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
Thursday March 6, 2014
This Paint Shop Pro tutorial shows you how to create an elf or leprechaun in the extremely popular Manga style of cartoon drawing. Our elf is a Chibi, which is a cute and small version of Manga. Chibi characters are cheerful, adorable, mischievous and a lot of fun to create! You can dress your elf for St. Patrick's Day and send someone a shamrock with your holiday wishes!
• Draw a Chibi Elf or Leprechaun in Paint Shop Pro
Wednesday March 5, 2014
Sunday March 2, 2014
This week's graphics challenge theme is Typography
, suggested by Rainbowbird1. The idea is to explore typography by creating a new image using only type. You may want to try different fonts, learn about kerning or other aspects of typography. See what your type editor has to offer--what you create is up to you. Most of all, have some fun with it and thanks Rainbowbird for the great suggestion!
Monday February 24, 2014
Retro sun rays have been a popular graphic style for many years and their popularity shows no sign of waning. In this step by step tutorial, Ian show you how you can create your own sun rays effect using GIMP, the free raster image editor.
This graphic style is perfect for adding interest to backgrounds of all sorts of projects, including blog banners and adverts. While there are a few steps to take to get a balanced design, this isn't particularly complex and should be suitable for beginner GIMP users.
• How to Make Retro Sun Rays in GIMP
Sunday February 23, 2014
This week we will be enticed by foreign and exotic destinations, as we look through our Travel Brochures
. The idea for this challenge theme is to create a travel brochure to a destination real or imagined. Take off to somewhere you want to go or where you have been and have some fun with it!
Wednesday February 19, 2014
Wow! Has it been 4 years already since we celebrated the 20th anniversary of Photoshop
? Yes, it has. Reminisce over the history of Photoshop for its 24th birthday with the Illustrated History of Adobe Photoshop
and our reader-created birthday cards for Photoshop
Monday February 17, 2014
Download a set of layer styles for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements by Shelby Kate Schmitz. This set includes 30 styles in light pastels colors which would be great for your Easter or other Spring projects.
• 30 Pastel Style Effects
Sunday February 16, 2014
This week's graphics challenge theme is Before Digital
. We dedicate this theme to people like George Eastman who developed a film and camera system that revolutionized the photo industry. Bringing the ability of image capturing to the everyday person may be one of the biggest achievements in modern times. We've given you some starting images to develop anyway you wish, the only rule is to use at least two of them. You can sit comfortably at your desk and not under a tent spreading emulsion over photographic plates. Have fun with it!
Saturday February 15, 2014
Sandra's latest tutorial shows you how to bring a scanned sketch into Illustrator, convert it to a vector image, and add color.
Van Gogh Sketch © Sandra Trainor
In this tutorial, I will use Illustrator to turn the scanned sketch into a vector graphic, then add color to it. I'll be using Illustrator CS6, but any recent version of Illustrator should work. When done, I'll have a color graphic that's easily resizable for use in a variety of computer generated projects.
• Turn a Van Gogh Style Sketch into a Vector Graphic with Illustrator
Friday February 14, 2014
© FreshAir Software, Inc.
Heart ConfettiArt is an iOS app which lets you paint and decorate your photos with hearts and other Valentine's Day love symbols such as roses, arrows, kiss lips, cupids, and more. Heart ConfettiArt is fun and easy way to create Valentine's Day greetings, wallpaper, and backgrounds, or love-themed designs for other occasions.
• Heart ConfettiArt iOS App Review
Friday February 14, 2014
© Sue Chastain
Valentine's Day is almost here! Grab some of these free graphics of hearts, candy, and flowers--or learn how to draw your own--and make something for your sweetheart this weekend.
- Painted Floral Graphics
- Flower Photos
- Valentine's Day Digital Scrapbooking Kit (PNG Graphics)
- Floral, Valentine's Day, and Heart stamps for Paint Shop Pro and Alien Skin Splat!
- Floral, Valentine's Day, and Heart objects for PhotoImpact.
- Floral, Valentine's Day, and Heart image lists for Corel Photo-Paint.
- Floral, Valentine's Day, Candy and Heart transparent PNGs for all software.
- Transparent Graphics from Barry's Place
- Colored hearts and conversation heart object sprays for CorelDRAW.
- Valentine's Day Collection Photoshop Presets - brushes, shapes, patterns, and styles.
