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Graphic Design

Graphic Design, Photography, Wallpapers

Vintageish Lone Bird Wallpaper

Sometimes I get the itch to make a wallpaper when mine gets old and I can’t decide on anything out on the internets. I was feeling a little hipster so … I pulled out one of my old photos and found some beautiful vintage textures, added a little color, a little blur, and a little vignette.


Victorian textures and in your face melancholy! What more could you want?  :]  File is 2650 x 1600, to fit even the larger monitors out there.

Graphic Design, Wallpapers


I felt like it was time for another quote wallpaper. Here’s one of my favorites from Doris Mortman.


Got any favorite quotes you’d like me to play with?

Graphic Design, Wallpapers

Wallpaper Tutorial: Strobe Light

Armin Van Buuren is coming to Atlanta on September third this year, my birthday! I am buying tickets and getting stoked. As a result, I’ve been having some trance on the brain. Nightclub posters are almost their own subgenre of paper design and I mashed together a piece inspired by that kind of work. I was listening to “Strobe Light” from Jason Derulo’s latest album when I did this so the lettering spells the song title. I couldn’t decide between the cold one or the warm one after I applied curves so here’s both. I’ve also decided to share more of my graphic design stuff on here so there should be an increase in this type of material going forward. I’ll also try and include mini tutorials whenever I can.

Did I mention I am stoked about the van Buuren concert? Oh my god I think I’ll just die if they allow cameras in there. It’s seriously going to be awesome, just like before.

There’s an intermediate level how-to after the break, including my different curve layers.



One moment your gone, The next you are here
Like smoke in my arms, You just disappear
One moment your here, Then you flash away
You’re startling, I want you to stay
– Strobelight , Jason Derulo

First of all, special thanks to the stock providers. 
Here are the materials. We’re only going to be working with four items. Click to download each stock resource.



Open a 1920 x 1200 canvas in Photoshop. Then open the girl’s picture and move it onto the canvas. Push the girl’s image to the side of the wallpaper you’d like it to be. I chose the right since my icons usually populate the left. Now open up the Image>Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast panel and fade the girl’s face. We want to increase the brightness as we increase the contrast as well

We want the background to sorta match the background in the newly faded stock image. We also don’t want the background to be white. I pulled the background color from the stock image and then used the paint bucket tool to dump it onto the empty space on that layer. Then I fiddled more with the Image>Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast panel until I got my image looking like this. Remember not to increase the brightness until the background is white. Leave it a pale gray.
This is where we get to include the text. Each line of text will need to be on its own layer. This is because the image just flows better when the beginning and end of the words line up with each other. This is personal preference though, so line up your words as you see fit. I threw the words Strobe and Light right on her face. Make sure the important parts of her facial features are totally or almost covered by the font. We don’t want to lose too may of her important features.
Right click on each text layer and click ‘Rasterize’. Then select the layer of text that was on top and go to Layer > Merge Down.

Now bring in the photo of the girl again, lined up exactly with the previous layer with the girl’s photo. Select the merged text layer, then click Select > Make Selection. Then click Select>Inverse.

Click on the new layer with the untouched girls photo on it and then click ‘Delete’.  Hide the text layer. We should now have her face in the shape of the selected text over the faded version.

Now we get to have some fun with the text. Click on the text layer, and then set the blending option to Overlay. Also, set the opacity to 60%. Right click on the text layer and select ‘Blending Options’.
We are going to apply these three settings. Click to enlarge.:

image image image
Note, the paler pink is #b36584 and the darker stroke pink is #6a002c

This is a random personal preference but I wanted to maker her lips more red so I just took my paintbrush and using straight up red I created a new layer and painted over her lips setting the Layer Opacity to 22% and the layer blending option to Soft Light.
Now we pick up the dirty paper texture. I loaded the texture between the text layer and the face layer.  I rotated it 90 degree clockwise and stretched it to fit the canvas. I then desaturated the image and set the blending options for the layer to Overlay.

I didn’t want the girls face to be marred by the new texture where she is visible through the text so , as before, I made a selection from the text but this time without inverting, selected the texture layer and hit delete to clear the texture from where the text is leaving the texture over everything but the text.

Now load up the watercolor brushes and below the layer of text and below the layer of text shaped face, throw on some color. I decided to stay with the pink but it might be a good idea to mix it up if you want some more contrast. I only used one brush I liked from the set, and had the opacity of that layer at 42%.
Now we’re almost done! You can leave it this way if you like the colors or you have the option of messing with the curves. I came out with two different versions. I can’t really explain what I did with the curves so you can look at it for yourself. This is the curves file for the cold version of the image.
HerPinkFace_01This is the curves file for the warm version.

Please don’t reproduce this tutorial elsewhere but  you may link to it if you like. Let me know what you think. Tips & suggestions welcome.

Graphic Design, Wallpapers

Wallpaper : Moderna Wild

Sometimes I get to feeling a little hipster.  Did this quick wallpaper in about 30 minutes and you can probably do it in less. This is just a result of  “playing around” after being inspired by this piece here.  There’s a intermediate level  explanation on the process after the break. Click to download the full 1920 x 1200 wallpaper.


