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Let's Draw Dragonflies
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Let's Draw Dragonflies
Created by: Flowerfancy58

 

We're going to draw a dragonfly and create a luminous effect without a filter.

 


Standard Toolbar - New (image) button

Basic Set-Up

Create a new image:
– Width x Height = 200 x 200 pixels
– Background color = Transparent
– Image type = 16 M colors

 
Layer Palette - Create layer button Create a new raster layer and name it 'Background'.
 
Set styles and colors:
– Foreground style = Solid color
– Foreground color = white
– Background style = null
– Foreground and Background textures = None
– Lock = checked
 
Tool Palette - Flood Fill tool Flood-fill the 'Background' layer with white for now in order to see the initial circles. Later we will flood-fill this layer with black.
 


Layer Palette - Create layer button


Tool Palette - Selection tool


     Tool Palette - Flood Fill tool


Create the Dragonfly Body

Create a new raster layer and name it 'Circle One'.

Choose the Selection tool, set it to 'Circle' (Antialias = checked) and draw a circle near the center top of your canvas about 27x27 (look at the values in the Status Bar).

Now change your foreground color to a dark purple (Red = 64, Green = 0, Blue = 64; #400040) and flood-fill your circle with that color.

Then, deselect with Ctrl+D (Selections || Select None).

 
Tool Palette - Mover tool

Duplicate the 'Circle One' layer three times, and label the new layers 'Circle Two', 'Circle Three' and 'Circle Four'.

Then use the Mover tool and move the duplicated circles so one is to the right of Circle One with a space between them and the other two beneath Circle One and Circle Two, and touching at their centers.

 
Layer Palette - Create layer button

Tool Palette - Selection tool     Tool Palette - Flood Fill tool


Tool Palette - Mover tool     

Create a new raster layer above the 'Circle Four' layer and label it 'Circle Five'. With your Selection tool (settings unchanged), draw a circle about 25x25 and flood-fill it with the purple foreground color.

Deselect (Ctrl+D or Selections || Select None).

Duplicate the 'Circle Five' layer two more times and label the new layers 'Circle Six' and 'Circle Seven'.

Use the Mover tool and move these three circles so they are a single line centered under the first four, curving slightly to the left.

 
Layer Palette - Create layer button     Tool Palette - Selection tool     Tool Palette - Flood Fill tool     Tool Palette - Mover tool


Starting with 'Circle Eight', we will draw five (5) more circles. Each circle will be slightly smaller than the proceeding circle. Draw each circle on its own layer.

Make Circle Eight 23x23 and then, for each subsequent circle, reduce the size by 2. Flood-fill each circle with purple.

With the Mover tool, place them under the others and curve them much more to the left.

Note: The ending image should be like a letter 'Y' that curves to the left. Use the Mover tool to fix the circles to suit your own preference.

 



Tool Palette - Magic Wand tool


Tool Palette - Airbrush tool



















Tool Palette - Retouch tool










     Tool Palette - Flood Fill tool     Tool Palette - Mover tool

Color the Dragonfly Body

On the Layer palette, activate layer 'Circle One'. Then, choose the Magic Wand and select the circle.

While the circle is selected, choose the Airbrush tool. Set it to:
– Shape = Round
– Size = 31 (adjust that as needed)
– Hardness = 9
– Opacity = 10
– Step = 1
– Density = 10

Go to the Color palette and set the foreground color to Pink (Red = 229, Green = 165, Blue = 165; #EFA5A5). Lightly spray the center two thirds of the circle.

In the Color palette, change the foreground color to Lime Green (Red = 0, Green = 255, Blue = 0; #00FF00). Spray lightly over the Pink Color.

Change the color once more to a Bright Yellow (Red = 255, Green = 255, Blue = 0; #FFFF00) and spray one or two clicks in the center.

Now use the Retouch tool set at:
– Retouch mode = Smudge (set this first)
– Shape = Round
– Size = 28
– Hardness = 35
– Opacity = 25
– Step = 1
– Density = 40

Smudge the colors together in the center. Try to avoid the edges.

Repeat this for the rest of the circles except the last two. Change the size of the selection as needed to keep the area in the center of the circle.

On the second to last one, just add pink and smudge. On the last one, leave it purple.

Now, highlight the 'Background' layer in your Layer palette and flood-fill it with black. With the Mover tool, adjust the circles as needed.

 



Layer Palette - Layer visibility off




Layer Palette - Layer visibility on

Create the Dragonfly Head

Go to the Layer palette, and hide the 'Background' layer. Do this by clicking on the eyeglasses. A red x should appear.

Check to make sure the circles are in position. Then merge visible layers: Go to Layers || Merge || Merge visible.

Now make the 'Background' layer visible again.

 
Layer Palette - Create layer button


Tool Palette - Selection tool



     Tool Palette - Flood Fill tool



     Tool Palette - Airbrush tool

Tool Palette - Retouch tool     

Create a new layer and name it 'Head'.

Choose the Selection tool and set it to 'Ellipse'. Draw out an oblong ellipse (from top down), about twice as long as Circle One (18 x 54).

Change your foreground style to 'Gradient': Click on the arrow in the Foreground-Style box and select the Gradient icon (second from left). Then click into the Foreground-Style box to set as follows:
– Style = Sunburst Gradient (third icon from top)
– Gradient = Violet Orange
– Invert gradient = checked

Click on OK and flood-fill the selection with the Flood-Fill tool.

Change the foreground style back to 'Solid Color'. Then use the Airbrush tool with the color set to Dark Brown, (Red = 64, Green = 0, Blue = 0; #400000) to darken the image a bit.

