Make your own shape.

In order to explain how to use vectors in graphics we will follow the steps involved in making the header graphic for this page.
In a moment of patriotism I decided to combine my initial with part of the Canadian flag and this is how I went about it.
Blue links will take you to explanations of the different procedures involved in this tutorial.
All Vector Graphics use nodes which are simply control points on a line.
If you are unsure of what nodes are Click here for a simple explanation.

We first use the ellipse tool from the preset shapes to draw an oval.

Then start "Node Edit"

Now break the oval shape at the right end node.
Move the new end node to the left and pull the handle to the right to form a hook shape

We now need to continue another line from this point but there is a handle missing. The only way I can find to make it available is to change the node type to "Symmetric" and then change it back to "Cusp".
Bend this handle back to begin the inner line of the shape.

In PSP 7 right click the node and choose "Drawing Mode"
In PSP 9 use the "Pen" tool set to "Bezier Curve"
add another node to continue the inner line.

In cases where you do not want both sides of the node to react the same but do want the curve to remain fluid change the node type to "Asymmetric"
We continue adding nodes in this way until we reach the point where the points of the maple leaf start.

The way you draw a shape is up to you but here I decided to begin the maple leaf at the other end and work back
I made several corners manipulating them into the design I wanted.

Finally I reached the point where the two ends met and joined the ends together by Right clicking and choosing "Edit" and then "Close"

All that remained was to color the graphic.
Now that it is a complete entity we can change the overall graphic in the same way that we would any vector shape.
Double Click on its layer to bring up the "Properties" box.

Since I don't want a line around this drawing.
Click the "Fill" to turn it on and click the "Stroke" to turn it off.
Now click the "Fill" box to bring up the color palette. (In PSP 7 you have to choose the gradient separately as usual )

In this case I made my own gradient to fill the graphic but any of the normal choices are available. (Solid, Gradient, Pattern, and Texture )

And this is the final result.

As you can see there are very few nodes.
I like to keep the nodes down to as few as possible making a smooth finished appearance.
You will find that with skillfull handling of node handles even double curves can be adjusted to the perfect shape.