Step-by-step Light a match on your PC
Start with a blank canvas 1
Create a plain white document with File > New > ‘Blank image’. Ours is 1,000 pixels per side, but you can use whatever dimensions you like. In the Styles palette on the right, click the black rectangle and change it to orange. This is your paint colour. Then click the arrow on the Paint Brushes tool to unfold its menu and choose Air Brush. We’ve made it 20x20 pixels wide.
Layer and paint 2
Create a new layer (Layers & Objects > Create New Layer) and make sure it’s selected in the Layers palette on the right. Now spray an orange blob onto your canvas. Make it fairly large, since it’s easier to make things smaller rather than larger, and aim for a vaguely pyramidal shape. You don’t have to be precise – you’re using an airbrush after all. We’ll adjust the shape later on.
Creating a flame effect 3
The Effects Brushes live near the bottom of the tool palette on the left. Click the downward arrow for a drop-down menu to see all the Effects Brushes available. There is one called the Flame Effect Brush, but ignore that and choose the Push Effect Brush. Choose an appropriate brush size, then use the brush to push your ‘flame’ up in the middle, like a match that has been lit.
Finesse your image 4
To get the shape right, make the brush smaller (we went to 10x10 pixels) and use its smaller point to make a sharp peak in the middle of your flame. Don’t worry too much about keeping the sides straight, as flames are constantly in motion and a little wobble is to be expected. Draw upwards until you have a shape not unlike an arrowhead, keeping the breadth at the bottom.
Flame out 5
Now select the Flame Effect Brush and change your foreground colour to yellow at the top right of the app. Paint along the centre of your shape to give it a lighter core. Swap back to the Push Effect Brush and smear your lighter patch around so it’s equidistant from the edges of your orange flame shape. You can do the same with white if you want another central colour.
Now use Colorize 6
When you’re happy with your shape, give it a burning orange wash with Effects > Colours > Colorize. Choose orange as your colour, and make sure the Advanced controls are popped out, so you can change the colour wash’s blending mode. We’ve used Add and achieved a hot-looking flame with a lot of yellow in it. Experiment with the options until you’re happy.
What’s burning? 7
There’s no point having a flame if you don’t have something to burn, so let’s create a match. Create a new layer as in Step 2, making sure to check the Transparent box for its contents, so the layers below can be seen. Pop out the Shape tool, halfway up the toolbar, and select the Common/Pre-Made Shapes option. Draw a long box that looks like a matchstick.
Stick it out 8
Keeping the shape selected, choose an appropriate colour from the box at the top right. Now go to Effects > More > 3D to open the Vectorial Effects box. Make sure you still have the match shape selected, and use the left and right arrows on the box to find Bevel. We have the angle at 0 degrees, Level at 20, Light at 225 and Slope at 12, with Two Shades Bevel selected.
Match head 9
Create a match head by drawing a dark oval shape and give it the same bevel treatment as in Step 8. Use the Move/Resize/ Rotate Transform tool near the top of the toolbar to line it up with the matchstick, then use the Layers palette to move the flame to the top of the layers stack, putting it in front of the stick. You can alter the blending mode to make the flame appear more ethereal.
Flatten and save 10
Finally, save your work as a Photo Pos Pro image file (.fpos) if you want to save your layer structure, but note you won’t be able to open this file with any other software. If you just want to export your creation as a file you can open or share elsewhere, flatten the layers down using Layers & Objects > Merge/Flat Layer(s) and use Save As to export your image as a JPEG or PNG file.