Wednesday April 23, 2014
They say don't judge a book by its cover, but we all do it anyway. If you sell digital products online, having a good preview template is essential to success. In his latest tutorial, Ian shows you how to create a preview template with the free graphics software Inkscape.
In this tutorial, you will learn how you can produce your own preview template for presenting your digital products, such as digital stamps and papers. Digital crafts have become more and more popular and this has led to a growth in the numbers of people offering digital products for crafters. If you make and sell your own digital goods, you need to ensure that you're presenting them in the best way possible. Preview templates are the digital equivalent of product packaging, allowing you to present a digital stamp or digital papers in an attractive format that also helps to reinforce your brand.
• Create a Preview Template in Inkscape
Tuesday April 22, 2014
Many advanced options are hidden in Photoshop's Brushes palette. By adjusting the spacing we can create a custom brush to make dotted lines or dashed lines. Here are two different methods for creating dotted lines in Photoshop. Know of another way? Click comments and tell us about it!
• Dotted Lines in Photoshop: Paintbrush Method
• Dotted Lines in Photoshop: Stroke a Path Method
• Also see: Wavy Line Border in Photoshop
Monday April 21, 2014
Last week's Help Me post on Google+
was a great success, so I am going to start making this a weekly feature, alternating between Facebook
each week. Read More...
Monday April 21, 2014
Here's what Shane says about this HDR photo:
"This is from a old abandoned gas station in Center Hill Florida. This is the top half of the outdoor bathroom. I happen to be working in the area and when I saw the old gas station, I had to investigate."
Learn more about Shane's photography and techniques in the HDR photos gallery
• Tattered by Shane
• Submit an Entry: HDR Images
I hope you all are enjoying the featured artwork from our visitors. To keep it going, I need more of your submissions! There are several galleries you can contribute to and possibly have your work featured here on the home page.
Sunday April 20, 2014
This week's graphics challenge theme is Calendar Cover
. Our theme this week has been suggested by Ellen (Rostel). Creating a calendar cover has a whole year of possibilities, so give it some thought and create your own cover using any subject you like. Make sure to have some fun with it! Thanks Ellen for the great suggestion!
Thursday April 17, 2014
In this tutorial, Sara demonstrates the pattern tool in Illustrator CS6 and later.
Pattern Tool in Illustrator CS6 © Sara Froehlich
If you have ever tried to create a perfectly tiling pattern in Illustrator, you have known the frustration of trying to line up the pattern with grid lines, snap to grid, and snap to point. It will try your patience! Thanks to the Pattern Tool introduced in Illustrator CS6, those days are behind us forever! See how easy patterns can be with Illustrator.
• Pattern Tool in Illustrator
Tuesday April 15, 2014
© Ian Pullen
As a graphics and photo editor, GIMP does not have the degree of flexibility in its text tools as you would get with a desktop publishing
app, or even a vector-based graphics editor like Inkscape
. Ian shows you how to work around some of the type editing limitations of GIMP in his most recent tutorials.
• Adjusting Text Line Spacing and Letter Spacing in GIMP
• Adjust Spacing Between Pairs of Letters Using GIMP
See more GIMP Resources and Tutorials.
Monday April 14, 2014
Download several sets of free brushes and shapes for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. These shapes and brushes are based on Christian symbols and include crosses, doves, fish, stars, and many more Christian objects and symbols. Perfect for your Easter projects...
• Christian Cross Brushes
• Christian Dove Brushes
• Christian Stars Brushes
• Christian Symbol Brushes 1
• Christian Symbol Brushes 2
• More Christian Cross Custom Brushes
• Christian Cross Shapes
• Christian Symbol Shapes
• Christian Fish Shapes
• Christian Star Shapes
• Christian Dove Shapes
• Christian Assorted Shapes
• More Christian Cross Custom Shapes
Sunday April 13, 2014
This week's graphics challenge theme is Textures
. Textures are all around you. Soft and smooth, hard and edgy they come in all shapes, sizes, and well...textures. This week we have some starting images for you to explore and create a new image with. Use at least two of them on their own or with something else, we'll let you decide. Have fun!
Thursday April 10, 2014
This tutorial shows you how you can adjust text in Inkscape to make your designs more legible. Ian takes you through the steps to adjust the line height, letter spacing, word spacing, and kerning of your type.
• How to Adjust Text in Inkscape
See more Inkscape Tutorials and Resources.
Wednesday April 9, 2014
The passcode lock on your iPhone and iPad is a good idea if your device is stolen, but if you lose it, you'll want to provide an easy way for someone who finds it to contact you. Learn how you can add your contact info to your lock screen wallpaper with my templates and instructions.
• How to Add Contact Info to Your iOS Lock Screen Wallpaper
Note: I have not had any luck finding a FREE iOS app with a text tool and background swapping that will work with these templates. If you know of one, please suggest it in the comments.
Monday April 7, 2014
Download a set of 36 Christian cross designs
as Custom brushes and shapes for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. They are also available as transparent PNG files for use in other software. To go along with them, get the Gold 3 layer styles
, a set of 24 metallic effects shown in the image here.
