I came across a very helpful tutorial which taught me
how to create a scene bg using textures and a paint brush.
Although it showed me how to make a scene, I decided to
create this tutorial to either change certain elements
and to also add additional steps necessary to have
a beautiful, but more importantly, a realistic, believable background.

We will be using textures for this. The tutorial I followed gave me a
wesite address to a commonly used texture site for various
graphic programs. But after looking around there, and reading
the authors note on copyright info I realized they were not
even sure whether they are infringing on any copyright laws
(whether they are truly royalty-free public
domain textures).

So therefore in order for us to be absolutely sure we
will not be contacted later by an artist who accuses us of
copyright theft, I have included the textures we will use
in this tutorial, that I have found, which ARE positively royalty
free, and free to use in any
graphics program. I found a wonderful site Here.
They have an extensive supply of all types of images, textures
bg scenes, objects etc. submitted by photographers, and offered freely.
It is a great site for any graphics creator.

Download textures Here.

After downloading these textures put them in your PSP pattern folder.

The other thing we will add for todays scene is a
bridge I created. I learned how to make this from a lady named Ronni, but alas her page is no longer there.
I used her selections to create it, but later, I actually made/painted/
created my OWN bridge, then made my selections and that will
be what we will use here.

You can download the bridge tube Here

I use special brushes for the tools in psp. I like brushes where
they look like foliage, so I am giving you some
Here

that you can use if you wish. Just extract them to your psp brushes folder.

The only extra decoration which you will provide if you want,
is a lady tube or a person tube for the bridge.

The painting method used here is with a paint brush to paint the
patterns on, then we will use the clone brush to touch up any lines
or imperfections here and there. In addition, you may also want
to use other brushes that you like to perfect your scene.

I am using Paint Shop Pro version 9. It is the newest version,
and if you do not have a copy you can download a trial version Here .

Open up PSP and we will create a new image. Make it whatever
your screen size is. Mine is 1024x768. Yours may be 800x600. Make
it for 24 million colors, and transparent.

Click on your flood fill tool and flood fill the image with black.

Click on your paint brush tool. Settings are size=40, density,
opacity and hardness=100.

Now go to your foreground palette and click on the square. Go
to your patterns tab, and find your treebg pattern. Leave angle at 0
but change the scale to 100 to 125.

Start painting on the pattern in the upper left corner and work
your way across the image. Stop when you are painting downward when you come
to the edge of the pattern. You may have to experiment a little
with the scale, because you want the bg image to go about half way down. If
the scale is too large go back down to 100. You will have edges
in this but we can clone here and there and erase those.

When you are satisfied you should have something like what you see below:

If you notice, the scene is repeated three times. Now we will use
the clone brush along each edge of the picture, and clone other
parts of the trees to cover the edges.

To continue, see the image below. This is what I came up with
after I used the clone brush. I totally cloned out the
3rd repeat of the image.
Then I cloned other edge areas.

However I am sure you notice there are two identical roads in there.
so, we will either clone
one or both out, or do something else. I opted for cloning both
out, because we will put our own path in, more centered anyway.

Here is the result after I cloned the paths out.

Two grassy meadows with a tree triangle in the middle.
I used the clone brush and then to smooth and blend I used
the push tool and the smudge tool. Hardness about 50 density 23,
opacity 90, size 2 or 3 using the horizontal line brush tip
for the push tool, and settings for the smudge tool are: size
10 using the same brush tip, hardness 50, density 100,
opacity 90.

Now we need to have a path in this painting. So you can put
yours wherever you wish, but I have decided to make it simpler,
there are more extensive stuff I could do to get one directly
down the middle, but in my painting I have a space on the far
right of the picture, that I am going to start a path there,
and bring it across the middle and turn and go down a little
so that it ends up being in the middle.

Now to paint the path in, go to your paint brush tool again.
Go to your patterns palette and choose the pattern I gave for
the path. Using your paint brush, paint the path in.

This is how mine looks. I used the smudge tool to smooth things
out a bit here and there.

