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The Dark Arts


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About golden.

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    stay up 'til the lights go out
  • Birthday 12/25/1992

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  1. Congratulations to the following artist on their promotion! Feel free to leave them hugs below award by golden. Master Artist @star crossed
  2. Thank you so so much for the squee! :loves:

  3. award by golden. May's featured artist is @.amaris! Tomi's lovely graphics are always eye-catching! Her friendly, kind nature can be seen all around TDA, whether she is offering tips, support and advice, or posting a gorgeous new graphic or two. She's a super-active member, too, often posting in requests, challenges and the PYLC thread, where her positivity shines. Congrats, Tomi - enjoy your month in gold!
  4. Oh dear! Thanks for checking :) I'm thinking this is probably one for the coders!
  5. I see you're using the winter skin - has this ever happened on the default skin? :)
  6. Thank you so much for the crit and the squee 😍 ❤️

    1. golden.


      You're welcome! I enjoyed looking through your gallery, such pretties in there!! 

    2. Kirjava


      You are far too kind - thank you! ❤️

    3. golden.
  7. Thank you for the squees!!! ❤️ ❤️

    1. golden.


      No worries! ❤️ They're too pretty to not squee!

  8. Sections of the Critique Corner The Critique Corner is split into the sections outlined below - each section focuses on a different area of critique. Graphic Critique+ In this section you can ask for critique with a specific graphic in mind - if you have a banner, chapter image, signature, blend... any type of graphic that you'd like some help with, then this is the section for you! Gallery Critique+ Here, artists (of rank junior+) and members can offer their time to give critique to those wanting help. This critique is given in the form of a post in the recipient's gallery. This is particularly useful around promotion time! Please click here+ for the gallery critique rules in detail. Help Me Choose+ In the 'Help Me Choose' section, start a poll asking the your fellow TDA-ers which graphic they prefer, what you should choose as your 'Your Best Work' entry, which graphics are gallery worthy, and so on. Technique Based Q&A+ In the 'Technique Based Q&A' section you can post a topic for any sort of technique question you may have. A higher-ranked artist, or anyone who thinks they may be able to help out, can reply to the topic. This is not a one-on-one graphic critique, but rather a way to seek help for a specific technique. Technique Spotlight+ A specific technique will be spotlighted, and a few tutorials offered as inspiration and instruction to all artists, regardless of rank. THEN, you can do a couple of things: Use the Tips and Tricks thread to offer your own hints about the spotlighted technique - this is open to all ranks, as each artist has something to offer. Use the Q & A thread to ask questions about the spotlighted technique, especially if it's one with which you struggle. Again, this is open to all ranks. This where you ask all questions and seek help! A Place to Squee+ This is the place where members will come to 'squee' (showcase and talk about!) a gorgeous graphic by any fellow TDA-er. Quick Critique+ Looking for a quick way to spruce up your gallery before promotions? Looking for a clean-out, but don't want a full gallery critique? Wanting a response to something quickly? Look no further! Simply post in Quick Critique! If you have any further questions, please feel free to send a personal message to a moderator or admin (a list of current staff can be found here+) or feel free to ask in the FAQs+ or the chatbox/shoutbox on the main forum page :) If there's still any confusion, please click here+ for more Tips and Guidelines for the Critique Corner.
  9. Using the Critique Corner Critique Corner Dos and Don'ts DOs: Do be polite. Do be constructive when offering critique. If you're pointing out an area for improvement, do so in a way that tells the artist how to improve. For example, instead of saying 'this banner is too dark', make it constructive by adding 'but you could make it lighter with a light texture set to screen'. Do keep in mind the artist's rank and how long they have been making graphics when giving critique. If an artist has only been making graphics for a short amount of time, then they may still be concentrating on the basics of graphic-making and therefore you might like to focus your critique on a key skill and how to improve this. If you are unsure how to give an artist critique in a constructive way, please click here+ for tips. Do post in the Completed Critique thread here+ if you'd like your topic closed.** A mod will then remove it for you. Do remember that if a thread in the 'Story, Forum, Blends and Other ' or 'Help Me Choose' sections has not been posted in for 7 days, a mod will remove the topic.