How to Use the Airbrush Tool in Paint Shop Pro


Paint Shop Pro is a graphic editor for PC that is used to customize digital images. It works over Microsoft Windows operating systems.

It can be operated by professionals as well as those who just want to explore their creativity. You will be able to create black and white images, change colors and use tons of effects on your images.

Paint Shop has a couple of versions that are upgrades of the ones before them. The latest updates added in the newer versions are compatibility with Windows 7 and functions such as Smart Carver and Express Lab, among others.

Some versions are freeware and others count with a free 30 days trial period when you download it.

If you are new to Paint Shop Pro, airbrush is just one of the tools that this photo editor software can do for you. Here’s a step-by-step walkthrough on how to enjoy the benefits of the airbrush tool.

First, choose the image that you want to work on. It can be your photo or any available photos that you have saved in your computer. As an example, we have the photo below.

Next, go to ‘Layer – Bakground’, and duplicate your photo. To do that, ‘Right Click’ on the background layer, select ‘Duplicate’, and now you have a ‘Copy of Background’. Basically, there should be 2 background layers available in your layer tab – the background and the copy of background layer.

Next step is go to ‘Adjust’, scroll down to ‘Blur’, and select ‘Gaussian Blur’.

A new window will pop up where you need to set up your desired ‘Radius’ on your image – in this case, we chose to set up 4, and then click ‘OK’.

After your image is set to Gaussian Blur, go back to ‘Adjust’ tab again, scroll down to ‘Add/Remove Noise’, and select ‘Add Noise’.

Again, a new window will pop up that will allow you to set up the addition of noise in your image. In this case, we set it up to 4, and then click ‘OK’.

Now, here is how the image looks like after all the changes that we applied from blur to noise addition.

To move into the next step and recover a better image – go back to your ‘Background Layer’, right click on ‘Copy of Background Layer’, scroll down to ‘New Mask Layer’, and then select ‘From Image’.

A new window ‘Add Mask From Image’ will pop up, choose ‘PSP-Air’ or mostly it is automatically set up, and then click ‘OK’ so you can have a ‘Mask – Copy of Background’ as shown in the screenshots below.

As you can see, the blurry image now looks smoother and nice.

To do the next step, be sure to highlight the ‘Mask – Copy of Background’ layer, since it will be the one that you need to work on. Go ahead to your materials palette (colors are your important materials in this work), and be sure to use ‘Black’ as your foreground color.

Now, go to the brush tool and pick your brush. You can start anywhere you want to. You can also choose to change the size of your brush, if you want to make it bigger or smaller depending on which part of the face you are using the brush tool.

Just be sure to recover back the eyes, the eyebrows, some part of the nose holes, and then the lips. You can also add some color to the lips if you want to. Just do the same step over to the hair, hands, and to any other parts of the image that you think needs some airbrush work.

And here is the finished airbrush image from Paint Shop Pro.