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Quick Note Concerning DDs

Sun Nov 16, 2014, 2:19 AM by AbbeyMarie:iconabbeymarie:


I want to reassure everyone that I read and look into 100% of the DDs I receive. I even make sure to take a quick browse through the one suggested's gallery. 

I however only reply to the DD's that have been accepted strictly due to lack of time. All DD suggestions are also kept for future consideration. So something suggested  today could end up being accepted a month from now. No suggestions are ever ignored or deleted. 

I have been paranoid about this lately, so I wanted to make sure everyone knew!

Thanks for all the suggestions so far, keep them coming. You can never send too many! 




Semi-official Community Relations group for the Photomanipulation galleries on dA. Join us for Daily Deviations, Articles, Contests & Challenges.

Community Groups

:iconcommunityrelations: :iconcrphotomanipulation: :iconwe-heart-photomanip:

Anxiety: Biggest Accomplishment

Mon Nov 10, 2014, 4:21 PM by AbbeyMarie:iconabbeymarie:

Quick Share

Whether your anxiety is  severe or mild, anxiety is still a bitch and has probably limited you at one or more times in your life. So I want to know some of the times you have overcome your anxiety or accomplished something that normally would be a problem because of your anxiety! 

No accomplishment is too small! It was once an accomplishment for me to leave my house. :shifty: Hearing success stories is incredibly important. You never know who you might inspire/give hope to with your story! 

Coding by SimplySilent


Wed Nov 5, 2014, 3:13 AM
I've ditched my facebook "fan/business" page (because they are garbage, gross, and pointless). I finally got around to deleting it. 

I moved everything over to my "personal" account

I post WIPs, art, nerdy stuff I like, and say dumb things that make me (but no one else) laugh. It's a gay 'ol time. 

So come join me there and be my BFF!

Or don't. I don't care. 

DD Roundup: October 2014

Sat Nov 1, 2014, 2:13 PM by AbbeyMarie:iconabbeymarie:


One last round of applause! 


Gothic landscape by Sleax

Singularity 2.0 by streetX222

Sadness  inside by kidy-kat

The Seed of Freedom II by borda

Ephemera by LadFree

Music of spheres by Helga-Hertz


Midnight interlude by MarcelaBolivar


Catharsis by mimikascraftroom

+ Freakshow + by OmarRodriguezV

The Portal Of Sagittarius by Shue13




Semi-official Community Relations group for the Photomanipulation galleries on dA. Join us for Daily Deviations, Articles, Contests & Challenges.

Community Groups

:iconcommunityrelations: :iconcrphotomanipulation: :iconwe-heart-photomanip:

Commission Information

Sun Oct 19, 2014, 3:43 PM by AbbeyMarie:iconabbeymarie:

Mixed Media Commissions: Open!

I am currently looking for freelance work! You can contact me via Email at or through any of my social media sites. Feel free to contact me for any reason or if you have any questions!

All commissioned work is high-res and printable as long as the images provided allow for it.


Commercial: Starts at 90USD
Noncommercial: Starts at 50USD
Tutorials: Starts at 100USD

All prices are negotiable. The price depends on your individual needs, what you ask for, and the time frame you need it in.




Full Artwork
Book Cover Artwork
Cd Album and Booklet Art

Personal Edits

Mixed Media

Mind On Fire by AbbeyMarie Surface Light by AbbeyMarie Gilded Web by AbbeyMarie Piano by AbbeyMarie Panda Girl by AbbeyMarie

Bookcover Art

Book Cover Samples by AbbeyMarie Book Cover Sample by AbbeyMarie Book Cover by AbbeyMarie Book Cover by AbbeyMarie Book Cover by AbbeyMarie


Retouch by AbbeyMarie Retouch by AbbeyMarie Retouch by AbbeyMarie

Social Media

Coding by SimplySilent


I Should Say Something

So I am extremely excited to be the new photomanipulation CV! Hopefully I can do as good of a job as the kick ass PM CVs of the past, or at the very least get by without destroying everything. :XD:

I have a sincere intense passion for the art of photomanipulation, and see it as a very undervalued and underappreciated medium with mounds of untapped potential! As a community I want us to tap into that potential. 

What I will Be Focusing On

  • Education 
  • Exploration, Creativity, and Originality
  • Promoting the Act of Both Giving and Receiving Critiques
I am a big on growth and stepping out of your comfort zone. I would like to help encourage the photomanipulation community to do just that.

Whether it be articles, contest or features, it's a good bet it will be based on one of the above. 

My DD Guidelines 

They are very simple!
  • All stock must be credited. 
  • Mustn't of had a DD within the last six months, as with all DDs.
  • The art must be clearly presented. So art with overly large and distracting watermarks that hide the majority of the piece, or that are simply too small to see any real detail won't be considered.
  • I only take photomanipulation suggestiones, and some mixed media suggestions.

So get to sending them! I am excited to feature the PM's galleries best work! 

Thank You!

