Stamped Background

Crabby Graphics
Author: Marlene LaVarta
Skill Level: Intermediate
Additional Files:
Color scheme and black and white clip art of your choice.
PI Version: 
Done with 10 - but should work for other versions.
Terms of Service: TOS


  I really like the impressionist background tutorial, but I wanted a little more control over it, so came up with this method.

The Color Scheme

You'll want to have a color scheme in mind.  I'm using the one at the left - you're welcome to us it (right click on the picture at the left, and save picture as.)  To see how to make your own color scheme, click here.

Making the stamp file

You'll want to have a black and white clip art picture to use.  I'm using the one shown here - from one of the Dover samplers.

The first thing you want to do is invert the colors on the file:  Menu->Adjust->Invert.

Open a new file, the same size as the flower file with a white background. (Ctrl-N, click on Active Image, OK).

Click on Mask Mode .

Go back to the flower file.  Ctrl-A to select all.  Right-click, convert to object.  With the pick tool, drag the flower object to the mask mode file.

In the masked file, right-click, align, center both.


Click on Mask Mode . to turn masking off.  Press Ctrl-Shift-O (or right click, convert to object).  It looks like you have a white screen again, but you should be able to see the flower in the layer manager.  Press ctrl-f (for fill),  Right click on the color swatch in the fill dialog, choose color on screen, and click on one of the colors from the color scheme file.  Press OK.
  Repeat the following steps for each color in the color scheme (or for however many colors you want)
  1. Shift-D to duplicate the flower object.
  2. Press ctrl-f (for fill),  Right click on the color swatch in the fill dialog, choose color on screen, and click on one of the colors from the color scheme file.  Press OK.
Now pick the transform tool.   And set up the attribute bar as shown at left.

Press Ctrl-Shift-A (or Menu->Objects-Select all Objects) to select all objects.

Press Shift-D to duplicate all the objects and then click on the rotate counter clockwise button

Press Shift-D to duplicate all the objects again, then click TWICE on the Rotate clockwise button .  For the purposes of this tutorial, that's all I'm going to rotate, but you can duplicate and rotate as many times as you want to.

There - now we've made our stamp file.  Save this file as a ufo file - Remember where you put it!  Minimize or close this file.



Making the Background

Open a new file - size is up to you - I used 300 x 300.  Fill the background with a color of your choice from the color scheme file.

Choose the stamp tool  In the tool panel, click on the Add stamp button, and browse to and select the stamp file we just made.



Set up the options as shown on the left.
Drag the stamp tool around on the new file to fill in the background.

Ctrl-Shift-M or right-click, Merge all to merge everything to the background.

Optional - If you want to end up with a seamless tile, Use the simple quick tile filter now.


Now change the options on the stamp tool to create separate objects.

Click on any spots on your tile that you feel need more contrast.  If you don't like the color or rotation that shows up, just press ctrl-z and try again.

If you're going for seamless, you'll want to merge and then use Menu->Web->Shift image and continue to fill in as needed.


Here's how mine ended up.

Don't forget that since you're working with single objects, you can select one of them and adjust, hue, saturation and brightness, fill it with any color you want and rotate it any way you want!

This graphic

plus this color scheme




Change the hue to get this: