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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 see this helpful box of recently used materials and basic colors:

1. Right-click the Foreground (or Background) Material Properties box,
whichever one you want to set.
The Recent Materials dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 10-2. 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 an image that has its own palette of colors, and those
colors aren™t part of its palette.
Colors in the bottom two basic-color rows are pure colors ” except for
the grays ” that is, they™re the reddest red, bluest blue, magenta-est
magenta, and so on.
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.



The last ten
materials
you've used
Figure 10-2:
Ten pure colors
The Recent
Materials
box.




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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
Properties dialog box. See the upcoming section “Choosing a Color for the
Very Picky,” for details.



Choosing a recently used color
If it™s simply color you™re interested in, not material with all its textures and
gradients and stuff, follow this approach ” it remembers more colors than
the Recent Materials dialog box does:

1. Right-click the small Foreground or Background Color box ”
whichever one you want to set.
The Recent Colors dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 10-3. 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
Materials 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.
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 Materials boxes.




The last ten colors
you've used

Ten pure colors, redux
Figure 10-3:
The Recent
Colors box.




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.
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178 Part III: Painting Pictures

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.

If you have deselected the All Tools check box, colors you select for one tool
don™t apply to other tools.




Choosing Color for the Slightly Picky
If you need a slightly more precise way to choose color, try the Frame tab in
the Material Properties dialog box, as shown in Figure 10-4. The Frame tab
lets you choose the basic color (hue) by clicking a frame, and then lightness
by clicking in the center.



Figure 10-4:
The Frame
tab. Choose
the basic
hue and
then adjust
the light-
ness or
darkness.



To choose a hue (yellow, for example), first click the hue in the frame. The
center of the frame becomes shades of that hue.

Then, click in the center of the frame to choose how light or dark you want
that hue to be. The foreground color box reflects your choice. To access a
bigger version of the same color-picking technique, see the next section.




Choosing a Color for the Very Picky
Choosing a color from one of the Materials palette™s tabs area is all well and
good, but the palette is so small that you can™t be precise. What if you™re very
picky?



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Chapter 10: Advanced Painting for the Artiste

To choose a color more precisely, left-click the Foreground or Background
properties box (whichever color you want to set). Those are the big squares
on the Materials palette.

The amazingly colorful Material Properties dialog box appears, as shown in
Figure 10-5. (If the foreground or background material has a gradient or pat-
tern, their respective dialog boxes are displayed. Don™t worry: A row of tabs
is at the top. Click the Color tab.)



Precise color using the color wheel
The color wheel works just like the Frame tab, as described in the preceding
section ” it™s just bigger, and round rather than rectangular. The callouts
shown in Figure 10-5 give the details. You need to follow only three steps:

1. Drag the little circle on the color wheel to the basic hue you want.
2. Drag the little circle on the square to the precise shade you want.


Saturation/Lightness box
Forty-eight
basic colors Color wheel




Figure 10-5:
It™s time
to play
Wheel . . .
of . . .
Colors,
starring the
color wheel
and the Click here to see
Saturation/ a list of recent
materials you've used.
Lightness
box. Vanna
White, eat
your heart
out.


RGB, HSL, and HTML values


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The Current swatch, in the lower-right corner of the dialog box, shows
exactly which color you™re choosing, overlaid with any textures you
have selected. (The Previous swatch shows the color you started with.)
3. Click OK.
Your color has been changed.



Additional shades of basic colors
The Color tab in the Material Properties dialog box (as shown in Figure 10-5)
is also home to 48 basic colors. These colors are shades of 6 primary colors
(red, yellow, green, cyan, blue, and magenta) plus 6 shades of gray (including
white and black).

Open the Color dialog box as usual by clicking either the Foreground or
Background Material Properties box and selecting the Color tab.

Choose a basic color by clicking it in the Basic Colors area, in the middle-left
corner of the dialog box. Click OK and your foreground or background color
is changed to your chosen color.



Precise color adjustments ”
by the numbers
Just as saying “1 foot, 3 inches” is much more precise than saying “a little
bigger than my shoe,” choosing a color by using numbers is much more pre-
cise than clicking it on a palette or color wheel. But, how can you do color by
the numbers?




Creating shadows and highlights
For brushing highlights or shadows onto an Material Properties dialog box, and then click
object, you often want a color that™s the same the Color tab, if it isn™t already selected. In the
hue as an existing one ” just a little lighter or Saturation/Lightness box, drag the tiny circle up
darker. Pick up the existing color from your pic- to make a shadow color, or down to make a
ture and make it the foreground color by click- highlight color.
ing it with the Dropper tool.
Click the Foreground and Stroke Properties
square on the Materials palette to bring up the



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Chapter 10: Advanced Painting for the Artiste

As it turns out, you can specify any color by using just three values.
Adjusting these values independently gives you more control. For example,
you can change just the lightness of a color and be certain that you haven™t
changed the hue.

The situation is like measuring distance, where you can use either the English
(feet, inches) or metric (meters) systems. In Paint Shop Pro you can use one
of three alternative systems to specify colors: Hue/Saturation/Lightness (HSL,
to its friends) or Red/Green/Blue (known as RGB) or HTML.

