Friday, December 28, 2012

Pure Gorgeous Summer


Usage samples for this texture set.

This image is not stock. Sorry, I don't own the rights to the portraits.

You can find the stock images I used:

here and here.

I had a lot of fun with this and I hope it can give you guys some ideas of how the textures can enhance your work.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tutorial: Textures From Scratch in PSP

Program: Paint Shop Pro X5, should work in earlier versions.

Difficulty: Intermediate.  Assumes basic knowledge of program features and menu locations. (ie: I'm not going to explain where the materials palette is or how to switch to the gradients tab.) 

Translateable: Theory should work in other programs.  I don't know if they'll have the exact features and materials used.

I started writing up a much longer and more detailed tutorial like this back in October, but I somehow lost the reference images I made for it, so I probably won't be finishing it.

I want to start off by saying that I have a huge resource library.  Some of them date back to the early 2000s and have survived 4 or 5 computers.  I don't even know how that's possible since I lose things I need all the time.

I also like making resources.  I think I've said before, making graphic resources is as much fun--or more--for me than making the art I use them for.  So, I absolutely encourage folks to browse stock photography and free resource sites.

One thing I have noticed, though, is that a lot of people seem to ignore the resources they have built in to their imaging programs. There's a lot of material that comes with Paint Shop Pro, and there are a who bunch of effects you can use.

There's no right or wrong way to make a texture.  Different methods very often produce similar results. I use stock pictures in my textures a lot.  Sometimes I just find that it's easier and faster to make a custom texture for a project as I go along.   This texture was done with a "quick and dirty" method to get a usable result in relatively short time.  If I was adding it to a project, I'd probably alter it some more once I had it on that canvas.

Normally I would have a project about 2/3 finished and I'd have realized that the background needs something, so I would think about applying (more?) textures. Since I don't have a ready-made project here, I just made it up as I went and wrote down the steps. I had no idea what I was going to get when I started it or if it would turn out at all.  The best way to learn is just to open your program and start experimenting.  You'll make a lot of crap, but you might just come up with a method you like and will be able to utilize in the future.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Public Domain Colorboxes

Some boxy backgrounds I made as a test.
Free for any use, including redistribution.
Credit and notification not required, but they are appreciated, especially if you are going to redistribute

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Tutorial: Polaroid Collage In Paint Shop Pro 8-Part II

Now that you have some polaroid frames, let's make a background for a collage.

What kind of background will depend on the style of collage you're making. A grungy background is usually done by layering a few textures and adding some brushes as embellishments. I think a composite like that would be a tutorial in its own right. If there's enough interest, I would be okay doing it, but for right now I'm just going to show you a simple way to make a wood grain background, and then I'll show you how to turn your frame .pngs from part I into a stack of pictures.

Tutorial: Polaroid Collage In Paint Shop Pro 8-Part I

Tutorial: Polaroid Collage In PSP 8-Index

Program: Paint Shop Pro 8

Difficulty: Intermediate.  Assumes a working knowledge of Paint Shop Pro menus and interface.  The tutorial isn't difficult, but there are a lot of steps, and I don't post as many screenshots or explain in as much detail as I would for a beginner tutorial.  Comments are welcome if you have questions.

Translateable: Should work in any imaging program that supports layers and has a few basic blend modes.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Computer Troubles

I've had some computer trouble this week.  It is functional for the moment, and I am hoping that it will stay that way for another few months.  Among other things, I had to get a new monitor.  This one is a different resolution than my old one, so you'll probably start seeing textures more in 1920x1080 and not  so many in 1680x1050.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Impressions: Corel Paint Shop Pro X5 After 3 Weeks

I was going to wait a month, but I realized a month would be right at Christmas, and that's probably not going to be a time when I'm interested in blogging.  I was previously using version 8 (yes, I know.) because I didn't really like PSPX and didn't find that there was enough in it to warrant buying.  So some of my impressions are probably going to mention "new" features that have been in several of the Corel versions since then.

Disclaimer: The following is my opinion.  It's a bunch of impressions, not a full review of the program.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Contest Rejects

This series of images were created as contest entries for  Of the 8, I entered two. They were both rejected. The admin comments read:

"Only authentic work, please. No deviants."

I worked my fanny off on these. I don't know what makes them "inauthentic" simply because I used patterns that were created by another artist on DeviantArt instead of using the standard ones that come with an imaging program (which are, quite frankly, made from public domain images) but here you guys go.

