Creating Shapes by Pen 1


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 create a preset 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 bell pic and save as picture!


This method that we are going to use works well on any simple, closed figure.  Another tutorial will show you how to do shapes which require several pen layers.

1.  Open the bell 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 bell shape.  With the pen tool, carefully left-click along the edge of the bell, outlining the bell.  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.  Now we are going to check for smoothness of the outline (no jiggies!).  Click on the eye of the bell background picture to HIDE the picture.

10.  Check your out line for any jagged spots.  I pointed out two points that make the outline pointy.

11.  While you can see those nodes you can move them.  Just left-click on the offending node, and move it over to make the outline less pointy

12.  When you are satisfied, click on the Apply Check at the top.  **Very important!  Don't click on apply until you have completed outlining everything!  or you will have more than one layer***

13.  When you click on apply, the outline becomes a solid line rather than full of nodes.  You might find some more pointy/jaggy spots, like the one I pointed out in the picture below.

14.  To fix the jags after you have pressed the apply check, click on the Pen Tool

15.  In the Layer Palette, click on the plus sign of the vector layer to see the path layer.  Then click on the Path layer.  (The words "NEW Path" become boldface when the layer is selected)

16.  Move the nodes that you wish to move.  Then click the Green Apply Check again.

17.  Here is what my bell looks like now.

18.  Now we are going to save our shape for future re-use. 

In the Layer Palette,  Double-click on the layer name and rename the layer to whatever you like.  Do both the vector layer and the path layer.

19.  File > Export > Shape

20.  Give the shape a name.

21.  You can find the shape file in your preset shapes folder found at My Documents > My PsP files > Preset Shapes.

22.  To use your shape:

Open a new, blank file.
Choose the preset tool and set it to your shape.
draw out the shape on a canvas.





Ask questions at

Dragon's Breath Graphics Forums

Tutorial Index


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