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Submitted on
August 15, 2010


878 (1 today)
So I've decided that between working on commissions and the like, I'm going to attempt to learn enough about Photoshop in the next two weeks before school starts to be relatively capable of using the program to create art. Up till now my skills and knowledge of it have been more than a little rusty and I think it's about time I figured it out.
I'll be updating most of my progress in my sketchbook on, and maybe a little here and on my blog. I have no idea if I'm capable of learning anything that quickly, but I'm definitely going to give it a shot!

If anyone has any helpful hints on good digital exercises or techniques or tutorials or whatever, I'd love to hear them! Or any suggestions on things I should work on in particular, or what you'd like to see from me. Anything I can possibly do to improve. Even some nice brush sets would help.

Commissions are still open too, if anyone's interested!
COMMISSIONS!!! 10 slots at a time for drag-queen-of-hearts (paid)- colouring for ellechar - awaiting payment for therupture - awaiting payment for coldarrow (paid) - pencilling for lost-my-sanity (paid) - inking for StarEclypse (paid) - sketching
(updated 02/09/2010)

  • Mood: Optimism
  • Listening to: arcade fire
  • Reading: the name of the rose, umberto eco
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radioblur Aug 20, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
The only tip I have after 10 years of using Photoshop is this: if you know how to make good art (you do), then it won't matter what tools you use because you will only work until it is right. There are lots of things that Photoshop can do, but only you can make good art out of it. I have learned every one of Photoshop's functions and used them all, but it wa only recently I toned it down to the basics: brushes, layers (Sometimes), and occasionally adjustments. I barely even erase any more!
TenderlySharp Aug 17, 2010  Professional Artist
Try to learn it by working on something you really love, but make ten copies of it so you will be more willing to make lots of mistakes. Go through the whole program and see what each thing does to your image.
I love the 'F' and 'Tab' keys, they get all the junk out of my way when I want to have a clear view of the image.

You may find some useful information here :[link]
also :iconelsevilla: makes a lot of videos, you can watch his process: [link]
theumbrella Aug 17, 2010  Student General Artist
Good advice, I'll keep it in mind! The F key is great, though I've hit it accidentally a few times and not known what happened, but I figured it out eventually! Thanks so much!
Monavx covered pretty much what I was going to say. Masks, blending modes, keep your layers organized.
The thing I would add would be to make use of keyboard shortcuts. You have no idea how much time it will save you. Also, if you're going to use it for painting, play around with the brush settings. You can get some cool effects out of them.
Good luck!
theumbrella Aug 16, 2010  Student General Artist
Yeah, shortcuts are super handy, I know a lot of the editing ones from taking photography in high school, so I'll definitely try and pick up on the more painting oriented ones. And I'll be sure to mess around with brush settings. Thanks for the advice!
monavx Aug 15, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Here are my Photoshop tips from 10 years of using the program:

- Learn/understand layer masks. They are probably the most important thing.
- Learn what each layer blend mode does. Multiply, colour dodge, colour burn, screen are all extremely useful. The "Colour" layer mode lets you turn something greyscale into colour. This is how I colour most things. It's useful and it doesn't fuck up the original if you make a mistake. You can still use Photoshop to tweak and colour an image but leave it looking like it has been done traditionally.
- Don't use filters/effects
- Use plenty of layers
- Keep the layers organised (names & folders)
- If you don't keep the layers organised, you can find out which layer is which by right clicking on the image.

There are probably more, but those are the most important. Hope it helps!
theumbrella Aug 15, 2010  Student General Artist
Oh man, thanks so much! This will help so much, you have no idea. I've always wondered how to colour greyscale images, since I've seen everyone do it and half the time people even recommend it, but now I finally know! And thankfully it was beaten into us in high school graphic arts that filters/effects were never ever the way to go, which can only be a good thing.
Thanks again, I'll do my best to keep this all in mind!
monavx Aug 15, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Yep, all you need is colour layers! Just make a new layer on top of the greyscale art, set its mode to "colour", paint your colours, then adjust the fill percentage.
theumbrella Aug 16, 2010  Student General Artist
Brilliant, thanks so much!
phridoleenus Aug 15, 2010  Student Digital Artist
The only tip I have, and I've been using photoshop for nearly ten years, don't underestimate the tools you have. c: It's so easy to engage only in the brush or only in the pen tool. Also, when reading through tutorials, don't skip any step because you think "you know it". I don't know how many times I've done that and ending up not understanding the tutorial at all! I don't know any good tutorials on inking and such but I think a clear and crisp lineart is what distinguish your style and therefore you should get to know those things first. :> Good luck~
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