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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 ElestrennWhat 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

True Detective: A Fan Art Feature

Journal Entry: Fri Apr 4, 2014, 3:30 PM

True Detective  Rust Chole  - Birds edition by norbface

True Detective Rust Chole - Birds edition


True Detective art by shwedoff True Detective by Waleria True Detective - the Taxman by obywatelsowaTrue Detective - Rust Cohle by p1xer
True Detective - Martin by norbface

True Detective - Martin


True Detective by APetrie74 True Detective : Rust Cohle by p1xer True detective poster by Melaamory
True Detective 'Cohle' Character Poster by Circusbrendan

True Detective 'Cohle' Character Poster


True Detective - Martin Hart by p1xer True Detective by SecondGoddess True Detective 'Hart' Character Poster by Circusbrendan True Detective by WeaponMassCreation

lost carcosa. by Czaritsa Time is a flat circle by ladynlmda Rust Cohle by AriellaColdheart

True Detective is both gritty and breathtaking! Highly recommended! 
Created for this contest! 

s k i n b y p y e k

Our Lovely Members #1

Sat Mar 29, 2014, 12:17 AM by AbbeyMarie:iconabbeymarie:

Art from we-HEART-photomanip's  amazing  members! 

Celestial Warrior Leah by Carlos-Quevedo

Celestial Warrior Leah


Till death do us part by neverdying

Till death do us part


A Siren's Song by annewipf

A Siren's Song


Kitsune by tamaraR



Doppelganger by guruakki
Hope by annewipf
My Immortal by k-i-mm-i-eWhite Swan by Essilou-ArtMesmerized by alkab-artDeep Ocean by PlaviDemon
Evil by aunx-fsAmidst dreams by tamaraRGloomy Day by CrystalClear-ArtPure Art by MelGama
Shattered by Birdsatalcatraz

Skin by SimplySilent

A Tutorial Feature

DA has an amazing tutorial section, but it's always good to gather resources from more than one place. So, here is a list of some outstanding tutorials I have stumbled upon. Some are old, some are new, but all of them are worth giving a look at!

Free Tutorials

Giger Style Photoshop Tutorial

Type: Science Fiction, Dark
"For the final installment of our Sci-Fi series, I thought it would be good to up the ante and do something real crazy. The following walkthrough outlines the techniques and resources used to create a Giger influenced ‘Biomech’ piece. Many of the processes are very similar to our previous walkthroughs, however this type of work requires an important added ingredient: patience!!"


Texture for Beautiful Composition

Type: Abstract
"In this tutorial we will be taking a look at masking and how you can give your work a sense of depth using this technique, as well as layering textures and elements to help lift your piece – in this case using paper to create rock and mountain-like elements. This tutorial is an example of how a few simple techniques can be used to create more elaborate illustrations."


Amazing Space Battle Scene

Type: Science Fiction
"In this tutorial I'll show you how to create a sci fi artwork with spaceship, planets and galaxy. You'll learn how to compose and manipulate some space elements together as well as blend them correctly and effectively. You can also learn to create some different kinds of lighting, work with group, use brush, masking and more."


Design a Rusted Metal Face

Type: Abstract
"In this tutorial, I will show you the steps I took to Design a Rusted Metal Face Manipulation with Abstract Falling Lines in Photoshop. The Aim of this tutorial is to cover some interesting techniques when it comes to applying textures to human skin, as well as creating simple abstract lines via the Warp Tool."


Stitches Tutorial

Type: Dark
"Welcome to 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 with a bit of patience – all effects can be achieved with a mouse also. Let’s go!"


Advanced Composting Techniques

Type: Abstract
"In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to incorporate all these elements into one image and get a dreamy, surreal atmosphere inspired by nature. Becha explains how to make ceramic facial masks that match a model’s face and how to give vector lettering a three-dimensional look. She also looks at how textures can be used to enhance an atmosphere and how adjustment layers can integrate unusual elements."


Surreal Gothic Artwork

Type: Fantasy, Dark
"Learn how to create this creepy gothic artwork in Photoshop! In this tutorial, you will learn how to create create a symmetrical background, add reflections, and warp a face so that it looks like a child. Try it out!"


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. Let’s get started!"


Removing Objects

Type: Surreal
"Content Aware Fill, Spot Healing Brush – you name it.. there’s tonnes of snazzy ways to remove objects in Photoshop, and every tool has it’s uses. In this tutorial we look at three techniques for removing elements from a photo, including Content Aware Fill, the Patch Tool and Digital Painting techniques for trickier tasks. All serious Photomanipulators should have these powerful tools in their repertoire."


