Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Butterfly Mandala 2 with Flower Background








I created this new butterfly mandala on a plain gray background. It shows the colors of the butterflies well, but I wanted to add some interest; so I decided to put a large flower behind the mandala.
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When I tried to put the whole flower in as a background, the large dark center didn't align with the center of the mandala, so it didn't work well. I like the radiating lines of the petals, but needed to find another way to make it work. As they say about necessity being the mother of invention; I came up with a new way to solve the problem. It is one that will have other applications.
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I started with this photo of a nightblooming cactus flower. I used Photoshop's rectangular marquee tool to cut out the section outlined in yellow. I then used the pattern technique of duplicating that section and creating a mirror image by flipping it horizontally. Next, I duplicated those 2 sections and rotated 180° to create the next image.
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It is mishapen, so I used the shape tools to turn it into a circular form.
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Then, I put it behind the mandala and turned opacity down until the gray showed through. That toned it down to serve as a background. Under some circumstances, I would add a blur as well, and lighten or darken the image.
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All this would fit nicely into a square, but to use it for a standard poster, I added the corner flowers and the poem on top. In posting it to Zazzle, I am adding the option for people to add their own text at the bottom. Perhaps someone has a line from a song or poem they want to add. If not, I give the last version of filling in with more flowers at the bottom.
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I show all this here as an example of the ways we can work with backgrounds.

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