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The Road to Web designing

Art Illustrations

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27 February 2010

Learn gorgeous new shading skills

One of the hardest parts of Photoshop art – or indeed much other art – is creating subtle, detailed shading. However, layer masks make the process much easier, allowing you to select and modify certain areas without affecting the rest of your canvas.


In this tutorial, Yuta Onoda shows how you can transform a pencil sketch into a gorgeous, textured digital artwork using layer masks and blending modes. You’ll also learn how to add realism to your artwork by faking print offsets and paint spatters.

You can use any sketch for this tutorial, although you may find it easier to follow some of the steps if you use one that’s as detailed as Onoda’s. Note how in Onoda’s sketch the face has a fair amount of subtle shading, while the hair and the elements in the hair are made up of straightforward linework.



Step 1
First, do a pencil drawing – this can be of whatever you like. I’ve found that quite detailed, intricate images such as this one work well for this technique. Scan in your sketch: we’ll need the linework to be quite defined, so you’ll need to adjust the levels of lightness and darkness (Image > Adjustments > Levels).


Step 2
Now change the black linework to blue. With the linework layer selected, click on the Channels tab in the Layers palette. At the bottom of the window is a button called ‘Load Channel as Selection’. Click this, then return to the Layers tab and create a new layer. Now you can draw with any colours you want. Next, go to Select > Save Selection. Then invert the mask (Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + I).



Step 3
Start separating out the shapes – in this case, the waves, the objects and the figure – with masks. You’ll need to use the same method as in step 2 to create a mask (fill the shape with black, load the Channel as a selection and then create a mask). Again, make sure you save each mask (Select > Save Selection) as you’ll need them later on.



Step 4
Now we need to fill the shapes of the objects. If you get bored of just using black to fill the space, you can use colours instead. Once you’ve finished the filling in, go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation, then change the saturation and lightness to -100. This will make all the colours you’ve used instead black.



Step 5
Once you’ve created all the masks, start colouring your shapes using the mask layer that you created for the detailed background (in this case the waves of hair) in step 3. To load the saved selection, go to Select > Load Selection.

Step 6
Now we need to give more depth and some rich, subtle colour to the background (here, the waves). One of the simplest ways to do this is to duplicate the wave layer several times, and set each duplicate layer’s blending mode to Multiply.



Step 7
Now set the opacity of each of these wave layers to between 25% and 30%, and start adding colour on each of these layers. The aim is to create a shifting, deep backdrop with subtly varied colours.



Step 8
Now turn your attention to the objects. Make all the layers for the waves invisible, then add a new layer and load the mask for the objects that you created in step 3 (Select > Load Selection). Define the shapes by filling them with red.



Step 9
Now turn on all the layers you created for the background (here, the waves) and move the layers for the objects slightly, to create that offset effect.

Step 10
Make a new layer and load the mask for the figure that you created in step 3. Next use a gradient to fill the shape – here I’ve used colour #bb818b. Then set the layer’s blending mode to Multiply and set the opacity to 80%.




Step 11
At this stage the colour on my figure is too bright; to knock the tone down, repeat the method from step 11. Add a new layer and set a gradient (colour #8d9db1). Set the layer’s blending mode to Multiply and the opacity to 45%.



Step 12
To create the spatter texture, I splashed black ink onto paper and scanned the image – the file is on the cover CD. Using the method from step 2, change the black to green and save it; then use the same method again to create a white splash effect.



Step 13
Finally, combine the green and white splash layers and import them into your canvas to finish your piece.


Author-Yuta Onadu

22 February 2010

Add Google Buzz Buttons To Blogger/BlogSpot Blogs

First it was Facebook, then Twitter and now it is Google-Buzz.

All these websites let their users interact more easily and for webmasters, it means free traffic with minimum efforts. So, keep all your options open as you never know which of them may bring a big wave of traffic to your blog!



Now talking about G-Buzz, although Google has not yet provided any official "Buzz It!" buttons, but it does allow you to synchronize your blog-feed with the Buzz, so that all your posts are directly sent to your Buzz account. Simply add your blog to the connected sites list...