Dynamic Art with Lighting Effects

Type: Abstract
"Kervin Brisseaux shares his techniques to create a super-powered athlete within an atmosphere that draws on the traditions of sci-fi art, as well as religious iconography such as stained glass windows. Some of the key techniques we will be using include adjustment layers, blending modes, and even Illustrator to create some key elements (though it’s possible to follow this without using Illustrator). "


Create Awesome Planet Explosion

Type: Science Fiction
"In this tutorial, I will show the methods you can use to create this awesome planet explosion effect in Photoshop. We will use a few simple manipulation and selection techniques, mixing with custom brush painting and finally, adjustment layers for adding colors."


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."


Intense Fallen Angel Composition

Type: Fantasy
"Read this tutorial to learn how to create this dramatic fallen angel scene. This tutorial will cover essential photo manipulation techniques such as painting, complex masking lighting effects, and more!"


Create a Snowy Landscape

Type: Fantasy
"Photoshop is a great tool because it allows us to be creative and produce imagery that would be impossible to create otherwise. In this tutorial, we will create a snowy landscape from desert photography and photos of sand. Let's get started!"


Paid Tutorials/Courses

While "free" is great, paid resources offer a more in depth and higher quality level of learning. All the things they skim by, don't mention, or don't spend time on in free tutorials get thoroughly explained in a paid for course/tutorial. They are also much more focused, rather than just being a bunch of random tutorials stringed together making them much more easy to comprehend.  

Spending some money on refining your skills is not a decision you will regret!

Art System Photoshop

Art System Photoshop focuses on the fundamental skills of putting together a photo-manipulation. Right now, it's 87USD and the course that will most likely suite your needs the most. The main course contains 25 different videos, along with 2 different side courses.

Phlearn Pro Tutorials 

Find in depth tutorials on retouching, compositing, special FX, coloring and basic PS training for around 25USD a course. They also have specialized packs that are 4 courses for 75USD (4 for the price of three).

Alexia Sinclair Courses

Alexia Sinclair is a pro artist who heavily uses PS in her works. She has two different courses available, "A frozen Tale" which is a breakdown of her post-production work in her series "A Frozen Tale"  and "A frozen Tale - Beauty Retouch" which is 4 videos walking through the beauty retouching techniques in the same series.

Looking Ahead

The month of The Wow Effect will be going on from MArch 17th - April 13th

Week One: What Makes Great Great
Week Two: Offsite Tutorial Feature (current)
Week Three: Why It Wows
Week Four: Wrap up

Always feel free to request a certain theme or subject!

Skin by SimplySilent

Artist of the Month #1: Gejda

Sat Mar 22, 2014, 12:18 AM by AbbeyMarie:iconabbeymarie:

Marta Dec aka Gejda


Hello Marta! Why don't you tell use a little about yourself? 
Hi! I'm a self-taught digital artist from Poland, currently living in a rather small town - Piła. I've been here on dA for... well, around 8 years now. In real life I'm a flutist - I'm currently preparing for entrance exams to Music Academy. Other than that? Well, I adore books, cats, and history. I'm also severely addicted to tea.

How would you describe your art and your style?
Well, one of the first things you'll probably notice if you have a look around my gallery is that I like intense colours. Most of my works fit either into fantasy or sci-fi category; I have a weakness for all things magical and different. Another thing is that I rarely use many photos in a manipulation - sadly I don't have a good eye for details, hence the reason my works are rarely very complex. I usually focus on trying to create a memorable atmosphere, catching the viewer's eye with colours or lighting.

When do you discover your passion for art? What are your motivations for doing art? 
Honestly, I don't remember a time when art wasn't my passion. It's always been a big part of my life in one form or another - music, writing, drawing, then when I got a little older - photomanips and painting. When it comes to visual things, I've always wanted to make characters and scenes from books or my own stories more real - so I started drawing, found dA, then got interested in photomanipulation... 
As for my motivations? Art has always been about escape from reality for me - the world gets a little less bleak when you see (or create) something beautiful. 

Do you have any tips for someone just starting out in digital art?
Don't get easily discouraged - I think all of us have looked at someone else's artwork and sighed - "I'm never going to be as good". Sure you are, but it takes time and determination - everything that's worth something does. And don't be afraid to ask questions if you need help - there are tons of really helpful people out there.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? Still doing art, or do you have other goals? 
Definitely still doing digital art - it's a hobby I'm not planning on giving up anytime soon! I do hope to be a lot better at painting by then, though. I'll also have hopefully finished my education and fulfilled at least a part of my goals and dreams - but I guess we'll see how it goes! ; )

Thank you for the wonderful interview, Marta! 

