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Dragon Haiku

Who this is for:

Beginners or anyone who is interested in how I created this dragon image in Affinity Photo.

What you’ll need:

Dragon - Green Stormy Texture
Created with Stormy Texture 5

Since I just came out with a new texture set this morning, I felt the need to show it in action. The above image started out with Merry Christmas text using the Light Red Stormy Texture and the Green Stormy Texture for the background. In searching for Christmas dingbats for the Christmas version, I saw there were Asian dingbats, so I had a look. Some people feel they were born in the wrong time period, I feel like I was born on the wrong continent!
As I was downloading a few of them, I wasn’t sure at the time how I would use them. This morning, it came to me. Follow along as I show you step-by-step how I got the look.

Step 1

I started by creating a new document that was 1200 x 900 pixels at 72 dpi. From my files I dragged the green texture into Affinity photo and resized it to fit the document.

01 - Import Texture

Step 2

I added a text layer, then started typing from “a” through “h” to see which dragon dingbat I wanted to use – I used “f”. Now that I had the dragon, I needed to resize it, so I pulled on the corners until I felt it was large enough (final size is 905.4 x 854.5 pixels).

Step 3

I lowered the opacity to 75, then added a layer below with a white background.

03 - Lower Background Opacity

Step 4

I duplicated the main dragon 4 times, rotating the design and placing in a corner; I started in the lower right, then upper right, upper left and, finally, lower left.

04 - Duplicate Dragon Rotate 1
06 - Duplicate Dragon Rotate 3
05 - Duplicate Dragon Rotate 2
07 - Duplicate Dragon Rotate 4

Step 5

Since there was an empty space on the left hand side, I found another dragon to stick in that spot. Both “g” and “h” give you the same dragon. I sized it to fit – 255.6 x 146.4 pixels.

Step 6

I wanted the main dragon to take center stage, so I lowered the opacity of the surrounding dragons to 70.

09 - Lower Opacity Of Dragons
10 - Move Texture Up

Step 7

I decided to see what it would look like if the texture was above the dragons, so I moved it to the top of the layers, and there it stayed as I liked the look.

Step 8

Since I was happy with the look of the background, I merged all of the layers. I added a white background layer underneath and lowered the opacity of the dragon background to 80%.

11 - Merge Layers Reduce Opacity
12 - Add Dragon Calligraphy

Step 9

I wanted the Chinese characters for Dragon somewhere on the background. I did a search and found a nice Calligraphy version (see link above). After saving a portion of the screen it was on, I opened it up in Affinity Photo and used the magic wand to select the black characters. I copied the selection, then pasted it between the white background and the dragon background.

Step 10

It took a little while to come up with the haiku. I used the Dr. Sugiyama font downloaded from Google fonts. I also used a dark shade of green for the text. It didn’t seem dark enough, so I duplicated the layer and changed the blending mode to multiply

13 - Add Haiku
14 - Darken Edges

Step 11

To add the finishing touches, I used a watercolor brush and a dark shade of green to go all around the edges.

Have any questions? Ask below. If you went through and followed the tutorial, creating your own image, link back to this post.


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