Software: Corel PaintShop Pro X6

Web Site:   Creative-Designs

Materials Required: Zip File


Previous versions of PSP may be used for this tutorial


Learn how to apply Paintshop Pro's Adjustment Layers to enable you to make corrections to photographs and layers containing objects without affecting the original image.

Remember to Save often to avoid losing your work.


1.  New Adjustment Layer button can be accessed from the bottom of the Layers Palette Toolbar.   When the button is clicked, a Menu opens containing a list of commands to apply to your photographs or images as shown on the right.

2.  The New Adjustment Layers Menu can also be accessed from the Menu bar, Layers.

3. Adjustment layers are correction layers that adjust the colour or tone of underlying layers without modifying the image. You can add adjustment layers to test various colour corrections or combinations of corrections.  You can hide, delete or edit adjustment layers.  An adjustment layer affects ALL layers below it.  If an adjustment layer is in a layer group, it affects only the layers within the group. 



1.   Open a New Image.  Size 400x400 pixels with a Transparent background. 

2.  Select the Picture Tube tool and choose the Corel PSP Fruit - Corel_10_177- fruit.  If you don't have this tube, you'll find it in the download.  Paint on the canvas with the tube tool.  As you paint, there are other fruits in the tube but you only need the tomato. 

3.  Select the Magic Wand. Apply the following settings:

  • Mode:  Replace
  • Match Mode:  Colour
  • Tolerance:  10
  • Contiguous:  ticked
  • Feather:  0
  • Anti-alias:  ticked.

4.   Select the green leaves.  A selection marquee is placed around the leaves.  Go to Selections, Invert.

5.  Click the  New Adjustment Layer button and select Hue/Saturation/Lightness.

6.  Apply the following settings:

  • Hue: -22
  • Saturation: 51
  • Lightness: -17

7.  Don't change Master or tick Colourise.  Click OK.


8.  The yellow tomato has changed to bright red.  The selection marquee is protecting the green leaves from changing colour.   The Hue/Saturation/Lightness adjustment layer is no longer blank, but has the leaves showing in the mask.


9.  Deselect - Ctrl+D.

10.  Masks and Mask Layers are explained in another tutorial in the PSP Beginners Workshop.  However, the mask layer will be explained briefly here.

11.  When you click on the Hue/Saturation/Lightness 1 the Materials Palette is black/grey/white. There are no colours in a mask layer. 

12.  Click on the Set to Black and White button  .  Foreground is black and background white.


13.  Select the Paintbrush from the Toolbar.  From the Presets drop list click on the Reset to default button

14.  Use the round brush tip and apply these settings:

  • Size: 30
  • Hardness: 42
  • Opacity: 79

15.  Click on the Adjustment layer again with the LEFT mouse button (black colour) begin painting the tomato.  What is happening?  The black paint is revealing the yellow of the tomato.  You are removing parts of the new adjustment where the yellow tomato was changed to red - the black colour is removing the colour to reveal the yellow of the original tomato on the mask layer only.

16.  Click down again on the Adjustment layer but this time use the RIGHT mouse button (white colour).   The white is bringing back the red colour and hiding the yellow colour.  You will notice that the colour is a couple of shades lighter, this is because the opacity was reduced. Increase the opacity to 100 and the vibrant red colour will be back again.


17.  There are two buttons associated with these masks that are found on the Layers Palette:


Invert Mask Area button   - click on this button.  The whole mask layer turns black and the leaves of the tomato show white including any brush application applied.

Highlight Mask Area button - click on this button. The whole mask layer now has an Overlay.

18. Below are two images showing the Invert Mask Area button activated and an overlay.  The overlay reveals areas where the brush has extended over the object.  However, when Merging the layers down, you will not see this as it is only on the mask layer.


19. Below a decorative brush tip was used rather than an ordinary round brush.   In your Brush Categories drop-list, find a brush tip that you like and can apply it to the tomato.  Apply it exactly the same as the instructions above after selecting a paintbrush (13).   When complete,  right click, Merge visible.

