By complete chance this great video on acrylic painting came to my attention the other day:
Artist Michele Theberge does a fantastic job of explaining exactly what happens when you mix your acrylic paints with too much water.
Basically you compromise the ability of the acrylic molecules to form a strong film on the canvas. So what you ask? Well if you start with a wash on your canvas and the acrylic film is not solid your painting will flake right off the canvas (sooner or later).
Too much science for you? Don’t worry! Michele makes everything super clear and straightforward in the video. If you ever work with acrylics this is a must watch.
Have you learned any surprising or valuable painting techniques lately? Share them in the comments!
Suprise! I’m gonna have to take a brief leave to visit my family in Argentina. It’s very bitter sweet. On the one hand I get to see my family soon, on the other it’s because someone has passed away. I am so so so grateful that I am able to make this trip on short notice to be with my family during a really hard time. A silver lining at least.
What’s the deal for popElephant.com?
So why am I posting about it? Just to let you lovely readers know that I’ll be far far away from my computer. I promise to do my utmost to update the popElephant blog every so often, just don’t expect very long posts.
I’ll be back soon enough with fresh inspiration, ideas, and hopefully some good pics from my travels. Until then I wish you all a great July and August.
Puppet warp is a super fun tool introduced in CS5. It finally lets us do the practically magical things laypeople have always assumed Photoshop does for you (but we know better, right?).
*As you may know by now I’ll be away from home (and my precious macbook) until the end of August. I’ll be doing my best to share great tuts, inspiration, quotes, and travel photos while I’m off but do expect shorter posts for that time. Short but sweet.
Let’s start off with Tech Guru’s video. It’s a great intro to what you can do with puppet warp. Pro-tip: it works best with transparent backgrounds.
Just to round off the post, here’s a whole list of other tutorials you can check out.
As always, check my PSF Pinterest board for other resources not found on this blog. What have you done with puppet warp? Show us in the comments!
I am the girl behind popElephant.com, and I am stronger than indifference. Today is Malala Day, a day named for a girl who is stronger than fear, violence, oppression, even stronger than a bullet.
Today I join my voice to those letting girls, women, children all around the world know they are not alone. We are all stronger than fear, terrorism, apathy, nationalities, hate. We are all stronger than we think.
I, however, do not have a heartbreaking story. I have not experienced violence. I have not been stopped from learning. I have not been overtly discriminated against.
I am a girl. I am a girl with two college degrees, one in Physics, the other in Business. I did not face terror, violence, or hatred in the pursuit of my education like so many, too many, others. Not a day goes by that I am not grateful for that. And not a day goes by that I don’t want to change the world so my experience can be that of all girls
What are you Stronger Than?
Today we can all be stronger than something. We can all feel the injustice experienced by so many girls everywhere in the world. Today, and every day, be:
Stronger than indifference
Stronger than selfishness
Stronger than guilt
Stronger than prejudice
Make more meaning
Today, then, is as good a day as any other to announce that part of all sales in my etsy shop will be donated to MalalaFund. Not just today, but every day that my shop stays open.
I want the world to be a better place. I do not have a grand vision of what exactly it should look like. But I know we will never get there if anyone remains out of the discussion. The best way to change this is to make education accessible to everyone, everywhere.
It has been quite a while since I applied any fancy text effects to my Ps work. Today I’m going to share a few fun tutorials for turning your text into shining lights, clear glass, textured objects and more. But first:
Why Text Effects?
The idea of making text look like “other things” usually seems so ye olde WordArt to me. So why spend time using the most powerful graphics software to make text look 3D? Here is a list of practical text effect applications:
graphics for Pinterest
Typography is the New Yoga
In the information age it’s no surprise that typography has a growing cult following. An image may be worth a thousand words, but some times a few well placed, precise words make all the difference. Combine those words with some evocative text effects and you have a recipe for a powerful message.
Text Effects: The Tutorials
bokeh text effect
shade text effect
80′s text effect
fire text effect
liquid text effect
There you have it. Super fun, easy, and impactful text effects to check out. I especially had fun making the “glass half full” image. What effects do you love? Have another tut? Share it in the comments!
Are you embarking on a job hunt? Thinking about embarking on a job hunt? Wondering where to start? I mean really start?
Where am I coming from?