Inspired by Mashable, now I too have created the Google Buzz It! buttons for the readers of BloggerStop. Here's how you can add these buttons to your blog:


STEP #1

Log in to Blogger, go to Layout -> Edit HTML

and mark the tick box "Expand Widget Templates"


Now, find this code in the template:

<div class='post-header-line-1'/>


STEP #2

And immediately BELOW/AFTER it, paste this code:

<!--BUZZ-STARTS-->

<a expr:href='&quot;http://www.google.com/reader/link?url=&quot; + data:post.url + &quot;&amp;title=&quot; + data:post.title + "&amp;srcTitle=" + data:blog.title' target='_blank'><div style='text-align:right;margin-top:-42px;'><img alt='Buzz It' src='http://i46.tinypic.com/121wg9e.jpg'/></div></a>


<!--BUZZ-STOPS-http://bloggerstop.net-->


It will display a small Buzz It! button like this:






Or, paste this code:

<!--BUZZ-STARTS-->

<a expr:href='&quot;http://www.google.com/reader/link?url=&quot; + data:post.url + &quot;&amp;title=&quot; + data:post.title + "&amp;srcTitle=" + data:blog.title' target='_blank'><div style='text-align:right;margin-top:-42px;'><img alt='Buzz It' src='http://i47.tinypic.com/2j0b02c.jpg'/></div></a>


<!--BUZZ-STOPS-http://bloggerstop.net-->
to display a larger Buzz It! button like this one:




NOTE: By default, the alignment of these buttons is kept to "Right", you may change it to "Left" too. To change the position of the button, change the value -45 pixels (in margin-top:-42px;).


STEP #3

Save the template and let the Buzzer Buzzzzzzz...


*Update: Soufiane from LeBlogger, has suggested a new javascript based code to display these G-Buzz buttons; wherein if the readers select any part of the post before hitting the Buzz This button, then the selected text (and images too) will also appear in their G-buzz updates. Here's the new code:



<a href='javascript:var%20b=document.body;var%20GR________bookmarklet_domain=&quot;http://www.google.com&quot;;if(b&amp;&amp;!document.xmlVersion){void(z=document.createElement(&quot;script&quot;));void(z.src=&quot;http://www.google.com/reader/ui/link-bookmarklet.js&quot;);void(b.appendChild(z));}else{}' title='Buzz It!'><div style='text-align:right;margin-top:-42px;'><img alt='Buzz It' src='http://i47.tinypic.com/2j0b02c.jpg'/></div></a>




PS: Use this code, instead of the one from STEP #2, if you want those additional benefits. The above code will display the larger icon by default, change the image-url to show the smaller icon.


Thanks to Mashable for the larger Icon !

17 February 2010

Transform lolly sticks into textures

Are you inspired by the mundane? The seemingly normal everyday things you come across? If not you should be, because what may appear to be nothing, can be turned into something unique.


Training yourself to be a good everyday observer and asking yourself questions such as “What else could I do with that?” will help you develop your art and unleash the potential of ordinary items; you don’t know how you could use something you’ve overlooked a thousand times to your creative advantage unless you let yourself experiment.

We’re going to take some things that most people throw away immediately – lolly sticks – and turn them into a design resource you’ll be able to use in personal and professional projects. It’s not hard, and there’s no secret – other than a willingness to live a creatively curious life.

Step 1
For years I threw lolly sticks in the bin. Then one day I noticed they created a cool edge when broken, so I started saving them. You’ll need a good handful before you can create the edge we’re after.



Step 2
When you’ve got enough lolly sticks saved up, snap them to create nice fractured edges. I find that breaking them slowly creates more interesting splintering.



Step 3
Draw a rule on some paper and align your broken edges. Vary the sizing so you create plenty of character with the edge. Tape your broken pieces together to make scanning them easier. Scan in your edge as an RGB TIFF image at 100%, set the resolution to at least 600dpi, and save it to your desktop.



Step 4
Open your scanned image in Photoshop, and using the Levels palette (Cmd/Ctrl + L) adjust the image so you blow out details darkening the darks and lightening the lights until you have a posterised look (as shown in the image). You can also experiment further with levels to retain more mid-tones, if that’s the look you’re after. For this resource I wanted a high-contrast edge with almost no alpha pixels.

Step 5
Open the Color Range palette (Select > Color Range) and using the default setting of Sampled Colors, click on the Add to Sample eyedropper under the Save button. Use the eyedropper to sample the colours in your image, creating the mask you’ll use to create your final edge shape. Leave some small artifacts in your image, so that it looks more authentic and distressed.



