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How to Make Excellent Colour Pictures With Free Paint Software Program

Updated on August 11, 2019
Emmanuel Kariuki profile image

Emmanuel Kariuki is an environmentalist, artist, Sculptor and the author of several children's and young adult's fiction.

In Search of Illustrations

There are many instances when we write an article but cannot find an appropriate photograph. There are several ways that one can solve that problem:

  • Draw an illustration and scan it.
  • Use a search engine to find sites that offer photos and illustrations for free downloads
  • Use an application on your computer to create suitable illustrations.

I have used all three methods above mentioned above. Pixabay is my favorite site for free images.

When I say “use an application on your computer...” most people imagine expensive software like Illustrator, Photoshop, and coreldraw among others. Few think of PAINT which comes with your Microsoft system software. You will find it in a folder marked Accessories among your list of accessories. Let's learn how to make the most of this absolutely free resource.

Discover he tools that help you select objects, rotate and flip or pick pencils and brushes.
Discover he tools that help you select objects, rotate and flip or pick pencils and brushes.

Free Windows Application

Paint is a simple application that comes free with your Windows. With a little practice you can create images to rival those done with expensive software, and most people will not notice the difference. After the example below, you will have no excuse to post a hub without a simple image. In any case, you can always upgrade images done in Paint, when you have better ones at a later date.

I recently posted a hub on ‘how much money do I need to live on when I retire’ and wondered what kind of picture should accompany it. At first I posted it with nothing. Then the idea came that clocks, perhaps due to their ticking our time away, can be a good illustration. Bu t I did not want any clock. I imagined a Grandfather clock with a pendulum. But since I could not think of where to find one in order to photograph it, I decided to illustrate it with paint. I did not want to search the Net and then have to deal with issues of copyright.

Below is a step by step of how I illustrated the clock using PAINT. The clock is not realistic from a scientific point of view because I had no reference, but it served my purpose.

Select the desired line thickness from your tool kit.
Select the desired line thickness from your tool kit. | Source

Circle, Square Shapes and Rubber Tools

I used the Circle and Square tool to mark the initial outline. Then I used the rubber tool to remove unnecessary parts of the circle.


Circle Within Altered Circle

I then put another circle within the circle, to mark the face of the clock.


Square Shape and Lines

Using the Square shape, I marked a void within the main outline where the pendulum would be. Then I used the Line tool to draw the pendulum. Next I put a small circle at the tip of the pendulum as I imagined it would look like. Using the Rubber tool, I removed parts of the circle that I did not need.


Next, I drew horizontal lines above and below the Pendulum void to indicate ribs fore special effect. Cabinet makers of antiques used to put such flourishes on their handiwork to improve aesthetics.


Determine Direction Light is Coming From

Light would fall on the clock in different quantities, depending on which side it was coming from. I imagined light hitting the clock cabinet from the left. So I drew two vertical Iines, slightly curving them at the top to follow the profile of the clock a little. Since I wanted the ribs to appear recessed, I moved the line slightly to the right of each rib to create depth.


Planning for Tones and Shades

I added one vertical line to the line so that I would create some dark tones where the light would be least.

Having demarcated all the tones, there was to be one last one – the darkest. I used ‘star’ tool on the top left of the menu to copy the left outline of the cabinet. When I ‘pasted’ the copied outline and moved it a few millimeters from the cabinet, it gave me room for the darkest area. I joined it to the cabinet at the round top and was now ready to drop in the colours.

Color palette
Color palette

Have Fun With Color

This is the fun part. You first click on the color you want and then pick the bucket tool and drop the color in the space. If all the lines are continuous, the color will not flow where it is not required. When I first dropped the black color – my darkest – it overflowed. I had to look for the leaking spot after pressing ‘Ctrl+Z’ to undo. See the spot outlined with a red circle.

Clicking the box on the right opens up more color choices
Clicking the box on the right opens up more color choices

Having sealed the hole with either the pencil tool or the line tool, I repeated the exercise and the black was contained.

I wanted to use a monochromatic color scheme so I selected brown. Starting from the right, I started to drop – the darkest brown after the black. To get a slightly lighter brown, double click the color on your palette and a window will appear with the basic colors. Click the button with the words “edit colors” and you will get a sliding scale that is currently at the color already used. Slide just a notch higher for a lighter shade. Click Okay and that color will appear in the palette in the same space as the color you used first. Do this over and over until you are through with all the tints possible on your picture.

There is a Text tool for adding any text to your picture. That is the letter 'A' that you see on tool box. You can choose font and size. I typed numbers 1 to 12 outside the illustration, then decided to use only 12, 3, 6 and 9. I picked one at a time and pasted on the face of the clock.

Below is the finished Grandfather Clock.


Determine Background Color and Finish

A contrasting background of light blue gave the clock the finishing touch it desired!

Lastly, Paint gives you the advantage of saving your images in several formats. You can save as bitmap, Giff, Tiff, 256 colors, 16 color or the format wanted by Hubpages – JPEG.

Below are more pictures illustrated with Paint for some of my hubs. Paint opens fast and is easy to use.

Go on and have fun with PAINT

Illustrations for the hub: A good teacher: seven qualities
Illustrations for the hub: A good teacher: seven qualities | Source
Illustration for the hub: How to make money from Aquarium fish
Illustration for the hub: How to make money from Aquarium fish | Source
Illustration for my hub: Fish Tank: how to make your own aquarium
Illustration for my hub: Fish Tank: how to make your own aquarium

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Emmanuel Kariuki


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