Frequent mistakes to avoid… Photoshop-wise! Part II

You might remember part one of this article, where I talked about such topics as how lame my digital skills used to be and how doing certain things in Photoshop would make lots of eyes bleed disapprovingly. Next comes the second half of this MUST-READ article, where I will show you 5 more ways in which good intentions can turn to very wrong results.

6. Working at low resolutions.

Can prove to be your worst nightmare when you decide to add some detail and you notice your 1px brush leave really heavy strokes. And, more importantly, if your work must be print-ready, you need to work at high resolutions and at least 200 dpi.

7. Using emboss/cheesy effects on text.


I know I stated my opinion about the bad use of filters already, but I need to stress this aspect some more. Text that has some “stock” effects such as emboss in most cases looks really amateurish and unprofessional; if you know what you are doing and the combined effects transform your text in dripping honey, let’s say, fine, use them. Else, avoid them.

8. Not having enough contrast in your palette in order to separate different parts of the design/illustration.


This one is more of a design/coloring mistake more than strictly a Photoshop mistake. And I think it’s safe to say that the colors of different materials in a painting/design should be different in order to make things easy to distinguish. Unless your piece requires specifically things blending into each other or special lighting conditions.

9. Smudge tool.

Don’t. Seriously, you need to experiment a lot with this tool in order to get a decent result, otherwise things will just look like they got blurry in all the wrong places and …smudged. But it’s great for doing flames!

10. Letting plug-ins do your job.

Is lazy. And in most cases will produce a compromise: you won’t get what you expected to see, and since you don’t want to do it the hard way you are just going to accept that a part of your artwork does not look like you wanted and you did nothing about it. As with every other aspect of Photoshop, practice makes perfect, so even if it’s not the solution to everything, you might be able to get what you want from a plugin. Just don’t get lazy!

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