The creative tutorial home of image wrangler, Lesa Snider.

Photoshop Elements

Super Sparkles

How to create sparkles in Photoshop Elements and Photoshop

So I was trolling through the Easter imagery recently over at iStockphoto. They've got these neat things called "seasonal searches" where with one click I can choose to see all the photos, illustrations, or video of stuff like bunnies, eggs, bonnets, etc. without having to guess what keywords the contributors used. It's a fantastic way to blow off an hour.

I found all manner of cutesy pictures, though, I have to say, a couple were lacking a little "somethin' somethin'". That somethin' was a sparkle; just a little touch of bling here and there.

Sensational Serigraphs, Pt. 1

No, I don't mean the weird bits, I mean the creative bits! Today I'm going to walk you through creating a colorful effect that's extremely enjoyable to reproduce in Photoshop Elements (or Photoshop for that matter, the steps are the same).

The technique involves making a super high contrast photo and creating bright blocks of color underneath. The end result is very stylized and unique to your own personal vision. It's a little like creating a cartoon character or painting-by-numbers (though you get to pick which areas and with what color you'd like to paint).

Sensational Serigraphs, Pt. 2

Last week we began a tutorial on "revealing your inner Warhol", where we took a color photo, accentuated the shadow areas using the Burn tool, turned those areas solid black, and deleted the rest. This week we'll continue on with our Warhol creation and apply flat color shapes to the photo. One method of simulating this effect is to draw a selection with the Polygonal Lasso tool.

However, because we'll want to have the ability to change the color of these blocks later on, let us create each color block on its very own, private little layer.

The Beginner's Guide to Image Editing, Pt. 3

So I bought my husband a Nikon D50 for Christmas. He's totally obsessed with the camera (and a great camera it is), and he is snapping pictures constantly. He's outfitted it with another lens, a speed flash, and a couple of two gig memory cards. He's all set until he transfers the images onto his Mac. For then, my friend, he's a fish sans water. He doesn't know squat about resizing an image for print, the web, or an email. He's heard of the word resolution but couldn't define it if his life depended on it.

Creative Combinations, Pt. 2

Welcome back, Kotter! (I couldn't resist.) Or rather, welcome back to part 2 of Creative Combinations. This week I'm going to show you how to create neato-cheeto edges for the greeting card we started last week.

Thanks to the Cookie Cutter tool, this is really easy to do and there are shapes-o-plenty dwelling inside that tool just begging to be used. The trick, of course, is knowing how to find the cool shapes that aren't loaded by default.

Creative Combinations, Pt. 1

It's the holiday season and your digital cameras are bursting at the seams with cute kid photos (okay for me, it's cute cat photos). The question becomes, how does one get the maximum number of aforementioned photos in front of their friends and family while at the same time showing off their creative prowess? Well, if you're the proud owner of either Photoshop CS2 or Elements, the answer is easy: make a creative combination!


The other night I had the immense pleasure of presenting to the Apple Dayton group, a right proper little MUG about 45 minutes outside of Cincinnati, OH. During my Elements tips & tricks session, a gentleman asked me how to stick a photo inside text. I could have *sworn* I had a tutorial on that already so I popped upon my website confidently, grinned smugly as the Elements Tutorial index loaded, and guess what? It wasn't there. Turns out, I had written one in Photoshop CS2, but not Elements. Yipes!

Fall Digital Scrapbooking Fun, Part 2

Stacked paper background

It seems I've had a rather macabre theme to my tutorials lately (turning people to stone, given them green skin (node#187), and vampire eyes) so I thought I'd lighten the mood this week and go with a quick little ditty about how to create a stacked paper background effect for your holiday photos.

Halloween Fun with Elements

How to create black teeth, red eyes, and green skin

Nothing says I love you like time spent doctoring a friend or loved one's photo... especially near Halloween! Take the photo of this innocent girl plucked from the bowels of iStockphoto.com, for example. It's a good thing I've no clue who she is because I'm about to make her look really... well, odd.

Today I'm going to share with you a few fun techniques that are sure to win you friends and help you influence people. They're time honored tricks, like how to blacken teeth, how to redden eyes, and how to create green skin. You know, basic stuff we all need to know. Here we go!

Fall Digital Scrapbooking Fun, Part 1

The leaves are turning, the weather is cooling (at least in some areas), and the Internet is just brimming with cute and fun holiday artwork. Take these cute Halloween, clip-arty illustrations I found over at iStockphoto.com. They practically *scream* digital scrapbooking.