PI6 Flower Pot Topiary
Even if you don't like to make "pretty" things with a country look, you could learn a couple of interesting tricks from this tutorial.
The basic flower pot shape is created by adding control points to a rectangle, then reshaping it into curves. The topiary is made from a leaf stamp using the Paint on Edges technique.
Finally, add a nice ribbon with sparkle, courtesy of the Any Shape Button Designer presets, and little white flowers that are so easy to do, you won't believe it.
Start with a new True Color file 400 X 400 pixels. Select the Path Drawing tool. Click Shape and select Rounded Rectangle. Mode=2D. Click in the Color box and select Gradient Fill. When the Gradient Fill dialog box opens, select the left to right Fill type and a Two color fill. Click in the beginning Color box and select a light brown, RGB=185, 135, 94. Click in the ending Color box and select dark brown, RGB=119, 43, 26. Click OK to close the box.
Draw a rectangle like the one shown below. Note that the gradient fill makes it lighter on the right side, and slightly darker on the left side.
In the Attributes toolbar, click the Editing button. This will put you into Path Edit mode, with the Toggle button selected, automatically. Under "Edit point," select the + sign to add control points.
Add four control points, as shown here. Add two on each vertical upright. These will be edited to form the top rim of the flower pot.
Under "Edit point," switch back to Pick point. Select the third control point from the top on each side and drag slightly toward the center of the flowerpot.
Select and drag each bottom control point, dragging toward the center of the flower pot to narrow the bottom.
Under "Edit point," select the + sign again to add a control point in the middle of the top horizontal line, and one on each side of it. Switch to Pick point mode and drag the newly added control points down slightly, creating a very shallow curve.
Repeat for the straight line on the bottom. Under "Edit point," select the + sign to add a control point in the middle of the bottom horizontal line, then add a control point on each side of that one. Switch to Pick point mode and drag the newly added control points down slightly, creating a very shallow curve.
Click the Toggle button to return to 2D mode. Take a good look at your flower pot. If it's not symmetrical, click the Toggle button again and continue editing the control points until it looks good. You should end up with something like this.
To add a little surface interest, select Effect, Noise, Add Noise. When the Noise dialog box opens, the center thumbnail will be selected. Click OK. Once you add Noise, the object is an Image object.
While the object is active, select the Object Eraser. Edit Size to 10, Soft edge=5. Gently erase to round off pointed edges on each lower corner.
Select the Path Drawing tool. Click Shape and select Ellipse. Click in the Color box and select Gradient. When the Gradient Fill box opens, leave the same Two-color fill, but switch the beginning and ending colors by clicking the little toggle in between the Color boxes. Draw a flat ellipse to serve as the rounded, other side of the flower pot. Right click, Arrange, Send to Back. Position it at the top of the flower pot.
In the Attributes toolbar, click Editing to enter Path Edit mode. In Pick point mode, drag the top center control point down slightly to flatten the top. Drag the smaller squares out and over to the side control points to create a gentle curve.
Click the Toggle button to see the results. If it doesn't look right, click Toggle and continue editing until the shape is right.
Use the Pick tool to select the flower pot shape. Right click, Duplicate. Use the Object Eraser to erase the entire bottom of the duplicate flower pot. Try to get a nice curved line just under the rim. Click Trim.
Position the erased duplicate over the flower pot. Shift+Click the flower pot so that both are selected at the same time. Right click, Align, Top. This will make it look like they are all one object, but they're not. The duplicate is going to serve as a kind of "shield" for the next step. Click the whole flower pot to select it.
Select the Airbrush Paint tool, Fat Stroke preset. Edit the Size to 50, Color=black, Transparency=75. Airbrush a "shadow" under the rim of the flower pot. The "template" over the top will prevent black paint from showing on the rim.
Airbrush a little on the left side and bottom of the flower pot, and a bit more on the right side. Select the rim template and airbrush it the same way. Right click, Select All Objects. Right click, Group. Save the flower pot to a Library in your EasyPalette.
Select the Path Drawing tool. Click Shape and select Rectangle. Click in the Color box and select a dark brown. Draw a tall, narrow rectangle for the "trunk" of the topiary. Change the stacking order so that the trunk is in front of the ellipse part of the flower pot.
Select the Outline Drawing tool. Click Shape and select Custom Shape. When the Custom Shape dialog box opens, select Star 1. Click in the Color box and select a dark green. Click Width and select 6. Make sure the line style is a solid line. Draw a large star shape and position it as shown below. (Note: A circle or half moon shape would also look good)
Download this leaf stamp and Import it into your stamps. If you don't know how to do this, check out my Stamp tutorial. While the star object is active, select the Stamp tool. Click the down arrow and choose Select Stamp. Select the leaf stamp. In the Attributes toolbar, edit the Size to 75, Spacing=65, Order=Random, Placement=Trail, Object=Single Object. Here comes the fun part! Hit Shift+P to do Paint on Edges. The star shape will be covered with leaves. It's OK to leave little gaps, but if you see any obvious holes, click on them with the Stamp tool to add more leaves.
Right click, Merge as Single Object, so that the leaves and the underlying star shape are all one object. Select the Burn Retouch tool, Wide Burn preset. Burn the leaves here and there to darken and create contouring.
Now let's add some small white flowers. Select the Bristle Paint tool, Pepper Dot preset. Click in the Color box and select white. While the leaf object is selected, click on it lightly (don't drag) to create little clusters of flowers.
Finally, let's add a shiny ribbon to the topiary. Select the Paintbrush tool, Ribbon preset. Click Shape and select the Vertical, upright brush instead of the default, which is slanted. Edit Size to 10, Soft edge=15, Transparency=0. Click in the Color box and select a muted blue-gray color. Click Mode to enter Paint as Object mode.
Paint a big, floppy double bow with long streamers around the trunk of the topiary. When you're satisfied with your bow, click Mode to exit Paint as Object mode.
To jazz up your bow and add sparkle and shine, choose Web, Button Designer, Any Shape. Select one of the "jewel" presets from the bottom of the dialog box. Use the Object Eraser to erase bits of the bow that should be behind the flower pot.
Right click, Select All Objects, then right click, Merge as Single Object. Add a nice perspective shadow to make your topiary pop out of the background.
This tutorial uploaded 4/06/01
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