Painting Flower Illusions

This tutorial can be done in PI6 or 7. This isn't an exact painting of lilacs but more of an illusion of lilacs. It's quick and gives a nice resulting image. So let's get started.

1. Open a new image, 700 x 600. I like lots of room. On the tools, pick up the line and arrow tool, shape - spline, width 2, color olive green to brown. I used hex # 59341C. Make sure you have the straight line with no arrows.

2. Start clicking from the top of your blank image with the line tool. The object here is to make a shape for your lilac. These lines will be covered. Here's my example. When you have the shape finished and one line is active, right click and select all objects. Then right click and group.

3.Click on your paint brushes and click on Oil Paint. On the attributes bar, click on Mode, Size, 40, color, a deep purple, transparency around 40, Preset, Dry Stroke. On the Brush Panel, click on the Shape Tab. Brush Head Size, 100, Density, 10. Click on the Color Tab. Click the Multiple Colors button, Delta Hue, about 5, Delta Saturation, about 10 and Delta Brightness, about 20. These are not exact settings. The variations will allow you to paint multiple colors with a few strokes.

You can right click and save these color swatches. Then open it in PI.

4.Now let's start painting. If you have a tablet, light touches please. Check to make sure you are in Mode, I've done that to many times to remember. Start tapping color around your shape, see the variations! This is the base color. I did one side for you to see.

5. Now we'll add some lighter color and different brush settings. ( Are you still in Mode??)

6.As you're tapping, vary the taps for lighter or darker colors. See how the lilac is coming to life. The red arrow is pointing to my brush size.

7. Picking a lighter color, higher transparency and different brush settings, the lilac is just about finished.

When you are satisfied with your painting, click off the mode button.
While it is active, right click and select all objects, right click and group.
Drag your lilac into your easy palette for safe keeping.

8.Now for the leaves, unless you made a huge lilac, you can make the leaf right on the same image. Lilac leaves are heart shaped but we don't want the look of valentine leaves. Click on the Path Drawing Tool. On the attributes bar, click on Shape, then Custom Shapes. Find the Heart and click on it, then OK. Pick a nice olive green color, 2-D. Drag your cursor to form a heart. Go to Object, on the top Menu, Convert Object Type to, From Path to Image.
Using the Transform Tool, on Attributes bar, click on Perspective. Pull the top 2 arrows together slightly.

9. We'll paint a little bit of veining on the leaf. Using the settings above, paint some faint lines on the leaf. ( Make sure your leaf is active)
Click on the Mode button and we'll add the leaf stem. Using around size 2, paint a green stem on the leaf. Click off the Mode button and while your stem is active, hold the Control button down and select the leaf. Right click and merge as a single object. Drag your leaf into the Easy Palette.

10. Open a new image, same as before, big huh! We'll be using the same line and arrow tool as above, but the color green and width,4. Make a branch, now I never saw a straight branch, so if you can't make a straight line, this is good! Slightly burn the one side of the branch.
Start adding your leaves, using the transform tool to rotate and size the leaves. Then use the pick tool to place some leaves under the branch.

Now if this wasn't enough work, how about we make a PussyWillow to go with our spring flowers.

11. Open another new image. ( I hope you're saving your images) Using the Line and Arrow tool again, color, brown, line width around 6. Make a stick. Convert the path object to an image object as before. Slightly burn the one side of the stick.

11. Click on the Brush tool, Bristle. On the attributes bar, click on the preset, use Grass. Change the color to a dark redish brown, size about 20, don't forget the Mode button, click it too. On the Brush panel, Brush Head Size, about 60, Density, about 50. Click on the color tab, Click on multiple. Slide the dials to get soft tones. At the tip of the stick, start painting backward strokes in the shape of an oval. Don't make it so heavy you can't see the strokes.

12. Change to a lighter tan and lightly paint over the other strokes. Finally choose an almost white color and a smaller brush size, lightly tap some high lights on the edges.

Change back to a dark brown color with a very small size, around 4, and paint the bottom shells under the pussywillow.

13. Click off the Mode. While the image is active, right click and duplicate. Using the transform tool, Change the position and angle of each one as you place duplicates along the stick. When you have them placed and one is active, right click and select all objects. Then right click and either group or merge as a single object. Drag this new image into your Easy Palette.

Now that wasn't as hard as you thought, right? These are all large objects. To make a picture with them, of course you will need a large blank image. Open a new image, 750 x 600. If you'd like that nice gradient background like I have. Click on the bucket tool, Elliptical Gradient Fill. On the attributes bar, you'll see 2 color choices. Choose a very dark, almost black, blue shade and the other a very pale blue or light yellow. This might take a few tries, but start somewhere in the middle of the new image and drag the cursor to make a large center ellipse. If it isn't right, just click on the undo and try again.
Start with your branches, drag them out of the Easy Palette and using the transform tool, resize and rotate. Next drag a few PussyWillow branches and also transform the size and position. Place your lilacs, as you can see on my picture, I have a droopy one. That was an extra one I painted. Don't forget you have a single leaf, drag it out of the Easy Palette and place here and there for fills or effects. Once you have your picture to your liking, add some all around shadow to your objects. Save it as a ufo and duplicate it. Close the original and merge all on the duplicate.

Adding texture to the whole picture is easy. Under effects, Creative, Painting. Use these settings from the image below. Finally add some magic light for some drama. Whew, look what you just created from scratch. It looks like a fine watercolor painting, dosen't it. Have fun and let me see your Spring Time paintings.


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Dawn Reber 2002