20. Go to File, Export, PNG Optimiser and save your image on a transparent background to your Project Folder.



1.  Open flower 1 photograph in your workspace.

2.  Click the New Adjustment Layer button    on the Layers Palette Toolbar and select Invert.

3.  An Invert dialogue box opens.  Click the Reset to default button as shown in the image below.

4.  If the dialogue box isn't open fully, click the Preview arrow on the top left to expand the box.  Also, tick the Preview on Image.  This enables you to view the changes made to the image in real time.

5.  Already your image has changed because of selecting Invert.

6.  Change the Blend mode to Colour with an Opacity of 70 as shown above.

7.  There are the three tabs -  General, Adjustment and Overlay. 

  • General tab is to modify the general layer properties such as name, blend mode and opacity.
  • Adjustment tab is to modify the colour or tonal correction settings.  Not all adjustments have these settings as in the case of Invert.
  • Overlay tab is for adjusting the colour and opacity of the overlay.  The default colour is red mask-like layer with a 50% opacity.

8.  After making the necessary adjustments, click OK.

9.  The name of the layer is Invert 1 by default and looks like a blank, white layer.  This is a mask layer. 

10.  The Materials Palette has changed to greys because the layer above the photograph is a mask layer.  Once the layer(s) is merged down, the Materials Palette resumes to full RGB colour.


11.  Any settings created in the Adjustment Layers can be saved as Presets to use again.  However, many images require first hand editing due to variations of light and dark in photographs.

12.  The photograph has changed from pink to a soft white and turquoise and green colours.  Maybe a little too dark.  The next adjustment should correct this.

13.  Apply the Visibility Toggle on the Invert 1 so you can easily see the following New Adjustment Layer you added to the photograph.



1. Highlight the background/flower photograph layer.


2.  Select New Adjustment Layer button again and this time choose Fill Light/Clarity. 

3.  The Fill Light/Clarity dialogue box will open.  Click on the Adjustment tab where there are three setting sliders. 

4.  For this photograph, apply the following:

  • Fill Light:  85
  • Clarity: 42
  • Sharpen: 80

5. These settings will give the photograph a very clear, sharp look.  If you have a different photograph, then you may have to make adjustments to the sliders.   No further settings are required.  Click OK.

6. Click the visibility toggle on Invert 1 to un-hide it.  You can see the changes to the photograph with both corrections of invert and fill light/clarity. 


7.  Let's move on to the next step with adjustments.

8.  Apply the visibility toggle to the fill light/clarity 1 and Invert 1.  Only the background/flower is to be visible.



1.  Highlight the background/flower and click the New Adjustment Layer button.   This time choose Channel Mixer.

2.  A Channel Mixer dialogue box opens, you need to click on the Adjustment tab. 

3.  The output channel is grey, this is because the Monochrome box is ticked on the lower left.  Using the channels and adjusting the sliders you can create a very nice black and white or shades of grey photograph. 

4.  In the Output Channel drop list, there will be Red, Green and Blue.

5.  Apply the following settings to the Source channel sliders:

  • Output channel:  Green
  • Red: 114%
  • Green: 110%
  • Blue:    -110%
  • Contrast 0%
  • Monochrome:  Untick

6.  You can now see the different effects you can create on a photograph by moving a few sliders.  Click OK.

7.  Apply the visibility toggle to hide the channel mixer layer.




1.  All layers should be hidden except the background/flower.

2.  Highlight the background/flower. 

3.  Click the New Adjustment Layer button, select Posterise.

4.  Click the Adjustment tab and apply a Level of 7. Click OK.


5.  Make all layers visible.

6.  If for any reason you dislike any of the corrections all you have to do is delete it and make a new adjustment layer.

7.  Right click on any layer and Merge,  Merge All (Flatten).

Adjustment Layers Tutorial is now complete.

This document is the copyright© property of Maureen Eves-Lavis of Creative-Designs.
This document must not be claimed as your own, copied, archived, printed without permission of the author.