Another supercharged month for Photoshop and design across the Web! Let's take a look at some top tuts, freebies, and articles elsewhere. Also, we'll be announcing the winners of this month's contest soon. Then contest number two will begin shortly. Look for those announcements in the next few days.
Combine photos to create surrealist landscapes
I'm really excited about this tutorial. It uses approachable techniques to create a great Surreal design. The artist takes an approach of describing the actions taken, though often doesn't show you every detail to achieve that. It would probably take 200 steps to show everything. So, at 19 steps it gives a good overview of the process. Another good tut put out by Computer Arts this month is Faking It in Photoshop.
How to see through your computer monitor using Photoshop
This is a fun subject, and a simple illusion to create. The important part of this tut is taking photographs of your workspace with your monitor and then without. Consider using a tripod to get exactly the same perspective. The tut shows some layer styles and the process of aligning the images. There is also a Flickr group on this subject.
Drawing Skulls with a Wacom Tablet
The crew over at GoMedia have been experimenting with video tuts lately. This one shows how to draw over a reference image in Photoshop. The image used is of a skull, which is often used in their illustration work. Here is a quote from the intro, "It's not exactly tracing so to speak, but rather 'illustrating' because I'm embellishing linework on top of a photo reference. I'm creating a line drawing of my own liking based off a photograph. Things you should pay attention to are line weights, the variation of thick to thin, stippling shading, and cross hatching."
Build Beautiful Buttons in Photoshop, Part 1
This tut shows some easy-to-create buttons. It is great for novice Photoshop designers that build Web sites. This tutorial comes from The Photoshop Anthology: 101 Web Design Tips, Tricks & Techniques Sitepoint book. We announced that it is being given away free for about a month in this news post. Time is running out on the giveaway.
Simple GunMetal Interface
This tutorial shows you how to create a background that looks cool. The tut uses add noise, layer styles, and various other effects to achieve the gunmetal look. This is a simple and easy to follow tut.
(FREE!) Download Picks
Trees Promo Pack
This designer sells sets of many Photoshop tree brushes. Take advantage of this free sampler pack on these brushes of palm trees, conifers, blossoming trees, European trees, dead trees, and dead conifers.
This font has a cool grunge style. It looks like overly photocopied type. It has an interesting style built with halftone texture and blurry edges.
Free Textures: Sand Part 1
Grant Friedman recently took a trip to Puerto Vallarta. On this trip, he shot some great beach textures. He's releasing them as freebies. Each photo is available in its native 2816 x 2112 pixel resolution. He'll be releasing more sets from this trip. This first one is on sand.
I came across a Photoshop freebies' blog. They hunt and collect all sorts of Photoshop freebie resources. You can find brushes, styles, actions, filters, fonts, icons, and links to tutorials. It mostly collects links to these resources, though it does offer a paragraph explanation of what it links to. Following this blog is a good quick way to keep up-to-date on new freebies out there.
A Design is Finished when... 23 Pro Designers' Opinions
"One of the most important and hardest things to overcome when designing is to understand when the piece you are designing on is actually finished." Have you struggled with this issue? This article over at Abduzeedo rounds up 23 designer's opinions on this issue. Read up on this topic and voice your opinion at the article.
Awesome photo manipulation inspiration
This is a short roundup of some spectacular digital photos manipulations. Here is the intro, "Those of us who have tried mixing a bunch of photos together know that the process isnâ€™t quite as easy as it might look. Blending different elements to form a single convincing image requires a very diverse skill set. Composition, color theory, the need for a solid concept and the technical know-how to blend the elements together often come in to play in one piece."
Pixels Go Mad—The Celebration of Pixel Art
Pixel art has been around awhile. Its style has crossed over into other mediums as well. This smashing post shows images built in Photoshop, but also tattoos, couches, and other areas that this art form has spread to. As usual, there is a huge collection of images. If anyone has mastered this style, let us know. We don't have any pixel art tutorials on Psdtuts+ yet.
Enhance Graphics with Easy Depth of Field
This article explains depth of field with multiple examples. Then it gives a simple tutorial to practice the effect. It's a good introduction to using depth of field in your Photoshop work.
The Making of an Icon
This article gives an overview of creating an icon. It discusses workflow and points out tools to use. It doesn't cover step-by-step instructions, though it does give visual samples of an icon being created as it moves through the design process.