Thank you for all the "welcomes" so far! I will get to replying to everything asap.
I am sure I have more to say that I am forgetting, but this should do for now. :dummy:
Again I am super excited! :eager: 




Semi-official Community Relations group for the Photomanipulation galleries on dA. Join us for Daily Deviations, Articles, Contests & Challenges.

Community Groups

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Anxiety: We Have it. It sucks.

Sun Oct 5, 2014, 9:05 PM by AbbeyMarie:iconabbeymarie:

So for the first journal I figured it would be appropriate for it to be an introductory journal. Makes sense right? Right.  

The Admin's Experience

I'm Abbey, I'm 23. I am incredibly strange and off beat. I love dumb internet shit and video games. I am basically incapable of emotions, but I am also exceptionally light hearted. I'm the embodiment of anxiety, and always have been.

As a kid it always felt like everyone was doing a dance I never learned the steps to. The dance of "social interaction". As an adult ....I still feel that way, which I never thought would be the case. I always thought that one day I would wake up and I wouldn't be afraid anymore. Kids are dumb like that.

At my worst, because that's always the most interesting, I was 21 and couldn't leave my house. I had become (even more) distant with my family, and anyone I knew back in highschool were long gone. And I obviously couldn't meet new people because I couldn't even manage to leave my house. My main gig was paranoia. (It felt like) Everyone was watching me, whispering about me, judging me. Wondering what was wrong with me. (....Goddamn my ego is huge). I felt like I didn't have the right to do anything, or be anywhere. Like I didn't have the right to exist, and so I tried my best not to...and succeeded. 

I am 23, have no job, no driver license, no in person friends, and live I in a small town in a small house with my parents. That is what I really am. That is what I try and hide. And that is what I am currently trying, for the first time, to fix. 

I created this group for genuine reasons, one being a sincere caring for people in similar situations, and the second being the completely selfish reason that I think it will help me get better personally. But if I can help other people while helping myself then there is no harm in that selfishness.   ....Hopefully :stare: 

Hi! My name is Marta. I'm Polish, I create photo-manipulations and paint a bit – though still not too well. I play flute and I'm an avid fantasy fan. I also have social anxiety.

I've been battling it for what seems like forever – I'm told that in kindergarten I had been a very happy and open kid, but it might as well be a myth by now – I'm twenty at the moment and even though I have what I think is a not so bad control over my affliction, there were a few years when it pretty much ruled my life. I used to get pretty frequent panic attacks, and there was no telling what might trigger them – crowds, someone standing too close, talking, even being in the same room as people I knew didn't particularly like me. To some, these things may seem trivial – I can't even begin to count the number of times I've heard: „Get over yourself” or variations of it - but for me they were absolutely terrifying. I was able to mostly learn how to control this, but before that, I spent several years on individual schooling and in therapy.

Why am I here? Because I think that sharing experiences is a great thing. Because I know how having to make a simple phone call can make your hands shake for no apparent reason. Because the: „Hey, it’s not just me!” moments are always precious, and can make you feel a tiny little bit less alone.

I've been living with an anxiety disorder for as long as I can remember. Since I was a little girl I never had the courage to say anything to strangers, I've always been extremely shy and scared of things "normal" people weren't afraid of. The two things I was most afraid of were people and tests, which came together at school. Because of that I skipped a lot of school, my parents thought that I had a serious illness many times.

4 years ago, they sent me to a psychologist, since they realised there was at least something wrong with my self esteem. From there on it only became worse. For example, I fell into a serious depression. I started self harming, which left me with scars for life. It felt like that was the only thing keeping the anxiety in control. My mom found out, the only thing she did was cry. Since then I went to a more intensive psychologist and they found out I had a depression and an anxiety disorder, which I got medicine for.

It wasn't over though, my depression got worse, I didn't know what to do anymore, I was too scared to normally leave the house and I didn't have anything left to live for, the only thing I did was lay in bed all day. I tried to commit suicide, got into the hospital and almost died. I don't know how, but seeing the people I loved cry so much about me, kind of switched a button and made me want to get better. Since then I seriously tried to overcome my depression and tried to stop self harming, which I succeeded in after falling back into it a lot of times.

But my anxiety was something I had to learn to live with, since it is something which will never go away. I didn't go to school or get out of the house at all. When they wanted me to go to a mental-like hospital, I realised something had to change, and that I didn't have a choice anymore.
Right now, I'm going to school again and I even get out of the house to walk the dog for example, or to go to the mall for some small stuff I need to have. What helped me? Acting. Internet was my best friend, and I found some things about comedians with social anxiety, who acted to overcome theirs and function normally. I tried the same. It was a lot of practice, and I mean a lot, but eventually it did work for me. I basically act all day, have a big mouth and act like I don't care, so that I can do everything I have to do.

There was also one other thing that helped me; Getting a dog. My dog is a lot like me, he used to be abused and is scared of everything and everyone. Just like me he has visible and hidden scars. He helped me a lot with going outside again, just a huge help. Walking with a dog is already way less scary than walking completely alone. The thing that my dog is a big Staffordshire Bullterrier also helped, since if something happens, you have a dog with you who can protect you. That made me feel a lot more safe.
That is my story.

