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Painting Icon Images with Aqua Effect

Drawing a fresh new image featuring the renowned "aqua" effect is easier than you think – if you have proper tools. You can make an icon from scratch by only using a free, small and easy icon editor.

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

For example, let us make an aqua-style icon to represent "Add", a glass ball with a "plus" sign inside. To start, you’ll need to draw a circle of a chosen color. Pick 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 really handy if you need to draw a matching set of images.

With the Transparency bar or one of the Transparency presets, set your new icon’s opacity. For this tutorial, the ball has to be fully opaque. In the same way, you can specify background color; for simplicity’s sake, we’ll keep the background transparent for now.

To make a circle of selected 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 the left mouse button down, move the mouse within the drawing area to create an ellipse. The ellipse changes its size and shape as you move the mouse. To create a perfectly round circle, hold Shift while drawing. That’s it, you have just drawn a circle!

To add volume and dimension to the flat circle, we’ll need to apply some special effects. There are many of those built into IconLover! You can add shadows, gradients, transparency masks, and of course, the renowned ‘glass reflection’ look employed by the aqua effect.

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

Now let’s have some fun and make your icon truly unique. Go back to that Aqua dialog and have a carefull look at the settings. There are multiple values available to tweak, 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 newly created icon. While glowing and shiny, it still looks more like a button rather than a crystal ball. Let’s fix that by throwing a drop-down shadow! To add a shadow effect to your icon, click "Drop shadow" from the Effects menu. You can use the defaults, or tweak the values around by getting a flat button, a lens, or a ball. The effect depends on the size of the shadow, its distance from the subject, and the angle at which it falls to the surface.

To embed the ‘plus’ sign into the icon, click on the Text tool icon in the left Tools menu or press "T" to open 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. Changing 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.

Voila! You’ve just designed a crystal ball that appears to be in the famous Aqua style! All you needed was a professional icon editor, IconLover 5, a few clicks and a couple of minutes of your time. Easy!

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Space Icons Design scientific or space-oriented product with instantly available images. Space Icons pack contain over 60 images focusing on astronomy, such as Spacesuit, Astronaut, Sun and all planets of the solar system.

iPhone Style Toolbar Icons Give Windows products iPhone apperance with iPhone Style Toolbar Icons! The new pack of iPhone icons is a ready-made library of images drawn to mimic the look of Apple iPhone devices.

Web Icon Library Your web project will appear more modern and stylish with Web Icon Library. Color formats include 8-bit formats and Windows XP. Available sizes are 16x16, 20x20, 24x24, 32x32, and 48x48.

Basic Icons for Vista Basic Icons for Vista is a collection of sleek and professionally finished icons crafted in the similar style as the original Vista icons. The images come in two versions: with or without shadows.

Food Icon Library Your project will look more current and attractive with Food Icon Library. Color schemes include Windows XP and 8-bit formats. provided sizes are 16x16, 24x24, 32x32, and 48x48.