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Best of the Web - June 2009


With another month in the books comes the roundup of the best content on the net for June. The tutorials featured this month explain basic and advanced techniques for Photo-Manipulation, as well as two types of digital painting tutorials - that each have very different

There were also some very interesting and informative articles featured this month, for example who knew that Twitter could make you a better designer? Read along and find out how. Finally, we have a set of freebies that will keep you busy downloading all day!

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  • Super Cool Water Color Effects

    Our first tutorial of the month focuses on using watercolor brushes as well as textures to create a nice looking design that gives off the effect that it is being painted with watercolor brushes. The effect is very easy to achieve and the author of the tutorial also gives us the brushes he used as well as the texture. This was inspired by more complicated and intricate versions of this type of style, but if you are into it this, then it's a great start to mastering this type of design.

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  • Digitally Painting Portraits in Photoshop

    This tutorial focuses on digital painting techniques that would be associated with comics. The final product is a cross of
    realism and comic book art, so this if you have a tablet and are willing to sit down and paint, then you should check this tutorial out. It is very detailed, 6 pages worth of information. Everything that you would need to do this is included in the tutorial, so this is really something every aspiring digital painter should check out.

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  • Self Initiated Abstract Art Tutorial

    This tutorial focuses on something called Self Initiated art. This type of art comes about from low time and budget situations. And the author of this tutorial will show you how to take advantage of a bad situation and make something abstract and new. The author also promises that by the end of the tutorial you'll have two new libraries of elements to use in your future art. A very interesting tutorial with a creative and abstract result that is worth checking out.

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  • Creating an Abstract Floral Explosion

    This is another fairly simple Photoshop tutorial that focuses on the use of stocks. Eight different elements are used in this tutorial to create a nice visual effect of an abstract floral explosion. The techniques used here aren't very advanced, so this tutorial is geared for more of the novices to Photoshop. None the less every step is explained in good detail, so check this one out.

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  • You Will Stand Alone Photo manipulation

    Like our last tutorial this one also doesn't boast an amazing final product. What is does do is show the newcomers to Photoshop how to
    properly blend stocks together. The use of filters is also a big part of this tutorial, showing how filters can bring all the different stocks you have
    together. There is also a good attention to detail which makes this tutorial a good read for the

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  • Design a Space Dancer Scene with Nebula Textures

    This tutorial is a little more advanced then the last two. In this tutorial you will learn how to use textures to bring an immense
    amount of color to your artwork, in this case a Nebula texture is used. And after reading the tutorial you will see why they are great to use. On top of all of that the author focuses on explaining the importance of layer masks and filters.

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  • Drawing Fairy Tale Characters in Photoshop

    This tutorial will teach you how to draw and paint a character in Photoshop. You can say this would be the novice version to the Digital Painting tutorial we just featured. The author will teach you how to use the Dodge and Burn tools to color your character. This tutorial gets very detailed by explaining how to color different types of fabric on the character as well as facial features.

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(FREE!) Download Picks

  • Furry Monster Icon Set

    This icon set comes from the Spoon Graphics Blog, they feature a set of four furry multi-colored monsters. The icons are compatible with both Macs and PCs. Along with the icons comes a tutorial showing how to create these furry monsters yourself. So download these icons or make your own and personalize it with all the features you want.

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  • Twitter Icons For your Blog

    We all know the immense amount of popularity that twitter has right now. A lot of the most popular blogs have links to their twitter accounts, so if you want to do the same then these icons are for you. You will get a set of twelve icons varying in different sizes, and varying in context. Some of the birds have clever Twitter sayings like "Follow Me" or "Tweet It."

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  • Grass Texture

    Here are some more textures from Bittbox's popular texture Tuesdays. This week's pick is a set of high-resolution grass textures. There are five different textures in the pack and each one is a different type of grass. The textures range from freshly cut vibrant green grass to dull old grass. Each texture is around 3000px by 2000px so they are massive and can be used for plenty of things.

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  • 50 new and Beautiful Wordpress Themes

    If you are looking to start a new blog, then you must check this set of freebies out. It's a set of 50 brand new Wordpress themes. There is a large variety of themes ranging from gaming to business. Each one of these themes has a very sleek design that is sure to be an eye catcher. So download a theme of your choosing and start blogging.

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  • Fresh Free Fonts

    This is a very cool freebie filled with four awesome looking fonts. The styles range from a grunge army font to a poker-face font, and more. There isn't much to say about this, so check it out for yourself.

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  • 87 Mind Blowing Nature Wallpapers

    The title says it all. These are really mind blowing scenery shots that will definitely be on a lot of desktops soon enough. We all know the beauty of nature, and now we have a small reminder about some of the wonders in this world. From animals, to
    beautiful sunsets, to flowers, everything is covered in this great wallpaper pack.

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  • Watercolor Icon Pack

    This is a unique set of icons that are brought to us by Tutorial9. They are cleverly designed so that the background of wherever you place them will seep through, giving it a real water color painted effect. The set contains 36 icons varying from the all popular Twitter to other things like mail and RSS.

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  • How Twitter Helps Designers

    This is an interesting read because most Twitter users don't associates it with becoming a better designer. But the author of this article begs to differ, he lists six solid reasons why the networking giant helps designers learn more about their work and become better.

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  • Hardest Part of Being a Graphic Designer

    Since our last article focused on the positives of being a designer, I figured it would only be right to shed some light on the negatives of being one. This article is an interesting because you get the answers from several designers, each giving their two cents about the topic.

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  • Web Design Polishing

    This article focuses on turning bland websites into something more vivid and attractive to the perspective customer. The author breaks it down into 10 different things you need to focus on, and he gives links to informative websites that focus on perfecting web design. So for the web designers out there, this one is a must read for you.

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  • 18 Fresh Font Designs

    Here we have a little inspiration article for all the devoted typography nuts out there. This article features 18 fresh and new-age font designs that are catching the eye of many people right now. The type of font designs mentioned in this list are sure to inspire you, so check out all of the designs as well as their creators.

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  • Taking Design From Good to Great with Gradients

    This article focuses on the use of gradients to turn a bland design into something a lot more appealing to the eye. The author gives seven great examples of good gradient use, and also highlights the type of gradient used in the design. Along with all of that, the author gives her own demonstration of making a design and showing how much a gradient benefited the illustration.

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  • Improve Usability On Your Site On A Low Budget

    This article gives ten really great tips for the struggling website owner who needs to better their sites interface on a low budget. The ten solutions that are given are paired websites you can visit to learn more about the idea that is introduced in the article. Every website owner should check this out because everyone could make their blogs or websites a little more efficient, and who wouldn't want to save money while doing it?

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  • Common Mistakes in Logo Design

    All of the logo designers should really read through this one because the author points out ten of the most common mistakes that a designer can make when creating a logo for a client. All of us probably have made these mistakes once or twice and the article shows us a simple and easy solution to these common issues. Some of the common mistakes include making overly complex logos and relying too much on color. Each mistake listed is illustrated with a logo so the readers can get a visual example of what went wrong.

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  • Designers Favorite Fonts and Why?

    Our last article of the month focuses on the favorite fonts of different designers. Jacob Cass, the author of this article sent out a "tweet" on Twitter asking designers what their favorite font is and why. And in this article the results are posted. 19
    different fonts are mentioned by a lot of different designers. So check this article out and see why you should be using some of these fonts.

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