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My son Daniel used Microsoft Image Composer to create a great head shot of his brother Zac's pet cockatiel, Charlie. Inspired, I used Image Composer to create my own rendition of Charlie.

Follow these steps to create the six sprites in this image.

1) Use a basic blue circle to create the background. Outline it in yellow and add a blurred and rippled, white, low transparency circle in the center for highlights. Finish the edge with art effects/paint/accented edges.
2) Create the bird with the spline drawing tool, first drawing the basic shape, then adding points and pulling them this way and that, to create the crest, beak, and tail feathers. Create a gradient ramp in patterns and fills, and use it to fill the bird with gray at the tail, moving to yellow at the head. Experiment with Art Effects to achieve a shimmering, feathery effect for the feathers. Outline the bird in a gray-blue for definition.
3) Draw a circle for the eye. Then soften and blur it.

Image: Constance Petersen's Designing Ways

Creating Charlie
with Microsoft Image Composer

Revised September 22, 1999

Image: 360x360 pixel jpeg of our cockatiel, Charlie

4) Use the spline tool to create the orange cheek patch, blurring it and doing a sprite-to-sprite transfer shape with low transparency to pick up a hint of yellow shimmer from the bird's body.
5) Also use the spline tool to drawn the branch, giving it texture and dimension with art effects/paint/spray strokes, accented edges, and spatter.
6) Create the name, Charlie, using the Matisse ITC font. Rotate it 90 left, move it to the body of the bird, and do a sprite-to-sprite transfer shape to fill the letters with the color of the bird's body. Outline the letters in the same gray-blue that outlines the bird. For further definition, outline the letters again in a shade of brown from the branch. Rotate the name 90 right before placing it outside the circle, next to the tail feathers.

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