bear
This is the bear we'll be making.
It was done using psp9 and assumes you have a good working knowledge of psp.
You should be able to do this with earlier or later versions.
You can get a trial copy here.
This is my first attempt at writing a tutorial so please bare with me. If you run into problems,
e-mail me.
You are welcome to use your finished product how ever you like but please don't just copy anything from this site and call it your own.

Let's get started.

First things first. Don't forget to save often. I may forget to remind you so don't you forget.

Open up a transparent canvass, 300x300. I like a big canvass although our bear will not be nearly this big.
When I’m working with vectors, I like to use the ruler and grids. It helps me with my editing.
Set your units for the grid to one pixel. Go to View Change grid guide and snap properties, and change your horizontal and vertical grids to 1 pixel.
Then go to ViewGrid to turn on the grid. I also like to flood fill my background layer with white since it makes it easier to see what I’m doing, especially when I have to fix up my vectoring with some extra pixels.
And one last thing, Zoom in to 800%. This makes your grid work with one pixel per square like we set it up to do.
Set your Foreground to #8d7b5c or any color you wish for the outline of your bear. Set your background or fill color to #b9a582.
Using your preset shapes, set to ellipse, create as vector, anti-alias not checked, line width 1, draw an oval shape starting at about 139x83 and dragging it down to 162x116.

oval shape

Make sure your oval is centered on your canvass at 150 with your top nod at 150x83, and bottom node at 150x116.
It’s not that important where you place your oval but for this tutorial, I will try and explain where I moved my nodes when doing my editing to make my bear’s shape by referring to certain coordinates.

Go to Edit mode and pull out the handles on either side of your top node so you end up with 9 pixels total.
Be sure your node is still positioned at 150x83. Repeat for the bottom only this time we want 11 pixels across.

head

Now pull your right node to the right and place it at 167x99. Pull your left node to the left and place it at 133x99.

head

Now comes the tricky part. We want to end up with a head shaped something like this.

head

In order to achieve this look, take your left node and bring the handle to the right about two pixels.
Do the same thing with your right node, bringing it to the left about 2 pixels.
I try and go straight across when moving my handles. Here’s what we should now have.

head

Ok, we’re getting there.
Go back to your left node and drag the bottom handle down about 2 pixels so the outside bottom pixel of your bear is at 133x105.
Do the same thing with the right node, making the bottom pixel at 167x105.

The basic head is done. If you like the way it looks, rename your vector layer to bear head and export it as a shape so you’ll be able to use it again.
Don’t worry if both sides of the head aren’t exactly the same. We’ll fix that later with pixels.

Now might be a good time to save if you haven't already.

You can convert this layer to a raster layer, if you’re sure you like it and you’re sure this is the size you want your bear’s head to be.
I like to make different size bears so I usually keep everything as a vector until I’m all done.
It’s much easier to resize if your graphic is still a vector. And since I don’t have much luck working with vectors when each shape is under one vector layer,
I always add a raster layer in between my vectoring. This way my new shape will go to a new vector layer.

Now if you’re ready, we’ll move on to the ears.
Make sure you've saved what you've done so far.
The ears are much easier. First, click your background layer, the one you flood filled white, and add a new raster layer.
Click your background layer again, Select preset shape, same settings as before, and draw a small circle for the ear.
You don’t have to do too much fiddling around with this. I made the outside of the ear 6 pixels, and the top 5.
I have the top on the same line as the top of my bear’s head.
Make sure this layer is under the head and then you don’t really have to worry about the part of the circle which isn’t shown.

head ear

If you like your ear, you can either convert it to a raster layer, or hold off until we’re done with the entire bear.
If you’re going to convert it to a raster layer, then before we duplicate it to use as the right ear, we’ll make the inner ear.
For this, I just pixel in an outline that I think looks good. Here’s what my bear’s ear will look like.

head ear

If you didn’t convert this to a raster layer, add a new layer. Copy your ear layer. Click on your new raster layer, and paste as a new vector selection.
Place it on the right side of your bear’s head. Don’t forget to save.

If you like the way your bear is turning out, and you haven’t converted any layers to raster, because you want to resize your bear,
it might be a good idea to do that now so we can fix any pixels that need fixing before going onto his body.
If you’ve saved what you’ve done so far, I would duplicate your image and do the resizing on the duplicate image so we can continue working on the original.
Once you’ve decided how much you want to resize your bear, you just need to use that same number each time you resize a part of his body.
For one of my smaller bears, I resized this bear about 64% so let’s do that now with your head layer.
Then resize your ears and put them into place. If everything looks ok, I would save it as is and close it until you need to add more parts to it.

Let’s go back to our original bear and fix up his head. First, convert your head layer to a raster.
Make sure you have 9 pixels across the top of his head and 11 along the bottom.
I have 8 pixels on the longest points of either side of his head.
If one side of your head looks better then the other side, adjust the pixels to match the better side.
When you’re happy with your head, do the same thing with the ears. At this point, if you made a duplicate right ear, you can just work on your left ear, add the inner ear, duplicate the layer and mirror.
This way you only need to fiddle with one ear. Delete the duplicate vector ear.

I think we’re ready for his body. You have saved what we’ve done so far, right?

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