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Submission Guidelines

Sun May 28, 2017, 9:44 AM
Our old submission guidelines are from way-back when - they refer to old programmes, old ways of doing things and no longer are quite up to snuff -- so here is an updated version.

Submission Guidelines

We only accept tutorials dealing with Adobe Photoshop that are hosted on deviantArt (with one exception, see below) and which are free for all to view and use. The only language we accept is English. On top of this, we have rather high standards on what is acceptable for our galleries (see more explanation below).

Quality over Quantity!

There are what feels like thousands of groups on dA that accept a broad range of resources and quality levels, but this is not one of these groups.

Definition of the term "tutorial" for the purpose of this group

A tutorial is a deviation where the author explains a tool / a technique or provides a walkthrough of an image using screenshots and images in conjunction with explanations either in written (in case tutorial is provided as jpg or as journal entry) or oral form (if tutorial is provided as video).

We do NOT accept:

  • no step-by-step images without explanation
  • no time-lapse videos with music in the background
  • no tutorial videos without voice-over explanations or at least written instructions inside the video
  • no tutorials that do not deal with Adobe Photoshop (no Lightroom, no Camera Raw, no Photoshop Elements, no Paint Tool Sai or any other programme)
  • no tutorials you need to pay to view
  • no tutorials hosted externally and linked to in the description (with one exception, see below)
  • no other resources (stock, brushes, actions, etc)
  • no images created in Photoshop (using tutorials or not) or any deviations not uploaded in the tutorial category
  • no tutorials without proper stock credits or with copyright violations such as celebrity images or things "found on google" (google is a search engine, not a stock site).

What we are looking for:

  • free content
    [If you want to offer extra material that costs something that is fine; however, to assess the quality of the tutorial we have to be able to read it and since we are not going to buy it just to see if it fits with our group's quality standards, we will only accept tutorials where the main tutorial at least is free]
  • tutorials that are about using Adobe Photoshop (would be nice if you could mention which version)
    [This does not mean that the tutorial has to be exclusively usable for Photoshop - feel free to explain tools and techniques that could be replicated in other programmes, too. But to make it easier to follow, tools mentioned / screenshots taken need to be based on Photoshop]
  • It has to be written / narrated in ENGLISH
    [Same reason as with the free content basically: we want to be able to read and evaluate your tutorial to see if it fits our quality standards and English is the common language here on dA, so this is what we use. No exceptions]
  • It has to be hosted on dA, not just a deviation with a link to an external site - the only exception is video tutorials hosted on youtube (or a similar website)
    [because dA seems to be unable to give the video resources the attention they deserve (you cannot put your tutorial videos in a normal tutorial caegory so they get buried under heaps of stuff that has nothing to do with tutorials and people looking for them have no clue where to search -- useless is an understatement).]
  • And did I mention EXPLANATIONS!? ;)

Quality Tutorials!

Maybe the above list is a clue already, but basically, the better you explain something and the easier it is to follow, the better the quality. Also, choosing a subject does matter: if you do a walkthrough, don't do it of the image you put the least work in, do it for something that is in itself of high quality. If you want to explain a certain tool, explain all (or at least a good deal of) its functions. Or similarly, if you cannot be bothered with a layout and cutting away unneeded things from your screenshots, then do not be astounded that no one wants to read this. A good tutorial in my experience takes a while to write: you need to think about what you want others to get from it and in how much detail you want or need to explain each step. It should be nice to look at (please don't just scribble something hardly legible across some screenshots and call it a tutorial) and easy to follow. We prefer tutorials on things that have not been done a million times before. If it is a subject that is very common ("how to draw hair") then we expect there to be something in there to make it worth reading: a new technique, a great tip on a detail, something!


Submissions that do not meet our standards for whichever reason are rejected without comment. If you cannot figure out why on your own, feel free to ask - we will give you an honest answer. But we do expect you to be a sport about it. Just because a tutorial gets rejected here does not mean it cannot ever be useful. It just means it does not meet our standards. So please do not take it too hard and don't stop sharing your knowledge :heart:

If you look at our gallery, you can see what has been accepted in the past and you will also see that we do not accept a lot of tutorials -- quality over quantity is not just something we say, it is actually more of a mantra.

