Gift of Music

Gift of Music

Created May 28, 2002 Copyright 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 saw this frame in a Cross Stitch catalog, and loving music as much as I love Cross Stitch and PSP, I decided I had to make this frame in PSP! There's lots of room for creativity here - you can use whatever musical symbols you wish, even musical instruments! I've included a brush file with 20 symbols in case you don't have a musical symbol font, so make your image uniquely yours!

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, 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.

  • Musical symbols font or brushes to decorate your frame - you can get some brushes HERE. ~ ~ Unzip into your Brushes folder.

  • A linen texture - you can get the one I used HERE. ~ ~ Unzip into your Textures folder.

  • Dee's gold fold pattern (D_gold fold) - if you don't already have it, you can get it HERE. ~ ~ Unzip into your Patterns folder.

  • A font called Dragonwick (or any decorative handwriting font) - you can get it HERE. ~ ~ Unzip into the folder where you keep your extra fonts.

~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~

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

Remember to save often!

~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~


Open a new transparent image 300 x 300. Add a new layer and flood fill with whatever color you wish to use for your background - I used #EBE6E0 for the sample image. Apply a Texture effect to the background - I used the PSP Texture effect with the linen texture that you downloaded, and the following settings:

texture effect
Texture (linen), Size (25), Smoothness (0), Depth (2), Ambience (0),
Shininess (0), Color (white), Angle (315), Intensity (50), Elevation (30)

Add some noise - I used 7% uniform.


Add a new layer. Set the Background Material to Transparent (null). Set the Foreground Material to Color, and the color to black. Using the Preset Shapes tool set to rectangle, draw a rectangle from coordinates (30,30) to (270,270). This rectangle will be used to align the text only.

Save your work!


Add a new layer. Set your Background Material to Color and the color to black or any color you want to use for your text - it should be a dark color. Using the Text tool (Anti-alias set to Smooth, Create as set to Floating, and Size = 20), type "The gift of".

Rotate the text 90 degrees left, making sure All layers is UNchecked. Move the text up near the top corner of the rectangle - I aligned the top of the lower case letters along the edge of the rectangle. Deselect.

Apply a Drop Shadow to the text, with the following settings:

Horizontal Offset (0)
Vertical Offsets (0)
Opacity (88)
Blur (19.8)
Color (#004000)
(I chose this color to match the frame)

or use the drop shadow we'll be using for the musical symbols in STEP 7 below.

Save your work!


Repeat STEP 3 for words "music . . .", with no rotation. Move the text to the top inner edge of rectangle.


Repeat STEP 3 for words "is a gift . . .", with rotation 90 degrees right. Move text to the lower right side of rectangle.


Repeat STEP 3 for words ". . . from God!", with no rotation, moving text to lower inside edge of rectangle.

Save your work! Here's what we have:

step 6 image


Now add musical symbols using the music brushes you downloaded - you can vary the colors or use gradients or patterns! I used different colors for the first image, and then used the gold fold pattern for the second example.

With your Foreground Material set to the color, pattern, or gradient you have selected, use the paint brush tool to place each symbol on a different layer, adding a Drop Shadow to each with the following settings:

Horizontal Offset (2)
Vertical Offsets (2)
Opacity (88)
Blur (3.7)
Color (black)

Save your work!


To add a musical staff, add a new layer, and set the Foreground Material to Color, and the color to black, with the Background Material set to Transparent (null). Use the Pen tool pen tool (V) in Draw Freehand Mode with Tracking set to a high number (higher tracking values create smoother lines) and Width = 1 to draw a wavy line across the image. When you're satisfied with your line, add the same drop shadow as you used for the musical symbols, except lower the Opacity to 33. Now duplicate the layer four times, using the Mover tool to move each line below the first until you have five lines evenly spaced - a musical staff! Hide all layers except the musical staff lines layers and merge visible.

Save your work!

Make all layers visible again. When you have everything the way you want it, delete the layer with the rectangle on it, merge all layers, and add a frame! If you'd like to use the frame I used, continue below.


Set the Background Material to Color and the color to #004000, or whatever color you want for your frame. Set the Foreground Material to Pattern, selecting the D-gold fold pattern with Scale = 100 and Angle = 0. Add a 7-pixel border. Select the border, invert the selection, and apply a Cutout effect with the following settings:

Horizontal Offset (2)
Vertical Offset (2)
Opacity (67)
Blur (31.3)
Color (black)

Select all. Contract the selection by 2 pixels, invert the selection and flood fill with the gold pattern.

Deselect and save.


Set the Background Material to Color and the color to #6E7E6E, or a lighter muted shade of the color you used in STEP 9. Add a 30-pixel border, select the border and apply the Brush Strokes Artistic effect, using the Impasto preset:

brushstrokes impasto
Softness (80), Length (20), Density (12), Bristles (256), Width (3),
Opacity (50), Angle (101), and Color (#A6937E)

Apply the cutout effect with the same settings as in STEP 9, except change the Horizontal and Vertical offsets to 5. Re-apply the cutout effect, changing the offsets to negative 5 (-5).

Deselect and save.


Change the Background Material Color back to #004000 (or the color you used in STEP 9). Add a 5-pixel border, select the border and flood fill with the gold pattern. Apply an Inner Bevel effect using the Bead preset:

inner bevel
Bevel (#3), Width (8), Smoothness (4), Depth (4), Ambience (0),
Shininess (0), Color (white), Angle (315), Intensity (50), Elevation (30)

Deselect and add a final 2-pixel border.

All that's left to do is watermark your image and save!

Don't forget to sharpen your image if you resize it at this point!

Here's another Gift of Music image I made using the gold fold pattern for all the words and symbols, a font called Honcho, and some decorative brushes for the frame:

Gift of Music 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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All graphics and content 2002-present by SuzShook