Woodland Birdbath

    Please read my Terms of Use at the bottom of this tutorial. I hate having to state them, but in this day and age, it is necessary.

    I did the work for this tutorial in PSP version 9, but I am sure the technique would work in other versions as well. This is an Alpha Channel Selections tutorial, and I hope it is clear enough for anyone trying it. Remember to save often.

    Please remember that my directions and settings are done the way I wanted them, if you want to vary them any - feel free! These are only suggestions, not written in stone and I would prefer to see you use your own imagination and creativity!

    To do this tutorial, you will need a basic knowledge of PSP and my supplies - three zips.

Birdbirth Animals
Birdbirth Fill Patterns
Birdbirth Canvas

    Unzip the Woodland Birdbath Supplies into a folder of your choice. I usually make a folder on my Desktop with the name of the tutorial and put the supplies in there for easy access. There are several psp images (.psp) of birds and woodland animals. I made each of the animals myself. The fill zip has 4 jpgs of tree bark fills. The bark fills are from MorgueFiles and thus are free for use and so is the cut wood. Please do not share these, but you can use them in other images you might want to make. The one zip has the birdbath_canvas_ssg.pspimage.

    Remember to save often! You can save it as a pspimage in the folder of your choice. (This is another reason I have a folder with the name of the tutorial, so that I can also put my pspimages in it to save and "play" with later!) I later move the folder to within another folder that I keep all my tutorial folders and other PSP things in.

    1. Open the birdbath_canvas_ssg.pspimage, duplicate it and close the original. You can also open the psp's in your PSP workspace and minimize them for later use.


    2. Activate the grass layer in the Layer Palette. Go to Selections/Load_Save Selections/Load from the Alpha Selections. Load grass selection. Fill with the grass_ssg.jpg. - Angle 0; Scale 50. Deselect by holding down the Ctrl key and the D key or by going to Selections/Select none. The "marching ants" you will see are widespread, but when you do the fill only the portion that is supposed to be filled, will be.


    3. Activate the pedestal layer. Load pedestal. Fill with one of the tree barks. Since I don't know what kind of bark each one is, they are labeled as Image 30, etc. If you use Image 34 - Angle 20; Scale 35-40; for Image 30 - Angle 0; Scale 30; Image 25 - Angle 0; Scale 30; Image 29 - Angle 0; Scale 25. Deselect.

    Note: I used Image 34 for my demonstration in this tutorial.

    4. Activate the branch ends layer. Load branch ends. Fill with cut_wood - Angle 0; Scale 50. Deselect.


    5. Activate the top layer. Load top. Fill with the same image of bark you used before on the pedestal, with the same settings. Deselect.

    6. Activate the inner top layer. Load inner top selection. Fill with cut_wood, same settings. Deselect.


    7. Activate the water layer. Load water selection. Go to Effects/3D Effects/Cutout and use the following settings: V&H 0; Opacity 100; Blur 20; Shadow color #777afb. Deselect.

water cutout

    8. Activate the rim layer. Load rim selection. Fill with cut_wood, same settings. Deselect.


    9. Activate the Lighten/Darken Brush with the following settings: Shape round; Size 10; Hardness 30; Step 18; Density 100; Thickness 100; Rotation 0; Opacity 80; Swap mouse buttons box checked.

lite dark brush

    10. Your rim layer should still be highlighted. Go over the rim once, then go over the back of the rim a second or even a third time until you get what you want. The first screen shot shows before the darkening and the second shows how I darkened it.

rim before       rim after


    11. Activate the Soften Brush with the following settings: Shape round; Size 15; Hardness 22; Step 26; Density 100; Thickness 100; Rotation 0; Opacity 100.

soften brush


    12. Activate the inner top layer and use the soften brush to soften the appearance of the cut wood.

    13. Activate the Lighten/Darken Brush again, same settings, and activate the "top" layer. Use the brush lightly on each side. Using the right mouse button, so that it will lighten, and go lightly down the middle - this will give a beveled appearance without using a bevel or a cutout. Your brush strokes will look better if they are a bit jagged - not real smooth and continuous.


    14. Activate the pedestal layer and use the darken brush on it the same way we just did on the top. Be sure to emphasize the joints of the branches some. Again use the lighten brush (right button) and draw some short strokes to lighten the center. The following screen shot shows suggestions of where to use the brush. The black arrows are darkened and the red arrows show lightening. Not all areas are marked. The various barks might need the darken and lighten areas a bit different than this one.

lite dark arrows

    15. I also used the darken brush on the branch ends - just a swipe or two.


    16. Activate the animal psp's and go to Edit/Copy and then with rim layer being activated in the image, Edit/Paste as a new layer - do each one in turn. If you have your own little animals you would rather use, that is fine.

    17. I added a soft Drop Shadow to each of the animals and birds, as well as to the rim, top and pedestal. Effects/3D Effects/Drop Shadow with the following settings: V1; H -1 (minus 1); Opacity 100; Blur 5; Color black. You can add the Drop Shadow or not - your preference, or you can add a Drop Shadow of your own liking.

drop shadow


    Congratulations! You are finished! I resized my image for display here.


    Here are the birdbaths using each of the various barks, so that you can see how the different barks look. I am sorry, but I can't tell you off hand which bark is which image number!

duckie       duckie       duckie

      This tutorial was written May 28, 2009.

Terms of Use

    All the content on this Woodland Birdbath Tutorial site is protected by International Copyright laws. If photos or graphics were created by anyone other than Susie, it will be noted and the copyright will remain with the creator. Please respect these copyrights. Any similarity to any other tutorial is coincidental. You may download my tutorials for personal use. You may share them within a group, if you write and ask my permission first. The image you create from this tutorial is yours to do with as you please. I worked hard to create this image and to write the tutorial - it took many hours, so please respect my work.

      Please feel free to contact me if you have any comments or questions. Send email to susie