Brush Strokes Frame #1

Brush Strokes Frame #1

I wish to thank Marty Bell and Marty Bell Fine Art, Inc.
for permission to use Marty Bell images in my tutorials.
The above image, "Chelsea Roses",
and all Marty Bell images, are copyrighted
and their use is restricted by law.
Marty Bell paintings may not be copied or reproduced
photographically, electronically, or by any other means
without the express permission of Marty Bell
and/or Marty Bell Fine Art, Inc.

Created April 29, 2002 ©SuzShook
Made "Version-Independent" March 2009
Property of SuzShook

This tutorial is my own creation;
however, most of the techniques used in this tutorial, I have learned from others!
Therefore, if you recognize any contribution you have made, I thank you!
And I thank you as well for respecting this as my work by not posting it,
in whole or in part,
in any other location without written permission from me!

Individuals and PSP graphics groups are invited to share my tutorials with others with TEXT LINKS ONLY.
You can e-mail me to let me know you are adding one or more of my tutorials to your list if you like -
it's always fun to know who is doing them!

I just love frames! And I decided to explore some of the built-in effects of Paint Shop Pro! So, put those 2 things together, and you come up with a frame utilizing only Paint Shop Pro - no external filters! This is the first in a series - hence, I called it Brush Strokes Frame #1. Hopefully, it will be followed by Brush Strokes Frame #2, etc.! Have fun!

I make my tutorials as brief as possible, without the customary paths, details, and how-to's. For those veterans among you, this will be welcome! But for those less familiar with PSP, I included a "Glossary" that contains all the details omitted in the tutorial. If you need a little extra help, check the Glossary section. Just click on the button below - the Glossary will open in a new window.

PSP glossary button

This tutorial assumes you have a working knowledge of Paint Shop Pro at the intermediate level (or advanced beginner level with the Glossary). It was originally written in and for PSP Version 7, then revised for PSP 8, and now made "version-independent". Screen shots for this tutorial can come from any version of PSP - where there are significant differences from version to version, a green "Version Note" will be included, along with multiple screen shots if necessary.

Where a note/tip refers to a version of PSP and all higher versions, a + sign will be used to indicate this. For example, if a note/tip applies to PSP X and higher versions, I will use the convention "PSP X+".

If you try this tutorial, and find something is inaccurate for your version of PSP, please EMAIL ME to let me know so I can fix it!

Screen shots in this tutorial are resized - your work will be larger than this!

Supplies - For this tutorial, you will need the following:
  • Paint Shop Pro - any version. The latest version of PSP can be found at the Corel site HERE.

  • A font called Darrians Frames - you can find it HERE. ~ ~ Unzip into the folder where you keep your extra fonts.

  • An image to frame.

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Ok, now we're ready to begin! Grab your mouse, and let's go create!

Remember to save often!

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Before you start, go to the folder where you placed the Darrians Frames font, open that font, and minimize. This font will now be available to you within PSP.

Open the image you have chosen to frame. Resize to 250 pixels on the longest side.

Set the Background Material style to Pattern using the image you are framing as the pattern, with Angle = 45 and Scale = 50. Set the Foreground Material to transparent (null).


Add a Symmetric 2-pixel black border to the image.

Select the border, invert the selection, and apply a Cutout effect with the following settings:

Vertical offset (0),
Horizontal offset (0),
Shadow color (black),
Opacity (89),
Blur (43.7)

Deselect and SAVE!


Add a Symmetric 20-pixel white border.

Select this border and FLOOD FILL flood_fill tool with the background pattern.

Apply the Brush Strokes effect using the Small thin oil preset. Just in case you don't have this preset, here are the settings:

small thin oil preset
Softness (20), Bristles (256), Width (4), Opacity (50),
Length (10), Density (25), Angle (102), Color (black)

Deselect and SAVE!


Add a Symmetric 20-pixel black border, select the border, invert the selection, and apply the same Cutout as in Step 2, except change the Blur to 6.3.

Here's our image so far:

Deselect and SAVE.


Add a Symmetric 4-pixel white border. Select this border, FLOOD FILL with the background pattern, and apply the same Brush Strokes effect as in Step 3 above.