Artist Links

Commission Info | Shadowness | Behance

Morning angel by Gejda

Don't remember me by Gejda

Morning by Gejda

Solitude by Gejda

Breach by Gejda

Skin by SimplySilent

Dark Photo-manipulation Tutorials

Sun Mar 16, 2014, 12:47 AM

Dark Photo-manipulation Tutorials 

Deviantart is filled to burst with tutorials that will satisfy the hunger in any budding dark photo-manipulation artist. When fallowing a tutorial, if you want to get the most out of it, make sure to mix, match, experiment, and make it your own. Look past what a tutorial is and start looking at what it could be and you'll be creating people's nightmares in no time!


Demon Eyes Ps Tutorial by LadyEvilArts Rise from pixels - Tutorial by Drake1024 Fang and Blood tutorial by JoeleneyBeaney Broken Glass Tutorial by AbbeyMarie Raven eye tutorial by bloodspit Bloodshot Eyes - Photoshop Video Tutorial by conzpiracy Possessed Glossy Eyes - Photoshop Video Tutorial by conzpiracy Removing Objects Photoshop Video Tutorial by conzpiracy

Light and Atmosphere

"Creepy" Skin by BrittanyManuel The Lighting Tutorial - Part 1 by kuschelirmel-stock The Lighting Tutorial - Part 2 by kuschelirmel-stock Tutorial Light and Mood  (Photoshop) by nova63 Day Into Night Tutorial (PART ONE) by SteveWackenKing


Making Ghosts (tutorial) by zummerfish Disintegration Effect Tutorial by zummerfish Manip T+T - Creating Fire by kuschelirmel-stock Dark Wings Dark Words Evolution by kuschelirmel-stock Zombie tutorial by mai-coh The key to Her Heart | PSD File Tutorial by Essilou-Art Hallow Face Tutorial by AbbeyMarie Tutorial Evil face by starscoldnight by StarsColdNight Rage Virus - Photoshop Horror Tutorial by conzpiracy


Ghost Text Photoshop Tutorial by conzpiracy B-Movie Title Tutorial by conzpiracy Blood Type Photoshop Tutorial by conzpiracy

What Makes Dark Art Dark?

Thu Mar 13, 2014, 2:45 AM

What Makes Dark Art, Dark

Dark art is an incredibly versatile genre. It can be mixed, mashed up, and paired with several other different art styles whether it be surreal, conceptual, science fiction - the list goes on and on. Not only that, but's it's often directly associated with and compared to other art genres, mainly the emotional art genre. So then, what makes something dark? What makes dark art so unmistakably it's own genre? Let's find out!

The Screaming Sea by nina-Y Corpus Delicti - Disquisition II by fantasio The Strain by neverdying Fallen by michellemonique

A Sinister Feeling

Sinister, giving the impression that something harmful or evil is happening or will happen. For me, the word sinister describes dark art the best. While there are certain colors and subject matters that are often associated with dark art, I believe it transcends visuals. All you really need is that feeling of "there is something very wrong here". The colors can be bright, the subject can be beautiful, and the atmosphere can be calm but the overall feeling of evil, danger or malicious intention is what makes the piece of art dark.

And while not popular among photo-manipulators, the killer combination of creepy and cute can't be denied. It's the sweet and salty of the art world! 

