialog box for the Draw Tool
before we began creating the contour. The line segment will be straight
because we changed the type of line following Node 9 in the previous
Once you have the body contour completed, right-click on the vector layer
in the Layer Palette, choose "Rename" from the context menu, and then rename
the layer "Body".
We will be using several layers for this tutorial, so naming them is a good
Fins and Tail
Right-click on the Create Layer button
in the Layer Palette and choose "New Vector Layer..." from the
context menu. Name this layer "Fins & Tail" in the resulting
Layer Properties dialog box.
Click on the gradient button under the Styles section of the Color Palette
to open the Gradient dialog box. Change to the "Goldfish 2" gradient,
change the angle to 217, and then click "OK".
Ctrl + D to get rid of the bounding box surrounding the body. Activate
the Draw Tool and uncheck
the "Close path" option in the Tool
Options palette—we are going to close this contour using a mouse/key
combination. Start with Node 1 and, using Figure 2 as a
guide, use the same cusp/curve node creation technique that was used for
the body to add the
other nodes in numerical order to create the top fin. As you go, you will
need to change the node or line segment
type by right clicking on the canvas and choosing one of the
Node Type > Symmetric, Asymmetric, or Cusp
Node Type > Line Before, Line After, Curve Before, or Curve After
Note: The fin doesn't have to be an exact replica of the fin in Figure 2,
just as long as it looks like a fin.
When you have created all of the nodes, right-click on
and choose "Edit
the context menu. While in edit mode, click
Node 9 to select it, hold the Ctrl key on your keyboard, drag
Node 9 and hover it over Node 1 until you see the word "Join" appear,
then release the mouse button.
Expand the "Fins and Tail" vector layer in
the Layer Palette, right-click on the drawing object on the layer and rename
the object "Fin".
on the style Switcher arrows located
beside the style buttons in the Color Palette. This will set the gradient
as a stroke style and will set
the fill style to "Null". Click on the gradient button. In the
resulting Gradient dialog box, change the gradient to "Goldfish 3",
set the angle to 354 and the repeats to 2, and then
This next step involves quite a bit of repetition, but this method makes
the number of objects that we need to work with more manageable. We are going
to create all of the fin
lines for this fin as one object.
Add Contours to An Existing Object:
- Activate the Object Selector .
- Click on the "Drawing" object (the line we created) in
the Layer Palette to select it.
- Right-click within the canvas and choose "Node Edit" from the vector
context menu, or click the Node Edit button in the Tool Options palette.
- Right-click within the canvas, choose "Drawing Mode" from
the vector context menu, and then draw another line beside the first.
- Right-click within the canvas again and choose "Quit Node
Editing" from the context menu.
- Repeat steps 3-5 until you have all of the fin lines created. See
- Rename the object "Fin Lines".
|With the Object Selector activated,
hold the Shift key on your keyboard and then click on the "Fin" and "Fin
Lines" objects in the Layer Palette. Right-click on the image and
choose "Group" from the context menu. Name this group "Top
Fin". See screen shot on the right. This
process of creating the fin shape as one object, the fin lines as another
object, and then grouping will be used for each fin on the goldfish,
including the tail fin.
On this same layer, use the process that was used for
the top fin to create and group the fins and fin lines for fins 1,2,3,
and the tail fin. Use Figure 5 as a
guide for shape, placement, and the gradient angle settings for the
fin lines are all set to a 354° angle and a repeat of 2. Use
the screen shot of the Layer Palette as a guide for naming and arranging
a Process Summary below Figure 5 to help you with the creation of
the Fin 1 so that you will not have to go back through the detailed
steps above, unless you need to.
After creating all of the fins, right-click on
and Tails" layer and choose "Duplicate" from the
context menu. Drag this duplicate layer under the "Body" layer
in the Layer Palette. Expand this layer, activate the Object Selector
click on the "Top
to select it, and then right-click
on the canvas
and select "Clear" from the
context menu. Use this same process to clear the "Tail Fin" and "Bottom
Fin 3" object
groups from the duplicate layer.
