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Few Common Mistakes In Photoshop

Photoshop is an amazing software which gives any user the ability to create stunning digital art. Anyone can start on it but amongst the new users I see lots of mistakes which should not be happening. I believe this mistakes are as a result of them wanting to do everything in one art.

This article is not about tips and tricks but the focus of this articles in on what NOT TO DO in photoshop. Avoid this mistakes listed and you should do fine with your artwork.

Not Using Layers and Folder

Photoshop is based around the concept of working in Layers. I have seen many new users neglect working on new layers and then regretting their choice later. I adhere to the policy of doing each and every change on a new layer this way it is easier to edit, move, duplicate or delete, etc.

Grouping the layers in a folder based on your workflow also helps in navigating through large PSDs. Naming each layer and folder helps you identify easily when you need to go back to certain layer to re-edit it. This will help save lot of time and headaches.

Not Using Grids and Guides

Grids and Guides are for a reason, they are not for show. Its amazing how almost everyone claims to have “the eye” but trust me we often don’t have the correct alignment. Grids and guides will help a lot, so use them.

Not Learning Shortcuts

“Shortcut – A path between two points that is faster than the commonly used paths; A method to accomplish something that omits one or more steps”

Shortcuts save a lot of time, no matter which program you use learning the shortcuts is a must. Not only will this save time but your workflow will get faster. Photoshop also allows you to customize your shortcuts.

Abusing and Overusing Filters

I have seen many new artist use all the available filters in one art work. Even I was obsessed with them when I started out. Agreed they are fun and easy way to work and can at times give good results. Using them does not make you a great photoshop artist, instead it shows your amateurish level. Using discretion when using filters don’t overuse them.

Jarring Colours

Always know your colour theory, don’t use jarring colours. Art work should be such that the focus is on the art and not the colours used.

Working under 300dpi for Print

Most new users fall into the trap of working in 72 dpiTypically 300 dpi is best for print but always confirm with the printer.

When working with 72dpi users assume that they can always increase the pixel resolution and it will be fixed, but on printing the picture will appear pixelated.

Abusing and Overusing Blending Options

Similar to filters, beleved or embossed text and work will certainly mark you out as a amateur. Unless you have very strong reasons of using them stay away from them.

Using drop shadows should also be used with utmost care. Make sure you have the shadows in the right direction according to the lighting. Also they should be soft and subtle not harsh and overpowering.

Creating Logos in Photoshop

Though this an debatable point, I believe logos should be created in vector based programs like Adobe Illustrator. The main disadvantage of creating logos in photoshop is that when resizing them you will loose the quality and the image will appear pixelated.


Mystery of Colour Theory Unraveled

Colour Theory Basic

In visual arts, colour theory is a body of practical guidance to color mixing and the visual impacts of specific colour combination. Those involved in creation and graphics design need a acute understanding of colour. Colour choices can be some of the most difficult choices to make and most find it thorny to find that ‘it looks right’ colour. Often designers base their choice of colour on what they like, yet sometimes that’s not the right way as you might have conflict with the words of your art. Basic colour theory helps you decide which colour match.

The Colour Wheel

Colour Wheel 1

The colour wheel is the base of colour theory. The first circular colour diagram was designed by Sir Isaac Newton in 1666. The colour wheel is a visual representation of colours arranged according to their chromatic relationship.

The Colours

Primary Colours

Primary Colours

The primary colours are red, yellow and blue. In traditional colour theory, these are the three pigment colours that cannot be mixed or formed by any combination of other colours. All other colours are derived from
these three hues.

Seconday Colours

Seconday Colours

Secondary colours are green,orange and purple. Secondary colours are the colours formed by mixing the primary colours. These with the primaries give us the six full-strength colours of the spectrum. They are arranged (as you can see) in sequence in a circle and I’ve outlined them in black in the diagram. By mixing each colour with its neighbour, we get six more colours, called the tertiary colours.

Tertiary Colours

Tertiary Colours

Tertiary colours are: yellow-orange, red-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, blue-green and yellow-green. These are the colours formed by mixing one primary and one secondary colour. Again I’ve outlined them in black so they’re more obvious to you.

Warm and Cool Colours

The colour wheel can be divided into warm and cool colours.