Hi everyone, my name is Terri and I'm just one of the admins for this group. Sorry for being late in introducing myself, anxiety causes me to experience brain-freeze!

Firstly, some positive things about myself.  I'm an Australian.  I LOVE animals.  I live with my beautiful Staffy Zara and three cats called Hope, Clayton and Friday.  I usually have rats as well, but had to put my 3 year old down a few months ago. I'm a vegetarian.  I collect movies, lovely vases and rat/mouse/horse brick-a-brack.

Now, the not so nice things about my life experiences. I'm diagnosed with severe depression, borderline personality disorder, high stress levels, mild paranoia/anxiety and a few ocd's.

I grew up in a highly volatile home environment.  I was verbally, mentally and physically abused (both violently and sexually). I wasn't good at making friends and lived in my own world. My mind has thankfully blocked much of my experiences out from the age of 10 and under. As a teenager, I was suicidal and socially awkward.  My parents divorced and my Mum continued to mentally abuse me and physically/violently try to hurt me. In my 20s, I became an alcoholic like my Dad, I was diagnosed with severe depression and incapable of living with people.  By my 30s, I had lost all of my friends and became somewhat reclusive. I had a breakdown in my mid to late 30s, I became a recovering alcoholic and I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

These days are much better in that I'm medicated and I see a regular therapist, however, I still struggle with my issues and I still can't live with people. Happily, I've gained insight into my life, I've made some wonderfully close friends (majority online) and I continue to heal. I think of myself as an unfinished jigsaw puzzle.

You can read about my art experiences here -
My ultimate goal these days is to eventually work with people who suffer with mental health issues and hopefully run art therapy workshops.

The Members 

Please share your anxiety goodness with us! Share as much or as little as you want, I want it!
Some questions to get you started:
  • When did your anxiety start?
  • What kind of anxiety do you have?
  • What do you hope to get from joining this group?

Coding by SimplySilent

Introducing: Neurotics United!

Mon Sep 29, 2014, 11:26 AM by AbbeyMarie:iconabbeymarie:

Severe anxiety plagues thousands of people everywhere, but yet is often belittled or completely dismissed by those who don't have it, isolating the victim and making them feel alone in their very real struggle. That's where Neurotics-United comes in! The people best suited to help a person suffering from anxiety are people who have suffered themselves. We can relate, because we have been there. We know the confused look people give us when we try and explain why we absolutely can't be the one who orders the food. Because that shit is the worst, right?

We can't just chill out, or relax. We aren't being dramatic. We aren't quiet, inhibited, unfriendly, or disinterested. We are radical as shit though, and it's about time we show it. 

NU is not solely a social anxiety themed group, but it will tend to be our main focus as it's one of the most common anxieties, and the flavor of anxiety the founder of the group happens to have in spades. 

The Point

The feeling of being understood, that "No way, me too! I thought I was the only one!" moment, is incredibly powerful and important. Having people who won't make you feel like you're insane, and actually being able to relate to you is crucial. When you are around people who are like you, you will find out your anxiety, and your weirdness isn't all that bad. It's just part of your charm. Your fears may not be real, but you anxiety is. And there is no reason to have to deal with it by yourself. 
We want this to be a place where we can openly share our experiences and how we cope with them. Anxiety has a way of making us lock away our passions so this is also a place to share other non-anxiety related interests! Gaming, books, movies, dumb internet stuff. We give enough energy to our anxieties as it is, time to focus on the things we love. 

Whether your anxiety simply causes you a bit of frustration and stress, or you are absolutely crippled by it, we welcome you with open, probably shaking, arms!

Join us! As either Member or Admin!

Membership is open to all! And so is staff! We want people to be able to contribute as they see fit, so staff is always open to new admins! Leave when you want, join when you want. We are keeping it loosey-goosey. 

Current Admins

:iconabbeymarie: :icongejda: :iconromyinneverland: :iconsnowinhades:


Coding by SimplySilent

Magnificent Marvels #6

Sat Sep 27, 2014, 11:38 PM by AbbeyMarie:iconabbeymarie:

A Collection of the Best of the Best!

Hydroponic by MarcelaBolivar
Android Legacy: Soul Of A New Machine by fantasio Hand-kissing by cornacchia-art New Toy by MargotMi Chasing Ghosts by MichaelO
Suspense by Aegis-Illustration
Rite by AnjaMillen Silence by NekroXIII Luiza And Korol by IgorVoloshin The Contamination of Sandra Wolfe by conzpiracy
Ascetic by 3mmI
46 and 2 by fudaryli Hope by LeslieAnnODell La Regina Andromeda by LenteScura Rhythm of nothing by A7md3mad
Dracula's Castle by Whendell


Skin by SimplySilent

Anxiety Help Group

Wed Sep 10, 2014, 2:21 PM

I am wanting to put together a group focusing on anxiety (as of now mainly social anxiety). But I can't do it on my own. I need to call upon my fellow anxiety ridden neurotics to help me! 

