5 Links About Creepy Stuff, Fonts, & Siri’s Terrible Personality

^ A little girl raised in a concentration camp was asked to illustrate “home.” I found this in a collection of photos with the click-bait-y title “21 Photo Backstories Scarier Than Any Movie.” Despite the eyeroll-inducing title of that article, a lot of the photos really are creepy/sad.

Oneword.com is a site that gives you one word and one minute to write about it. A great idea for freewriting exercises if you have creative block.

^ 26 Photoshop Actions. I haven’t played with these yet, but they look promising. (Here are some more graphic design freebies, while we’re at it.) Speaking of design — love infographics? Infogrades is a site that curates the best. Go learn something!

50 Different Ways to Lace Shoes is definitive proof that no matter how banal something is, someone is profoundly interested. It takes all kinds to make a world.

^ And, finally, here’s Siri being a bitch, as usual.



Illustration Tutorial: Peeper, Part Two

If you missed the first part of this ride-along, click here!

Where we left off was a choppy bunch of shapes with some shading. Now it’s time to add some lines back in — but only the most important ones.


I took the blobs and added in details to make the image more understandable. (You can see what I did isolated on the right.)

Examples: I enhanced his hair. I clarified the shape of the leaves. I defined the drape sashes.


What’s next is a bunch of color-fiddling and texture-adding. I use a bunch of brushes and colors and filters to add oodles of layers on top. Each is subtle. It’s a trial-and-error thing.

A few examples of things I did here:
– I dialed back the orange of the walls. This allowed the pink and red of the pots and curtains to pop more.
– I added some cool tones to the shadows of the curtains and room to enrich their color spectrum.
– I made the plants in the foreground more blue. This helps separate them from the lime green background.
– I added my LL16 chop/date thing.



Here’s the finished product! I hope you enjoyed our journey.

Illustration Tutorial: Peeper, Part One

Today we’re going to do Part One of How I Illustrate! This process is spontaneous, fun, and colorful. You can try it at home!

Step 1: Inspiration. For this piece, my source material/idea is this image from RedditGetsDrawn. There’s something fascinating about the fact that the author calls this “my very cute boyfriend and our plants.” In any other context, this image looks like a screen grab from a horror movie.


Step 2: Line art. I draw hella-simple line art. It can be smudgy or messy. This is where the composition is figured out. I moved the face to the other window to balance it out. I made the pots fun. I added in curtains.

Step 3: Basic colors. I locked the line art screen and set it to “multiply.” Then I added in shapes underneath. I used the Pen tool, but you could use the manual lasso or polygonal lasso and dump colors in places. When adding in colors, I make everything basically mid-toned.

Because I can’t quite see what I’m doing, the lines aren’t precisely matching up down there. I do not, under any circumstances, remove the line art screen at this point. Because I will begin to fuss. You’ll see what I mean in a minute.


Step 4: Highlights/shadows. I take the polygonal lasso tool, make a fresh layer, and start adding in highlights using a textured brush. Then I make another fresh layer and start adding in shadows using a textured brush.

Step 4 detail: Here’s how the highlight and shadow layers look on their own.


Step 5: The Reveal: Completely delete the line layer. It is not coming back. (Bye, Felicia.) You’ll be left with something sort of funky. Stuff won’t line up. Nothing will be straight. You will notice your mistakes. You will despair. Too late.

Step 6: Levels and touches. Here’s the part where you add in some contrast and add in a few details to the spots that look weird. (I realized, for example, that the curtains didn’t have any shading.)

Click here for the final steps: adding in some line work, highlights, definition, and color adjustments.

How to impress everyone around you

The ladies in the office compared engagement rings. Estelle’s was obviously the biggest. Her ring shimmered so hard that it glowed in the dark.

Gertrude had no ring.

She explained at lunch: “My fiancé went into an active war zone to procure me a dinosaur skull. He stuffed it with flowers that smelled like the exhales of corpses.”

T Rex Tyrannosaurus Rex Illustration

Gertrude continued:

“Some people give birth in bathtubs. I intend to have our child in my dinosaur’s waiting jaws. Swaddled with fabric, of course.”

The women in her office chewed their take-out. Their eyes skittered back to Estelle.

“So anyway,” Estelle said at last, “what’s everyone doing this weekend?”

Estelle’s ring glimmered against the break room walls.

The ladies had never seen anything so beautiful.