Pencil Drawing of My Son Oliver

Pencil Portrait – Grumpy Oliver

This is my latest pencil drawing. I have decided to draw a portrait of my eldest son Oliver being his usually happy self :)

The drawing took me about 8 hours in total and in all truth, I could have spent another 8 on it – I find it tough to know when to stop on a drawing but decided to call it a day at this point


 Click to Enlarge


Creating a Canvas Effect in Photoshop

A Quick and Easy Canvas Effect

In this Photoshop tutorial I will be creating a canvas effect on one of my photographs by applying some quick and easy to follow steps. The main effects used in this tutorial are noise and motion blur  – along with a few other minor adjustments they combine nicely to create the almost grainy cross-hatch effect found within a canvas print. This process can be applied to pretty much any photograph so by all means have a go yourself…

Software: Adobe Photoshop CC

Time taken: 20 minutes

Difficulty Level: Beginner / Intermediate

The image below shows the final outcome of this tutorial

Final Canvas Effect

So let’s take a look at how to create this effect… Continue reading

Digital Painting – Lightning McQueen

Lightning McQueen

Following my Digital Portrait of Jessica Alba, I wanted to work on some thing a bit more light hearted so let my eldest son Oliver decide…

Oliver is an avid watcher of all things Disney Pixar so there were quite a few candidates who made it on the short list. He finally decided on Lightning McQueen after eliminating Ralph from Wreck it Ralph. I was secretly hoping for Lightning McQueen after having watched it every day for almost 18 months – I also made the stupid mistake in thinking that it would be the easier option.

I can safely say that this was the hardest project I have worked on to date, wracking up about 15 hours inside Photoshop. I think all of the effort was worthwhile and you can see the finished result below

Lightning McQueen Digital Portrait

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Digital Portrait – Jessica Alba

My Digital Portrait of Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba Portrait

One of my favourite things to do in Photoshop is drawing digital portraits. A blank canvas can be extremely frustrating but when you put the time and effort in to produce something you are happy with it is very rewarding.

A Quick How To…

The whole process took me about 10 hours to complete but I could have easily spent a further 10 applying finishing touches to the drawing. I am the first to admit that this drawing is a little rough around the edges but this is one of the things I like most about it – I wanted the drawing to look like a drawing and not a photograph so purposely left it looking a little raw… Continue reading

Spot Healing Brush Tool

Photoshop Tutorial Spot Healing Brush ToolPhotoshop Tutorial: Spot Healing Brush Tool

In this video tutorial I am demonstrating the use of the spot healing brush tool within Adobe Photoshop.

The spot healing brush tool is an extremely powerful and useful feature of Photoshop. By sampling the surrounding pixels for colour, lighting, texture, transparency and shading it is able to remove imperfections and blemishes with great ease.

Perfect for removing moles and beauty spots you can add professional finishes to your photography and create complete pixel perfection.

Check out my video below to see how the tool in action. Special mention to my son Alex who is featured in the photograph – he successfully managed to smear his face in food so that I could remove it for the purpose of this tutorial :)

I also apply an extra process with the quick selection tool and desaturation tool to create an interesting greyscale effect

Thanks for watching and I hope you found this useful. Don’t forget to subscribe and get access to additional material and tutorials

Creating Vector Gears in Adobe Illustrator

Creating Gears in Adobe IllustratorHow To Create Gears in Adobe Illustrator

In this tutorial I am going to show you how to create gears in Adobe Illustrator using basic shapes, transformations (reflect & rotate) and the pathfinder tool. The final outcome can be seen to the right.

Software: Adobe Illustrator CC

Time Taken: 30 minutes

Difficulty Level: Beginner

One of the first things I ever learnt within Illustrator was creating gears. I wanted to design a new logo for my web design company and decided that a vector was the only way to go. After playing around with the software for quite a while and watching numerous tutorials on YouTube I finally managed to complete my logo – nothing overly complicated but an accomplishment none the less. Check out my first logo attempt below…

PKH Logo

I now want to create my own tutorial for creating gears in illustrator to show people how I go about it – like many Adobe products, there is always more than one way to do something in illustrator and I have seen multiple ways to create gears. I am not saying that these methods are wrong or complicated, they are just different – I am happy with this method and would like to share it…

Step 1 – Create a new document in illustrator

Open a new document inside illustrator. I have gone with 1024 x 768 pixels for this project but it does not matter too much when creating vectors, just be sure to give yourself enough room to work Continue reading

Creating a Vector Tree from a Photograph

Creating a Vector TreeIn this tutorial I am going to show you how to create a vector image of a tree (see right for final outcome) from a source photograph – I will be starting out in Adobe Photoshop to prepare my image before moving on to Illustrator to perform the vector work. This is a relatively easy process providing you have the software and something that can be applied to pretty much anything, not just trees…

Software: Adobe Photoshop / Illustrator

Time taken: 2 hours (including photography)

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

I have always enjoyed drawing trees and it is something I do on a regular basis. Normally whenever I draw a tree, I usually do it to fit my project / drawing so there is no reference image - only my imagination which can lead to a certain amount of unnatural symmetry. What I mean by that is that I try to make my trees look perfect when in reality it is unnatural for a tree to display perfect symmetry. For this reason I decided to create a vector image based on a real life tree. I am not aiming for perfect symmetry on this drawing – I just want it to be real.

Step 1 – Choose your source image

The first thing I did was to obtain my source image. Now I live right on the doorstep of Cannock Chase (26 square mile mixed woodland area of outstanding natural beauty AONB in Staffordshire, UK) so there is no shortage of trees to photograph. If anything there are too many for this task – I only wanted a picture of 1, not 1000 :) After a bit of searching I finally decided on an image and opened it up inside Photoshop – I have not resized the photograph so it is still at default dimensions (4288 x 2848 pixels) and I want to keep it this way to make it easier to work with

Note: Try to take your own photographs wherever possible. Not only does it mitigate any copyright infringements but it also helps to bridge the gap between designer and photographer. In my opinion it is essential that you understand both elements if you want to get the most out of Photoshop

Drawing a Vector Tree - Image 1

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Logo Design: Healing Lives With Horses

Healing Lives with HorsesLogo Design: Healing Lives With Horses

This logo was selected as the winning design for a project posted on Design Crowd. 47 designers submitted work for this project and I am extremely pleased to day that mine was selected as the winner.

Design crowd is a great way for budding designers to get an insight in to the industry and get some first hand experience working with clients. Sure there is no guarantee of payment for your endeavours but the most important thing is to keep designing and refining your skills. I would not expect any designer to rely solely on a Design Crowd for 100% of their income but it is a very good way to start building your design portfolio and getting that all important exposure.