Happy holidays. Free for any use now, and you can go ahead and make new resources out of them if you want. All I ask is you credit Roula33@deviantart for her patterns.  Credit me if you want.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Public Domain Background textures

I regularly use the site so I decided to upload some textures there. That means this series is public domain, even though the license on the deviation says attribution. You can do whatever you want with them including redistribute. Credit is not necessary but still appreciated, especially if you're going to re-post them.  

As it turned out, of these textures, the only ones that were accepted on Pixabay were the green and red patterned backgrounds.  I'm guessing because those are GIGANTIC, even though they're my least favorite of the entire group.

Oh well.  I'm keeping them up, and will probably be adding more to this post, but I don't know that I will continue to submit them on stock sites.

(As a reminder, not all of my resources are public domain. I rarely ask for credit, but I do still hold the copyrights on them, and I don't normally allow redistribution, so please be aware of the descriptions and licenses in other posts. Thanks.)

December Resources, Post 3

I meant to post these last weekend, but I got distracted with work. I hope they're still useful for folks.

Free for any use.

Most are seamless and I added a white background for the previews. Varying resolutions. Some of them use the font 60s chic

Friday, December 7, 2012

December Resources Post 2

Free for any use.

Various sizes, most 500x500 px; some are transparent and I applied a background for the preview.

These are in PNG format, no .pat file. All were saved at 300 ppi so they can be used for big print projects.

If you find my resources useful, please consider making a point donation.

And thank you for your faves and comments.

I know there are a lot of these holiday themed patterns floating around; seems like most of them are either low res or they only have .pat files, so I made some for those of use who don't use Photoshop.

Larger Preview below

Monday, December 3, 2012

Recent Photomanips

Due to the stock providers' terms, I don't have permission yet to post these images directly on Encompass Rose Design. So I'm posting thumbnails that link to my DeviantArt Gallery. Photo credits can be found on the DA pages.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

November Texture Post 7

Free for whatever you want.
This is an older set I hadn't posted yet.

Larger Preview And Gallery Below

Scrapbook Elements, Post 1

Unrestricted, use for whatever you want.

I made these as an experiment in scrapbook design. I've never been into scrapbooking, but I have some friends who are. I don't know whether I'll do any more, but it was a fun learning experience.  Everything was saved at print quality so you can use it for digital or handmade projects.  The backgrounds will also work for other types of projects besides scrapbooking.

Larger previews  and links below.

November Texture Set Post 6

Free For noncommercial use.
This is an older set I hadn't posted yet.

Larger Preview Below

November Texture Set 5

Free For noncommercial use.
This is an older set I hadn't posted yet.

Larger Preview And Gallery Below

November Texture Set 4

Free For noncommercial use.
This is an older set I hadn't posted yet.

Larger Preview Below

Saturday, December 1, 2012

November Texture Set 3

Free For noncommercial use.
This is an older set I hadn't posted yet.

Larger Preview Below

November Texture Set 2

Free For noncommercial use.
This is an older set I hadn't posted yet.

Larger Preview Below

November Icon Texture Set 4

Free for non-commercial use. 

This is an older set I hadn't posted yet.

November Icon Texture Set 3

Free for noncommercial use

This is a set from last month I hadn't posted.

November Icon Texture Set 2

Free for noncommercial use

This is a set from last month I hadn't posted.

November Icon Textures 1

Free for noncommercial use.

This is an older set I hadn't posted.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Challenge Entry and Extras

I joined a new forum this weekend.  It looks like a nice place.  Sort of small and cozy, like the forums I used to belong to back in my RPG days.

Here's a link if you're interested.

As the name indicates, it's a Paint Shop Pro users group.

I decided to make an entry for one of their challenges.  The problem was, I am not used to working with small file sizes anymore.  (100kb or less is the max image size you can post.)  So, here I was with a nice hi-res collage going "Oh, wait..." and trying to crop, resize, and compress the thing.

I ended up turning into a header, since I usually save those as .jpg for loading time, but the text on the JPG version looked awful after compression.

Well, long story short:

Here's a bunch of resizings and pieces of it.  Free to use for anything non-commercial.  Commercial licensing on this is available; please contact me by email.