If you would like more information about the group and are interested in helping just note me and or comment below! I have a journal written up with more information. 


If you were making this group, what would you call it? 

Artist Feature: Msriotte

Fri Aug 22, 2014, 10:43 PM by AbbeyMarie:iconabbeymarie:


Hello msriotte! Thank you for doing this interview, please introduce yourself!

I am 19 yo. graphic designer from Poland, Toruń. I spend most of my time in Photoshop, huh (Photoshop no-life). In my free time I'm playing MMO and RPG games (nerdy no-life). As a keen otaku I love japanese pop culture <3.

Eve - loves every child by msriotte

You seem to dabble in a wide variety of different genres, is there one you favor most? If so why? 

Huh, I have no preferences in genres of art. I just love to express myself - my emotions, my stories, my dreams, during creating :) (Smile).

Wila vila - slavic mythology by msriotte

What got you into photomanipulation? Did you start out doing a different medium at first?  
When I was younger, I spent a lot of time looking at deviantart. I was insanely curious, how the hell they made such beautiful art! In those days I'd tried many kinds of art - painting, drawing, making 3d and web design. But I never enjoyed it as much as making photo manipulations - although my first manips were awful! :) (Smile).

Thorn within by msriotte

If there was one technique/skill you could master instantly what would it be? 
Oh, why only one? I'm dreaming about master everything :) (Smile). In art - I really desire about learning drawing. In real-life I would like to learn how to fight with a katana sword!

Fairy in the woods by msriotte

Do you have and advice for your fellow artist?
I'm still learning, so I'm not sure what advice I have to offer. Enjoy your life, enjoy your art. 

Dance in the oblivion by msriotte

Thanks again to the talented msriotte!
Support the artist by faving this journal and checking out their gallery

Skin by SimplySilent

Mentoring Information

Wed Aug 13, 2014, 7:53 PM by AbbeyMarie:iconabbeymarie:

we-HEART-photomanip now offers photomanipulation mentoring! It's as simple as can be to join in, whether you are looking to teach or be taught! 

Sign Up

To get a mentor simply note the group asking for one. Please try and be specific in what you want in a mentor! Try and say what you would like to learn and how you would like to learn.

Or you can not the mentors themselves. You can simply contact the individual mentor from the list below yourself! Don't be shy, they have all volunteered and are interested in helping you learn!

The Mentores

:bulletpink: mippieArt is currently not taking any mentees at the moment

Become a Mentor

We are always looking for talented artist who are looking to help their fellow artist learn and grow. Note the group to be added to the mentor team!


:bulletpink: How a mentor chooses to mentor is up to the mentor and mentee.
:bulletpink: You do not have to be a member of the group to ask for a mentor!
:bulletpink: Please allow 24 hours for a reply. 

Skin by SimplySilent

5 Tips From Me to You

Wed Jul 23, 2014, 10:46 PM

To be taken for what it is - ramblings of a weirdo. A weirdo with a heart of gold, and good intentions. 

Look for Inspiration Outside of Your Medium

One of the biggest mistakes I see is people only gathering inspiration from art made out of their own medium. Admiring your fellow -insert artist type here- is fine of course, but make sure to mix in a slew of other sources as well. This will help keep your art unique and fresh and help you steer away from trends. 

My personal inspiration tends to come from digital and oil painters, fashion photographers, movies and my favorite: people watching. :stare:

Don't Blame Your Equipment, or Lack there Of

This has to be one of my biggest pet peeves. The artist that blames their equipment or the fact they don't have what they "need". "If I just had -this- then I would be sooo much better! ...But I don't so oh well". I can not stand this line of thought. It's pure poison. Rotting the mind of the young artist that thinks it's a valid excuse as to why he's not good or why everyone else is better than him. 

Artists, true artists, do their art regardless. Stop pretending like you need the $2,000 cintique. You want it. Not need. 

Be Happy with Your Progress

Always take time to acknowledge where you were and how far you have come. Take a look at your art from a year ago, or hell even 6 months ago.  Be proud of your improvement!

Focusing on your improvement, rather than where you currently are, will help you avoid discouragement and frustrations. If you have improved you have succeeded!  

Don't Follow Tutorials Step by Step

Doing a tutorial step by step with the same images, and the same concept, and the same everything else will hinder how much you learn from the tutorial expediently. At the very least you should be using different images than the tutorial does. 

Personally, I prefer tutorials that either teach a singular effect that can be applied to various different subjects, and elaborated on or I simply only go to the part of the tutorial that's showing a step I am actually curious about. So I end up only reading a couple steps of any tutorial. 

Doing this helps keep your work unique, especially if you are following a popular tutorial that has been done a million times over.  

Experiment and Fail - Often!

Last, but most importantly, experiment and fail as much as you can! Do something different, do something unpopular, do something weird, do something gross, do something sweet, do something inappropriate, do something political, do something funny, do something blasphemous, do something you would never do.

