All posts by Dee

My name is Dee, I'm a Web Design. I've been into digital design since I was about 14, and I'm mostly self taught, my passion was started with creating Fan Art and Elucidation Art has been my Fan Art home since 2000 and has had many changes in that time, and will forever be changing, so I hope you stick around to find out whats next in store for Elucidation Art...

April SOTM Shadow of the Day

I missed last month, been really busy with work, and what with getting the new layout live been super busy. but gave me a chance to get a head start this month 😉 I have awarded Shadow of the Day as Lucid Fanart’s site of the month.

April 2011 Shadow of the Day

Reason: I’m totally loving Shadow of the Day at the moment, not only does Marilyne have an amazing site, the layout she has to her site always has consistency which I find important with a site, the navigation is really easy to follow, and the designs are always really delicate and well thought out. She has a real flare for Merlin art work… [Read More]

I’ve also been awarded site of the month at two sites last month and this month, I am so proud get get these awards. Last month Christine from Surrender Your Soul awarded me site of the month check out my cute twilight style award. And this month the wonderful Brittany has awarded Lucid Fanart as site of the month and look at my awesome Being Human USA award.

It has been a fantastic month for me not only did I get the two awesome site of the month awards, but I got some art awards over at Buffy Forums. I got Honourable Mention over at the Angelogy challenge for my Legend of the Seeker wallpaper Angel of Death. I have also got 1st Place W00T! for my Angel Poster.

As you can see my last post was a tutorial, I was actually quite surprised when I saw my poll that a lot of you wanted to see more tutorials. I personally think I suck at making tutorials but I’ll try my best. I’m gonna work my way through the Adjustment Layers for Photoshop tutorials, and maybe add in a few wallpaper tutorials when I make new wallpapers I find it difficult to go back and redo wallpapers becuase a lot of the time I just do trial and error its the only advice I give people really play with photoshop and you can’t go wrong.

Not sure what kind of HTML and CSS or PHP tutorials I can give you but if you guys have any ideas or if there is anything you’ve seen on my site you would like to try for yourself just make a note of it in my comments and I’ll make a tutorial on it.

Ajustment Layers: Levels

I wanted to do a tutorial on colour correction but when I started this I realised there are so many ways you can do colour correction that I might as well work though some of the adjustment layers and allow you to apply them to your work and combine them so this is the first of a set of tutorials devoted the Adjustment Layers.

How to find the Adjustment Layers

Adjustment Layers

There are several ways you can access the adjustment layers and depending on which version of photoshop you use it will differ and the panels will differ slightly I’m using photoshop cs5

First way you can access adjustment layers is by going to the menu bar at the top of your window and clicking on Image > Adjustments

The next way to access it is at the bottom of your layers palette, the icon of a circle cut into two and coloured black and white is the logo for adjustment layers.

The third way is for the CS4 and CS5 users and only if you have set up your workspace this way you can create quick links and put them anywhere I’ve stuck mine next to my layers palette so its easy access.

Now we know where they are lets start using them.

Ajustment Layers: Levels Palette

For this tutorial a pretty simple one, the Levels palette, with Levels you can modify the highlights, shadows, midtones and you can also target your basic RGB and improve your primary colours within your images. First get your photo, I like to always work with large images simply becuase its easier to reduce images to the size you want than increase them, so you will need to find a great gallery with lots of high quality images such as one of my all time favourite galleries Pretty as a Picture run by Dana of Chosen Art. I’ve chosen an old Buffy season one photo as a lot of the old Buffy images are quite dark and have a lot of mood lighting already applied to it, and with this tutorial I’ll try and show you how to create your own mood lighting.

Adjustment Layers Levels

Okay so first things first lets see what the Levels palette actually looks like and what’s on it.

Adjustment Layers Levels Layout

Preset Levels: these are defaults set by Adobe for easy and quick modifications generally these are very slight changes like brining out the highlights or darkening the shadows.

Colour Targeting: this dropdown allows you to target RGB which for the newbies means Red, Green and Blue those are your basic primary colours when it comes to digital images, and before anyone says primary colours are Red, Yellow and Blue, that is for things like paint and colours, RGB primary colours are for anything to do with light and everything digital are displayed on monitors or projects which use light rather than actual colours. To modify all the colours without actually giving priority to a single colour use the RGB option.

Image Level Chart: this is a histogram of the exposure levels on your image on your left side you have the shadows and on the right you have the highlights as you can see the image I chose is quite dark so it has more  pixel density on the left hand side telling us that it is a dark image, and if the image was over exposed there would be more on the right hand side.