Community Thoughts

I asked some of my fellow deviants to share with us what they think makes dark art dark.
"I think dark art always carries a cold feeling. Also the color pallet you would use over all in a dark artwork is mostly either cold colors or dark colors. It's good if there's a little splash of something bright, just to give it all some contrast. But to me I would say a dark work is consist of one or more of the following elements; The feeling of death, dread, fear, depression, anything a bit more to what the masses believe to be the negative side of things. I say what the masses believe, because for a dark artist dark works is beautiful. Or to me at least. Dark works are much more beautiful in my eyes than 'happier' artworks. I think every dark artist finds relief and solace in the darker side of life." - mippieArt
"Dark art, to me, is that which explores the macabre, or delves into the side of human nature that is usually hidden because it is uncomfortable. Gore may be a feature, but it is certainly not essential, nor is dark art limited to the bloody. That which makes us squirm, that forces us to face the less attractive elements of our psyche are the quintessential elements of dark art." - Nolamom3507
"I've always viewed dark art as unsettling or disturbing in some emotional or imaginative regard. There is certainly a haunting aspect to it." - Emerald-Depths
"For me, it's the mood it creates. The mood should be somber or even shocking. A lot of people confuse dark with emotional, so I want to distinguish between a dark mood and, say, depression. Decrepitude, emptiness, decay... things that hit you in the pit of your stomach rather than in your heart... things that make your spine tingle.... these are darkness. The difference is practically visceral."  - Aeirmid
"1) Sad emotions
2) Gothic elements used like skulls, Gothic architecture etc
Personally for me is very hard to distinguish dark and emotional genre (depicting sad emotions), they are really very similar.
Dark-fantasy is combination that can't exist to my mind, all I've seen under this category was fantasy not dark, these two genres exclude each other, total opposites.
Considering other mixes, if I need to find out which category the particular piece belongs, I start to count percentage of elements used, but with mixed genres no one can be 100% sure." - LadyEvilArts
"There is always a 'story' behind every 'dark' art. I create 'dark' art that doesn't even look dark.. until you notice few things. Mine look peaceful. Your first look over them is like oh such a lovely mood in this piece, and then you see it. A falling person, a corpse or something. I think 'dark' means different things for people." - Nephire
"How the artist uses color (whether a dark or light palate), ambiance or story.
A chubby little boy licking a lollipop on a chubby crocodile he mistakes for a stump could become many things with depending on even the smallest nuances.
...but even then I think I really depends on if the artist thinks their art is dark." - itznikki530

 Between life and death by Aegis-Illustration Paint It Black. by daunhaus Swamp mermaid by inSOLense Aurum Exigo. by hybridgothica

Emotional Versus Dark 

Personally, I believe dark art and emotional art are miles apart. Sorrow, love, longing, and lust are what define the emotional art genre for me.  There is nothing inherently evil about what's being portrayed, it's more depressing or desperate than sinister. Though, it's easy to see why the lines between the two are blurred for some people, or why some consider them almost the same thing. Right now with the current trends, they both share a number of common elements, colors, visuals and cliches, but that wasn't always the case. While looking for art to feature in this journal, I noticed that the dark art from 5 years ago was much more surrealistic and conceptual. Go back even further and they are grungy, crude, and very horror like. 

While right now it might be the gorgeous Gothic girl with a focus on killer atmosphere and lighting, a couple years from now it could be something completely different visually. The feeling of dread, decay, and evil are what stick around. It's the common thread that ties the whole genre together. 

Symphony of Destruction by Lady-Symphonia Butterflies and Ravens by Whendell Elegy of Decay by BigBad-Red Depression by alnour

Dark is In the Eye of the Beholder

When we look at something we are looking at it through a lens that is specific to us. The visuals and feelings I perceive as dark could be completely different than your own, and because of this it's pointless to draw lines in the sand about what is and isn't dark art. When there are people who can look at a painting of rainbows and puppies and turn it into a twisted tale, or people who can create a nightmarish monster and make it have a sense of hope and happiness, trying to enforce any strict definition of dark art is pointless because it's completely up the the viewers interpretation.

And like with so many other things in the art world, what makes dark art dark is completely and utterly subjective. How unsatisfying, or it's extremely satisfying. That's subjective, too!

Last Rite V by BigBad-Red Angels Emerge by ChisSweetArt Birth of the Saviour by Wesley-Souza [PLAGUE] by Technochrist

What are your thoughts?

- What do you personally think makes dark art dark?
- Do you think there is a clear line between emotional art and dark art?
- Does dark art have any limits in terms of what genres it can be paired up with?

Hallow Face Tutorial - Feedback Needed!

Journal Entry: Thu Mar 13, 2014, 1:41 AM
So I finally got around to writing a tutorial for a hallow face effect. I have been saying I was going to do it for ages now!

Hallow Face Tutorial by AbbeyMarie

I absolutely hate making, and reading, those giant image tutorials so I have been thinking about a way to avoid making them, but still providing tutorials.

I decided I would create a HTML document. A little faux webpage that host the tutorial. That way it will still be in the tutorial section, you can still save it to your computer, and you don't need the internet to view it.  And I won't need to make those god awful images anymore. The only down side is that you do have to download it in order to read the tutorial, but that's not a big deal. 

In order to do this I had to dust off my web development skills that I haven't used in a good 2 and a half years so I need feedback on two things:
  1. How does the page look? Does it look wonky? Is it easy to read?
  2. How does the tutorial seem? Is it easy to fallow?
I already know the images have loads of spelling errors! I forgot to spell check them, and now I have to redo them completely because I merged the text and images together. 

Anyway, any feedback is highly appreciated. Also feel free to suggest tutorials. I won't promise I'll do them but I like knowing what people are interested in seeing.!

s k i n b y p y e k