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Best of the Web - July 2009


The month of July had a lot of interesting articles on furthering one's self as a designer. Whether you are looking to become famous, or more proficient and informed, we got you covered. Also, did you know that marketing tips from a
children's lemonade stand can help you market yourself as a designer? Well all that is included in this month's web roundup.

We also have a set of great tutorials including two very different ones on digital painting, and our usual set of amazing freebies that include a set of seasonal RSS icons, as well as a great array of textures. So lets get into this month's roundup!

Tutorial Wrap

  • Fantastic Digital Painting

    Our first tutorial of the month is a very interesting take on digital painting. The methods used are not the traditional ways to create digital paintings so this is a nice alternative. The outcome is vibrant, and the whole process of creating can be a bit difficult, but fun at the same time, since you could use your own materials like custom paint splashes.

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  • Mastering Custom Brushes

    Our next tutorial will instruct us on how to take our own hand made brushes and use them to create extraordinary illustrations. The author of this tutorial will instructs us on how to get your brushes into Photoshop and how to set them up so they look their best. After that he shows us how to use them to our advantage and really brighten up an illustration.

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  • Firefish Photoshop Tutorial

    This is an icon tutorial based on the original Firefox browser logo. This is a fairly simple tutorial that doesn't use any complicated techniques, but the final product does look sharp. A lot of the logo is created with the free hand Pen Tool so if you're good at using your hand to plot out shapes, then this tutorial is for you.

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  • Creating Harry Potter Text

    Our next tutorial is a video tutorial that teaches us how to create the same type of text that is used in the widely popular Harry Potter books and movies. The text is created using layer styles. You start out with a blank white version of the text and build it up to the final product that you see on the posters. This is a good tutorial on using layer styles on fonts, so check it out.

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  • Animal King Photo Manipulation

    This is another photo manipulation tutorial with an original and attractive final product. The author of this tutorial shows us the proper way to merge stocks and color the illustration so everything blends correctly. The whole point of this tutorial is how to blend different stocks to create a great illustration that is in composed in unison.

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  • Creating Broken Link

    Our last tutorial of the month is on digital painting and shows how to take a simple drawing and turn it into an intricate painting. The author starts out with a rough sketch in Photoshop and builds on it until he has a good outline, then he explains how to properly layer the colors and how to add detail into your painting. So if you are interested in digital painting, then you should definitely check this one out.

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(FREE!) Download Picks

  • Stunning Smoke Effect Brushes

    Our first freebie of this roundup is a very cool pack of 42 high-resolution smoke brushes. There is no limit to how you can incorporate these brushes into your art, and they are 2000px or larger in size. Since a designer can never have enough brushes, everyone should download these. I'm sure they will come in handy soon.

    Visit Download Site

  • Wallpaper of the Week

    Our next freebie of the month is an abstract wallpaper from the folks at Abduzeedo. The wallpaper comes in 7 different resolutions including one for the iPhone. The wallpaper itself was made by Chris Haines and Rik Oostenbroek. The wallpaper looks cool so if someone is in need of a wallpaper change this is a must download.

    Visit Download Site

  • Scratched Vector Icons

    This is another icon pack freebie and this time we have a vector pack of social media icons. The pack includes the all popular Twitter, Digg, Flickr, RSS, as well as other popular social media networks. This black and white design that the icons are created with is simple and elegant. If you have a blog that needs something a hand rendered tough, than these are your icons.

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  • Nebulae Grunge

    Now we cant have a freebie roundup without mentioning Bittbox's texture
    Tuesdays. This months pick was a unique texture set that mixes the colors of outer space nebulas with dark grunge. The pack features 5 different stocks that are
    downloadable through Flickr. So check this out and add them to your texture collection.

    Visit Download Site

Article Wrap

  • Marketing Tips From a Six Year Olds Lemonade Stand

    This article is one of the more interesting ones I have read through the years. The author talks about how marketing techniques from his daughters lemonade stand parallel the same techniques that can be used as a designer. More articles should be written which compare real life events to work, which makes reading them more interesting.

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  • 45 Awesome Game Concept Arts

    Game concepts are idea's that are submitted to game developers to place characters, events, or scenery into the game itself; the are the basis for everything that you see in video games. A lot of the concepts don't always make it into the games themselves, but are still awesome sources of inspiration. This is a great source to look through for artists who are entering the Psdtuts+ Delta Dawn Contest.

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  • 50 Ways to Vastly Improve Your Blog

    If you happen to have a Wordpress Blog, then you must read this article. The advice given here is sound and helpful. The author of this article breaks down the tips into categories like design, performance, security, as well as other important factors. This is a detailed article on improving your blog so all blog owners should read this and apply what they learn here.

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  • Becoming a More Effective, Proficient, And Informed Designer

    This article focuses on showing you how to become a more well rounded and better designer. The author shows practical techniques like using applications, to organizing folders and bookmarks. When all of these techniques are applied you'll be more organized and ready for your next client project.

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  • How to Become a Famous Designer

    Now if you want to skip being a proficient and informed designer and just become famous then check this article out. This is not a full proof method to becoming famous so lets not get our hopes up. But the methods here have worked for many designers in the past. Good marketing techniques like doing interviews on popular blogs can echo your name through the design community and propel you to fame.

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  • Massive Compilation of Design Tools

    The title of this article does not lie, this is a very large directory of tools that are essential to a designer. From a Wacom Tablet, to Online Font websites, these tools are extremely helpful to every designer no matter what type of art you produce. So this is another must read article for everyone because it can benefit all of us in different ways.

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