Cartoonist Mike Foran has a couple of cool number 2 pencil Photoshop brushes – free to download – that I stumbled across the other day. For some time now I have been on the casual lookout for a Photoshop brush that mimicked a regular-ol’ number 2 pencil. Seems Foran was on that line of thought as well.
Foran’s brush has a nice line quality, varied from thick to thin based on your Wacom tablet pressure, and has a slight angle similar to a flat-worn pencil tip.
The brush also has a nice light feel at light pressure, and darkens quickly with pressure added. The texture and look of the brush marks/pencil lines is perfect.
A cartoon illustration & design project for a friend’s party required the resulting art to be suitable for reproduction on a photocopy machine. After some trial, error, Google search, trial, error, Google search, trial, error I discovered the magic combo that allows you to create a halftone in Photoshop for an image and print it out on your inkjet printer so the art will be perfect for photocopying.
This technique is perfect for flyers, newsletters or any other short-run printing needs you have where the cheapness of a photocopy is desired, but so are grayscale images.
If you aren’t familiar with cartoonist Tom Richmond, make yourself familiar. This guy’s work is absolutely amazing. Very much in the style of Mort Drucker from MAD Magazine — only taken to the extreme. Not only is his cartooning & caricature style excellent, but his color work is also phenomenal. Tom graciously has taken the time to outline exactly how he digitally colors his artwork in Photoshop in a juicily-detailed three-post tutorial/how-to series on his cartooning blog.
Ever need to temporarily reference another document while working on something – this may be an image, or instructions, or a PDF file. Many times you want it floating right on top of your current document so you can refer to it while you are working, and not have to switch back and forth between applications.
I do this a lot when working in Illustrator, especially working from reference images, but also the occasional email message or PDF file sent by a client.
Here’s a cool little idea from the geniuses at CreativeTechs.com: “cheatsheets” for Adobe software that are designed to print on a 3×5 index card, complete with space reserved to punch holes for a binder. Designed with the GTD/Hipster PDA crowd in mind. And they’re free!
This link is to the PDF cheatsheet for the Adobe pen tool, since most (or all) of it’s features work the same across the Creative Suite. A real cool visual reference guide, and just one in a series of cheatsheets for Adobe apps as well as other computer and Mac related info that you just sometimes need at your fingertips.
Looks like they are just starting out with these, so be sure to subcribe to the RSS feed and collect ’em all!
Still using that pencil you found in the couch and an old dictionary as a drawing board? Don’t feel like the biggest computer wiz when it comes to graphics software? There are plenty of inexpensive tools out there that will boost your productivity and enjoyment level when drawing, sketching or just doodling. And you don’t have to spend a ton of money to expand your tool kit in ways that are sure to make your life much easier, giving you more time to draw.
Although this is from a photography site, these shortcuts apply to just about any Photoshop user. A quick list of my faves, and a followup of additional shortcuts from myself as well as from the user comments on the tip page. Sure to enhance your productivity.
My faves, which I am trying to embed in muscle memory:
This makes me think that not only could it use a bit of spicing up in the visual sense, but also that this would be pretty handy for Illustrator users as well… maybe even incorporating Modifier key shortcuts to boot.
The set includes keyboard shortcut cards for Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator CS, Macromedia Freehand, Cinema 4D and 3D Studio Max. These are CS1 versions, but from what I can gather the shorcuts should be pretty much the same for the newer versions. Not too sure about the Macromedia apps (which are now Adobe apps) as I have never used any of them.
As anyone who has read this blog can tell, I am a huge keyboard shortcut junkie, and you should be one as well. I cannot even begin to emphasize how much knowing these will enhance not only your pleasure on using graphics software (and software in general), but how much of a marked increase in productivity you’ll see.
I cringe in geek pain when I see a fellow Photoshop or Illustrator user laboriously hauling their mouse over to the Tools palette, or even to the menubar for anything but the most arcane of Menu items.