Expired Submissions

Since this is currently a one woman show, dealing with the flurry of submissions may not always be possible in a timely fashion. If your submission expires, feel free to resubmit. If time permits, I try to accept/reject submissions on the weekends, but there may be weekends where I do not have time, so please excuse late replies etc. I would rather do something as time permits than let this group die completely.

Thank you for understanding. :heart:

Jasmin aka. kuschelirmel + kuschelirmel-stock

Skin by neurotype, adjusted by kuschelirmel-stock

Contest + Features

Journal Entry: Sat Oct 25, 2014, 2:56 AM

I haven't been online much lately - actually, all I have done the past weeks was to upload some stock over at kuschelirmel-stock (and set up a contest - more on that below). I haven't even logged into this account since late September ^^;

So, just in case that happens again, if you need to get a hold of me, please send your note to kuschelirmel-stock as well.

Stock Use Contest

I am holding a "use my stock and win great prizes" contest over at my stock account - I would so love to see a lot of entries! It runs until January 1st and the only "theme" is that you use my stock :D

Some of the prizes offered are points (over 3000 points all together) and exclusive stock, for example:

Tuscany Exclusives 02 by kuschelirmel-stock Paris Exclusives Stock Pack by kuschelirmel-stock
Switzerland Exclusives Stock by kuschelirmel-stock Wild Horses Exclusives by kuschelirmel-stock by kuschelirmel-stock


- by Helga-Helleborus

Two Sins by alexnoreaga

Weeping of violin by MiloshJevremovic

We're not in Wonderland anymore Alice. by eikoweb

Kidnapped princesses island by cornacchia-art

Sentiently Natural by erlangwind

Purgatory II by a-pretty-white-lie

Brunnhilda by erlangwind

Silent hill by SergeyZabelin

Pyrokinesis by Gejda

Young Merlin by PerlaMarina

Lost Time by daniyalisatya

Soren by bagusradhityo

City of Music by MirellaSantana

PACEMAKER by missfotografie

Paradise by Kryseis-Art

Mother Of Dragons by Whendell

In Flame by zacky7avenged

Species 2 by alexnoreaga

Fragile by itznikki530


:icontypewriter-hplz::icontypewriter-oplz::icontypewriter-wplz:           :icontypewriter-tplz::icontypewriter-oplz:   


Hi Everybody :wave:

In this week's How To Tuesday, we'll be looking at awesome eye tutorials. From enhancing the colours, to making demon eyes, Deviant Art's Tutorial Section has it all. 

How bout creating a manipulation this week using one of these techniques, and sharing it the group to see? 

Digital Eye Makeup Tutorial by CutspringDark Eyes Tutorial by Autopsyrotica-ArtCaptivating Eyes Tutorial by Cutspring
Tutorial: Beautiful Eyes 101 by vanity-insecurity
Shining eyes - Tutorial by eclipsy
Demon Eyes Tutorial by HiroshimaPHOTOGRAPHYEye Tutorial by MeganLeeRetouching

Don't forget to comment if you want to request anything specific you want covered in next weeks edition!!

Tutorial Treasury 05

Journal Entry: Thu Oct 3, 2013, 2:14 AM

In the Tutorial Treasury, you will find tutorials geared towards Photomanipulators and some that will deal with a broader subjects, such as lighting, colour etc. The tutorials will be from dA as well as from all over the web and in each episode, there will be 3 to 6 tutorials for your reading pleasure (any more than that I guess no one will have time to read anyway). If you find any good ones, shoot me a note so I can include them in the next installment!

The Tutorials

Image063-250x250 by kuschelirmel

"Learn how to create this cinematic scene in quick and easy steps! This Photoshop tutorial will show you how to blend images to create an apocalyptic scene and add flying meteors with premade Photoshop brushes. You’ll also learn several different ways to add lighting effects and create a strong atmosphere. ~ written by  Jarka Hrnčárková ~"

:bulletpurple: Read more here

Photomanip Tut by kuschelirmel

"tamaraR shows you how she created her deviation Wild - please respect her wishes not to copy her work, but to use the techniques taught in your own way."

:bulletpurple: Read more here

Water Creatures by kuschelirmel

"A bug made out of water - or a violin - or whatever your heart desires! This tutorial by B-O-K-E shows you how to do it."