Under the chart you have your points which are adjustable and moving them along the histogram to increase or reduce the depth of the selected point.

Shadow/Brightness: I don’t generally use this tool as it simply adjusts the amount of darkness and brightness in the image I much prefer to target specific areas… therefore I don’t know much about this tool so I’m not going to go into it in this tutorial.

Lets begin the tutorial by modifying a colour within the image. There are two main colours in this image, Blue, and Yellow so lets play on those colours and try and give this a eerie blue mood.

View Original / Blue Adjustment Levels

First select the colour targeting dropdown and select blue this give you a new histogram which represents the amount of blue in your image if we move the highlights and the midtones up the scale a bit we can change the turquoise blue to a much deeper blue and you can also see that her dress has turned a bit more blue even though there wasn’t much blue in there anyway this is becuase we are changing the highlights and there will have been a small bit of blue tone within the yellow.  [click the image to see a full size colour comparison between the original and our amendments.]

Now we have a blue image, we can also use this method to remove the blue from the image.

View Blue/Green Adjustment Levels

By moving all the points towards the other end of the scale we can almost completely remove any of the blue within the image this is a great way of quickly adjusting an odd unwanted colour in a picture.

With the levels palette you can combine the different colour targets together to create a new tone to the image. If you now use the colour target dropdown and select Red we can add some red to the image, there wasn’t much red in the image to begin with so this will be a good example of how levels creates colour from the colour that is already present in the image. If you repeat the same sort of action we did to bring out the blue in the image we can convert some of the yellow/green images to an orangey feel [click image below for a full preview of green to orange photo]

View Green/Red Adjustment Levels

However personally I prefer to use the levels tool to keep most of the colours as they are but bring out their natural colours to make things stand out more such as the brightness of the image, the easiest thing to use it the RGB setting as this will not modify the colours already set in the photo.  So let’s delete that adjustment layer and start afresh. (a good note about adjustment layers are the fact they are independent from the actual photo which means you can adjust the image with out actually affecting the image so if you decided you don’t like something you don’t have to start again this helps when you start using more than one adjustment layer.)

View original/lighting Adjustment Levels

Okay so I’ve lightened the image a bit reducing the amount of shadows by moving the highlights points up the scale and I’ve also soften the shadow, in the general colours by moving the midtones point up the scale. I wanted to keep my shadows black however so I’ve moved the shadow point down the scale a bit

And there we go, your basic adjustment layers palette. View the final outcome of the tutorial or click on the image in this post to view a larger version of the comparisons

Lucid Fanart

As promised Lucid Fanart is now up and running, it took me some time I know but I finally got there, I had a big kick up the backside when my last host decided they didn’t care about keeping my site up and running so along with the new layout, which is the most obvious change, and the new name I am also on a New Server! Fingers Crossed no more down time, and in the two weeks I’ve had this domain I’ve had 0 down time… *touch wood* I’ve not just jinxed it.

So what’s new??

Well firstly a brand new design, and I wonder if you guys have noticed the background(s) lol I’m really happy with that I tried to get it to work on my old sever however it didn’t want to work? but it does now so hopefully no one will get bored with this design as it changes so often and I can add new ones at any time.

I’ve kept most of everything the same as it worked really well last time, easy to navigate and for people to contact me.

As I have changed my domain name I’ve got brand new link back buttons and I have to say I much prefer them from the last set I had… although I’ve recreated some of my favourite ones, I plan to add to these too in the upcoming months.

If you take a look at my gallery I’ve modified the design of this greatly, before I tried to keep it looking as close to the blog design as possible but as a gallery I felt it needed more space so I’ve ditched the sidebar and given the gallery full width of the site. I still have a few things I need to do to the gallery like fill in all the information which is going to be a BIG job, I wanted to get it done before I set the site live but a few things came up and my time was shortened but I can do it over time. I have taken off the comments system on the gallery as I was getting an awful lot of spam going through there but I have left on the rating system so you can add whether you like it or not there but I will still be updating this blog where people can comment on new artwork.

I hope you all like the new site, and I hope  to get new art work on there asap.



SOTM & Lucid Fanart

If you’ve read my last post you probably voted to see what I could change elucidation-art’s name to, and with a bit of change here and there and waiting to see what you guys think I’ve gone and bought the new domain name and I will be setting this up when I change the to the new layout which I am slowly getting there with. I just need to finish the Gallery, and change the logo to the new one and I can set it live… but finishing the gallery may take a bit of time lol.