The Object Selector
be the active tool, if not, activate it. In the Layer Palette, click the "Bottom
Fin 1" group on the duplicate layer to select it. Go to
the image, move this fin up and forward, and then rotate the fin
slightly. Repeat this move/rotate procedure for "Bottom Fin 2".
Hold the Shift key and click on both of the object group buttons for this
layer, right-click and choose "Properties" from
the context menu, click the fill style gradient button in the Vector Properties
dialog box, click the Edit button, and then lower
the opacity for each marker to 40.
Under the Styles section of the Color Palette, click on
the style switcher arrows
to change the gradient from a stroke style to a fill style.
Click on the gradient button, and change
the gradient to "Gradient 1", the angle to 180 and
the repeats to 0.
Activate the Draw Tool and
create the top portion of Fin 1. See Figure 7.
|Create a new vector layer and name the layer "Details".
Use Figure 8 as a guide for drawing the gills.
The gills need to fit closely together or they can overlap, as
long as they maintain a layered look with the topmost layer on
the left. You may wish to change the angle of the gradient for
each gill to create contrast. After creating
the gills, group them under the name "Gills".
|Figure 9 |Click the style switcher arrows to use the gradient as a stroke
style, click on the gradient button and change the angle to 90,
and then draw a line to accentuate the mouth. See Figure
9. You may want to increase the width of the line to around
2 or 3, depending on the size of your goldfish.
Use the completed image in the title for the page as a placement
reference, and the instructions below, to create the eye. When complete,
the group "Eye".
Activate the Preset Shapes tool,
with the following settings, change the gradient angle to 180 (the
“Invert” option should not be checked) and draw a circle
for the outer area of the
eye. To draw a perfect circle that is drawn from
the center out, hold the Shift key and right click to draw. Click on the gradient
button, check the Invert option, and draw another circle inside the
Preset Shape - Tool Options
Shape Type: Ellipse
Retain Style: unchecked
Create as vector: checked
Line Width: 1
Line Type: #1 solid
| Now, change
the gradient to solid color ,
right-click on the color button and choose black from the Recent Colors
palette. Draw another circle for the eye.
|Right-click on the color button and change the fill color
to white. Zoom in
and draw a small circle toward the upper-right of the eye. Now, draw
a sliver of white that follows the curve along the bottom of the eye.
|Activate the Draw Tool .
Change the stroke color to one of the darker shades of orange used in
To pick a color from within the existing image, hold
the Ctrl key on your keyboard, hover your cursor (it should resemble
eyedropper) over the desired color in the image, and right-click. Draw
a point-to-point line from the pupil to the outer edge and then continue
to follow the curve of the eye. I've made
the line red for
We're going to add one more detail and then we'll group all of the layers
and export the goldfish as a Preset Shape. If, however, you wish to add scales
or anything else, feel free to do so.
Set the fill
style to the "Goldfish 1" gradient. Verify that the angle of the
gradient is set to 180 and that the repeat option is set to 0. Uncheck the "Invert" option.
Use the drawing technique that has been used throughout this tutorial
draw a thin, elongated crescent shape along the back of the fish. See Figure
Name this object "Back Line".
Now, activate the Object Selector ,
right-click on the image and choose “Select All” from the vector
context menu. The next step is very important! If
you don't group before exporting, each group, or object not in a group, will
export as a separate shape. Right-click
again and choose "Group" from
the vector context menu. Name the group "Goldfish". The name given
to this group is the name that appears for the shape
Preset Shape selection
area of the Tool Options palette. Select the goldfish by clicking
on the image, choose "Copy" from the Edit menu at the top of the
workspace, and then right-click on an empty area of the workspace and choose "Paste
as new image" from the context menu.
Right-click on the image and choose "Select None" from the vector context
menu. Right-click on the image again and choose "Export Shape". Always test
your shape before closing the source image.