Now use the Retouch tool (Retouch mode = Smudge) to lightly soften it – draw the smudge tool from top to bottom of the selection.

Deselect (Ctrl+D or Selections || Select None).

 


Tool Palette - Mover tool

Layer Palette - Layer visibility off

Layer Palette - Layer visibility on

Go the Layer palette and drag the 'Head' layer down, right above the 'Background' layer.

Position the head under the top two circles using the Mover tool.

Hide the 'Background' layer once more, and merge visible layers (Layers || Merge || Merge visible), then make the background visible again.

 



Layer Palette - Create layer button


Tool Palette - Preset Shapes tool










Tool Palette - Vector Object Selection tool






Tool Palette - Magic Wand tool









Tool Palette - Flood Fill tool     

Create the Wings

Create a new vector layer (Layers || New Vector Layer) and name it 'Wing One'.

Choose the Preset-Shapes tool and select:
– Shape = Heart no. 2 (if you do not have this particular shape,
                 any heart shape will do)
– Retain style = unchecked
– Antialias = checked
– Create as vector = checked
– Line width = 1
– Line style = Default line

Set the foreground color to white and draw a heart about 35x66.

Choose the Vector-Object Selection tool and click on 'Node Edit' in the Tool palette. On the right side of the heart, click on the middle node and drag it down to flatten that side. Then right-click and choose 'Quit Node Editing' from the popup-menu.

Convert this layer to a raster layer: Go to Layers || Convert to Raster Layer.

Then use the Magic Wand, click outside of the heart and then go to Selections || Invert to select the heart.

Set the foreground color to a dark grey (Red/Green/Blue = all 129; #818181) and the background color to a greyish purple (Red = 116, Green = 104, Blue = 108; #74686C).

Set the foreground style to 'Gradient', then click on the Foreground-Style box and select:
– Gradient = #1 Foreground-Background
– Style = Linear Gradient
– Angle = 0
– Repeats = 0
– Invert gradient = unchecked

Choose your Flood-Fill tool and flood-fill your selection.

Deselect (Ctrl+D or Selections || Select None).

 
Tool Palette - Mover tool     

Go to Image || Rotate:
– Direction = Right
– Degrees = 90
– All layers = unchecked

Use the Mover tool and position the wing between the top two circles, then go to the Layer palette and drag the 'Wing One' layer down, above the 'Background' layer.

 
Standard Toolbar - Copy button     Tool Palette - Mover tool     Tool Palette - Deformation tool


Now copy the wing (Ctrl+C) and paste it as a new layer (Ctrl+L), then go to Image || Mirror. Position that wing on the left side of the dragonfly body.

Paste it as a new layer once more (Ctrl+L), use the Deformation tool to make the wing smaller and position it under the right wing using the Mover tool. You may need to use Image || Rotate with a value of about 30 to get the wing positioned correctly.

Now copy this wing (Ctrl+C) and paste it as a new layer (Ctrl+L). Then go to Image || Mirror and finally, with the Mover tool, position it on the left side of the body.

Go to the Layer palette and choose a wing layer. Move the Opacity slider on the right of the layer's name to 50%, thus reducing the opacity. Repeat this for the rest of the wings.

 


Layer Palette - Create layer button


Tool Palette - Drawing tool



     Tool Palette - Flood Fill tool

Create the Legs and Antenna

Create a new top layer.

Choose the Drawing tool with the following values:
– Line type = Freehand line
– Line width = 1
– Line style = Default line
– Antialias = checked
– Create as vector = unchecked
– Close path = unchecked

The foreground style is already set to 'Gradient', now choose the 'Metallic 2' gradient.

Draw one sets of legs and antenna. (There will be three legs on each side. The two top legs will look like an exaggerated 'V'. The bottom leg should curve downward.)

Now set your foreground style to 'Solid Color' again and your foreground color to white. Select the 'Background' layer in the Layer palette and, with your Flood-Fill tool, flood-fill the background with white.

 


Tool Palette - Airbrush tool          Tool Palette - Retouch tool

Color the Background

Then choose the Airbrush tool, set the Size = 200 and Shape = Horizontal.

Spray a squiggly line of the pink we used earlier (Red = 229, Green = 165, Blue = 165; #EFA5A5). Spray another squiggly line over the pink using pale yellow (Red = 255, Green = 255, Blue = 192; #FFFFC0).

Use the Retouch tool. Set the Size = about 200, Shape = Vertical and change the Opacity = 50%.

Lightly smudge these colors together until you are satisfied with the looks.

Now, sit back and admire your work.

 
Layer Palette - Layer visibility off    Standard Toolbar - Copy button   Tool Palette - Deformation tool   Tool Palette - Mover tool    Layer Palette - Layer visibility on




Finishing Touches

Hide the 'Background' layer, select one of the other layers and merge the visible layers (Layers || Merge || Merge visible).

Copy (Ctrl+C) and paste the dragonfly as a new layer (Ctrl+L).

Use the Deformation tool and resize the second dragonfly so it is smaller, then move it wherever you like with the Mover tool.

Mirroring it is a good idea too as is moving this layer beneath the other dragonfly.

Make your background visible again.

I added drop shadows to the dragonflies, and also used a filter from Flaming Pear called "Aetherize" on the second dragonfly. You can download this filter for free for thirty days at Flaming Pear's site (www.flamingpear.com).

You could also colorize the smaller dragonfly with Colors || Colorize or go to Colors || Adjust || Curves and change its color that way as well.

Enjoy ...