Do something people won't like.  And love the fact people don't like it. 

Bonus tip! Call yourself an Artist 

Do you make art? Then you are an artist. You may hate it, or are ashamed of it, or don't "feel" like you are one, but you are one. You may be a bad one, a mediocre one or a great one, but you are one. 

Deal with it. Llama Emoji-48 (I'm Cool with Mah Sunglasses) [V2] 

Skin by SimplySilent

Commissions: Open!

Sat May 24, 2014, 4:39 PM

Photo-manipulation/mixed media Commissions: Open!

I am currently looking for freelance work! You can contact me via Email at Feel free to contact me for any reason or if you have any questions!

All commissioned work is high-res and printable as long as the images provided allow for it.

Full Artwork
Book Cover Artwork
Cd Album and Booklet Art
Personal Edits

Commercial: Starts at 125USD
Noncommercial: Starts at 75USD
Tutorials: Starts at 100USD

The price depends on your individual needs, what you ask for, and the time frame you need it in.

Payment Method 

Work / Gallery

Book Cover Samples by AbbeyMarie
War Pestilence Death by AbbeyMarie
Surface Light by AbbeyMarieGilded Web by AbbeyMarie

Retouch by AbbeyMarieRetouch by AbbeyMarie

Desktopography 2013: Icy Winds by AbbeyMarie
Ordeal of Glass by AbbeyMarieMonarch by AbbeyMarieHades by AbbeyMarie

Skin by SimplySilent

Artist Feature: Crystalclear-art

Fri May 16, 2014, 9:38 PM by AbbeyMarie:iconabbeymarie:

Crystal aka CrystalClear-Art

Hello Crystal! Why don't you tell us a bit about yourself? 
I am a married, stay-at-home mom of a beautiful 2yr old girl. I was born and raised in Texas, and still call it home. I spend most of my days taking care of my daughter and our home. During times my daughter is napping or finds herself occupied, I enjoy creating my art. 

I am endlessly fascinated by the fact you use an iPad to create your art. Have you always used your iPad?
I've only been editing and manipulating photos for about a year now. I actually started off attempting to edit using my Android phone. After a couple of weeks of attempting, my husband bought my iPad for me. Apple does have great apps for editing. You can get apps for masking, layering, adjusting color details, applying filters and finishes, adding lighting effects, and painting (which I'm still learning how to do). Whatever you are trying to do, there's probably an app for it. Right now if I just sit down at a computer, my daughter wants to climb up in my lap, poke at the keys, and play with the mouse. So, using a computer is not convenient or practical for me right now. She has her own iPad and isn't concerned if I'm on mine. Lol.

What do you think are the biggest challenges you have to face using an iPad rather than a computer?
The iPad does have some limitations. Some apps aren't able to handle some of the larger resolution images, so I'm not always able to work with them. I'm not able to work with PSD files. I'm also not able to work with and download custom brushes. 

Your art spans a wide range of genres, do you have a favorite? 
I would say emotional is my favorite. There's just something about the emotion of a scene that pulls you in and tells a story that really appeals to me.

Where do you see you and your art 5 years from now? 
That's a hard one. I hope to just continually learn and grow as an artist. I'm not looking to make art my career or anything like that. I just enjoy creating for fun.

What advice do you have for an upcoming artist who's just getting into photomanipulation?
I'm still learning everyday, so I'm not sure what advice I have to offer. When you are first starting out, don't expect to create a masterpiece on your first try. So, don't let yourself get frustrated. You will learn and grow. Don't be afraid to seek advice and help. Let your creativity take you where it wants to go. Your end result may not be what your idea was to begin with. Always enjoy the process. If you aren't feeling creative, don't force it because you want to finish a piece. Just turn off your computer or put your iPad away until you are feeling it. The end result of your work will be better for it.

Thank you for the wonderful interview Crystal! 

CrystalClear-Art's Art

Thunderous Fury by CrystalClear-Art

Love Lost by CrystalClear-Art

Drift Away by CrystalClear-Art

Hunted by CrystalClear-Art

Light at the end of the tunnel by CrystalClear-Art

Remember to fave this journal and support the artis! 

Skin by SimplySilent

Around the Web #1

Wed May 7, 2014, 11:32 AM by AbbeyMarie:iconabbeymarie:

Around the web is a bi-weekly feature that gathers together resources from all around the web! This includes, but is not limited to, tutorials, articles, and resources. Feel free to share your non DA goodies in the comments below, and fave this journal to spread the word!


Surreal Underground Scene

Learn how to create this amazing surreal underground scene with a heart created from branches and scattering leaves! This photo manipulation tutorial will teach you various techniques such as blending, complex masking, painting, working with groups, and more.

Grainy B&W High Fashion Effect

In today’s Photoshop tutorial we’re going to play around with various image adjustments to recreate the emotive style of high fashion black and white photography. Typically these photographs feature many of the characteristics of old school 35mm film, such as heavy film grain and low contrast.