At this point add a new raster layer. Name that layer middle
ground.

Here is another look after I added some middle ground shrubbery.

Put in your azalea shrub texture. I used a brush size 60
and the special multiflowers brush tip I also provided.
Scale is 50 and I put in some in the middle of the image,
then I worked my
way right along the path, but I put the scale of the pattern
down from 50, to 25, and the very last ones which would
be furtherest I had the scale at 10. I also used the push
brush at size 2 or 3 to perfect the tops of some of the
shrubs a bit as well as the ones that were spilling over
a bit too far on the path.

Now we are going to put in a stone wall on either side of
the creek. Go to your patterns and choose the stone pattern
I supplied. Use your paint brush and paint it on, on either
side of the path. Use a scale of 25, and use a square brush
tip, size would be 25. You should have something like this:

Now lets add some gravel. First Use the gravel pattern,
and scale would be 50. You can use any small round brush
set at about 25. See below:

Now we are going add water. There are a couple of different
ways of doing it. First you would merge all your layers
flatten. Then you could cut your picture in half using the
horizontal selection at where your shore will be, and then
copy or cut and paste it in and then choose image flip. You
would then line it up at the bottom to the top.

Then choose either adjust blur and add gaussian blur or motion blur.
whichever one you like. Actually we will be blurring a
little later on. But for right now the method I choose is by
using a VM Natural filter you can get
Here
Look for Lakeside Reflection. Download that and put in your
psp plugin folder.

Okay to proceed. Choose your filter from your effects, plugins,
vm natural, Lakeside Reflection.. Use these settings:

Horizon=172
waves=2
strength=14
transition=163
red=0
green=0
blue=70
blending=111

These settings are not set in cement. You might want to play
around a bit and find some you like better.

Anyway the next image should look something like this:

Now add a new layer. Name this shoreline. Then using your pen
tool standard straight line type, and width about 1, to 3. draw a line
where your water meets the land. Then choose adjust blur from
your psp top menu and choose Gaussian blur.

Now add a new raster layer and name that gravel. We are going to add more gravel
down the sides for the bridge to sit on.

Should look like this:

Add another raster layer. Name it bridge. Click on your
picture tube tool and find your bridge. I add two of them
together, it makes one large bridge. My scale for the
bridge is about 60.

Then after you click it in on your image, use your mover
tool to position it so the stone leg is on the gravel,
then add a new raster layer. Name that bridge2.
Once again click that in on your image. Use your
mover tool again until they are side by side touching.

See below:

Now we can add anything else we want, or you want.
The image below shows I added shrubs, two different kinds
which I also included with the download. Then I also
added some ivy.

The final object I will add to this image is a person.
A pretty lady perhaps. We are going to add a new raster layer.
Perhaps you have a lady tube or a person you would like
to add to the bridge.
After you add your tube, go to the layer palette, and move
that layer down under the bridge layer. So it looks like
she is on the other side. See below:

The final thing and the most important if you want
your picture to look "right" is to add the reflection
of the bridge, lady etc. into the water. Here is how we
will do that. First click on the bridge layer, copy and
paste into a new 600 x 400 transparent image. Paste it
again. Line them up as they were, and then layers merge
visible. Then do image flip.

Use your deform tool. From the bottom, push
up and make the image squished. (see below). Make
it quite narrow. Paste it into the picture. If the
ends of the bridge reflection are past the water,
on the sides of the banks, then just use the clone tool to
clone some ivy to cover the pieces of the bridge up.

The last thing is to put your lady reflection in. Flip
her image also and use the deform tool to squish her down.
After you paste her in the picture, go to the layer palette
and move her layer under the bridge reflection layer and
place her where where she should go.

That's pretty much it. I decided I didn't like the water underneath the bridge so I added some landscaping by cloning and copying and pasting. You could add some other little
things if you want, but below is my final result.

Another variation using only one bridge making it a bit larger

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and now you can create
some beautiful background scenes of your own.

Happy painting!

C.E.