Tapering spirals using the new width tool in illustrator cs5

The Width tool in Illustrator CS5 is a lovely addition. Very easy to use. It makes a one-step job of creating tapering spirals and I’ve detailed how to use it in the attached pdf below.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t find the Spiral tool settings intuitive at all and it’s always trial and error as to which value I change to get a different spiral from it so I’ve also included a detailed explanation with pictures of how the Spiral tool works.

I hope this makes them a little clearer and easier for you.
Many thanks to Obsidiandawn (www.obsidiandawn.com) for the fairies and Yasny Chan for the vector flower brushes.

Download the pdf here:

Hot wire-work effects in Illustrator and Photoshop

I wanted to make something with the spiral tool in Illustrator and filled up the letter h (my initial) with them. I took the final result into PS and added a few effects and was pleased with the final result. The tutorial is here for you to download if you fancy having a go yourself.
Many thanks to Obsidian Dawn (www.obsidiandawn.com) for the fairy brushes.

download here:

For those of you who like digi scrapping and could make use of the letter ‘h’, here is the png (300 dpi) for you:

Make tapering shapes with the width tool in Illustrator CS5

Still getting to grips with Illustrator CS5 and poking about at the new tools. I was delighted to find the Width Tool is easy to use and a very handy little widget. I used it to make some tapering shapes with curls on the end – see below. They do look like a set of Victorian surgical accessories but they have their own charm. Well, I like them, anyway. I’ve written a quick tutorial to produce a basic squirl shape and introduce the principles of working with the tool so the rest is down to you. I hope you enjoy.

The tutorial:

Pretty Bubbles Everywhere – Bubblicious Photoshop tutorial

I am Photoshop bonkers at the moment. It’s funny how the urges come in splurges.

Anyway, bubbles caught my mind’s eye today so I made a lovely round shiny bubble in PS then converted it to a bubble brush so I could sweep bubbles wherever I like. The tutorial is here for you to have a go yourself and paint bubbles wherever you want a sparkle and shimmer. Use them on your digital scrapbook layouts or make your own and play with reflections using Polar Co-ordinates or putting things inside the bubbles…. (before they are converted into brushes) like butterflies or fairies or children, though that feels a bit sad …

Download the tutorial here:


Create a watercolour effect painting in Photoshop

I went for a coffee in a little cafe / craft shop the other day and loved the water colour paintings around the walls. Well, my drawing skills are ok but I don’t really paint as such…. so I went out with my camera and took some pictures to see what I could do with them in Photoshop. I came up with the water colour effect below.

I have written up the tutorial and recommended using Glowing Edges / Invert but I think Find Edges without the inversion would work just as well.

Click on the link below to download the pdf and have a go yourself. Have fun.

I set myself the challenge of getting this written up early so I had time to get through some chores before tonight’s IT Crowd. Wouldn’t have mattered if I hadn’t…. I’d have left everything and just watched it anyway only I get to see it now without feeling bothered by the Undone Things.

And… I received a comment on the last PS tutorial. I didn’t publish the comment but will quote one line from:

“It is incomprehensible to me but the relevance and importance is overwhelming.”

It’s profound nonsense but I love it. Thank you.

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