A mini “making of” is after the break.

making-of-wild-01First open then file as an all black 1920 x 1200 canvas. Then using the pen tool draw some free flowing lines. This canvas only has three lines total.
making-of-wild-02Using the select tool and the gradient tool, I selected each individual region, then expanded the selection by one or two pixels.  On a separate layer below the white lines layer, I applied different gradients. Some were using the cone gradient, some reflected, and some just planar. Just get creative here.
making-of-wild-03Here i just used the shape tool to create circles and tried to place them in ‘visually appealing spots.  The circles have a 10px white outside stroke applied to them.
making-of-wild-04I applied the texture ‘gender93993(1) from this pack provided for free here. I just threw it on its own layer and set the layer to ‘Overlay’. Moved it around until I liked it.  Bam we’re done.

Leave me a comment if you like this format.

Graphic Design, Wallpapers

Coffee & Geekery: A Wallpaper Tribute

Any good software engineer knows the benefits of coffee on the early morning brain. In honor of this drink I have made some fun typographic wallpapers. :)

If you get the reference in the first one, you are a true geek.

Dark and Light colors to suit your taste.  All four are 1920 x 1200.  Happy tax day & Enjoy!

Graphic Design, Wallpapers

Fractal Wallpaper Goodness

Okay, so I love fractal art. I’ve loved it since I was in high school and I would look at the fractal art ticky-tack’d to the painted cement walls above the chalkboard. Back then it was an art I was not smart enough to pursue, but thanks to a lot of smart developers, we have access to generate as well as appreciate this kind of image.

I generated this today using EscapeMotion’s Flame app and some photoshop-bokeh magic. :) It was so easy! They’re all wallpapers, so click for the large widescreen versions.


Here are three more, just Flame generated:

Flame_20100311-001342 Flame_20100311-001518 Flame_20100311-002051

Man, this app is fun. I’m a sucker for abstract wallpapers so this was just the ticket since the output was widescreen friendly. There are two other apps worth mentioning that are not quite so easy to use but give you considerable control down to the equations involved; Apophysis and UltraFractal 5. Each is a desktop application, UF5 is unfortunately not free but the demo lets you work with almost all its features while Apophysis is free, open-source and has a massive community behind it. I love working in all three and have done so in the past and would recommend either for the beginner fractal artist.

Anyone else love math-related imagery?

Graphic Design, Wallpapers

Imagination: Wallpaper and Making Of

I’ve been away from the art of photomanipulation for years. Sure, I dabbled in it when doing bits for my web designs.. but those were just basic and used mostly for creating texture for web elements. The truth? is that I hadn’t touched it like I did today since 2005. Almost FIVE years ago.? Here?s what I was doing back then: (1, 2, 3) . Don?t laugh. :p

I still haven?t shed my love for fantasy and at the ripe age of 24 I don?t know if I ever will outgrow it.

These are all the materials I chose to work with?. and this is what I made. Click the picture for a 1920 x 1200 wallpaper:


Follow an abbreviated ‘making of’ after the break.

The Making of : Imagination.

Starting off with the hand/ball stock.Overlaid the image with itself, increasing contrast and color intensity.
Opened the second piece of stock for use.Used polar coordinates to distort the shape into something I can fit inside a sphere.
Placed the image into the ball, set to overlay.Copied layer, still in overlay mode, to intensify colors.
Decided I wouldn’t use the background, even if I did like the lighting. Masked it out.Added the red flame fractal stock, changing the hue to a blue. Positioned and warped it a bit to make it’s movement around the ball visually correct. I guess I’m no good at fluid dynamics or anything.
Added some sparkles to the ball.. and the hand. Seriously, nothing says manly hand like sparkles.Added one butterfly at at time from this unbelievably convenient sheet and positioned them as I liked.
Added minor lighting to the butterflies to match up a little with the light direction on the hand.I almost thought I was done at the previous step but I left it and picked it up again the next day? and I was feeling a little red. Used the same flame fractal used for the blue wisps for the red, with some minor transformations applied.
Applied butterflies with added lighting as before using this other amazing and wonderful butterfly sheet from the same stock provider.Decided that some bokeh was in order and went searching until I found this massively useful pack. Put the purpley one in the background and trimmed and brushed away any excess bokeh spheres.
Added another bokeh from the pack, this time the one with the largest bokeh and used it to accent the brighter bokeh.Finally applied opposing coloring to the bokeh, for contrast.

This process was totally fun and took about three days of tweaking. There were probably 30 or so major steps that were backed out from or evolved so much they basically disappeared but that’s how it is. :-)

What do you think? Like it? Dislike it? Offends your manliness? :-) Comments/Constructive Criticism greatly appreciated!

And for being awesome and reading through the entire thing, you get my special Retro 1995 Pixelated Wallpaper version. :-) Make sure you look at it at full size to get the effect. ^^


Graphic Design, Wallpapers

Quote:Typographic Wallpaper

This is one of my favorite quotes. I was feeling creative and made a widescreen wallpaper. :) Just click to download the image at 2650 x 1600 resolution to fit any widescreen monitor up to 30”

Light Version


Dark Version


My resources are as follows:

This wonderful grungy paper background provided by Bittbox and the fonts Birth of a Hero and  Cambria Math.  I created the rest. You may have my starburst and disheveled plus sign for your use ♥.