Crosses and Gold Styles shown here:
• Christian Cross Design Graphics, Brushes, and Shapes
• Gold 3 Layer Styles
More Crosses and Christian Symbols:
• Christian Symbols Brush Sets - Crosses, Doves, Stars, Etc.
• Christian Symbols Shape Sets - Crosses, Doves, Stars, Etc.
More Layer Styles:
• 30 Gold Layer Styles Set
• Shiny Metallic Styles
• Gold Stroked Layer Styles
• Gold Layer Styles
• Imperial Gold Layer Styles
• 48 Silver Layer Styles Set
• Silver Metallic Layer Styles
• Silver Stroked Layer Styles
• 30 White Layer Styles Set
• Spring Layer Styles
Sunday April 6, 2014
This week's graphics challenge theme is Easter Eggs
. Eggs have been dyed or painted for many symbolic reasons by different cultures...we're going to do it because it's fun! Eggs have been viewed as symbols of life and fertility through the ages. It is believed for this reason many ancient cultures used eggs in their spring festivals. Easter, it's said, derives its name from Eostre an Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring. A month corresponding to April had been named "Eostremonat," or Eostre's month. We'll get you started with some images, the rest is up to you. Have fun, and careful not to drop them!
Friday April 4, 2014
I have recently been alerted to the fact that someone is using my professional head shot in a phishing scam under a fake Google Plus profile under the name "jaffrey bay." I have asked Google to remove this obviously fake profile, but so far all my attempts have been refused by Google. I am posting this here to announce that this profile and whatever phishing scam is associated with it is in no way connected to me. My image has been used without authorization and if you visit the profile in question, you will see that it is a very low resolution copy.
Click for full size
Thursday April 3, 2014
This digital scrapbooking kit would be great to scrap a summer or fall memory. The colors of reds, browns and golds were chosen to make it a little different for a cherry kit.
• "Pick Your Own Cherries" Digital Scrapbooking Kit
Wednesday April 2, 2014
Recent versions of Photoshop and Photoshop Elements have introduced the refine edge tool for fine-tuning and improving difficult selections. In these tutorials, Ian and Liz take you through all the refine edge options in Photoshop and Elements. So don't fret over making selections of hair, fur, clouds, and other difficult objects. Just dig into the powerful refine edge tools!
• How to Use Refine Edge in Photoshop Elements
• How to Use the Refine Edge Tool in Photoshop
Tuesday April 1, 2014
Matted Frame Styles
© Shelby Kate Schmitz
Create quick and easy matted frames with these free layer styles for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. Just apply the style to a rectangle and add your photo to a layer above. This collection includes a total of 48 frame styles--4 sets of 12 frames each. The preview images in this gallery only show half the styles in each set so the other half will be a surprise when you download them.
• 48 Free Matted Frame Layer Styles for Photoshop and Elements
Monday March 31, 2014
Ian gives us two new GIMP tutorials this week to help you add some effects to your digital scrapbook
pages and other projects. In the first, he shows you how to create digital Washi tape
, a type of decorative tape from Japan. In the second tutorial, he shows how to add a torn paper effect to your images
which you can use on your digital Washi tape, or for other projects where you need a torn effect.
• How to Make Digital Washi Tape in GIMP
• How to Make a Torn Paper Edge in GIMP
Sunday March 30, 2014
This week's graphics challenge theme is Painting
. It's Vincent Van Gogh's birthday this week, so let's celebrate the masters with a Painting theme. Get out your digital brushes and choose your medium. Don't worry if you're not a Michelangelo or Rembrandt, just get out your painting tools or try out some painting programs. Who knows, you could be famous!
Thursday March 27, 2014
I made a mistake in this week's newsletter
, and the link for How To Restore a Discolored Photo with Photoshop Elements
wasn't working. If you're looking for that article, here it is. Sorry for the mistake! Thanks to Barb for pointing it out.
• Restore a Discolored Photo with Photoshop Elements
Thursday March 27, 2014
These free ornate shapes by Shelby Kate Schmitz can be used in Photoshop 7 and up and Photoshop Elements 2 and up (Mac or Windows). The examples shown are just a small portion of the full set containing 150 decorative shapes.
• 150 Free Ornate Shapes by Shelby Kate Schmitz
• Sue's Free Shapes for Photoshop and Elements
Wednesday March 26, 2014
Have you wondered how to make your blog photos more eye catching for Pinterest and other other social sharing networks? In her latest tutorial, Liz shows you how to take the many free shapes and brushes available on this site, and customize them for your blog titles. These tips also are great for digital scrapbook layouts, every day photo sharing, and other projects.
• Create Pinterest Friendly Titles for Your Blog Using Photoshop Elements
Monday March 24, 2014
© Sue Chastain
You may have seen the text effect where a photo or other image is used to fill a block of text. This effect is easy to do with the layer grouping feature in Photoshop Elements. Old timers may know this technique as a clipping path. In this tutorial you'll work with the type tool, layers, adjustment layers, and layer styles.
