There's something majestic about lighthouses, and the romance of their lifesaving beacons is hard to resist.
Aside from their utilitarian value, I remember building sand castles in the shadow of the Cape Florida lighthouse on Key Biscayne during my childhood, and last summer my family snorkled together in a rainbow of tropical fish at the Alligator Reef lighthouse in the Florida Keys.
There are many beautiful old lighthouses in Florida. "Bansemer's Book of Florida Lighthouses" is a stunning book with watercolor paintings of all the lighthouses in Florida.
This tutorial shows you how to create a replica of my favorite, the St. Augustine Lighthouse. The concept for the tutorial was adapted from Liz Feitelberg's wonderful PSP Lighthouse tutorial, with her kind permission.
The lighthouse is made of path objects made with the Path Drawing and Outline Drawing tools. If you have trouble making the shapes, you can download the lighthouse ZIP kit.
Start with a new True Color file 300 pixels wide X 400 pixels high. Choose View, Ruler, and set the units to pixels.
Select the Path Drawing tool. In the Attributes toolbar, click Shape and choose Rounded Rectangle. From the Mode dropdown list, choose 3D Round.
Start at the 50 pixel mark on the ruler, and drag down to the 300 pixel mark to make a rounded rectangle about 250 pixels high, like the one shown below.
In the Attributes toolbar, drag the Roundness slider down to the left, to reduce the roundness of the edges of the object.
Try to square off the corners of the object so that they are only slightly rounded, like this one. In the Attributes toolbar, click in the Color box and select white.
Select the Transform tool. In the Attributes toolbar, choose the Perspective option.
Position the cursor over the top right control handle and drag left slightly, narrowing the top of the object.
In the Attributes toolbar, click on the Material button to open the Material dialog box.
Click on the Bump tab and select Bump map. Click the File button and browse to select Brick2 from the PI5 Material folder. Change the Density to 50%.
Click on the Light tab and change the Ambient light value to 20%, to darken and add contouring.
Click on the Border/Depth tab. Increase the Maximum border depth to 32, then change the Border to 32, to round up the lighthouse. Click OK to close the dialog box and apply the bump map.
While the lighthouse object is active, choose Object, Convert Object Type, From Path to Image.
Select the Paintbrush tool. In the Attributes toolbar, from the Preset dropdown list, choose Fat Marker. Change the brush size to 25, Soft edge=10. Click in the Color box and choose a very dark navy blue, RGB=56, 0, 105. Click Options and choose Straight Lines.
Starting at the top of the lighthouse, draw three diagonal lines. Use the brick rows as a measuring tool. Make each stripe 4 rows of bricks tall, and skip 2 rows of bricks between stripes. You'll be able to see the straight line while you're dragging the Paintbrush.
Switch to the Airbrush Paint tool. In the Attributes toolbar, choose the Fat Stroke preset from the dropdown list. Change the brush size to 25 and Soft edge=0. Change the Transparency to 50%. Click in the Color box and choose a medium gray color, RGB=92, 92, 92.
Airbrush lightly along the entire left vertical edge of the lighthouse.
Choose the Selection tool and click in the base image to deactivate the lighthouse.
Select the Path Drawing tool. In the Attributes toolbar, the Rounded Rectangle shape should still be selected, 3D Round, and the color should still be white. Draw a small object just large enough to cover the bottom of the lighthouse. Drag the Roundness slider down to square off the edges. Click the Material button, click the Bump tab, and then browse to and select the Brushhair bump map from the PI5 Material folder. Change the Density to 75%. Draw two more dark navy blue (RGB=54, 0, 81) rounded rectangles, squaring off the edges of both. From the Material box, click Bump map and deselect Bump for the navy objects.
Position the 3 base objects at the bottom of the lighthouse. The lighthouse looks like this now.
Click in the base image to deactivate all objects. With the Path Drawing tool, click Shape and select Rectangle. Click in the color box and select white. From the Mode dropdown list, choose 3D Trim. Draw a small, tall window shape.
Select Web, Button Designer, Any Shape. From the bottom of the dialog box, select the pushed-in looking button thumbnail that is second from the left, next to the last row.
Change the Bevel size to 4. Click OK to apply. Choose Object, Shadow and add a 3 pixel black shadow, 25% transparency. Pick the shadow style that adds a faint shadow around all four edges.
Right click and duplicate the window 2X. Use the Pick or Selection tool to drag the windows onto the lighthouse, as shown.
Make another 3D Trim rectangle path object, slightly larger, for the door. Apply the same Button Designer, Any Shape and Shadow settings which you applied to the window, to the door. Use the Pick tool's Order options in the Attributes toolbar to send the door behind the top part of the lighthouse base.
