Choosing Paint






Choosing Paint

How do you choose what color to paint with? To choose any color, from screaming chartreuse to insipid indigo, just click the Paint Shop Pro palette of colors.

Or, in full and gory detail, it goes like this:

  1. Move your cursor over the Available Colors panel on the Material palette.

    Figure points out that area: the multi-hued box that (unless you have moved the Material palette) lives in the upper-right corner of the Paint Shop Pro window. (If you don’t see the Material palette, display it by pressing the F6 key on your keyboard.) The cursor is a Dropper icon while it’s over this area, to indicate that you pick up a color if you click. (If you see a bunch of tiny, colored boxes rather than a large, rainbowish blur, click the Colors tab along the upper-left side of the palette.)

    As you move the cursor, you see an enlarged sample of the color your cursor is over. The primary color values give you the exact numerical color you’re using.

  2. Left-click to choose your main painting color, called the foreground (or stroke) color.

    That color appears in both the Foreground Material box and the foreground color sample (refer to Figure).

    This color is what we sometimes call the left-mouse-button color — it’s the one that appears when you use the Paint Brush, Airbrush, or Fill tool by pressing the left mouse button. It doesn’t have much to do with foreground. It’s just one of two colors.

  3. Right-click anywhere on the available colors area to choose a secondary color, the background (or fill) color.

    See the following sidebar “Do you need a background color?” to figure out whether you need or want a secondary color; if the answer is No, you can skip this step. If you do choose a background color, it appears in the Background Material box, as shown in Figure. The term Background color, like Foreground color, is kind of a misnomer because it doesn’t have much to do with the background of your image. It just defines a second, or alternative, color you can work with.

Tip 

Check to make sure that the Foreground Material box (or Background Material box, if that’s what you chose) displays the color you chose. If not, the palette is set up to paint patterns, which have their own colors. Click the Style button under the Foreground (or Background) Material box and then click the solid dot (for solid paint) or the striped dot (for gradient paint). See the upcoming section “Working with Style: Beyond Plain Paint” for more information about gradients and patterns and transparency. Or, for plain paint, see the earlier sidebar “Help! I just want plain, solid paint!”

Tip 

Here are a couple of tips for choosing and using colors:

  • To swap the background and foreground colors, click the Material Switcher (the larger double-headed arrow), as shown in Figure. The background color becomes the foreground color and vice versa. Just to make things confusing, you can choose to click the smaller button, which swaps colors but not any textures or gradients. Our advice: Unless you have a good reason to do otherwise, always click the big arrow.

  • To get pure black, white, red, yellow, or other “just plain” colors, use the Color Picker. (We describe this tool in the following section.) You can also find pure black and white along the bottom of the Colors panel; pure black is on the left, and pure white is on the right.

Choosing A Basic Color Or A Recently Used Pattern

You may want to use your everyday, smiley-face yellow — but locating exactly that same color in the Available Colors area is often next to impos-sible: Your eyes and fingers can’t be that precise. Likewise, you may have developed a cool gradient that slid from cool blue to a sea green, but do you think that you can do that again?

Fortunately, Paint Shop Pro gives you another way to choose a recently used material: the Recent Materials dialog box. The Recent Materials dialog box also gives you basic black, totally white, and a variety of other basic colors you can return to again and again.

Here’s how to get this helpful box of recently used materials and basic colors:

  1. Right-click the Foreground Material or Background Material box, whichever one you want to set.

    The Recent Materials dialog box appears, as Figure shows. The ten most recent materials you have used appear along the top two rows; ten standard colors appear along the bottom rows (including black, white, and two shades of gray). If the colors have circles with slashes, you’re using a palette image, and those colors aren’t available. See Chapter 10 for a discussion of increasing the number of colors.

    Click To expand
    Figure: The Recent Materials box.

    Colors in the bottom two basic-color rows are pure colors — except for the grays — that is, they are the reddest red, bluest blue, magenta-est magenta, and so on.

    Technical Stuff 

    Technically speaking, the top row contains the pure red, green, and blue primary colors of radiant light. The second row contains the pure cyan, magenta, and yellow primary colors of printed ink.

  2. Click any color or material to choose it (or press the Esc key if you see nothing you like).

    The Recent Materials dialog box disappears immediately. The color you clicked is now chosen and appears in the color sample on the Materials palette.

    You may think that right-clicking in the Recent Materials dialog box would choose the background color, as it does on the Materials palette. You would be wrong. Right-clicking does nothing here.

To get shades of color other than the ones you see in the Recent Materials dialog box, click the Other button. This button takes you to the Material dialog box. See the upcoming section “Choosing a Color More Precisely” for details.

Choosing A Recently Used Color

Choosing that same fantastic shade of fluorescent orange you may have already used involves the same problems as selecting a pure color. We tell you earlier in this chapter that most of the time you should ignore the Color boxes except for one instance — and here it is:

  1. Right-click the Foreground or Background Color box — whichever one you want to set.

    The Recent Colors dialog box appears, as Figure shows. The ten most recent colors you have used are in the top two rows of the dialog box, and the ten pure colors — exactly the same colors from the Recent Material box — are in the bottom two rows. If the colors have circles with slashes, you’re using a palette image, and those colors aren’t available. See Chapter 10 for a discussion of increasing the number of colors.

    Click To expand
    Figure: The Recent Colors box.

  2. Click any color to choose it (or press the Esc key if you see nothing you like).

    The Recent Colors dialog box disappears immediately. The color you clicked is now chosen and appears in the color sample in both the Color and Material boxes. Again, right-clicking does nothing here.

Choosing A Color From Your Picture

Sometimes, the easiest way to choose a color is to pick up that color from your picture. You have two ways to pick up color. Choose the one that makes your life easier:

  • When using any tool that applies paint (for example, the Paint Brush tool), hold down the Ctrl button and the cursor turns into a Dropper icon. Left-click to pick up foreground color, and right-click for background color.

  •  On the Tools toolbar, click the Dropper tool icon, as shown in the margin. (If you see no Dropper icon, you may have been using the Color Replacer tool — click the Color Replacer tool and select the Dropper icon from the drop-down menu.) The cursor turns into a Dropper icon. Left-click to pick up foreground color, and right-click for background color.

Remember 

If you have deselected the All Tools check box, colors you select for one tool don’t apply to other tools.



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