13 Hacks and Tips for Pouring Acrylics

Welcome! I’ve been pretty well obsessed with poured acrylic painting lately. There’s so much I love about it: deciding the palettes, the uncertainty of the mixing and the beautiful color wheel of surprises that are revealed when you pick up that flip cup and see the beginning of the creation!

While I haven’t been doing this very long myself, I have learned a LOT recently, and I just wanted to pass a long a few little nuggets of wisdom that I have gleaned along the way. This isn’t exactly a beginner’s guide to pouring exactly, but if you’re new to pouring, hopefully this list helps at least a little to answer some common FAQs and share some hacks, tips and method to make pouring easier.20170704_233730 Continue reading

Wallpaper Wednesday! Firefly, comrade? Da! Shi!

I woke up feeling in a very Soviet mood today. Not Communist, exactly… More cold and bleary and cursing my crappy cup of coffee. (That last part’s a lie. My coffee was delicious. Keurig FTW.) Anyways, I started thinking about Firefly/Serenity and, for some reason, The Hands of Blue came to mind. In my mind, an Alliance propaganda poster would likely be Russian Constructivist style. I’ve been wanting to try my hand at this style of design, and today was the perfect opportunity. Enjoy your free Firefly wallpaper!

Firefly Constructivist poster

Right-click > Save As to download full 1920 x 1080 resolution JPEG

Maker Monday: Stock Photos That Don’t Suck

Confession: For the longest time, I couldn’t have cared less about using royalty-free photos. I grabbed the first internet photo that served my purpose and didn’t think twice about it. Now that I’m a little further into my life as a designer, I understand the importance of using royalty or copyright-free images in my work when I’m not supplying my own. (Well, like 90% of the time.*) It’s not just a legal issue, but a moral one because you’re basically using someone’s property without their permission.

"We're Coming to Get You, Barbara", (2013) Aerosol on canvas, 12x24

I painted this a few years ago from an iconic photo from the classic Night of the Living Dead… Do as I say, not as I do.

Continue reading

Devil’s Night Freebie Friday! Dean Winchester Pumpkin Carving Template

Happy Devil’s Night everyone! Hope you don’t get into too much mischief tonight… In fact, maybe you should probably stymie those mischievous urges by staying inside with some hot spiked cider and carving pumpkins for Halloween tomorrow. In fact, you should challenge yourself a a little. Get fancy this year.

And o hai… would you look at that. I even have a free carving template for you…

Jensen_pumpkin_web

Click to download free printable template

Carving pumpkins like this is easier than it first looks, though there may be times you’ll need toothpicks or paper clips to stabilize small bits. If this is your first time tackling a carving like this (or if, for whatever reason, you’re not a Supernatural fan…), I high recommend visiting ZombiePumpkins.com for their outstanding tutorials and plethora of patterns.

See you guys next week!

Wallpaper Wednesday! The Man in Black Fled Across the Desert, and the Gunslinger followed…

Ok, so I’m going to try a thing… (It’s a thing in progress. Respect the thing.) The idea is that each Wednesday I’m going to post a new free wallpaper. Might be desktop, might be phone, might even be FB header.

For the inaugural post, I bring you a desktop wallpaper from Stephen King’s Dark Tower series!

Dark Tower Wallpaper

Click for full 1920 x 1272 resolution

I am a hardcore Constant Reader*. I, like Roland, am a self-confessed Dark Tower junkie. I am currently re-reading the series for the 5th or 6th time, do ya kennit. Right now I’m entering the 2nd half of the final book, and it is always so hard to say goodbye to the ka-tet. Picking up the series again really is like getting to see old friends and leaving them again never actually gets any easier. Nothing can make me ugly-cry like book 7 of The Dark Tower…. So yeah, I’m working through some feels via Photoshop right now lol.

Please check out my other Stephen King merch here! (More coming soon!)

Enjoy!