How to Style Hair in Photoshop

Altering a hair style in Photoshop is fun, quick, and can make a huge difference in a photo. Today we show you how to use the liquify tool to shape hair and curves adjustment layers to bring it to life. We even finish the episode off by using the pen tool to cut out the hair from the background.

Creating Beams of Light

Learn to create natural and stunning looking lens flares and beams of light using adjustment layers and layer masks!

The Grim Reapers Side Job

Learn how to create this eerie photo manipulation of the Grim Reaper’s side job – mowing! This simple tutorial is great for beginner photo manipulators and will show you how to quickly combine photos, warp them into your scene, and add a cold blue color effect that eliminates all need for color matching.


11 Tips to Help your Creativity Explode

1. Try looking through a different lens (lots of them) both figuratively and literally. Try to ‘see’ with your eyes, your entire being, your soul, and not just with your ‘mind’.
2. Remember the golden rule: there are...
View Article

9 Principles to Help You Keep Calm in Chaos

Observing individuals who lead a creative life, we can identify elements of expertise, grit, an understanding, and passion. What’s easy to overlook is the inner system within an individual—the set of principles that govern their mind...
View Article

11 Ways to Avoid Burnout

Traditional theories teach us that burnout is caused by working too many hours or enduring too much stress, but that’s a gross oversimplification of the matter. Not every person feels overwhelmed at the thought of delving into an...
View Article

5 Ways to Work Faster In Photoshop

We list five practical ways to speed up Photoshop and get your work done more quickly.
The latest version of Adobe's design software, Photoshop CC is highly versatile and very powerful. But...
View Article

Other Goodies

Hover zoom a Google Chrome Extension
"Move your mouse cursor over thumbnails to view images in their full size without loading a new page."
itznikki530 put me on to a great Google Chrome plugin called Hover zoom and it's fantastic for serching through DA's stock gallery.

The 100 best free fonts a Collction of Fonts
"The best free fonts, from vintage-inspired typefaces to slap-you-in-the-face slab serifs, for Windows and Mac, for a range of design projects."

Skin by SimplySilent

What to Look For

When it comes to stock images there is no better time to be picky. With both free and purchased stock, be discerning. Once you start being picky about what stock you use, and even better when you start using premium stock, you will notice your quality of work will increase a significant amount. Better ingredients means better results. 


You want a crisp clear image with a very very low amount of noise, no motion blur caused by a shaky camera, and completely no artificial effects and edits. Noise is the most common issue, but also the easiest to deal with (to an extent) as long as the image is a good size. Which brings us to our next quality to look for.


The bigger the better. The bigger it is the easier it is to add details, fix defects, and overall just a million times easier to work with. In fact, unless you are a 100% web only hobbyist low resolution images are basically unusable. There is nothing worse than seeing an amazing stock image on DA just to find out it's only 1200px tall. 

Make sure to avoid artificially enlarged stock photos. When an image size is increased in an image editing program the pixels become distorted and destroyed.


Avoid the mega popular stock images as much as you can. Again think of stock as an ingredient. You want fresh and new ingredients. You don't want someone to look at your art and think "I have seen this 100 times before" or "This reminds me of that other image I saw that used this model". I personally even avoid using mega popular models.

Finding Balance

Now with paid stock all these things are guranteed to the fullest, but when it comes to free stock you are going to have to find a balance that works for you. I am most picky about any image that is going to be a core part of the overall piece I am making. Usually the model.  I am much much less picky about originality with small side objects, I don't have to worry about an image having a lot of noise if I know it's going to be blurred in the final image anyway, and size doesn't matter if in the image is going to be small.

I will sacrifice some quality, usually noise, if the  stock image is incredibly original and an extra large size. Or if the stock  really is the perfect image for what I want to do and is of incredible quality then I will sacrifice originality. It all just depends. 

Bobbi by eric-karr
"Bobbi" by eric-karr is the perfect combination of quality, size and originality. It's a gem!

The Right Usage Terms

You can't use every image anyway you want. There are terms set out by the photographer that you must follow. On Deviantart every stock photographer writes their own terms, such as requiring credit, or only allowing the image for personal non-commercial use. You can often find their terms in the description of the image or on the artist profile. 

Premium sites such as 123rf have two different licensings - "Standard" and "Extended". When creating a piece of work that will be resold, such as a book cover, then you will need to buy the "Extended" license. And while premium stock often times does not require credit, it is a kind gesture to name and credit the photographer of the stock photo. 

Where to Find Stock

There are the right places to find stock, and the wrong (and illegal) places to find stock. Respect the medium, other artist and yourself by going to the right places. With the amount of free to use images there is no excuse to not use legitimate resources.


Deviantart Resource Section  | Cgtextures  | Morguefile | Freeimages | Pixabay | Unsplash | imageafter
Personally, my two favorite free sites are good old DA and Cgtextures .