- Free Heart Symbols for Adobe Illustrator
- More Free Graphics Goodies - borders, backgrounds, frames, patterns, and more
When you finish your Valentine's Day crafts and projects, please take a screen shot or photo, and show them off in our Holiday Projects Gallery.
• Holiday Projects Gallery Submission Form
Thursday February 13, 2014
Download a free Valentine'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 Shape of Love" Valentine's Day Digital Scrapbooking Kit
Wednesday February 12, 2014
Tuesday February 11, 2014
The talented and prolific Shelby Kate Schmitz brings us another fun and whimsical set of Photoshop presets to enjoy. This set consists of six unique curlicue heart designs in the form of custom shapes and brushes for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements, as well as transparent PNG files so you can use them in Paint Shop Pro, GIMP, or other software.
• Heartfelt Curlicue Designs by SKS
If you like these heartfelt curlicue designs, you also might want to check out her swirly foliage designs, too!
Monday February 10, 2014
shows you how to draw the basic shape of a heart, intertwine two hearts together, and use style effects to make your hearts all fancy. • Interlocking Hearts in Illustrator
• Drawing Hearts with CorelDRAW
• Intertwined Hearts in Photoshop
• Drawing Hearts in Inkscape
• Illustrator Tutorials
Sunday February 9, 2014
This week's graphics challenge theme is Valentine's Day
. Hearts, flowers, candy, chocolate, it can only mean one thing... Valentine's Day. Cupid is taking aim, so why not take a shot at this week's challenge. Create a greeting, a scene, whatever you like based on a Valentine's theme.
Saturday February 8, 2014
Download free Valentine's Day graphics in the form of transparent PNG files or Paint Shop Pro picture tubes. This collection includes hearts, frames, dolls, and more.
These images have been generously contributed by Barry Meyer, creator of PSPTubez.com. Visit Barry's Place to download thousands more Paint Shop Pro Tubes, transparent PNG objects, clip art, photos, picture frames, and other graphic elements for a small monthly membership fee. Currently Barry is tripling all new memberships!
• Free Valentine's Day PNG files and Paint Shop Pro Tubes
If you prefer a vintage look for your Valentine's Day projects, be sure to also check out the gallery of vintage postcards and greeting cards from Collectibles Guide Barbara Crews.
• Vintage Valentine Postcards and Illustrations
And when you finish your Valentine's Day crafts and projects, please take a screen shot or photo, and show them off in the Holiday Projects Gallery.
• Holiday Projects Gallery Submission Form
Friday February 7, 2014
Update: I've just added brand new tutorials for how to draw interlocking rings in Photoshop and Inkscape. Thanks, Ian!
With the 2014 Winter Olympics kicking off this week, you might be interested in learning how to create interlocking objects similar to the interlocking rings we're all familiar with from the Olympics logo. Here are several tutorials for both interlocking rings and intertwined hearts. You can use these techniques anytime you need to make objects appear as if they are intertwined, interlocked, or overlapping each other.
• New: How to Draw Interlocking Rings in Photoshop
• New: How to Draw Interlocking Rings in Inkscape
• Interlocking Rings with Xara Xtreme
• Interlocking Rings with Adobe Illustrator
• Interlocking Rings with CorelDraw 8
• Interlocking Rings with CorelDraw 9
• Intertwined Hearts in Photoshop
• Interlocking Hearts in Illustrator
• Intertwined Hearts in Paint Shop Pro
Wednesday February 5, 2014
Inkscape is a free vector line drawing application that can be used to draw love hearts for
Heart © Ian Pullen
Valentine's Day projects. There are several ways that you can draw a love heart in Inkscape and the results, though similar, do appear slightly different for each method. If you take a look at all of these different techniques, however, you'll learn much more about Inkscape than just drawing heart shapes. These beginner tutorials will introduce you to drawing bezier line shapes, drawing smooth freehand shapes, and get you started working with nodes to edit paths.
• Several Ways to Draw Love Hearts for Valentine's Day
Monday February 3, 2014
Gimme back my lighting effects! Have you tried to use the old lighting effects filter in Photoshop Elements only to find out Adobe removed it from version 12, the most recent version? Well, let's hear it for Liz, who discovered you can restore this filter to PSE12 as long as you still have an old version of Photoshop Elements still installed on your computer. Check out the tutorial to learn how.