I've included the background.  That is 14x14" @ 300 dpi.  The rest is probably best for web use rather than print.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

VM Distortion Example Gallery

Please remember, these are not finished artwork.  All I did was choose a free public domain image and run the filters to give examples of what they can do.  You can click the thumbnails for a better look.

Most of the VM filters have several sliders that greatly vary the effects.

How I use the VM Distortion Collection

Tumbler, The Black Hole, Center Mirror, and Gear are all useful for water effects in photomanipulation.  The Black Hole is probably also useful in space art, but I haven't done much of that so I can't say.

Flip Chop, Mosaic Ripple, and Vision Impossible are good for surreal art and some textures

Radiator, Sausage, Radial Pox, Smallpox, and  Distortion By Transparency are useful abstract art when you want to keep the source colors but not the structures.

Original Image
Full size here on the photographer's Pixabay

Thursday, November 22, 2012

VM Extravaganza Example Gallery

Please remember, these are not finished artwork.  All I did was choose a free public domain image and run the filters to give examples of what they can do.  You can click the thumbnails for a better look.

Most of the VM filters have several sliders that greatly vary the effects.

How I use the VM Extravaganza Collection

White Lines, Shoutin! and Vasarely are the ones I find most useful in making textures and brushes.

Cyberdelic, Edgeburner, Hallucination, Aura Detector and Psychedelic are useful for--you guessed it--trippy colorization in photomanips.

The other ones in this collection are pretty stylized in what they do.  You might find them useful if you're looking for the kind of image they generate, but they're not really my thing.

Original Image
Full size here on the photographer's  Pixabay
Gallery Below

Stuff I use: Visman Filters

The three graphic software products I'm most familiar with all come with some nice built-in filter effects.  Photoshop seems to have the most, which is probably one reason it's become the industry standard.  I've found that there are ways to reproduce most--if not all--commonly used filter effects in Paint Shop Pro.  Sometimes PSP has similar built-in effects, and sometimes it requires a work-around.  A lot of filter effects can be done manually, but the filter makes them quicker.  In addition to built-in filters, there are user-made plugins, and collecting them can get a little overwhelming after a while.  It's hard to remember which ones do what, and there are many similar ones out there.

My go-to filter set is a freeware collection (Visman or "VM") that I've been using since I first got Paint Shop Pro.  I found it on a tutorial site that no longer exists.  There are several sets and a total of around 70 filters in all.  In PSP, they appear in your Effects menu and each set has a submenu titled VM (something.)
These are primarily distortion filters.  If you're looking for artistic, painting effects, etc I recommend Xero Filters.

As for the VM filters, some are more useful than others depending on what you do.  For the most part, I make 2D collages and photomanips, or I make graphic resources.  So the ones that are useful to me may not be useful for someone else.  Some produce similar effects while others are really unique.  So what I want to do is provide an example gallery for each set.  There used to be some good ones online, but I haven't been able to find one, so I decided to make one myself.  It's going to take me a while to get them up, so check back if you're interested.

These example galleries do not contain finished artwork.  All I did was choose a free, public domain image and run the filters on them to show what the effects look like.  When I use the filters for finished work, I will link to it from here.

VM Distortion
VM Experimental
VM Extravaganza
VM Instant Art
VM Natural
VM Toolbox

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Marched Bravely Into a New Decade Tonight

Purchased myself PSP X5 as a belated birthday present for myself. (There's a Black Friday sale, good buy.) I really disliked the earlier Corel versions and I'm not retiring my old PSP 8 yet.  Reviews I've read of this version seem solid and I checked out a trial before I purchased it.

I'll be posting more about my impressions in the upcoming weeks, but for now:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Internet, Sharing, and Graphic Design

People often ask me why I allow my designs and resources to be used without credit.  Since I changed my terms of use to include different usage categories, I wanted to explain.

The short version is:

I like to share.

Most of my resources are things I made for my own practice, so I have more than I can use.

But, I'm trying to keep this site ad free and the best way I know of to do that is to have some levels of paid content.

If I had my way, everything on Encompass Rose would be for free, but if I did that, the site would have ads or it wouldn't last very long.

I would like it if people who made resources out of mine respected the "share alike" license, (Read: it didn't cost you anything, and you didn't make it all yourself, so don't use it to bribe people into joining your site and don't tell them they can't use it to make stock with.) but I'm not going to follow people around the net to make sure.