Freeimages was formerly known as Stock.Xchng. Due to a change in their terms of use the overall rule on DA is that if you use an image from the above site then you must have the photographer's written permission. Better safe than sorry? 


shutterstock  | fotolia | 123rf
There may be no better price than free, but with paid resources you are getting the best of the best guaranteed. The best quality, the best size, and the best models shot by the best photographers. You are getting the best so that you can then offer the best. 

The Not Okay Places 

Google images is not a valid resource. It never had been. Wallpaper sites are not a valid resource. Ever. 

DA Stock Image Feature 

Self Portrait by scottb1977

DA Stock Compilation Journals

Free Stock and Resources outside dAPlease fave if you find this journal useful
I updated and added new stuff on: March 9th 2014
Hy folks,
before I started doing my own art, I was an avid incredimail email- stationary creator.
(All legal always with freeware, according to terms, with written permission etc)
For that reason I have collected a massive bunch of pages with stockphotos (free for profit reasons)
free & shareware fonts, plugin pages and so on.
I thought that it might be as useful for creating art for some of you.
The quality and resolution of the images varies so check yourself :)
I met several people who don't know much free stock outside dA..
although dA holds fantastic stock photographers and artists too! one can never have enough choice ;)
Where possible I added a link to their TOU (Terms of use) beside the link to the mainpage
As a disclaimer:
I am not affiliated with one of the pages linked to, nor am I to hold liable for any content there. You visit those sides at your own ris
   My favorites and stocks that I recommend ( part 1)These are galleries that I have in my favorites because I do not usually look at stocks that are on the popular Deviantart because I always see pictures stolen and porn (see tips here ) then for me not to see these things, I use only the stocks that I have in my watchers :) (Smile)
In this journal I'll add providers that have more stocks Premades, PNGs, and photographs stocks nature and architecture ....
My favorites are YBsilon-Stock and EveLivesey  I really love their resources, they are the best (in my opinion hehe)

If you have your own stock compilation journal I'd be happy to add it!


My overall advice is be picky, be respectful, and make sure to create your own work. Something new! Don't let the stock do all the work. Especially when it comes to premium stock that are already pieces of art in their own right!

:bulletpink: How picky are you when it comes to choosing stock? What do you look for when choosing stock? 
:bulletpink: Where do you get your stock most often? Ever buy premium stock? 
:bulletpink: Are you "greedy" when it comes to sharing your resource pools? Do you keep the best for yourself?

Skin by SimplySilent

4th DD!

Journal Entry: Mon Apr 21, 2014, 2:54 AM
Surface Light by AbbeyMarie

I wanted to say a quick, but huge, thank you to the anonymous user who suggested "Surface Light" for a DD! While this is my 4th DD it's only my second art related DD (the other two being resources)
It ended up getting almost 1000 new faves, and I see around 85 new followers  :wave:!
Anyway, it super made my day, and I will be getting back to all comments soon!

I feel like I am forgetting something...I have been super unorganized and scatterbrained lately. Plus it's 5am, but I didn't want to go to bed before saying thanks.
So now that I have I am going to bed before those asshole mourning birds start their horrible horrible chirping.


s k i n b y p y e k

Pen Tablets

Pen tablets are probably one of the most sought after pieces of hardware among the digital artist crowd. And while you would be highly mistaken if you think that a pen tablet will instantly make you an amazing artist, it is a very handy tool. I personally use one, and while it took me a good year and a half to actually use it after I bought it, once I began using it I loved it.

Huion 8 ExpressKey 10 x 6 Inches Graphics Drawing Tablet

Price: $55.97 on Amazon
Pen Pressure: 2048
Size: 10'' x 6''
I am extremely intrigued by this tablet.  2048 levels of pen pressure sensitivity, 8 expresskeys and 16 User-defined Keys that are all customizable, medium sized, a more than affordable price, and a little pen holder that looks mighty familiar. It seems to be a more affordable Intuos Pro Small. 
:bulletpink: Pen requires a single "AAA" battery 
:bulletpink: The pen does not have an "eraser", instead it's a button to turn off the pen
Other Versions:
:bulletpink: Huion H610 Pro Graphics Drawing Pen Tablet | $79.99 | Amazon

Intuos (Bamboo Pen) Small

Price: $99 on Wacom
Pen Pressure: 1024
Size: 6 x 3.7 in
This is my current tablet, and I use it in every piece of art I make. It's sturdy, very sleek, and I really really like it. If you don't do heavy digital painting, the small size is not an issue at all. The pen is very comfortable, the "eraser" on the end of the pen is handy, and the nibs last ages for me. The tablet has 4 customizable buttons, and the pen has two. Frankly, I use these buttons very rarely, and when I do use them they feel a little slow to respond. There is a panel on the back of the tablet that contains, and holds extra nibs - they are super easy to miss but they are there. If you want to stick with wacom, but are tight on cash I 100% recommend it. 
:bulletpink: Overpriced
Other Versions:
:bulletpink: Intuos Medium | $199 | Wacom