:bulletpurple: Read more here

Watercolor31final1-250x250 by kuschelirmel

"Create this spring-inspired abstract photo manipulation by Jenny Le! This tutorial will show you how to combine stock photos and splatter brushes together, apply textures, and more."

:bulletpurple: Read more here

Broken Glass Tutorial By Abbeymarie-d5rbl88 by kuschelirmel

"Feels just like I'm walking on broken glass... If you want to have some flying shards of broken glass in your manip, this tutorial by AbbeyMarie is just the thing for you!"

:bulletpurple: Read more here

Making Ghosts  Tutorial  By Zummerfish-d5j6nec by kuschelirmel

"With Halloween right around the corner, here's a little extra for you: zummerfish shows you how to create a ghost for your spooky manip!"

:bulletpurple: Read more here

Articles and Links
Photomanipulation for Beginners

an article about what photomanipulation is and what you need to try it - and on the ever so important issue of "where do I get pictures to play with?"

--> read article <--


Of Copyright & Premades
is an article that strives to explain what copyright means, who it protects and that simply putting work into something will not make using something without permission okay.

Know your Basics - article series:

A series of articles that try to explain some basics in art that you may or may not have heard of before but didn't know what to do with them. All of them are written especially for photo- manipulators, but the principles should hold true in any genre.

--> Know your basics - Colour Theory <--
--> Know your basics - Composition <--
--> Know your basics - Perspective <--
--> Know your basics - Textures <--

Tutorial Treasury

--> 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 <--

Journal Stock Credits: Kaotiksymphony-Stock and MouritsaDA-Stock.

Know your Basics - Textures

Journal Entry: Thu Mar 28, 2013, 10:44 AM

There are a lot of tutorials out there on how to create / photograph texture as well as how to use them on a technical level, but the question of why and when to use textures is rarely touched. This article wants to fill that gap and therefore looks at texures from a slightly different perspective.

Textures in Manips as you know them

For a photomanipulator, the first thing that comes to mind when hearing the word "texture" are images that can be used in soft light or overlay mode to texture a manipulation or parts thereof. What most manipulators therefore have in mind, are images like the following:

Dear Hermine Grunge Texture by ValerianaSTOCK 2477x3889 Untld. 96 by pandoraicons green distressed wood textur2I by beckas Broken stone texture red by Seeb-san Northern Lights by pendlestock

Beautiful textures, sure, and useful, too, but have you ever thought of doing more with them than the aforementioned overlays? And have you ever considered using other kinds of textures, too?

A more objective look at Textures

The following definition is an excerpt from the google dicitionary (I omitted the parts that have nothing to do with this article):

  • The feel, appearance, or consistency of a surface or a substance (skin texture and tone; the cheese is firm in texture; the different colors and textures of bark)
  • The character or appearance of a textile fabric as determined by the arrangement and thickness of its threads (a dark shirt of rough texture)
  • The tactile quality of the surface of a work of art

So textures in "the real world" are something to touch and feel, something that will also influence the appearance of a surface - for example think of naturally occuring textures such as bark, velvet, leather. And they are something you can see, too, think of smooth skin or rough wood, of messy hair or grass and smooth, polished metal.

That in turn means: not only something with bumps and ridges and obvious structure is a texture, but also what we generally perceive as "not textured" is!

Let's take a look at an image that you would normally call "not textured" to illustrate this point:

Untitled Drawing by kuschelirmel

What you can also see in this example, is that smooth and rough textures are both in there and their contrast is what makes the image work. For example, if the sea were not calm, the waves would create unrest and the trees on the hill would no longer stand out. It would all just "mush together".

And that is an effect you can also get from overlaying one texture over everything. I'll show you one of my "early works" to demonstrate:

January by kuschelirmel

While at this point I had figured out how to use masks to get smooth transitions as described in this tutorial, there's just something off about that load of textures. Today, I would do it differently: I would get rid of the overlay textures in the middle where the fractals are to make sure the fractals could stand out from the background (maybe I'd try to make them glow - definitely I'd change the overall lighting which here is not existent).

Let's look at some more examples from around deviantArt:

and see why they work so well from a texture point of view:

This images uses all kinds of different textures to draw your eye to the focal point: the girl is smooth throughout, even her hair seems soft and orderly without being unnaturally neat. The ground is made of stone and sand within a relatively calm sea. The almost idyllic image gets some tension through the sharp edged shards of glass, the glass itself being smooth.