Step 6
A new selection based on your colour-range work is now loaded, so create a new layer (Shift + Cmd/Ctrl + N) and fill (Shift + F5) the new transparent layer with black. Note the degraded edge with subtle distressed detail you’ve created. You now have your base art done and can design whatever type of edge motif you’d like.



Step 7
In this project I created a 8.5 x 11-inch frame using my edge. I cloned the edge layer (Cmd/Ctrl + J), rotated it (Edit > Transform > Rotate), and positioned it along the sides, to form the edged frame. Use the Clone Stamp tool (S), to alter some of the detail on three of the sides, so it doesn’t look as though you’re using the same edge.



Step 8
This shows a photo of mine masked within the framed edge I created. It’s fun to find new uses for mundane things. In this case we took something disposable and recycled it into a creative and unique design tool.

Author-Von Glitshcka

9 February 2010

Valentine's Day Wallpapers Pack-II

Wallpapers - Valentine's  Day Pack

Wallpapers - Valentine's Day Pack

50 Images (Jpg) | 1024х768 - 1920x1200 | 14.35 mb


Valentine's Day Wallpapers Pack-I

Wallpapers - Valentine's Day Pack (50 pic.)

Wallpapers -  Valentine's Day Pack (50 pic.)

Wallpapers -  Valentine's Day Pack (50 pic.)

Wallpapers -  Valentine's Day Pack (50 pic.)

Wallpapers -  Valentine's Day Pack (50 pic.)

Quantity: 50 Format: Jpg Resolution: 1024x768 - 1920x1200 Size: 10 Mb
Download Wallpapers - Valentine's Day Pack (50 pic.):

Hearts Vector Material 6

Hearts Vector Material  6

Hearts Vector Material 6
9 EPS | + Preview | 17.1 Mb

Hearts Vector Material  6

2 February 2010

Design self-promotional postcards

The power of promotional postcards can be a force to be reckoned with for any designer and artist. Character-maestro Andrew Groves shows you how to use Illustrator to create yours.

As a tool that regularly reminds clients that you’re alive and available for work, creative postcards are a great solution. Cheap to produce, these mini canvases provide a snapshot of your latest work in miniature.

And if the style appeals, you’ll find many creative directors pinning promo cards to their studio walls, ready to pick up and commission when that style is needed.

The secret is to keep them coming. Don’t just produce one, and fire it off in December along with the rest of the design fraternity – send them monthly, or when you scoop a creative award and use it to showcase the winning work.

Or, tell a story that shows evolving characters that the recipients can emote with, played out over several cards. Whatever you do, have fun with this fusion of miniature canvas and self-promo tool.


Step 1
First, do some sketches of your character before you turn on your computer. Getting things down on paper will stop you from staring at a blank screen in Illustrator.

Once you’ve sketched out some ideas, make a new document the size of the postcard (148-x-105mm) and create two layers, one called Background and one called Artwork. If you’re using the file from the CD, open and place it on the Background layer, and lock it.



Step 2
Using your original sketches for reference, start drawing the main character on the Artwork layer. Using the pen tool, set the fill colour to a suitably beastly tone and turn off the stroke. Start to draw a rough shape of the outline of your creature.


Step 3
As the character is going to be symmetrical, and looking straight ahead, draw half of the shape with the pen tool, then copy-&-paste it (Ctrl/Cmd+C, Ctrl/ Cmd+V). Next, reflect the copied shape by choosing Object > Transform > Reflect.

With the smart guides on (Ctrl/Cmd+U), drag the copied shape by the top anchor point using the Direct Selection tool to meet the same point on the original shape. Select both points by dragging over them and press Ctrl/Cmd+J. Select ‘smooth’ and click ‘OK’.



Step 4
Now for the bumps. Using the ellipse tool, hold down Shift, and drag, making a circle the size you want each bumpy bit to be.

Copy-&-paste the circle, and position them around one half of the character from the top down, creating the bumpy effect. When you reach the last circle, select the bottom half of it and press Delete.

This will get rid of half of the circle and just tidies things up a bit. Open the pathfinder palette and, while holding down the Alt key, click Add To Shape Area. This closes the shape.