Intuos Pro (Intuos5) Small

Price: $249 on Wacom
Pen Pressure: 2048
Size: 12.6 x 8.2 in
Probably the most common tablet amongst professional digital artist, the Intuos Pro is pretty top notch. It's completely wireless and does not require batteries. On the tablet's side It has 6 buttons, and a radial trackpad that are all customizable. The pen itself also has two custom buttons on it, along with an "eraser". And, it comes with a nifty little pen holder, that also holds your extra nibs. It's incredibly sleek and sexy.
:bulletpink: Overpriced
Other Versions: 
:bulletpink: Intuos Pro Medium | $349 | Wacom
:bulletpink: Intuos Pro Large | $499 | Wacom

Computer Monitor Hoods

This is something I picked up from a photography buddy of mine. If you have to take your monitor outside, or your computer is located in a bright sunny room then a monitor hood is for you. Monitor hoods block out glare and helps you see truer colors while also removing side distractions. 


My advice is to make one yourself! It's cheap and as stated in the DIY article, while they are using plastic, you can also use foam which will be much easier to work with!


This is a trick I picked up from Turing numpads into "photoshop controllers" so you can simplify and more effectively use keyboard shortcuts! It's both easy, and relatively affordable. Read more here.

As I mentioned above I use a wacom pen and touch tablet, and while the tablet is great the buttons are slow to react. So very recently I decided to try this out with a Logitech G13  ($64) and I love it! I highly recommend giving this a try. You can find USB numpads for as low as $10 both in store and online. Though if you have the money, go for the ones designed for gaming!

Gaming Mice

Just like a traditional painter needs a steady hand and a stiff paint brush, you need a steady hand and a mouse that isn't shaking like an old woman trying to pick up a gallon of milk. Gaming mice offer a much higher level of precision than an average no-name 5$ mouse will, they are also built to last and take abuse. 

Red E-3lue E-Blue Cobra
Price: $14.00 on Amazon 

Anker 8200 DPI High Precision Laser Gaming Mouse
Price: $39.99 on Amazon 


:bulletpink: Do you use a tablet? If so how often do you use it?
:bulletpink: Are there any other tools you use to complete your digital art besides your computer?

Skin by SimplySilent

The Wow Effect: Wrap Up

Mon Apr 7, 2014, 12:00 PM by AbbeyMarie:iconabbeymarie:

What Makes Great, Great?

Aeirmid laid out the various aspects that great art holds. Including great composition, consistent lighting and shadows, and interesting perspective! And, for me, the most important aspect a great photo-manipulation  can have is a story, meaning, and purpose. 

City of Dreams by Helga-HertzWhisper in the Wind by NellenaWhat they deserve by cunene
Beneath the Tulips by kuschelirmel
The Untold Story by xetobyte

Off Site Tutorial Feature

I scoured the internet and found a plethora of top notch photo-manipulation tutorials offering unique and versatile effects! My three favorite being:

Paint with fire

Type: Fantasy
"In this tutorial, we’re going to take a simple model shot and transform it into a spitting, crackling beacon of fire. Using some of the most common Photoshop tools (like Smudge, Dodge and Burn) Neville D’Souza shows how to create a complicated artwork without relying on third-party plug-ins."


Stitches Tutorial

Type: Dark
"Part 3 of our 4 Weeks of Terror tutorial series, in which we'll create torn flesh effects with basic digital painting techniques. My Wacom tablet has been gathering dust in the wardrobe for a couple of years now, so it’s great fun putting it to good use again. This walkthrough is written with tablet users in mind, however all effects can be achieved with a mouse also."


Create a Fantasy Girlbird

Type: Fantasy, Surreal
"What is more fun than mixing people with animals? The results can often be cute, funny, or even a bit disturbing. In today’s tutorial, I will demonstrate how to create a fantasy bird girl illustration using digital painting and photo manipulation techniques."


Why It Rocks

Aeirmid showed us 4 of her favorite photo-manipulation here on DA, sharing with us why they are some of her favorites! 

Venus by MichaelO
No "best of" collection is complete without something from MichaelO. This incredible creation is a demonstration of how good manipulation skills, some imagination, and some craftmanship with painting can go a long way to tell a story. I like the fact that the hues are complementary here; it helps add depth to the image and also to bring it together cohesively. I also like the way texturing is used to add a bit of depth and drama to the piece; I really think it adds a nice flair. Here, too, the way the lighting is done is consistent and not heavy-handed.


As we wrap up our second themed month here at WHP, I am honestly thrilled with how well everything has been going! Participation levels are great, and are encouraging us to continue to provide content that people hopefully genuinely want to consume, and more importantly, participate in!
Next month's theme is Tools of the Trade where we will talk about the different hardware, software and resources we use.

We are currently looking for gimp/non PS users to join our staff! Note the group if you are interested! 

:bulletpink: What do you look for in a tutorial? What makes a tutorial truly effective in teaching?
:bulletpink: What are the photo-manipulations that take your breath away? Share them with us below!

Skin by SimplySilent