The long version is:

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Little News

I started a new job this week.  A lot the resources and art I've been posting were made in the time between visits from contractors who're doing renovations in my apartment building.  I've had to sit around waiting for these guys.  That time--or some of it--will now be spent on my job, so updates may be slower.

Thank you for your continued support!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

November Texture Set 1-Collages

This is a free, non-commercial use version of this texture set.

Alternate Download + Gallery on DA
Larger preview below.
No on-site gallery for now.

Exclusive Texture Set 1

I guess I'm really bad at the concept of not giving things away for free.  I liked these textures so much that I just wanted everyone to have access to them.  So, I made a free version at a smaller resolution for non-commercial use.  I'll be posting that shortly.

To make it up to my site supporters (who really do deserve exclusive content when I said they'd have exclusives) I've included several alternate versions of the collages in the exclusive zip file, and I will provide my base files to any supporter who wants them.

Zip is password protected.
Comment or email me.

Larger preview below.  (No gallery.)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Index-10.12 Gradient Samples

I'm trying to keep the link pages clean, and I made way too many samples for these gradients.

So here's an index post.

Upcoming and Site News

Site News

I've purchased paid file hosting from Mediafire for the next year, so all the zip files will be direct downloads and the links shouldn't expire.  (At least until November 2013).

I've updated my Terms of Use, which you can view here.  Nothing has really changed; I just clarified some things and (hopefully) make it easier for folks to tell which resources are available for commercial use and which are not.

(That issue largely depends on whether I own the copyrights to the original images.  If I don't, I have to abide by the terms of the stock provider who has allowed me to use them.)

Upcoming content


I have a small set of Supporter Exclusive content coming.  I hope folks will like it.  I'm going to try my best to keep any tutorials or exclusive content really unique.

Commission/Request Samples-Beyond Hope.

Examples of work I have done to give you an idea of what you can request for site donation gifts/commissions.

A group of website headers I did for Aruna7.  This project involved 35 collages of different promo images for film and television franchises.

The style was experimental and I wasn't sure that I would do the whole set this way, but my friend liked them, so we kept it.

A full gallery below.

For a project like this, price would be determined by the design of the website graphics and how time intensive it was.  

For a single header, $1.
Customizing a blank premade header for your site is free.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Old Texture Grab Bag

These are a bunch of random old textures I found on my hard drive and need to upload to save space. Some of them date back 5 years or more. Post is not dial up friendly.  No zips.  

There are some that I recognize as being things I used for title cards in video projects or backgrounds for old headers and such. Others, I have no idea when they were made. I'm not sure whose resources were used in the making of them, so if there is something you feel you should be credited for, simply comment or note me. I will be happy to take care of it!

Gradient Samples Post 5: Smoke and Snow

I wanted some usage samples for This gradient set and started messing around.

Gallery below

Gradient Samples Post 4: Masking textures


These are masking textures I made the purple gradients

 I didn't create the masks from scratch; I overlaid different ones together with my gradient set.
The grids are from public domain images.  The other masks are things I've had from several computers ago and I no longer know the maker.  If they're yours, please let me know and I will credit you right away.   I can't find them on the net anywhere.

Gallery Below

Gradient Samples: Post 3: Brushes

I wanted some usage samples for This gradient set and started messing around.

This group of textures were made with

*The gradients mentioned above
* Abstract Explosion Brush Set.
*And a set called Alda.b._grunge from a site that appears to be off the net nowadays.


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Samples: October Gradient Pack Post 2

(No DA mirror, the file is too large.  245 MB.)

There is a gallery below and an alternate gallery download
I wanted some usage samples for This gradient set and started messing around. This group of textures were made is a mixed bag featuring ice, glass, and quartz crystal.

They use the gradients mentioned above

Public domain images by Hans Braxmeier and Public Domain Pictures on Pixabay.

 Notes: I tried not to resize these or add "extra" elements because I wanted to focus on the effects of the gradients. All coloring and lighting changes were accomplished with the gradients on different blending modes, but these were very much not simple one or two layer overlays on ice. I wish I had saved the layer files for reference, but they were huge and I lack hard drive space. Credit is appreciated but not required. If you find my resources useful, please consider making a donation.

 A zip file will be added at a later date.

The original stock images are public domain.  These samples are not.

They are free to use, unrestricted, but you may not re-post them or claim them as your work.

Original Image