• Restoring Lighting Effects Filters in Photoshop Elements 12
Sunday February 2, 2014
This week we are going to revisit a fun theme from the past with - Say What?
The idea is to create an image based on a literal description of a band's name. Think along the lines of Led Zeppelin, Dixie Chicks, Spice Girls... you get the picture. Just have some fun with it!
Sunday February 2, 2014
For Valentine's Day, or any day... here's a couple of new layer style sets to brighten up your projects with satiny shine and shimmer. Each set contains 24 layer styles for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.
• Soft Shine Layer Styles
• Soft Sheen Layer Styles
Friday January 31, 2014
The Valentine's Day Photoshop Presets Collection
includes heart brushes and shapes, plus patterns and effects in pink, red and lavender colors for your Valentine's Day projects. The presets can be used in Photoshop 7 and up and Photoshop Elements 2 and up.
© Shelby Kate Schmitz
• Valentine's Day Photoshop Presets Collection
Thursday January 30, 2014
How do I B&W thee? Let me count the ways...
There are at least seven distinctly different methods for converting a color photo to a black and white photo in Photoshop Elements. Which you use is mostly a matter of preference as the initial results are nearly identical. Take a tour with Liz as she shows you all the ways you can convert your color photos into black and white.
• Seven Ways to Convert Color Photos to Black and White in Photoshop Elements
More like this: br>
Tuesday January 28, 2014
Jackson Pollock App for iPhone
© Miltos Manetas
In honor of Jackson Pollock
's birthday (Jan. 28), I'd like to introduce you to a fun iPhone painting app
"Jackson Pollock" for iPhone and iPod touch is a simple, yet delightful app for creating art work in the style of the American Abstract Impressionist Jackson Pollock. The app does not have a lot of options--there are no tools (except for your fingers), no layers, no eraser, no undo--but its simplicity is part of its appeal. Read More...
Monday January 27, 2014
Digital cameras have come a long way. The pictures you take now are so much better than they were ten or even five years ago, and you may not think you need to do any post processing, or out-of-camera photo editing, before you print or share your photos. But there are just a few, simple things you can do to make those good photos so much better. These actions don't require much time or technical knowledge, but can greatly enhance your pictures.
• A Few Simple Things to Greatly Enhance Your Pictures
Sunday January 26, 2014
This week's graphics challenge theme is Working on the Railroad
. We have some random railroad related images for you to start with to use how ever you would like. Try to use at least two of them to create a new image. So get on track, ring the bell and blow the whistle and be sure to have some fun with it!
Friday January 24, 2014
Lomo, short for Lomography, is named for a rather poorly constructed Russian camera called the Lomo LC-A. Drastic light falloff, blur with limited sharp focus areas, highly saturated colors, and generally odd results saw this camera gathering a cult following in short order.
Today it is simple to create a Lomo feel for a photo taken with any DSLR camera. Follow along with this tutorial as Liz shows you how to mimic a Lomo effect in your digital photos.
• Make a Digital Photo Look like Lomo Photography in Photoshop Elements
More like this: br>
Wednesday January 22, 2014
Ian shows you how to you can create a font from your own hand-drawn letters using Illustrator or the free drawing software Inkscape, and a free web service, Fontastic.me. He'll walk your through importing a photo or scan of your alphabet into these programs, tracing them into a vector image, and exporting each letter to an SVG file. Then he shows you how to use Fontastic.me to convert your SVG files into a TrueType font you can use on any computer.
• Create a Hand Drawn Font Using Illustrator
• Create Your Own Fonts Using Inkscape
• How to Create a Font Using Fontastic.me
Monday January 20, 2014
XnView Photo Fx for iOS
Between Ian & I, we've got reviews of a plethora of free photo effects apps from the developer of XnView. Whether you use Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android, there's an app for that! I could also use your help with a new Android section of the site. If you work with graphics or photos on an Android mobile device, please tell us about the apps you use in our new Android App user reviews section.
• XnView Photo Fx App for iOS
• XnRetro for Android
• XnRetro for Windows and Mac
• XnSketch for Android
• XnSketch for Windows and Mac
• Write a Review: Android Apps for Graphics
Sunday January 19, 2014
This week's theme comes from the animal world and is titled Cats and Dogs
. We have some starting images for you to manipulate anyway you like. The only rule is to use at least three of them. It doesn't matter if they bark or meow, use your imagination and let the fur fly!