Detailed and contrast-rich smoke textures around the figure give it an eerie quality which is enhanced by the none-distracting outer edges of the canvas. There you have only hints at the big folds of a curtain or something similar.

Boundaries between life and death by IvanVlatkovic

The subtle use of textures in this image is just stunning: they serve as a 3D environment forming the ground and the back "wall" of the "room" the guy is kneeling in, while keeping it abstract enough so our brain doesn't protest at the surrealism of the other elements in the image (tiny trees, big leaves etc). Other textures have a more graphic function, pulling together the elements (the light bent lines that go over some of the leaves or the dripping textures on the heart for example).

Dream of Freedom by ReyeD33

The grimy prison wall is in stark contrast with the world outside, just like life in prison and freedom are different things alltogether.

She draws crosses on the walls. by daunhaus

Smooth and textured areas work together to form something almost abstract.

Taste of Death by Keid

Darkness and light - good and evil - represented in colours, tones and texture.

DARK SIDE by grohsARTig

A great example of abstract art using textures and smoothness to draw the viewers' eyes.

Rusty Cage by NikkiNightBloom

And lastly, one image to serve as the exception that prooves the rule: in this one, the textures are very prominent throughout the image and in this case, they help to enhance the horror-movie atmosphere. But also note that even though the textured-vs-smooth contrast is not evident, there is another form of contrast to take its place: darkness and light.

So how am I supposed to use these textures?

In the case of textures seen as rough vs. smooth patches, the answer as to how to use them naturally goes beyond the aforementioned "use something from the texture gallery and put it on soft light" approach. Even if you include selective application of such textures, you would fall short of what we have seen in the examples above. Often, the texture is already inherent in the photographs you use to create your manips, so maybe instead of asking yourself if you want something to be "textured" at all (as in overlay a texture image), rather ask yourself:

"Are the different elements of these base images helping my image when i put them together or does it feel distracting?"

If you do it that way, yuo might end up deciding to get rid of some more bushes and use more uniform-looking grass instead (or add some bushes if you need more texture) to make sure your main object / animal / person is in focus.

A very popular method to get rid of texture and focus on the main subject is to blur the background and the foreground, mimicking photographic depth of field blur. This sometimes works great, other times I feel like someone was just lazy with their background and overall composition, so they blurred it. It's more or less the "oposite" of using a texture layer all over (or on just the background), just this time, you remove texture instead of adding it.

Here are some examples of where this method works well:

<da:thumb id="357467607"/> Moon Ninja by Nikulina-Helena
  Your ass belongs to me ! by blaithiel Old- Styled Life by DarkDevil16 Sacrifice by Rafaelll90
BUTTERFLIES by MirellaSantana

This method creates texture-vs-smooth contrast and a sense of depth (see Know your basics - Perspective) all at once, which is probably why it's so popular and often abused rather than used.

Just remember: whatever you do, do it with your eyes open and aware of the effect and considering its negative side effects. And besides: Thinking about an alternative is a good idea to stand out from the crowd.

In Closing

Textures are just one aspect of any image, be it a photomanipulation or a drawing or whatever else, but it can pay off to think about them for a few moments longer than you may be used to. Any image draws their energy from the contrast (or lack thereof) between its individual elements - and aside from light/dark and colour, texture is another way to create contrast!

If you liked this article, you may also like the others from this series, they are linked below.


Articles and Links
Photomanipulation for Beginners

an article about what photomanipulation is and what you need to try it - and on the ever so important issue of "where do I get pictures to play with?"

--> read article <--


Of Copyright & Premades
is an article that strives to explain what copyright means, who it protects and that simply putting work into something will not make using something without permission okay.

Know your Basics - article series:

A series of articles that try to explain some basics in art that you may or may not have heard of before but didn't know what to do with them. All of them are written especially for photo- manipulators, but the principles should hold true in any genre.

--> Know your basics - Colour Theory <--
--> Know your basics - Composition <--
--> Know your basics - Perspective <--
--> Know your basics - Textures <--

Tutorial Treasury

--> 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 <--

Journal Stock Credits: Kaotiksymphony-Stock and MouritsaDA-Stock.

Recent Journal Entries