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    I don't want you to think that I only paint on black backgrounds and this is likely to be the last one for some time but people love color and painting on a black background is a wonderful way to enhance the brilliance of your colors.
    I begin this little painting by entering the program and selecting "new" from the file menu. I change the "inches" into "pixels" and select a canvas size of 350 X 350. I keep my paintings quite small in order to easily fit them onto the web page, however, you may select any size you wish for your works. If you need a primer on how to use the program you will want to review Lesson#1 in this series. Lets begin!
First we fill in the entire canvas with the blackest black in the swatches tab. I do this using the Paint Bucket Tool. The symbol is a bucket with paint spilling from it. Simply select the color from the swatches tab then select the bucket and hold it over the canvas and click!
Here is where we want to be after we have conditioned our canvas! What follows is a series of smaller pictures of just how I accomplished this. Try to follow the instructions as closely as possible. If you can get this portion of the painting to look good then the rest is a piece of cake!
I begin by selecting the brightest yellow from the swatches tab. I then select the Airbrush Tool and, using a medium brush size, I apply two circles of yellow approximately the same size. I then select a darker yellow and apply that in a circle around the bright yellow ones. The only thing to be careful of is to eliminate all of the black.
Next I select a pink and apply that around each of the yellow circles. Then a red, then a deeper red, then deeper and so on until I have applied several rings of red leading to the darkest scarlet. The whole thing looks like a figure eight! (Note: It may be difficult to see in the pictures but I have applied 6 reds each one darker than the preceding one.)
Now, using the Smudge Tool, and a rather large brush size, I work from THE INSIDE OUT! In other words I place the smudge tool in the yellow portion, and working in large circles, I depress the mouse button and work toward the outside edges. When I feel the need to go back into the yellow, I release the mouse button and reposition the smudge tool inside the yellow and begin again.
Lastly, I use the smudge tool and go ACROSS the entire canvas horizontally until I arrive at the desired effect. Note that I have not colored the entire canvas but have left the edges dark. This will become important as we proceed.
Using the Paintbrush tool and the smallest brush size I first lay in some trees on a hill side. Work at these a bit to get them looking as you wish. Then, just below the trees, I have laid in some hill. All of this is done in the blackest black. Note that the hill comes out of darkness and ends in darkness. This is the effect we were after when we were careful not to pull color to the edges of the canvas.
Here I have added a water line to the far bank. I use bright yellow for this and the Paintbrush Tool in it's smallest size. Be careful to allow the water line to go into darkness at the edges. I have also included a large tree in the foreground. You may be able to see that I have highlighted the side of the tree with red. Don't overdo this; We want this tree to be quite dark. I use dark black for the tree and pull some limbs out into the bright color for effect. The highlight is a dark red but again, don't overdo!
Pull up some "squiggles" in the foreground to denote a bank on this side of the water. Add anything you think will look good in your painting. Most of all HAVE FUN! Want to sign your work? Read on.....
To sign your work choose the Type Tool and position the cursor where you wish to sign. Keep the type rather small, remember, we don't want the signature to dominate the painting. I use "Brush Script" as my font but you may use whatever you like. When you have finished your signature choose "Layer" and then "Merge Layers". This will embed your signature into your painting. I hope you had fun with this little painting!