» Photoshop Textures, Actions, Brushes, Plug-Ins and Free Stock Photos

This is a post always open to being modified as I find new links to add to it.

I would like to focus on freebies, but some of the material below might come at cost. I will try to note (maybe with a dollar sign, $, which ones are not freebies).

I am maintaining this list for myself, based on products, brushes, plug-ins or stock photos I find attractive, or perceive as being useful, and not necessarily for a broader audience.

For now:

✦ 18 Free Ice and Water Textures / Stock Photography

✦ ($) Fire Photoshop Action (via Graphic River. Cost: $6.00)

✦ ($)  Rusted Sign Mockups (via Media Loot. Cost: $6.00)

 75 High Quality Watercolor Photoshop Brushes (Vol.2) (via Inspiration Hut)

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» Various Photoshop Tutorials – Special Effects, Text Effects, or Practical Help

Photoshop Tutorials

This post is under construction. I’ll add more links as I find them (ones that I find interesting or helpful)

Text Effects

✦ Create A Simple Fiery Text Effect

 (also Blue Print text effect, floral text effect, more)

✦ 15 Amazing Text Effects Photoshop Tutorials for Designers

electrified; chalk board; inflated, metallic (balloon looking); text on foggy window; glitter glue; sparkling glass; lightning; leafy text; multi-color fire – and more

✦ How to Create Glitter Gold Text Effect

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» Photoshop Tutorial: Halftone Background / Outline / Effect

You don’t need to use a cartoonish image as I have done in this post, for this example. Any image will do; it can be a realistic image. I worked on the following image at 72 ppi (pixels per inch, RGB mode).

You will need to have whatever image you want to use cut out from the background for this to work.

The end result should look something like this shark image below – a halftone pattern around or behind the shape:


Finished result: Shark drawing with Halftone outline / effect; Halftone effect created in Photoshop

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» Photoshop Tutorials for Extracting Fine Detail Areas (such as hair) from Backgrounds – for Photoshop CC and Earlier Releases

Depending on what version of Photoshop you are using, there are different ways to extract fine selections, such as hair or fur, from a background.

Somewhere along the way, around version CS5 or CS6, Adobe put a new selection tool or menu item in Photoshop that makes removing detailed areas from backgrounds much easier.

Yet another source says that Refined Edge was introduced in version CS3. That same source also says:

 In Photoshop CS4 you can access Refine Edge through the new Adjustments panel (Black & White Adjustment Layers).

I personally own an older version of Photoshop, version CS4, and if I am understanding all these tutorials and articles correctly, versions of Photoshop prior to CS5 or 6 lack Smart Radius and Edge Selection choices in the Refine Edge dialog box.

Adobe Photoshop version history (via Wikipedia)

Version CS4 – released 2008

Version CS5 – released 2010

Version CS6 – released 2012

Version CC – released 2014

Here, I am compiling a list of links to tutorials – both posts and videos – that demonstrate how to remove detailed areas from backgrounds.

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» Large Scale Design – Billboards etc (Tutorial Links)

Large Scale Design – Billboards etc (Tutorial Links)

I will update this post as I find new links. If you are a visitor to this blog and know of any good tutorials, please feel free to leave comments on this post with links to those. I  would appreciate it, and maybe any visitors to this blog would find it helpful.

I don’t have any experience in designing billboards – design, yes; I know how to use Photoshop and so on, but I’m not aware of the technical aspects involved in creating designs specifically for billboards (or other very large formats), and I’ve been seeing more and more graphic design job wanted ads asking for designers to create billboards as part of the job description.

The links to the tutorials:

Billboard Designing: Why design at higher resolution instead of the actual, lower print resolution?

Designing large scale projects—trade shows and billboards: beginner tips and tricks


So then, what size imagery is necessary? 

Well, they still need to be rather large in file size, but most request a file to be designed using anywhere from 100dpi-150dpi (depending on project/printer specs). This is the case for any image that is created using the pixel based design program, Adobe Photoshop.

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» Norman Reedus book of fan art – Thanks For All The Niceness

The book can be purchased at the following site:

BigBaldBook.com (most of the proceeds go to charity)

One of my digital paintings of actor Norman Reedus as The Walking Dead’s Daryl Dixon appears in the book of Norman Reedus fan art, “Thanks For All The Niceness” on page 108.

I am very grateful that Mr. Reedus chose my art to appear in the book (exactly how my art got included is a little bit of a long story I won’t delve into here).

My art’s inclusion was a last-minute thing, and it almost did not make it in. Over 3,000 pieces of art were submitted by various artists and fans, and only 100 were chosen to appear in the book.

The book was published and released in the fall of 2014 and can be purchased at the following site:

BigBaldBook.com (most of the proceeds go to charity)

K. Fairbanks digital painting of Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon in the book Thanks For All The Niceness

K. Fairbanks digital painting of Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon in the book Thanks For All The Niceness

More information about the book on other sites:

Norman Reedus’ Compilation Book of Daryl-Dixon Fan Art Out On October 31; ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 5 Is Going To Be Brutal; Andrew Lincoln Wears Bigger Beard – KDrama Stars

Norman Reedus on Jimmy Kimmel Live: Walking Dead Star Talks Fan Love, Suzanne Somers (VIDEOS) – Wet Paint

The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus Releases New Book Of Fan Art – ComicBook.com

Norman Reedus (“Daryl Dixon” on The Walking Dead) to Make a Book of Fan Art, Shares Submission Details and Deadline – Wet Paint

by Joe Comicbook, September 13, 2014

For Reedus’ newest book, he got a little help from his fans. According to the official description for Thanks For All The Niceness, the new book “is Norman’s way to show his gratitude in a compilation of artwork made by his fans. The Norman/Daryl archetype is created in tattoo designs, cakes, pencil sketches, mosaics and more. Norman selected over 100 fascinating pieces that appear in this beautifully designed book. It’s real art made by real people for real people.”

Norman Reedus is donating a significant portion of the proceeds of the book to The Bachmann Strauss Dystonia and Parkinson Foundation.

‘Walking Dead’ Star Norman Reedus Publishing Daryl Dixon Fan Art Book – Wall Street Journal, Sept 2014

It’s no secret that “Walking Dead” star Norman Reedus is a fan favorite of the zombie-apocalypse show. There are numerous online groups devoted to Reedus and his character Daryl Dixon, including the Reedusluts (really) and Dixon’s Vixens.

As MTV points out, Reedus is paying tribute to his fans by culling together some of the best Daryl Dixon fan art out there for a new book called “Thanks for All the Niceness.”

The collection will feature tattoos, cakes, pencil sketches, mosaics and more. Or as the website describes it in very Daryl Dixon terms: “real art for real people.” The book is due out October 31, with proceeds going to The Bachmann-Strauss Dystonia and Parkinson Foundation.

◈ View Walking Dead fan art by K. Fairbanks:

• On Word Press

• On Behance

Set 1 | Set 2 | Set 3

• On deviantArt

On You Tube