How to Vector Draw a Balloon and then Paint It - Part 1.

© Barb's Playground  06 /27 /10

This tutorial and all images are copyrighted and belong to ©Barb's Playground. You are free to provide a LINK to my tutorials if you would like to share them. 

This tutorial was done using PSP X (but can be easily done in other PSP versions) and explains how to draw a simple balloon using the pen tool and then digitally paint it without the use of filters to give it depth and shine. For the ease of understanding both vectors and painting, I will break this tut into two sections. First we will draw the balloon. Then we will give it some depth by painting some simple highlights. It is intended to serve as a learning tool. I encourage you to make it uniquely your own creation. The images on this page are reduced for space. You will need:

* A good working knowledge of PSP's tools/materials palettes and understanding of layers.

Getting started

Open a new file 200x500 as a raster layer with "Transparent" unchecked and a white background. This will give us room to work with and make seeing the vector nodes easier.

* Make your foreground color null and your background
#fd3a15 OR any color you would like your balloon to be.

* Select your
preset shape tool and then in the shape list, select the ellipse, using the settings shown below. For those using a lower version than X, you just need the ellipse shape.

* In the center at the top of your canvas, draw out a circular shape like mine shown below. (Shown at full size)

* Now convert this vector layer to a raster layer by clicking on "Layers" then "Convert to Raster Layer" at the top.

MOVING ON: Next we are going to give this balloon a string using the settings I have shown below.

* Make your foreground color black
#000000 and your background  null.
* Select your pen tool then "Draw Point to Point" tool and position your cursor near the bottom middle of the balloon. Left click and you will see a node.
* Move your cursor down to where you want the string to stop and left click again to see another node. Keep your curser on the bottom node. While holding down your left mouse click, drag the node so the it aligns straight with the top node. You made need to zoom in to see if it is truly straight.

* Now while you still have your curser on the bottom node , double left click on it. That will actually select both nodes.

* Right mouse click once and select "Node type", "Asymmetric".

* Now, next to your "draw point to point" tool, click on the "Edit Mode" so that we can manipulate the nodes.

* Left mouse click once on your canvas to deselect both nodes.

* Click on the top node and place your cursor on the bottom of the arrow and while holding down your left mouse, gently pull the arrow to the right lifting it some.

* Left click on the bottom node and grab the top part of the handle and gently pull it to the left. Don't worry if you can't see the bottom of the arrow. You can by clicking on the bottom of your file and while holding the left mouse click, drag the border of the file down until you see it. All that does is expand you file border out visually so you can see the nodes and work with them. It does not change your file size.
Remember you can always undo the commands until you get it to curve the way you want it to.

* Once you get it to curve the way you want it, convert the vector layer to a raster layer  by clicking on "Layers" then "Convert to Raster Layer" at the top.

* In your layer palette, you should now see 3 layers. The background layer, raster 1 layer and raster 2 layer. We want to drag the raster 2 layer which is the string, below the raster 1 layer which is the balloon. In your layers palette, while holding down the left mouse click, drag the raster 2 layer below the raster 1 layer. This will place the top of the string behind the balloon. DO NOT MERGE THESE LAYERS YET! Save your file in PSPIMAGE format.

Your balloon should look the like above right image and this concludes drawing the balloon! We are now ready for part 2 of this tutorial to paint some highlights and shadows on the balloon to give it some depth and a shiny appearance. Click here to continue on to part 2.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that it stimulated your creative juices. If you have any questions or problems, don't hesitate to email me.

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