How to Trace an Image with Paint Shop Pro

Using Paint Shop Pro, you can paint using a brush, sketch using chalk or a pencil, make portraits of pastel, make impasto effects etc. In this tutorial, you will learn how to Trace an Image with Paint Shop Pro.

Step 1 - Open the Source Image

Go to Start and then select Program and then Jasc Software.

Then, go to Jasc Paint Shop Pro 9. You may also double click on the Paint Shop Pro icon on your desktop to open it.

Before starting you should load the Art Media Kit Toolbar that you created previously. You can go to View, then Tool and then Art Media Toolkit.

Then from File, select Browse to open the Paint Shop Pro Browser. Using the Browser, go to your desktop or the folder in which you have kept the sample image. When you find the Amtrace-source.tif, click twice to open Paint Shop Pro.

Step 2 - Create a Sketch Layer

If you wish to create a pastel of the photo in a traditional manner, your first step is to make a rough sketch of the entire photo. First make your Layer Palette visible by clicking on the icon on your Toolkit Toolbar.

Now, in the layers palette, you have to right-click on the Background layer and then choose Duplicate. Paint Shop Pro will make a new background named Copy of Background.

Be sure that Copy of Background is highlighted in the Layer Palette, and then go to Effects, choose Edge Effects and click on Find All. Paint Shop Pro will make a grey and white sketch of the photo.

Make the lines dark so that they are more visible. Then select Adjust and go to Brightness and Contrast and then Brightness/Contrast. Brightness should be -68 and Contrast should be 68 and click on OK. Get sketch instantly.

Double click on Copy of Background layer in the layer palette. Now, in the layer properties dialogue,

  • Alter the name to Sketch
  • Change the Blend mode to Multiply
  • Clear the mark beside layer is visible
  • Click OK

When you click on OK, the layer is invisible. 

Step 3 - Blocking the Shape of the Object

Activate the Background Layer, and then click on the New Art Media Layer icon on the layer palette. In the New Art Media dialogue,

  • In the Name field, enter the name of the object.
  • Click the Canvas Texture tab. Click on the down arrow to reveal a menu of possible textures. Choose Paper Contrast from the list and click on OK. Choose Pastel from the Art Media Toolkit. When the Tool options palette changes to the parameters for this tool, adjust the settings as you wish.


Step 4 - Trace the Object

Use overlapping downward vertical strokes according to the object's shape. Here we just make the shape. Do not worry about the colour.

Move to the bottom of the object and do the same thing. Use the mouse to give upward curved vertical strokes.

After the strokes for the bottom and the top are over, make strokes overlapping the two.

Choose the Smear tool. On the Tool Options palette, the size should be around 45, the shape round and the head tracking to Track Path. Drag the smear over the vertical lines to blend the colours together.

If there are spots that the smear tool is not able to blend, select the Palette Knife, head loading 0, size 40-45, with the trace option unchecked.

When you think that your object is nicely blended, go to the layer palette and turn on the visibility of the Sketch layer by clicking the Eye icon.

When your transparent sketch layer is seen, if you se that the pastel go outside the lines of the sketch, use Art Eraser Tool to erase them

Choose the Pastel Tool and look for spots where the highlights should be. With trace still active, paint a small spot at that point and use smear tool to blend it.

Choose the Coloured Pencil Tool. The size should be 10, softness 50, style Tilt, trace should be marked and trace over the stem of the object.

Step 5 - Adding the Multicoloured Book

On the layer's palette, click on the Background Layer to activate it. Then click on the New Art Media Layer icon. There in the dialog, enter Book 1, and click OK.

Choose the pastel tool and use the same settings used in Step 3.

On the Book 1 layer, trace the image as given previously.

Turn off the Background and Sketch layer and see the effect.

Select the object layer on the layer palette and chooses Layers, then merge and then merge down.

Step 6 - Filling in the Gaps and Adding the Multicoloured Books

Your Background layer should be active and add a new Art Media Layer between Background and now merged Book 1. Name this layer Book 2.

When the gaps are filled, go ahead and trace over the grey page edges and the pinkish book cover in the same manner like we did in the other sections.

If you are satisfied with the look of Book 1 and Book 2, make Book 1 the active layer and use Merge Down to combine them into one Art Media Layer. This layer will automatically be named Book 2.

Step 7 - Adding Details

Choose the coloured pencil from the custom Toolbar. On the Tool Options palette, click the down-area next to Presets and choose Fine Firm.

On the materials palette, just below the colour picker either Rainbow or Frame tab view, there are five tiny color swatches. Click on the second from the left (dark gray) to place that color in the foreground swatch.

With this method, draw many dark gray lines crossways the edges of the pages of the book.

Alter the center color to light gray and draw some lighter lines in between those. Modify the size setting to 5, and duplicate the same process down the border of the pinkish book, then, with light gray still in the forefront swatch, freehand draws a vertical line along the corner of the page edges.

Zoom out so as to see the entire image. Click on the Sketch layer and make it active. Choose the regular Eraser from the Tools toolbar and erase the parts of the sketch over the object.

Do not merge the layers. We have to create the backdrop.

Step 8 - The Backdrop

Add a new Art Media layer in between the Background and Book2. Name this layer Backdrop.

Choose a color on the Materials Palette and put on the foreground swatch. Select the Pastel Tool, and turn off the trace.

Turn off the visibility of the Sketch layer. On the Tool Options palette, increase the size of the Pastel tool to about 125 and, on the new Backdrop layer, scribble some cyan around the object.

Alter the front color to white. On the Backdrop layer, scribble white in all places you did not scribble with cyan.

Select the Smear Tool. Increase the size to 150. Soften the transitions where white meets cyan.

Turn the Sketch layer visibility back on and merge your layers.

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