Apply an Inner Bevel effect using the Round preset distributed with Paint Shop Pro. Just in case you don't have this preset, here are the settings:

Round preset
Bevel (#2), Width (14), Smoothness (15), Depth (12), Ambience (0),
Shininess (50), Color (white), Angle (315), Intensity (27), Elevation (30)

Deselect and SAVE!


In this step, we are going to use a frame from the Darrians Frames font to decorate the brush strokes frame you have been creating. The frames in this font are taller than they are wide, so to prevent excessive distortion, if your image is wider than it is tall, it would be a good idea to rotate it 90 degrees to the right before continuing. Just be sure All layers is checked if you do this.

Add a new vector layer. Activate the TEXT tool text tool, click on the Presets drop-down arrow (red arrow in image below), click the Reset to default curved arrow button (blue arrow in image below):

reset to default button

and then use the following settings:

Create as: (Vector),
Font (Darrians Frames),
Size (200),
Anti-alias (checked),
Alignment: (Align Center),
Font Style (Bold)
Version Note: In PSP X and above, set Units to Pixels, and Anti-Alias to Sharp.

Click near the bottom of your image and type a lower case "f" in the Text Entry box.

We are creating this "frame" as a vector object so we can manipulate it, stretching it to fit the image. To make the stretching of the decorative frame easier, we're going to need a little extra "room", so click on the Maximize button in the top right hand corner of your image to enlarge the image window to fill the screen:

maximize button

You should have the cross-hatched pattern surrounding your image - here is a cutaway version of what things look like now:

Version Note: In PSP X and above, your image will be surrounding by the background color of your workspace instead of a cross-hatched pattern - there is no longer any cross-hatching after PSP 9. Here's the same cutaway as above, captured in PSP X:

The next two images are from PSP 9 - they both show the cross-hatched pattern. Remember that you will not see this pattern if you are using PSP X or above.

Move your cursor over the middle handle (circled in green) of the vector selection box on the frame - when it turns into the MOVE tool mover tool, hold down the left mouse button and drag the frame into the center of your image. This will make the stretching easier.

This frame is just a little "crooked", but you can straighten it up really easily! To do this, hold your SHIFT key down and move your cursor over the middle control handle on the top of the vector selection box - when your cursor turns into a 2-headed arrow with a small parallelogram above it, just drag the handle slightly to the right to straighten out the frame!

Move your cursor over the lower right corner control handle (circled in red below) - when it turns into the MOVE tool, drag the frame down and towards the right, towards the corner. Do the same for the upper left corner control handle, dragging it up and to the left.

If your frame still shows some black around the edges, drag the control handles on the sides of the selection box (shown in light blue) outwards:

When you are done, your image should look something like this:

TIP: If at any time during the above process, you lose the vector selection box surrounding your decorative frame, just activate the OBJECT SELECTOR tool object selector tool (O)and click on your image.
Version Note: In PSP X and above, the Object Selector tool was replaced by the Pick tool pick tool (K) , though the Object Selector tool is still available and still uses the same keyboard shortcut (O).

When you are satisfied with the placement of the decorative frame, convert this layer to raster.



We're on the home stretch now!

To restore the image to its previous non-maximized position, click on the restore button in the top right corner of the image:

restore button

If you rotated your image to apply the decorative frame, it's time to rotate it back! Just remember that if you rotated it "right" before, you'll need to rotate it "left" now!

Apply a Drop Shadow to your decorative frame layer using the following settings:

Vertical offset (4),
Horizontal offset (4),
Opacity (79),
Blur (13.6),
Shadow color (black)

Reapply the Drop Shadow, changing both offsets to negative 4 (-4).

Now all you need to do is watermark, merge all layers, save, and that's it!

Don't forget to sharpen your image if you resize it at this point - I used Unsharp Mask, with Radius = 2.00, Strength = 50, and Clipping = 5!

Here's another frame using Paula Vaughan's "Love Letters":

Brush Strokes Frame #2

Hope you have enjoyed this tutorial as much as I did creating it!

If you have any problems, comments, or questions, please do not hesitate to Email me.


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