The Color tab in the Material Properties dialog box, as shown in Figure 10-5,
shows the three values that describe your chosen color in all three systems
(RGB, HSL, and HTML). The area displays values for Red, Green, and Blue (on
the left) and Hue, Saturation, and Lightness (on the right). When you choose
a new color using any control in this dialog box, those numbers change. In
value, the numbers range from 0 to 255. An optional visual control appears
when you click and hold the down arrow at the far right end of a value box
(see Figure 10-6). The easiest way to adjust this value is with the slider con-
trol at the bottom.



Figure 10-6:
Achieving a
numerically
precise
color.



To adjust a color precisely, you can change the numbers in either the RGB or
HSL value boxes (your choice). For example, do you want more red? Use the
RGB controls and increase the value in the Red box. More yellow? To use
the RGB controls, you would have to know that red and green make yellow
in the RGB system and then increase the values in Red and Green (perhaps
decreasing the value in Blue).

The HTML value is a numerical representation of the three RGB values, ren-
dered into one hexadecimal code that Web browsers like Internet Explorer
can understand. You should never try to adjust a color by using the HTML
value. If you™re designing for the Web, though, the only way to tell a browser
that a sidebar should be precisely this shade of red is to use hexadecimals. If
you™re a Web designer, you know that you can use the HTML value within the
color attributes of HTML; if you™re not, you can safely ignore this section and
go in peace.




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Using the HSL values is sometimes a more intuitive alternative to using the
RGB values. HSL values are connected to the controls on the color wheel and
the Saturation/Lightness box. Here™s how they work:

Hue: The Hue value connects to your chosen position on the Color
wheel, beginning at zero at the top (red) and increasing as you go
around the circle counterclockwise. As you increase the number, the hue
passes through red, yellow, green, cyan, blue, violet, and magenta.
Saturation: The Saturation value connects to horizontal motion in the
Saturation/Lightness box: left (for a lower value) or right (for a higher
value). Use a higher value for a more intense (saturated) color.
Lightness: The Lightness value connects to vertical motion in the
Saturation/Lightness box: up (for a lower value) or down (for a higher
value). Use a higher value for a lighter color.

As with any value box in a Windows program, you can change the values by
either typing new numbers or clicking the tiny up and down arrows to gradu-
ally increase or decrease the value.

A more visual way to fiddle with the RGB or HSL values is to click the down
arrow at the far right end of any of the RGB or HSL value boxes. As Figure 10-6
demonstrates, a multicolored bar appears, showing the range of colors you
can achieve by dragging left or right. While holding the mouse button down,
drag left or right to choose a color. Release the button when you™re done.




Working with 256 Colors or Fewer
Images that have 256 colors or fewer are palette images: They use only a spe-
cific set of colors ” the image™s palette of available colors. You can change
any of those colors individually, but you can™t have any more colors than the
palette size (color depth) allows.

You don™t have to continue to live with this limitation. Press Ctrl+Shift+0 to
increase the image to 16 million colors (full color) and then you can skip all
the following stuff.

To choose colors in a palette image, click one of the Material Property boxes
and select the Color tab from the Material Properties dialog box. You see a
somewhat larger view of the palette. To reorder the colors, click the Sort
Order drop-down list box and choose either Palette Order (an arbitrary, num-
bered order), By Luminance (ordered from light to dark), or By Hue (ordered
by color). To choose a color, click it; then click OK.

To change any color on the image™s palette (or change a black square to some
other color), choose Image➪Palette➪Edit Palette. The Edit Palette dialog box
that appears is identical to the Select Color from Palette dialog box, with one
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exception: If you double-click any color on the palette, the Color tab in the
Material Properties dialog box is displayed. See the section “Choosing a Color
for the Very Picky,” earlier in this chapter, for instructions on choosing a
color in this dialog box.




Going Beyond Plain Paint
Going beyond plain paint to something fancier means getting something
straight in your head, first. Here™s what to remember:

Paint Shop Pro can paint with any of three styles of paint:

Color: Plain, solid color
Gradient: Smooth transitions between two colors
Pattern: Any pattern of multiple colors, or even an image

To any of these three types of paint, you can add texture. Texture is an effect
similar to what you would create by doing a “rubbing” over some textured
surface. (Place paper over a coin and then rub the paper with a pencil tip ”
you™re doing a rubbing. Oh, come on ” you must have done this.)

A quick way to choose style is with one tiny button, under the Foreground
Properties (and Background Properties) box. Click one to choose plain paint,
gradient paint, or pattern. Figure 10-7 shows you how the button works.

A tiny menu flies out and displays icons for the three styles (color, gradient,
and pattern, in order). Any icons that are grayed out aren™t available in your
chosen tool.

You don™t have to use these buttons. The alternative is just to click the
Foreground or Background Properties box and then click the tab for Color,
Gradient, or Pattern. Details follow!


Pattern
Gradient paint
Figure 10-7:
Clicking the Plain paint
Style button
(pointed out
by the
cursor)
gives you
these three
choices.

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Choosing gradients

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