Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Valentine's clipart and graphics: how to make it in Pages

Have a look at another Valentine's heart and read a later article here

This is a small bit of Valentine's clipart hand-made by me in Pages with just the tools available in the programme. Here is how to do it.

1. Draw a heart shape with the free draw tool under Shapes menu. First do a rough outline, then choose Format>Shape>Smooth Path. The contour of your shape now has smooth curves.

2. Work on the heart shape by making it editable: click on the shape, pause, click again - little red dots appear. Click to turn a red dot into a white circle with ‘propeller’ handles. Move dots with mouse or keyboard keys to change the contour of the shape and rotate, extend or shorten 'propellers' to change the way shape curves.

3. To make the bottom end of the heart ‘sharp’ move the propeller handles towards the red circle until they disappear.

4. Add 3D effect with Gradient colour fill. In the Crayon Box of the Colour Palette colours which are next to each other work best. Add ‘glowing’ effect with Shadow (both in Object Inspector).

5. When you are satisfied duplicate your heart shape (Command+D) and move, rotate, flip and send backwards or forwards the two shapes. To rotate press Command and click on a handle (litlle squares in the corners of the selected shape) or use rotating wheel in the Metrics Inspector. Flipping is in Metrics and Sending backwards and forwards is under Arrange menu. That way you get an ‘embracing’ effect.

6. To add a ‘piercing’ arrow:
- open the Character Palette>Arrows. Choose an arrow and drag it into your Pages document. Characters from the palette behave like letters. So change colour, enlarge the arrow as you would enlarge letters.
- Take a screenshot of the arrow and import the .png image into Pages.
- Remove white background with Instant Alpha (under Format menu).
- Duplicate and mask one half of the first arrow, and another of the second. Now, under Arrange menu, Send to Back the first half-arrow, and Bring to Front the second half-arrow.
- Next, move and rotate the two half arrows so that it looks as though one arrow pierces the two loving hearts.

Set yourslef in the mood by listening to this beautiful piece of love music by Georgi Sviridov.

If you find drawing your own original shapes too much work you can use a selection of hearts from the Character Palette>Miscellaneous or use Gem Hearts in HD>LIbrary>Application Support>Apple>iChat Icons.

You are welcome to send me your Valentine’s projects made in Pages and I will publish them here.

Please read these earlier articles on I Work in Pages:
Clipart for iWork/Pages - where is it
Creating clipart and original shapes in Pages
Curving lines and shapes: make them in Pages
Moving shapes backwards and forwards, screenshots and other shortcuts

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