Please allow me to share 5+ of hindsight with you. In the last six years, give or take, I’ve had every possible job hunt (and job) experience you can imagine, ranging from the ecstatic to the literally nightmarish. In that time I’ve been: a full time student, a freelancer, a student organization leader, a tutor, a volunteer, an aquarium guest services rep, a neuro-marketing assistant, a marketing intern…
Dont’t make me go on. I tried every trick in the book to try to get my foot in the door somewhere, anywhere, please for the love of all that is good and fluffy and cute! I tried: networking, LinkedIn, employment agencies, begging family members, getting an MBA, lying to get the hiring managers personal contact info, spamming, resume templates, career counseling. Again…I beg you…do not make me go on.
Do I think it’s a coincidence then that it was during this exact period of my life that I became severely depressed? No I do not. It’s been a 5+-year road to health from that point. And now that I am feeling better, happier, and more empowered than ever before in my life I would like to share the wisdom that only comes from horrible, painful, ugly, HORRIBLE experience.
The Job Hunt Questions
Now is the time to ask yourself what you want your life to look like. And I mean really go deeper than “I want to have a job, any job, please for the love of everything that is fluffy and good.” I spent years looking at job postings and asking “can I do this job?”. Do not make my mistake. You should stop asking yourself what you CAN do and ask yourself what you WANT to do, and what you CAN’T live with.
What do I want to do in my life, personally and professionally?
What do I want to be able to say when people ask what I do?
What do I want a typical work day to look like?
How do I want to feel about myself during work hours?
Where do I want to be today, next year, and in ten years?
Can this job help me get to the everyday life I want?
Can I live with the morals and values of this employer?
Can I create more meaning in my life and others’ by working this job?
Can I be proud of having had this job?
Can this job help me get to the next stage in my life?
If you are applying to jobs that don’t fit this bill you won’t be happy, even if you get hired. Trust me, I speak from experience here.
There are tons of questions you can, and should, ask yourself when starting a job hunt. What has worked for you? What hasn’t? Share with us in the comments!
This week’s PS Friday is all about the smudge tool. My theory is that when someone first learns Photoshop they fall in love with a few tools and tend to stick with the same techniques through many software updates. My very first foray into Photoshop was with Photoshop 7. And we are talking waaaaay before CS up in here. That was what, almost 15 years ago?
As I was saying there are so many tools in PS (even in ye olde PS 7.0) that you just have to stick to a select few. The smudge tool may be one of your old faves or a new friend waiting to be discovered. Either way, here are some examples and techniques to get to know the smudge tool better.
Smudge Tool Tips & Techniques
First off, here’s a little cheat sheet I made on the smudge tool and the ‘strength’ setting. At 100% the smudge goes on for EVER. Around 50% is where you’ll usually use the smudge tool for most applications. You get a good amount of smear but not too much. The last example shows the smudge tool at 10% strength. It’s barely visible, which is why you’ll want to use this setting for things like smoothing skin in photo retouching.
Next here’s a quick video showing you how to recreate the effects above. Plus what you can do with the ‘finger paint’ setting.
Welcome to another Watercolor Wednesday popElephant people! Today I wanted to share some watercolor finds from etsy by local artists from my neck of the woods, San Francisco, CA. I love etsy’s ability to search for makers from anywhere in the world. Even though these artists are selling online I can still support my local community and maybe even make new friends!
Without further ado here are my SF watercolor etsy picks:
Watercolor painting is so lovely. So fluid, so transparent, so…terrifying. We’ve all heard some version of the ol’ “watercolor is the hardest painting medium” refrain. I heard it so much in fact that it’s only been very very recently that I even worked up the courage to purchase decent watercolor supplies in order to learn how to watercolor.
While my first word of advice about watercoloring is “just be cool”, sometimes really uncool things may happen. Here are some great videos that will help you prevent some issues, or repair them once they’ve happened.
Watercolor Painting Fixes
easy watercolor painting fixes
avoid these beginner watercolor mistakes
watercolor mistakes and advice
fix a watercolor painting
I’ve read many books, watched many videos, searched many blogs. And it seems possibly the most off-putting aspect of watercolor for many people is that it requires patience and accepting some degree of randomness. Painting in watercolor is more of a practice, like yoga, than a means to an end, like sewing say.
When you set out to make a watercolor painting keep the following in mind:
You are not 100% in control, and that’s ok
At times you will have to work quickly to take advantage of moisture on the paper
At times you will have to step back and wait for paint to dry
In the end, you WILL be pleasantly surprised
Do you have other tips and techniques for watercolor paintings? Share them in the comments!