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Painting Images with Aqua Effect

Designing a fresh new icon having the renowned "aqua" effect is easier than you think – if you use proper tools. You can draw an icon from scratch by only using a free, small and lightweight icon editor.

Designing a brand-new icon featuring the familiar "aqua" effect is easier than you think – if you use proper tools. To create an icon from scratch, a professional, lightweight and simple icon editor such as IconLover 5 (aha-soft.com) is all you really need.

For example, let us make an aqua-style icon for "Add", a glass ball with a "plus" sign inside. To start, you’ll need to draw a circle of a chosen color. Select the color you want from the Color properties menu. By the way, you can always save a color by adding it to Custom Colors; this comes very handy if you need to draw a matching set of icons.

Using the Transparency bar or with one of the Transparency presets, set your new image’s transparency. For this tutorial, the ball will be fully opaque. In the same way, you can set background color; for simplicity’s sake, we’ll leave the background transparent for now.

To draw a circle of your chosen color, select the Filled Ellipse tool by clicking the Filled Ellipse icon in the Tools menu, which is on the left of the drawing area. With your left mouse button down, move the mouse cursor within the drawing area to create an ellipse. The ellipse changes its size and shape as you move the mouse. To create an ideal circle, hold Shift while drawing. That’s it, you have just drawn a circle!

In order for our flat circle to start looking like a crystal ball, we’ll need to add some special effects. There are tons of those built into IconLover! You can add shadows, gradients, transparency channels, and of course, the renowned ‘glass reflection’ look employed by the aqua effect.

To draw an icon matching Apple’s Aqua style, you’ll need to draw a reflection and a shadow to the circle. This can be done quite easily by simply selecting Aqua from the Effects menu. Just keep all sliders at their current positions for now, and you’ll get a beautiful shiny sphere as a result.

Now let’s add an artist’s touch and make your icon truly unique. Go back to that Aqua dialog and have a look at the settings. There are multiple properties available to adjust, allowing you to create something never seen before. Go ahead and move the sliders to see how your icon can look!

As a final touch, let’s add some volume to your new icon. While glowing and shiny, it still looks more like a lens rather than a crystal ball. Let’s fix that by adding a drop-down shadow! To add a shadow effect to the icon, click "Drop shadow" from the Effects menu. You can stick to defaults, or tweak the settings around to get a flat button, a lens, or a ball. The look depends on the size of the shadow, its distance from the subject, and the angle at which it falls to the ground.

To embed the ‘plus’ sign into the image, click on the Text tool icon in the left Tools menu or press "T" to invoke the text properties window. Make sure the "Image transparency" box is checked. This box means that your text will not be transparent, only the area around it will be. Adjusting the "Use semi-transparency" setting assigns your text the same level of transparency your primary color has. Type "+", and you’ll get the ‘plus’ sign embedded into the ball.

That’s it! You’ve just created a crystal ball that matches the famous Aqua style! All you needed was a professional icon editor, IconLover 5, a few mouse clicks and a few minutes of your time. Easy!

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Download Large Symbol Icons
Large Icons for Vista Large Icons for Vista is a set of smooth and polished icons created in similar manner as the original Vista icons. The icons come in two variants: with or without shadows.

Space Icons Design scientific or space-related projects with readily available graphics. Space Icons pack includes more than 60 images dedicated to astronomy, including Sun, Spacesuit, all planets of the solar system and Astronaut.

Large Weather Icons Large Weather Icons depict a number of weather conditions typical in software, weather portals, and mobile gadgets. The images come in typical sizes standard to Windows, Mac OS, and mobile platforms. The largest versions are huge 512x512 pixel images with vector sources in Adobe Illustrator (.ai) format easily affordable and ready to be printed or used in presentations in highest resolution.

Folder Icon Set Make your operating system appear more modern and stylish with the help of Folder Icon Set. The icons are available in sizes 16x16, 24x24, 32x32, 48x48 and 256x256.

Military Icon Set Plenty of military-style icons from our Military Icon Set will make all your applications appear more current and engaging. The images are delivered in ICO, BMP, PNG and GIF file formats.