Right click and duplicate the door and drag the duplicate away to the side, for use later on.
Select the Path Drawing tool. In the Attributes toolbar, click Shape and select Rounded Rectangle. Click in the Color box and select the same dark navy blue used to make the lighthouse base. Choose 3D Round from the Mode dropdown list. Make a squared off rounded rectangle for the top of the lighthouse (remember to use the Roundness slider). Make a smaller one, slightly wider, to top this rounded rectangle. Drag the spare door over and put it in the center of the top.
With the Path Drawing tool still selected, leave all settings the same but click in the Color box and select a dark red, RGB=196, 196, 0, and pick 3D Trim from the Mode dropdown list.
Select the Outline Drawing tool. In the Attributes toolbar, click Shape and select Rectangle. Leave the color dark red. From the Mode dropdown list choose 2D. Click Width and select 1 pixel for the line width. Make sure that line Style is a solid line.
Draw a small rectangle like this one.
Right click and duplicate the outline rectangle object 4X, for a total of 5. Use the Pick to overlap them like this, creating a railing.
While one of the rectangles is active, hold down on the Shift key and click on the others, until all are selected. Now right click and Group. Drag the railing over to the top of the lighthouse, centering it. Drag it slightly downward, so the railing isn't as tall as the rectangles actually are. Use the Order options in the Attributes toolbar to send the railing behind the other objects.
Return to the Outline Drawing tool. In the Attributes toolbar, click in the Color box and select black. Draw a tall, narrow shape like this.
Right click and Duplicate the black object 3X, for a total of 4 objects. Align them in a horizontal line. With the Pick tool, click one object, then Shift-click the others until all selected, and then right click, Group. Hit Ctrl+C to copy the grouped objects into the Clipboard, then Ctrl+V to paste them back into the image.
Position the grouped objects as shown at left. Click on one group to select it, then Shift-click the other group, so that both groups of 4 are selected, and then right click, Group. Use the Order options to send the black grouped objects to the back of the stack of objects.
To be honest, I don't know what this thing that we just made is called, but it's like windows behind which the powerful searchlight is housed.
Select the Path Drawing tool. In the Attributes toolbar, click in the Color box and select the dark red color again. From the Mode dropdown list, choose 3D Trim. Click Shape and choose Custom Shape. When the Custom Shape box opens, select Arch 2 and click OK. Draw a path shape that's as wide as the top of the lighthouse.
Switch to the Transform tool. In the Attributes toolbar's Freely resize options, select Resize. Drag up on the center bottom control point to make the shape less tall. Adjust the width of the object if necessary. Position this object on top of the black objects.
Select the Path Drawing tool. Click Shape and select Rounded Rectangle. Make a wide, short object. Make another one slightly smaller. Drag the objects over to the top of the lighthouse.
Click Shape again and choose circle. Draw a circle object and place it on top of the other objects. Click Shape and choose Custom Shape. When the Custom Shape box opens, select Arrow 4. Draw a right pointing arrow. Choose the Transform tool and rotate it 90 degrees counterclockwise. With the Pick tool, drag the circle and arrow objects over and add them to the top of the lighthouse. Use the Order options in the Attributes toolbar to send the arrow object to the back of the stack.
Return to the Path Drawing tool. In the Attributes toolbar, click Shape and select Rounded Rectangle. Click in the Color box and choose pale gray. From the Mode dropdown list, choose 3D Round. Draw a shape like this one, which will hold the light at the top of the lighthouse.
Open the EasyPalette's Material Gallery, Glass. Double click on the Blue 1 thumbnail to apply it to the glass light enclosure.
Use the Pick tool to drag it over to the top of the lighthouse. Use the Order options in the Attributes toolbar to send the glass enclosure behind the railing and the black objects.
This would be a good time to open the EasyPalette's Layer Manager. Select the first thumbnail, then hold down on the Shift key while clicking the rest of the thumbnails, until all of them are selected. Right click and Group. You should see only one thumbnail in the EasyPalette now, representing all of the Grouped objects.
Drag the grouped lighthouse objects onto the EasyPalette. You'll see a dialog box asking if you want to save the grouped objects as a single thumbnail. Say "yes."
When the Add to EasyPalette dialog box opens, give the object a name (e.g., "Lighthouse") and save it to My Library. Now whenever you want a fresh copy of the lighthouse, all you have to do is drag it from its thumbnail into the work space.
Put your lighthouse into a photo or a scene that you paint yourself. In the illustration at the top of the page, I just filled a large image with two shades of blue and then smudged them together with the Blur Retouch tool, creating a dark and stormy night. Then I added a Creative Lighting effect for the beacon.
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