Making Custom Shapes with the Pen tool


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 custom shape using the pen tool.  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!


Right-click on this bear pic and save as picture!


1.  Open the bear picture in PSP.

2.  Choose the pen tool.

3.  Set the pen tool options:  Choose the segment, CHECK connect segments, create on vector, show nodes,  set width = 2


4.  Set foreground = black, background = NULL

5.  Layers > New Raster Layer

6.  We just want the body shape.  With the pen tool, carefully left-click along the edge of the body, outlining it.  If you make a "mistake"  you can click on the undo button, and it will undo the last point.

7.  When you get full-circle, hover the mouse over the last node/point until it says END.

8.  While it says "END", right-click and choose Edit > Close  That will close the gap between first and last node.

9.  Left-click and drag any node that you think needs to be moved to make the curve smoother. 

10.  When satisfied, click on the Apply button.

11.  Now with the pen tool, left-click and outline the head.  Don't forget to close the outline at the end.

12.  Click Apply.

13.  If you look at the Layer Palette, and click on the Plus sign next to the Vector layer, you will notice that by clicking on Apply and then drawing with the pen tool again, it automatically created a second vector layer.

14.  You might want to name your layers so you don't get confused.  I double-clicked on the name, and typed in the new name.

15.  Finish drawing in the details.  I outlined one eye.  Then clicked Apply.  Outline the second eye.  Click Apply.  Outline the nose.  Click Apply, Outline the fore leg, click Apply.  Outline the hind leg, click Apply.

16.  You will notice all these layers for your bear in the Layer Palette.

17.  Hold the SHIFT key down and click on each of the Path layers so that they become bold face.

18.  Right-click on any of the Path layers and choose GROUP.

19.  Your palette will now look like this.  Double-click on the group layer and the vector layer and rename them to Polar Bear.

20.  File > Export > Shape.

21.  Call it Polar Bear.

22.   The shape file will be saved in the  Preset Shape folder of your My Documents > My PSP Files folder.   -- if you want to share it with someone.

23.  If you want to learn how to use the shape to colorize and make a bear tube, see this tutorial:

Dragon by Shapes



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