Holly Leaf Shape

I own the intellectual copyright for the written tutorial.  What you make is yours, but please do not take my tutorial.  Share only my link.

This tutorial is intended for beginners to learn how to create a holly leaf with a pen tool and do some minor node editing.  If you have any questions, please feel free to Email  me.

To do this tutorial you will also need Paint Shop Pro.  I wrote this with  Paint Shop Pro X2, but the steps may also be done in any version.  You may download a free trial at Corel.

Remember to save as a psp file often!

1.  Open up a new, transparent image, size 400 x 400

2.  Choose the Pen tool

3.  In the toolbar at the top, set the pen tool to bezier curve mode, CHECK connect segments, Check Create on Vector, Check Show Nodes, Line Style = solid, width = 2

4.  Set foreground color to a medium to dark green.  Set background color to NULL

5.  With the left mouse button,   Left-click ONCE with the pen tool.  It makes a node (the tiny square/dot)

6.  With the pen tool, left-click in a second point AND hold the left button down as you drag the mouse outward and upward to make the line curve.  When you are happy with the curve, release the button.

7.  Press the Green check to apply

8.  Now carefully left-click on the end of that curve to place another node.

9.  Then left-click and make a second arc by dragging out the node before you release.  Press the Green Check

10.  Now left-click once on the end of that curve and make a node to start a third curve.  Place the second node and drag it out to curve that side.  Press the green check.

11.  I found it easier for me to work my curves top-down, so I started the left side of my holly leaf at the top.  Place your two nodes, dragging out the second one to make a curve.  Then press the green check.

12.  Continue to make the next two sides of the holly leaf.  Press the green check to apply (after each side is completed)

13.  Now,  some of my sides look a little lopsided to me, so I am going to edit some nodes.  In the Layer palette, click on the plus sign next to the Vector layer.  This will open up all the vector layers that we created.  Now click on the vector layer that you want to edit.  You see mine is BOLD face.

14.  When you click on the vector layer in the Layer Palette, the nodes appear around that layer part.  At this point, you can left-click AND hold button down on any node and drag and that will move the nodes around.  OR you can left-click and hold button down on any end of the arrow and drag and that will swing the curve around.  So you can see in my screen shot that I moved the right side outward a bit, to make the leaf more symmetrically shaped.

15.  Now when I moved that node outward, it left a gap in my leaf.  So I need to go into the Layer Palette, and click on the layer for the next arc (see the bold layer moved).  Then go back to my image and take the node and move it to meet the side.

16.  Move any nodes around that you need to.  Remember to first click on the corresponding layer in the Layer Palette before moving the node. 

17.  Here I zoomed in.  Use the Zoom tool (or magnify tool). DO NOT RESIZE.  Just zoom in and check that all corners meet and are not gapped.  Then undo the zoom by right-clicking with the zoom tool

18.  Now we are going to save our holly leaf as a shape that we can use in the future.  Hold the SHIFT key down and click on each of the six path layers.  Then click on the top Vector layer to highlight it.

19.  Right-click on the vector layer and choose Group.

20.  Double-click on the group name and name your shape.  Double-click on the vector name and name the vector.

21.  File > Export > Shape.  And give your shape the same name:  Holly Leaf

Now your shape is saved!

Let's continue and learn how to color the leaf.

22.  Right-click on the vector layer and choose Convert to Raster Layer.

23.  With the magic wand, tolerance = 0, feather = 0, click on the outside of the leaf.

24.  Selections > Invert

25.  Selections > Float

26.  Effects > 3D Effects > Cutout.  Apply these settings:  Vertical & horizontal = 2, opacity = 75, blur = 25, shadow color = a very dark shade or black

27.  Selections > Select None

28.  Layers > New Raster Layer

29.  Choose the airbrush tool  Set density = 75, opacity = 60, size = 7.

30.  Set the foreground color to a lighter green than what you used.  Spray in some light green for the veins. (hold the mouse button to spray)

31.  Adjust > Blur > Gaussian Blur.  Radius = 5

32.  Layers > New Raster Layer

33.  Change your foreground color to a darker green, or black, and spray some dark for shadows.

34.  Adjust > Blur > Gaussian Blur.  Radius = 5

35.  If it's still too dark.  Slide the Opacity of the layer down some to your liking.

My holly leaf looks like this.  Drag the outline layer to the top.

36.  Click on the top outline layer to highlight it.  With the magic wand click on the outside of the outline.

37.  On each blur layer,  press delete.  This will delete any blur that may have extended beyond the outline.

38.  Right-click on the top layer and choose Merge > Merge Visible.

39.  Save this image as a tube for later use.  File > Save as, choose pspimage format.

To make the leaf spray that I made for the header on this page:

40.  Right-click on the layer and choose Duplicate.

41.  Choose the raster deform tool and use it to rotate the leaf and move it so that the tips touch.

42.  Right-click and duplicate the top layer.  Then use the raster deform tool to rotate it and move it into position.  You can also drag in the corners of the raster deform box to resize.

43.  Choose the selection tool.  Set the Selection type = circle.

44.  Layers > New Raster Layer

45.  Draw a circle with the selection and fill it with red.

46.  Effects > 3D Effects > Inner Bevel.  Apply these settings:  bevel = pie, width = 25, smoothness = 15, depth = 25, ambience = 0, shininess = 30, color= white, angle = 315, intensity = 30, elevation = 50

47.  Right-click on layer and duplicate 2 times.  With the mover tool, move the berries into position.

48.  Now save this as a GIF.  File > Export > GIF optimizer.


I used my holly leaves to create a wreath:







Tutorial Index


 Please do not remove this tutorial from my site.  Share my url.