[* For those not hip to the jive, a Constant Reader is a Stephen King fan…]

Halloween Tutorial Tuesday! AKA Creepy Clown Ruins My Day, But Whatever

It’s Halloween! Huzzah! The most wonderful time of the year! I decided to loosely revisit the zombification proccess I went through on my first horror piece and write up a tutorial. Lemme tell you something though… This has been a rough day. Clowns scare the bejesus out of me and I’ve been looking at this photo for about 7 hours now…
16_final

Level: Intermediate
Notes: This tutorial assumes a certain level of familiarity with Photoshop and will not cover basic tasks like cropping and using adjustment layers. While I have made most of the resources I used available for download HERE on my Deviant Art account in order for you to follow along, I encourage you to seek out and use your own photos and brushes. You’ll learn more, and faster!

Still in? Sweet. Let’s do this. Continue reading

Free Download Friday: Huge Grunge Brushes for Photoshop!

I am a self-confessed brush addict. I love collecting brushes aaaallllmost as much as I love collecting fonts. It’s a problem… But hey, there are much worse things to be addicted to, amirite? I am also a big fan of using grunge in design. While it generally has little place in mainstream advertising, grunge is my style when I’m “at home” as they say.

I’ve always had a hard time finding brushes big enough to create web layouts and print projects, so I want to offer some for people who are in the same situation. (I see you, LJ designers!) These are perfect for designing business cards, flyers, brochures, web layouts, banners, headers and digital art!

Click the image below for ABR download, or view this file and more of my art and resources on my Deviant Art page.

lg_grunge_preview

Check back for more brushes soon, or scroll down and follow this blog!

Tutorial Tuesday! Removing Backgrounds in Photoshop CC

preview

In this post we’re going to start with a Photoshop basic: how to remove the background behind the subject of your photo using the selection brush and the quick mask feature. You know,

cutitoutgif

*Ahem*

This is technique useful for a lot of reasons. Maybe the background is ugly and you want to replace it. Maybe you’re making a fun composite. Maybe you want to swap your head onto Will Graham’s in that ladder scene in S1 Hannibal. Hey, I don’t judge…

I’m going to show you two ways to get rid of unwanted backgrounds, or, to look at it another way, extract a subject from a background to place in another image. This is a beginner level tutorial, and hopefully in-depth enough to not just follow along, but actually help you understand the tools. Continue reading

Free Download Friday! Functional Resume Template

It’s Friday! Huzzah! I mean… I don’t work the typical 9-5, M-F job like a lot of people, so Friday is kind of whatever for me, but I am SO excited for you! Unless you’re unemployed and need a job… But guess what. I’ma help you out with that on Free Download Friday!

Functional resumes are great for people with a wide variety of experience!

Functional resumes are great for people with little or varied experience!

Gone are the days where you go straight from high school to college and spend the rest of your life working for the same company. Many people today have a wide variety of work experience, and a lot of us may be “job-hoppers” now or in the past. Don’t worry, that’s actually becoming the norm. But what do you do if you don’t have much experience, or maybe a lot of experience, but nothing that’s really relevant to the jobs you’re currently applying for? The answer is what’s called a functional resume.

A functional resume is one that emphasizes your skills and attributes over your employment history and/or education. You do this by highlighting the attributes you possess that makes you a great candidate for the job. For example, if you are applying for a job as a line cook but have no previous restaurant experience or culinary training, you may wish to emphasize your speed, ability to take direction and ability to work well under pressure. A slick-looking resume helps you to stand out.

This is not meant to be a comprehensive guide on how to write a functional resume. There are plenty of job hunting advice sites for that. Instead, I am giving you a tool to get you started!

This resume template is fully editable. Customize each heading to highlight YOUR best skills and attributes to a potential employer. Set yourself apart with professional formatting!

  • ZIP file
  • Contains InDesign file (.indd) as well as editable PDF
  • Fonts used come from Adobe Typekit, which comes with your Adobe CC subscription. If you don’t have this, you will need to change the fonts when you edit!

Good luck with your job hunt!

PS BRUSHES: 12 Hi-Res Grungy Number Brushes

Free Download Friday!

This week I have for you some new large grunge brushes! These are perfect for adding texture and depth to your Photoshop project and are especially effective when overlapped and blended on backgrounds.
[Click image for download]

PREVIEW

+ Created in Adobe Photoshop CC
+ .abr brush file PLUS .png image pack for Non-Adobe users
+ Free to download for personal and commercial use, just don’t claim/distribute them as your own.
+ Would love to see what you make!