• Put an Image or Photo Into Text with Photoshop Elements
Sunday March 23, 2014
This week's graphics challenge theme is Out of Bounds
and a re-visit to this favorite was suggested by Rainbowbird1. The idea is to take an image or images and make it appear like it is protruding over the edges or maybe jumping out of the picture. There are many possibilities for embellishment, so use your imagination and have some fun with it and thanks Rainbowbird1 for the suggestion!
Thursday March 20, 2014
Sara Froehlich has shared a free trim action for Photoshop Elements 6 and up. This command removes excess blank image area from around an image. This can be either a solid color or transparent background area. For the free download and instructions visit the link below.
• Free Trim Action for Photoshop Elements
Monday March 17, 2014
Download a set of grunge layer styles for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements by Shelby Kate Schmitz. These styles will create a worn-out, grungy effect on text or objects. The set includes 2 different grunge patterns, in 6 color combinations, all with and without black outlines. I've also included instructions on how you can easily change the color in these and other layer styles.
• Download Free Grunge Styles
• Grunge Layer Styles Set 2
Sunday March 16, 2014
This week's graphics challenge theme is Spring!
Still caught in the clutches of Winter? Can't wait for Robins to return and the Crocus to poke through the ground? Well, then, it's time to think Spring. This week we are going to celebrate the vernal equinox--also known as Spring. The idea for this theme is to create a springtime image. So think about what Spring means to you, and share it with us!
Friday March 14, 2014
Download this fun and free St. Patrick's Day kit of coordinating elements and papers for digital scrapbooking. These elements and papers can be used with any graphics software that supports JPEG and PNG files. The kit includes 5 papers, 3 ribbons, journal boxes, and several decorative elements to create a unified scrapbook layout for your digital photos.
• "Glen o' The Green" Digital Scrapbooking Kit
Thursday March 13, 2014
Saint Patrick's Day is around the corner! Here are some Adobe Illustrator tutorials and symbols to help you decorate your St. Patrick's Day projects with shamrocks and more.
• St. Patrick's Day Shamrocks Illustrator Tutorial
• Creating Shamrock Brushes in Illustrator
• Free St. Patricks Day & Shamrock Symbols for Adobe Illustrator
Wednesday March 12, 2014
© Ian Pullen
Ian Pullen shows us how to create a funny cartoon cut out leprechaun using a photo for the face in his latest tutorials for GIMP and Paint.NET. This idea is inspired by those old life-sized cartoon paintings that you'd find at fun fairs, with cut out holes that you could put your head through. So, let's get the craic underway... choose your preferred free software and click a link below to begin the tutorial!
• Paint.NET Leprechaun Cut Out Cartoon Tutorial
• GIMP Leprechaun Cut Out Cartoon Tutorial
Tuesday March 11, 2014
© S.K. Schmitz
Here's a collection of brushes, custom shapes, patterns and layer style effects hand picked for St. Patrick's Day. This collection includes shamrock brushes and shapes, plus patterns and effects in green and gold colors for your St. Patricks's Day projects. The presets can be used in Photoshop 7 and up and Photoshop Elements 2 and up.
• St. Patrick's Day Collection Photoshop Presets
• "Glen o' The Green" Digital Scrapbooking Kit
• Free St. Patricks Day & Shamrock Symbols for Illustrator
Monday March 10, 2014
My husband has always said that plaid is his favorite color. If you love plaid, too, you're in luck! We have several plaid patterns and layer styles from Shelby Kate Schmitz and myself. I've also created a tutorial that will show you how you can turn a regular plaid pattern into a tartan plaid, which can be tricky if you need to keep it seamless. So visit the links below and go plaid crazy!
• Plaid Patterns in Photoshop Format
© S.K. Schmitz
• Plaid Seamless Patterns in PNG Format
• Plaid Patterned Styles by Shelby Kate Schmitz
• Convert a Regular Plaid Pattern to a Tartan Plaid (and Keep it Seamless!)
• Seamless Patterns (Some Plaid)
• Sue's Plaid & Checkered Patterns for Photoshop
Sunday March 9, 2014
With St. Patrick's Day coming up soon, our theme is Wearing o' the Green
. Whether you're whole or part Irish, or maybe just Irish for a day, why not join in the celebration and create an image for St Paddy's day? Have fun and keep an eye out for the leprechauns!
Saturday March 8, 2014
© Sandra Trainor
In this tutorial, you will use Adobe Illustrator to create a Celtic knot border design. With the aid of a grid and rulers, you'll work with the Pen tool to plot points and create lines, and by means of a clipping mask you'll make the lines appear intertwined. You'll learn how to create and apply color swatches and graphic styles to objects, and how to scale and reflect objects. You'll add text with the Type tool and apply to it specifications using the Character panel and Paragraph panel. This tutorial uses an Irish blessing for the text, but you can use your own text if you like; perhaps written for a greeting card or party invitation.
• Make a Celtic Knot Border in Adobe Illustrator
Friday March 7, 2014
© S. Froehlich
Patterns in Illustrator are easy to use, and they can be applied to fills, strokes, and even resized, rotated, or repositioned within an object. Illustrator comes with a large variety of preset patterns, and you can make your own from symbols or your own artwork. Let's look at applying patterns to an object, and then see how easy it is to resize, reposition, or even rotate the pattern within an object.
• Using Patterns in Illustrator