Firstly I want to apologise to the Site of the Month about how late I am this month, and introduce this months Site of the Month: Staring @ The Sun! view further down for a bit more info on why I’ve chosen Staring @ the Sun for Vision of the Month.

Along with a brand new Site of the Month I also have some brand new affiliates and I’ve also updated a few so check them out.

  • Para-Bellum
  • lasttear
  • icy afterlife
Febuary 2011 Staring @ the SunReason: I’ve been secretly lurking on Staring @ the Sun since her I saw her Pillars of the Earth Layout.. Not only was it beautiful and easy to navigate around she then changed the layout to the STUNNING…

[Read more]

I would also like to thank Sasha over at Shotgun Opera for making me site of the month and for the beautiful award she’s made me.

Elucidation Domain Question?

Hi Everyone, been kind of a slow month by the looks of things, but I’ve been doing a lot of behind the scenes stuff with my new layout. I’m almost done with the site changes I just need to work on the gallery now. So soon!! I can’t wait the new site has new cute features but is pretty much the same but better. I would also like to make a note of my new hostees!!! yay I have hostees!! lol.

Surrender Your Soul is the fanart portfolio of Christine, she has some great work on her site that you should check out and OhSnap! Designs which is the layout portfolio of Sara where you can purchase layout designs or fully coded layouts.

  • Surrender Your Soul
  • Oh Snap!

and I have some brand spanking new affiliates too! check them all out amazing artwork

  • Inside Us All
  • dangerousfreakshow
  • No Promises

Ok now the update is done I wanted to ask you all a question.

I’ve been thinking for a long time now that Elucidation Art is not a very good domain name. I love the name when I first thought of it I looked though the dictionary to try and find a word that would describe a tutorial that sounded sophisticated and unique and well Elucidation ticks both those boxes as far as I’m concerned however… its a long name and even I when I type quickly muddled the letters around and I’ve been typing the name for the past 8 years I’ve figured out. I’ve been reading a bit into SEO and ways to improve my work and my sites, and all the resources say that the domain name should reflect the site. Well when I first created the site I did but that was WAY back when and I was with staghosting which has long since died anyway my point is I think its time I updated Elucidation with a new name that would better suite the users.

I have spoken with both my hostees they agree that if I want to change the name they are happy for me to do it. I think I will miss the name Elucidation and will probably always call it it but, with the reasearch I’ve done in to the keywords and global searches no one would ever find elucidation naturally, I rely heavily on all my wonderful affiliates to provide me links back to my site and its not really fair on my hostees as they will have the same problems becuase I thought the name was cute when I was 16.

So my question is do you think I should change the domain name and the name of the site or do you think I should stick with it?

I’ve got a few names I’ve been thinking about which I’ve put into the poll below. please vote and any comments add to the comments below I can’t wait to hear what you guys think? I’ve been playing with the idea of getting network of domains with the same keyword of fuse together as my other domains have it in it and so it would be cool if I could get fuse in it somewhere but I also don’t want to lose Elucidation I know I’m being stupid but lucid is a nice shortened version… but I’m stuck…. I need help. Also all the SEO things I’ve been reading suggest putting your keyfeature in the domain name and I would have to say mine is fanart… but I’m not a big fan of sticking this in… makes the site look a little spammish but it would really help the hostees???

[poll id=”3″]

Happy New Year 2011

A brand new year!!! I hope everyone had a fantastic 2010 and have an even better 2011, my year is already looking up, when I woke up this morning and read my emails on my phone I found that the amazing FioNat has made me site of the month, thank you so much for your kind words and the wonderful award!

And as it is a new year it is also a new month which means a brand new site of the month. I’ve wanted to award SayJay’s Radiance site of the month for ages however she’s been unable to update her site but she’s back and updated her site, and its even bigger and better than before so this month for the new year Radiance is the new site of the month.

January 2011 Radiance

check out the full reason why on my visions page

I am working hard on my new layout, but there are a lot of bugs I want to fix so it may take me some time, but I’ve got it functioning on my test sever, all the markup is done I just need to fix all the bugs and then code the gallery which is my biggest job as I want to completely upgrade the original script from ZenPhoto and made it custom to suit my needs. this also means not a lot of artwork last month but I have done two new pieces both for Buffy Forums challenges check them out on my side bar.

Happy New Year

Merry Christmas 2010

Just a quick message to all my readers, affiliates, and friends to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year and I hope you get everything you wished for, I’ve been round and sent everyone a photo but if you haven’t got it click on the image and pick a copy up.

and thank you all for your wonderful gifts I’ve updated my gifts section.