Step 5
Select all the circles and copy, paste and reflect, as in step 3. Move your copied circles, so the top circle lies exactly on top of the original set. Delete the very top circle so you don’t have any overlapping. While one circle is selected, choose Select > Same > Fill Color, this will select all the circles and the rough shape underneath. Hold down Alt and click Add To Shape Area in the pathfinder palette. This will create one solid shape.



Step 6
Next you need to add detail and features to the character. To make its mouth, use the ellipse tool to draw the size and shape you want. You can adjust the shape by clicking on individual anchor points, and use the cursor keys to move. Once you’re happy with the shape, make some teeth.


Step 7
Lay a square over a circle and use the use the Add To Shape Area function to make a single shape. Arrange the teeth around the mouth, copying-&-pasting as you go.

You can change the shape and size of each tooth as you go round, as well as rotating them to fit the curve of the mouth. Copy-&-paste the top row of teeth, and flip them 180-degrees for the bottom row.



Step 8
Select the mouth shape and teeth, and copy-&-paste it. Click the Divide tool in the Pathfinder palette; this splits everything into separate pieces. Delete everything from the mouth apart from the teeth. Delete the teeth from the original mouth and replace with the cut-out ones.



Step 9
To make the mouth more detailed add different shades of ellipses to create depth in the mouth. To make a lighter shade, reduce the amount of black in the colour, and for a darker shade, increase it.

Draw some drip shapes using the pen tool in a lighter colour to create monster saliva. Once you’re happy with the mouth, drag it onto the monster shape, and position it.



Step 10
Next, add some more detail to the monster. Draw veins by making curvy lines with the Pen tool. Use a lighter colour and various stroke weights. Try to make the lines as smooth as you can by manipulating the anchor points and pulling the handles on each point.

This will take practice, but once you get a feel for how the handles affect the curve of the lines, it will become easy. Remember to turn Smart Guides off when drawing with the pen tool.


Step 11
Try not to use the copy-&-paste function too much with the smaller details, or your character will become too static. Use as much variety of lines and shapes as you can.

Use darker shades to make extra furry, bumpy bits on your monster and a lighter colour to make bubbles with tiny circles to give his skin some texture.



Step 12
Now your beast is finished – you just need to make him look a bit more alive and magical. To do this, select the main black shape, and copy-&-paste it. Lay it over the top of the character and select Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur. In the pixel box, type in 5, the click OK. Next, open the Transparency palette and select Multiply from the drop- down menu, and reduce the opacity to 50 per cent. Hold down Shift and drag the shape to make it a bit bigger, then select Object > Arrange > Send to Back.



Step 13
To add the sparkly bits, make a small white circle. Go to Filter > Distort > Pucker and Bloat. In the value field, type -75, click OK.

Copy-&-paste this shape lots of times. Scale to make some bigger, and some smaller. Arrange in little clusters all around your monster. That’s your finished character.



Step 14
Finally, as this is a self promotional postcard, you will need to add your logo or name to the front and if you like, your contact details (however, these could be on the back to avoid overcrowding the image) you can also add further detail such as clouds and trees to give more depth to your finished piece.

And that’s it, one postcard, complete with beast. Now just get it printed and post hundreds of them to people you want to work for and patiently await the commissions!

Tip

Follow up. Initiate a phone call to a client a week or so after your mailing. It reminds the client again about you, and you can discuss work opportunities.

Andrew Groves

Design for vinyl wall stickers

Fun, affordable and an easy way to brighten a space – it’s simple to see why wall decals are so popular at the moment. From a designer’s point of view, taking your artwork from Adobe Illustrator into a room or other space is hugely exciting. In this tutorial, Ben the Illustrator shows how to go from an initial idea to installing a printed vinyl decal on the wall of your choice.

You’ll learn how to design for a specific wall and how to make sure that your finished piece works beautifully in its environment. There’s also advice on how to get your artwork printed, and everything you need to know to make sure your hard work doesn’t go to waste when it comes to installing your new design.

To follow this tutorial all the way through, you’ll need a little help from a vinyl printing and cutting service. There are plenty out there: Ben the Illustrator highly recommends Colourlab (colourlab.co.uk) for creating vinyl wall art.

Even if you choose not to create a final piece for installation, you’ll pick up great tips for creating dynamic, feelgood vector art in Ben the Illustrator’s trademark style.