Warm Colours are vivid and energetic, and tend to advance in space.

Cool Colours give an impression of calm and create a soothing impression.

How To Build A Colour Wheel

  • Colour wheel is composed by positioning the Primary colour (Red, Yellow and Blue) at equidistant along a circle.
  • Now position the secondary colours achieved by mixing two primary colours in between the primary from which the hue was created.
    • Red + Yellow = Orange
    • Yellow + Blue= Green
    • Blue + Red = Violet
  • Now we are going to add the tertiary colours in the circle. Mix any two colours and the resultant hue achieved goes in between the two colours used to achieve the result.

Colour Harmonies

Guidleline to create colour schemes

Complementary Colour Scheme

The complementary color scheme consists of two colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. This scheme looks best when you place a warm color against a cool color, for example, red versus green-blue. This scheme is intrinsically high-contrast.When using this scheme, choose a dominant colour and then use its complementary colour for accents. One of the more traditional approaches for this type of colour scheme is to use one colour for the background and its complementary colour to highlight important elements. Through this approach you’ll get colour dominance combined with sharp colour contrast.

Analogous color scheme

The analogous color scheme uses colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel. One color is used as a dominant color while others are used to enrich the scheme. The analogous scheme is similar to the monochromatic, but offers more nuances.Choose one color to dominate, a second to support. The third color is used (along with black, white or gray) as an accent.

Triad color scheme

The triad color scheme uses three colors equally spaced around the color wheel. This is scheme is quite vibrant and you can use unsaturated or pale versions of your hues.The triadic scheme is not as contrasting as the complementary scheme, but it looks more balanced and harmonious.

Split complementary scheme

The split complementary scheme is a variation of the standard complementary scheme. It uses a color and the two colors adjacent to its complementary. This provides high contrast without the strong tension of the complementary scheme. The split-complimentary color scheme is often a good choice for beginners, because it is difficult to mess up.

Tetradic (double complementary) scheme

The tetradic (double complementary) scheme is the most varied because it uses two complementary color pairs. This scheme is hard to harmonize; if all four hues are used in equal amounts, the scheme may look unbalanced, so you should choose a color to be dominant or subdue the colors. Attention should be paid to the balance of warm and cool colours in your design. You have two types of scheme in this Square and Rectangular.


To make your colour choices easy we have a very simple but very powerful tool to help you design your colour palettes. You can create your own schemes or browse through readymade thousands of palettes.



Hope this article has made your colour palette creation easier. If you have any questions feel free to ask us and we will do our best to help you.

The Pirates Are Here!

Pixel Pirates

Who are us? We are a bunch of four friends who enjoy manipulating the pixels and bring out new creativity. We aim to bring to you the best of free tutorials and resources available on the internet. We want you to make the most use of your time creating great graphics and effects. We shall provide you with techniques, tricks and tips you need to start on your way to pixel magic.

Lot of great digital artist were also good in their sketching. We plan to bring you how to do great sketches on paper medium. But our main focus will be on digital creativity.

You will find updates on an very regularly basis every 1-2 days. We will bring you best tutorials, inspiration, stocks, brushes, icons and if we don’t have, name it and we will try to get it for you.

We also welcome your inputs and you are welcome to submit tutorials to us as well. There will be more features coming very soon.

In the future we plan to bring a new and dynamic website driven by community in late 2009.


Chirag Vadgama

The Administrator and Chief Editor of Pixel Pirates. He shows mastery over Sketching and is an Raster artist. He loves to make pencil landscape sketches the most. He is the in-house Prankster.

Deval Mistry

The Lead Asset Developer and Head Author of Pixel Pirates.   He has enhanced skills at Character Designing and 3D Animation. He is the in-house Troublemaker.

Saumil Patel

The Search Engine Optimiser and Content Co-ordinator for Pixel Pirates. He is an talented Illustrator and Vector Artist. He is the in-house Swinger.

Manish Balwani

The Head Research and Contributor of Pixel Pirates. He is addicted to Abstract Designing and Photoshop. Hence is known as the in-house The Addict.

Hello Pumpkin! The Pirates Are Here

Stay Tuned For The Site Launch In This Hour.