Forest Girl Photo


This is a really cool photo I found on Abduzeedo and while it’s not an example of graphics, I love the editing done in the color and photography department. The lighting is so soft and has the slightest green tint to it, something one could achieve by adjusting the green curves channel. It has a very nice level of contrast, the dark corners are not so dark you can’t see the detail, and the lights are not so light they take attention away from the main subject. The picture almost looks soft, and I don’t know if this is because of the lighting or if it has the ever so light touch of a blur. Regardless, it’s a beautiful photograph.


Filter & Effect Kitty


This is the practice we did today using the blending effects, selection tool, and layers. We were instructed to create a piece using a photo and to incorporate selections, filters, and gradients. Mine was pretty fun, I used the selection tool to select the kitty and create a shadow by filling the selection with a grey to transparent gradient and transforming it. Then I selected the kitty again and edited the selection in quick mask mode using the mosaic filter to create the square effect. I did this a few times, getting larger each time, then filled each selection with the same gradient at different angles. Finally, I used the vertical type tool to write “meow” and put a white outer glow on it and made the actual type transparent.

Selection Kitty


This is my selection practice I did using the quick mask tool and refine edge function in photoshop. This adorable little kitten was on a white background..that combined with the fact that it’s so fluffy, equals a very tough time trying to select just the little kitty. But using the quick mask tool, I was able to carefully paint in as much detail as possible, then used the refine selection menu and adjusted the smart radius and feather functions so that I got a pretty good edge for a selection I only spent 5 minutes on.


Milky Way


This is a cool type/paint idea that I found on Abduzeedo’s daily inspiration that I really want to try out. The artist said: “This was an Idea I drew up late one night. It started as just a really quick sketch, and then I thought I would redraw it and put some 3D type effects on it to make it look almost liquid. I just used the 3D effects in photoshop and then a few simple bevel an shadow layers. Nothing tricky at all. Im thinking Im going to have to learn 3D!” which shows you just how powerful and fun photoshop can be. It also demonstrates how just playing around with new tools can create very interesting works. I love how interesting this is, and you could create a whole lot with this technique!

Cool Filters


This is yet another work I found on’s “daily inspiration” page and I really like it because it demonstrates a nice usage of mixing abstract color and line with a real photograph. I am a huge fan of bright and neon colors, so something like this is right up my alley. I like the allusion this has to the photo treatments that cause photos to turn this color, and the fake light treatment in the top left corner that has become so popular with the invention of instagram, pixlromatic, and other photo editing apps. I’ve noticed there are a lot of tutorials online for creating these kind of effects too, and I think creating effects like this on a photo would be fun.

If I were to do it, I would start by editing the curves so that the shadows and highlights took on red and yellow respectively. I would then maybe create a vector and add a layer style to create the glowing effect and move that to the top of the page. I might add a few more details by using brushes and lowering the opacity. I’m going to have to do this on a photo of mine sometime soon!

Wall-E Minimalism Poster

walle copy

Yet another cool thing I found on pinterest (seriously if you don’t have one, get one. There’s so much interesting stuff to look at) and I know this is part of a trend that graphic designers on the web create minimalist posters of famous movies. For some reason, Pixar movies are a big target and I’ve seen probably 10 different wall-e posters. I like this one the best though, it has a nice balance between being too detailed to be minimalist and still having enough detail to be interesting. I love the silhouette look (apparently so as like a large portion of the art I look at has that element) and  I really love the color scheme. This also wouldn’t be too challenging to do, you could create an outline of wall-e with the pen tool and then cut it from a rectangle using the pathfinder palette. Then add in the star pattern on a rectangle behind it, and draw Eve with the simple shape tools (three ellipses for the body, one for the head and two for the body, one cut out from the other,) and the jet tail also with two stretched ellipses. Add the type and you’re good to go!

Throughout The Storm You Keep Me Warm


This is another work I found on pinterest and seriously I want to get it printed and framed for my room I like it so much. It’s has a perfect balance of detail and simplicity and I love the demonstration of typography (even if it was hand done). I might just have to create one for myself…and this is how I’d do it:

I’d start by drawing up a design and creating my letters with pencil and paper. Once I am happy with my initial design, I’d scan it into the computer and fire up illustrator. I’d trace the letters (oh so carefully) with the pen tool, or might even fine a like font, create outlines, and use the select tool to drag their points around so I get a letter like the one I drew. Once I created all the letters, I’d create additional ornamentation like the swirls under the word “storm” using the pen tool. Once I got the vector just like I liked it (arranging elements and what not to create the most appealing design possible), I’d import it into photoshop to create the final piece. To make the background, I’d download some paintbrush-textured photoshop brushes. I’d put a gradient of my choice (it looks like they used a light blue to a red) and put it on the lowest layer. I’d put another layer on top and fill it with dark blue and then mask it and use the brushes I downloaded to create the scratchy worn effect. Finally, I’d import my illustrator file and put it on top, change the colors to find the best match and pat myself on the back for all the hard work.

Flower Design by Ella Tjader

red-flower- ella tjader

I found this design on pinterest (always the best place to get inspired) and it really stood out to me. I love how it looks like a traditional botanical illustration many people do for science or a nature study, but at the same time its very obviously done on the computer. It’s like taking a traditional commonly done idea and reviving it and making it new. And I don’t think it would be that hard to do on illustrator either, if you’re proficient with the pen tool and gradients. If I were to go about illustrating something like this, I would start with scanned in hand-drawn art work and use the pen tool to trace the line and create the sections and strokes seen here. I’d vary their stroke width to give the piece some rhythm and depth and then fill in the shapes using gradients, changing the angle and intensity of the gradients to achieve a more natural looking color.


Dream Design by Jess Volinski


This is another design I found on Jess Volinski’s website that is a good example of layering and using strong vectors. I love this design and I love how the white in the foreground really pops out and is clearly legible, even though the design as a whole is full of different patterns and colors. She appears to have started with a watercolor like background, and then drew vector flowers on top of it. It appears she then put another layer on top comprised of thick, cut-out designs which could have been made by drawing shapes and then subtracting them from a larger black circle using the pathfinder palette. Next, it appears she put a layer filled with black at a really low opacity on top to give it the dim look.The word “dream” looks like it was created separately, either drawn with the pen tool and then layered with another pattern or typed and layered. Over all, the design is very pleasing.

Vector Doodle by Jess Volinski

doodle flowers

This is a simple vector doodle I found by the illustrator Jess Volinski on her website. I love how the design looks almost as it was hand drawn, but if you look closely, you can see how many of the elements have been repeated, most likely copied and pasted then transformed and rotated to add variation. This is a great example of how you can create a complex design by simply repeating a few key elements and details. The best part about working in Illustrator on designs like this is that you can save different design elements like flower centers, leaves, circles, swirls, stems, etc. and create more designs later with the same elements.