Title:    Extract the Rose and paint with the eraser

Software: Corel PaintShop Pro X6

Web Site : Creative-Designs

Materials: Zip File

Previous versions of PSP maybe used for this tutorial


PaintShop Pro has three Erasers. A Background Eraser. Eraser and an Art Media Eraser.   The Art Media Eraser will not be discussed in this tutorial but is covered in another PSP Beginner's Workshop tutorial. In this tutorial you will learn how to extract and object from a busy background. 

Remember to Save often to avoid losing your work

erase the background

1.  Open the photograph in the preview area.  Duplicate and close the original.

2.  Select the crop tool and crop as shown in the image below. 


3.  Select the Background Eraser.  Apply the following settings and leave other settings as they are:

  • Size: 32
  • Opacity: 100
  • Auto-Tolerance: Untick.  The reason for doing this is, you cannot increase/decrease Tolerance whilst it's ticked.
  • Tolerance:  512    The higher the value in Tolerance the more pixels in the range of 512 of similar colours will be removed.
  • Sharpness: 100  This value has been chosen to give a nice sharp edge.  The lower the value the softer the edge. Leave all other settings for now as is.

4.  You may need to zoom-in close .  The Zoom Tool is hidden behind the Pan Tool on the Toolbar.  Or, you can click the Z key on your keyboard to activate the tool. To zoom in with the tool, use the left mouse button, to zoom out, use the right mouse button.

5.  Begin to erase a little around the lower, left of the petals.  Oops, some of the petal and stem have been erased.  Even though the Eraser is a Background Eraser it can still remove pixels from the flower.  To recover erased pixels:  Right click with the mouse or if using a Pen and Tablet use the right click and hold and brush back the pixels.  The second image shows the pixels brushed back in.

The image on the left shows pixels that have been accidentally removed.  The image on the right shows pixels recovered.


6.  Once you have erased around the flower.  Change to the Eraser tool with the following settings:

  • Size:  32
  • Hardness: 100
  • Density:  100
  • Thickness:  100
  • Rotation:  0
  • Opacity:  100

Erase the remaining greenery from the image so all you see is the rose with the stem.


Specks and Holes

Change to the Move Tool and move the flower into the centre. Next change to the Pick Tool and make the image a little smaller by pushing up on a corner node.  Make sure you have Scale set on the Tools Options palette.


We need to check if the background is clean from pixels.  To do this, select the Magic Wand and tap in the transparent area of the image. 

You may see stray pixels like the ones in the image above.  To remove these, go to the Menu bar, Selections, Modify, Remove Specks and Holes.

Depending the amount of specks and holes in the image will determine the settings.

When the dialogue box opens, the two preview windows will be transparent, that's because you are viewing a selection on a transparent background.  To see the flower, click on Toggle Selection button next to Pan.  Click on it.

Open the dialogue box large by pulling out from the lower right corner.

a: Activate Remove Specks and Holes.

b: Square area small than:   An exact value cannot be given here.  Why?  It depends on how many specks and holes you have in your image. 

c: Start with 10 x 5 pixels.  If all the specks and holes have gone then that's great.  If not, increase the values until no specks and holes are visible.

The values of 28x10 shown in the image below were needed to remove all specks and holes.  Looking at the image on the left you can see those specks and holes.  After applying the 28x10 and looking at the image on the right, they have all gone.  Once no specks and holes are showing you can click OK.

Your image should now be on a clean transparent background.   However there may still be stray pixels.  Firstly, apply Ctrl+D to deselect then check over the rest of your image to make sure there are no parts of the background showing around the edges of the canvas. Use the Eraser tool to remove these with 100 opacity.

In order to check the background really is clear.  Add a new Raster Layer and flood fill with black. Move this layer down below the flower layer. 

You may have a couple or no specks and holes.  If you do have some, use the Eraser and just tidy the image by erasing them, again with opacity at 100.  The image should now be in a really clean, transparent background.


You can now delete the black layer background as it is no longer required.  Highlight the black layer and click on the Delete Layer button on the Menu bar in the Layers Palette.  Your flower is now finished and an object on a transparent background.


Make a picture tube

Before making a Picture Tube, save you image as a PspImage to your folder.

To create a Picture Tube from the flower, go to File, Export. Picture Tube.  When the dialogue box opens, give the tube a name then click OK.  You will find the Picture Tube in PaintShop Pro (your version) Picture Tube folder.  When you activate the Picture Tube tool, you can locate the flower from the drop menu.

Images of before and after


Save the flower as a PspImage.  The flower will be used in the next part of this tutorial

create a new background

1.  Open the rose flower image you extracted using the background eraser and saved in your BW Project folder. Add a New Raster Layer and drag it below the flower.

2.  Change to the Pick Tool and adjust the flower at a slight angle.

3.  Go to the Materials Palette and select these two colours:  Foreground #34513E, Background #C9C6A8.

4.  Click on the Foreground colour box to open the Material Properties.  Click on the Gradient Tab.  Open the thumbnail drop-down and find Foreground/Background gradient.

Apply these settings:

Style:  Radial

Angle: 220

Repeats: 0

Invert:  Ticked

Click OK.

5.  Close the Visibility Toggle (eye) on raster1 layer.

6.  Select the Flood Fill Tool  from the Toolbar.  Highlight raster2 in the Layers Palette and flood fill it.

7.  Click the Visibility Toggle again to reveal the rose.

Your background and flower should look similar to the image on the right.


paint with a brush tip

1.  The Eraser Tools can not only be used to erase pixels, but create a work of art, just by a few strokes of the tool and applying a Brush Preset.  Let's try it!

2.  Click on the Visibility Toggle again to hide the rose layer.

3.  Select the Background Eraser.  Go to the Tools Options Palette, and open the Brush Category drop-down list.

4.  Find the leaves and flowers brush that you added to your Brushes/Flora folder.

5.  When found it will show as a thumbnail   in the Tools Options Palette.

Size: 350

Step: 32

Density: 100

Rotation: 89

Opacity: 70

Tolerance: 512

Sharpness: 100

All other settings as is.

Before using this eraser on the canvas, let's save it as a preset.


save a preset brush

Any tool you modify and save will be listed in Presets.  Once saved it becomes a Preset and saved into your PSP / versions / Presets folder.  All aspects of the changes to the tool are saved for future use.

Open the Presets drop-list, click on the Save icon. 

Click on Save.  The Save Preset dialogue window opens.  Give the Preset a name. You can add your name as Author and or any copyright information you may require.   Click OK and the preset is saved into PaintShop Pro / your version / Presets.  The Preset will show in the Eraser Presets list.  It can now be used over and over again.


6. Hover the brush over the canvas that contains the gradient.  The brush should fit nicely as shown in the image below-left.  Press the eraser down onto the canvas, then lift the eraser and move slightly to the right side by a fraction of an inch then press down again.

7.  The leaves have a slight 3D effect. Erase down a few more leaves, but don't over-crowd the image.


8.     Add a New Raster layer and drag it beneath Raster 2. Select the Flood Fill Tool and fill it with the Foreground Gradient.

9.     Unhide the flower layer by clicking the visibility toggle.

10.   Right click on any layer, Merge, Merge All (flatten)


Copyright© Maureen Eves-Lavis of Creative-Designs 2004-2014 Australia This document may not be translated, duplicated, redistributed or otherwise appropriated unless permission is given by the author