Step 1
It can be costly to make custom vinyl wall graphics, so plan your design well. Whether creating a one-off or something to make and sell in large quantities, consider the theme and colours, and especially the interior design of the location for your graphics. Limited colour palettes work best – as the cost of production rises with each colour you add.



Step 2
The most successful wall graphics play with the space they’re placed in, entertain with their concept, and create a mood. Try photographing your space first and then doodle over the photo. There will be restrictions on the size you can print to, but you can get round this by breaking your artwork into sections.



Step 3
With your concept secure and your design set out on paper, fire up Illustrator. Once you’ve got a rough sketch of the design you’d like, scan it and trace it in Illustrator. If you’d prefer to work from my sketch, open Mural original drawing.jpg from the cover CD or the Zip file opposite and trace it. There’s no limit to the styles that will work on walls – just be sure to understand how big the finished article will actually be and the level of detail and precision required.


Step 4
If using outlines, don’t make them too heavy. This will prevent your artwork from sitting comfortably on the wall. Instead, use a more natural paintbrush stroke.



Step 5
For a simple inkpen-style stroke, create a long thin circle (fill only), then drag it into your Brushes palette. Click New Art Brush, then click on the Stroke Options icon at the bottom of the palette and choose Hue Shift from the Colorization Method menu – this allows you to choose colours for this brush later. Select the Pen or Pencil tool and use your new brush for outlines.



Step 6
To add depth and interest to your wall art, add textures to larger areas of flat colour. For the grass- style texture here, create the shape first, then draw pen lines where you want your texture to flow. Create the top and bottom lines, then use the Blend tool (Object > Blend) to create the in-between lines.



Step 7
Create a solid circle and drag it into your Brushes palette again. Click New Pattern Brush, then Hue Shift in the Colorization Method menu. Apply this brush to your lines – you may need to make the lines into overlapping solid objects to fill spaces. You can adjust the brush size in the Brush Options menu. For easier colouring, select your new shapes and click Object > Expand Appearance, to make everything into grouped, solid shapes.



Step 8
Once your artwork is complete, you’ll need to prepare your file for the vinyl printing and cutting process. Change all strokes to filled objects by selecting everything (Cmd/Ctrl + A) and click Object > Path > Outline Stroke, then select all again and click Object > Expand Appearance. Now resize your artwork to the exact size for print production.



Step 9
For the vinyl cutting, you will need to create an outline around your entire artwork – this is the line that the vinyl machine will cut. For larger pieces you may want to have around 3mm of bleed allowance. Select your outline, click New Swatch in the drop-down menu on your Swatch palette as shown above. Name the swatch ‘Cutcontour’, click Spot Color in the Color Type menu and then make the line 100% magenta.



Step 10
With your .ai file all set, take it to the printers. To ensure there are no mistakes (which can prove expensive as well as annoying) check that every element of your artwork is perfect, including the linework, colours and cutting lines. Working closely with your chosen vinyl cutter and printer can be priceless; they can give advice specific to your needs and your design.



Step 11
The artwork will be printed and the outlines cut all in one go. What you will get will be the vinyl sticker with protective papers on both sides. When you receive it, don’t peel either side off until you’re ready to install. Cut out each element with around an inch of space all the way around.


Step 12
When you’re ready to install the sticker – onto a clean, dry wall – make sure the protective sheets, especially the front sheet, are perfectly stuck to the sticker by rubbing it all over with a plastic card on a hard, flat surface. Be sure to maintain a consistent, firm pressure. Depending on your design and the number of pieces, you may want to use masking tape to tape the elements in place on the wall.



Step 13
When installing, it helps to have more than one pair of hands. It is also ultra-important to take your time. To stick, peel off the backing paper slightly in one corner – the top right is normally a good place to start. On top of the front protective sheet, rub the sticker firmly against the wall as you slowly peel away the backing paper.



Step 14
Ensure you constantly press the sticker against the wall as you go to make sure there aren’t any creases. Press all the delicate edges firmly so they don’t peel off. Once the sticker is completely on the wall, with the backing paper separated, use the plastic cards to press the sticker, especially the edges, against the wall. Be sure to push any bubbles out to the edges.



Step 15
Again, starting in a corner, peel away the front protective sheet, pressing the sticker flat onto the wall as you go. It can even help to wear a glove on your pressing hand. Once the front sheet is removed, check every edge is firm on the wall and then sit back to enjoy your handiwork.

Ben the Illustrator

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