** If your thread has disappeared, this is why! DON'Ts: Don't spam critique topics. Spamming means to post unrelated, unnecessary or very short posts (for example 'nice graphics!' or 'I love Supernatural too!'). Don't bump critique topics. Bumping means double-posting (instead, please edit your post by clicking 'edit' in the bottom-right of your post) or posting 'randomly' (for example, a post saying 'Please give me critique!' is considered bumping). Don't double-post. Instead, please use the 'edit' button at the bottom-right of your post if you want to add anything more. Don't demand critique. Everyone at TDA is lovely - you will receive critique when you post a thread, even if it takes a few days or longer. Don't take everything as negative criticism. Sometimes, when receiving critique on your work, it's easy to think people are being negative about your graphic. Please remember, they are only trying to help (of course, if anyone is impolite, please PM a Critique Corner or Staff Moderator. A list of current moderators can be found here+). In 'A Place to Squee!', don't 'squee' a graphic that has already been 'squee'd'! If you see something you love but someone else has 'squee'd' it before you, you may of course comment on how awesome the graphic is but please don't post the actual graphic again. This is because posting a graphic takes up the artist's bandwidth, and image hosting sites usually have a maximum monthly limit. Don't post any more than 2 topics in each subsection at a time** (for example 2 in story/forum/blends/other graphics, 2 in help me choose). Don't post more than one YBW poll thread at a time.** DO's and DON'T's marked with 2 stars (**) apply only to the Story/Forum Graphics, Blends and More and 'Help Me Choose' sections.
  10. How Tutorials Are Organised Sections All tutorials are sorted into sections: Technique Tutorials+ These tutorials focus on a specific technique, such as composition and blending, text, coloring, animation, image quality, etc. Step-by-Step Tutorials+: A step-by-step guide on how to make a particular graphic. Some of these are marked with [Feedback Available] at the start of their topic title - when you post a graphic made using that tutorial in the topic the author of the tutorial will give you feedback and critique on your result. Coding and Skinning Tutorials+ These tutorials focus on skins for websites as well as code, such as HTML. Photography and Digital Painting Tutorials+ Here, the tutorials focus on techniques within photography and digital art. There is also the Artist Q&A+: here you can ask the artists for advice about how to achieve a particular effect, colouring, etc., or anything they're willing to answer. Tags Each tutorial is tagged (the box before the title) with the program the tutorial maker used to create the tutorial. If you click on this tag, you'll be taken to a list of all the tutorials made using that same program. Labels Underneath the title, each tutorial has 3 labels, for example: (I've added numbers here for the purposes of explanation) Photoshop | Intermediate | Translatable 1 | 2 | 3 Label 1 This the graphics program the tutorial maker used when creating the tutorial (this will match the tag). This can be Photoshop, GIMP, Paint Shop Pro, Illustrator, etc. Tutorials that are universal and don't require a specific program are labelled 'all programs'. Label 2 This shows the difficulty of the tutorial. This can be beginner, intermediate, or advanced, or a combination of these (e.g. beginner/intermediate) Label 3 This is how translatable the tutorial is across graphics programs, for example if a tutorial was made using GIMP, can the same skill be achieved in Photoshop, or Paint Shop Pro? This can be translatable (works on multiple graphics programs), semi-translatable (parts of the tutorial can be done in other programs but some parts, for example colouring, are specific to one program), and non-translatable (was written for/can only be done in one program).
  11. Using Tutorials Welcome to the Tutorial Center user guide! The tutorials are here to be used and learned from and are here for everyone! However, if you use tutorials to better your skills, there are a few things to take into consideration. Please be aware that you need to have 5 posts to be able to see the Tutorial Central and 10 posts if you want to see advanced full graphic tutorials. Using Tutorials Dos and Don'ts: DOs: Do credit the artist who made the tutorial when posting a tutorial-based graphic in your gallery (a graphic made using a tutorial). Tutorial-based graphics are only acceptable to include in your gallery with proper credit (a note saying 'this banner was based on the tutorial called 'Example Tutorials are Fun' by tryitout@TDA' will be fine). Please be aware that graphics made using the step by step tutorials in the step by step forum are NOT allowed to be posted in your gallery. Not crediting will be considered ripping and/or stealing and can result in a warning raise. Do be careful when using tutorial-based graphics to fill requests. It is allowed, but it can get messy (regarding credit and originality, and so on), so it's not preferred. If you do use tutorial graphics to fill requests, try and use the same guidelines as for using those graphics in challenges (so parts of tutorials can be used, but not complete areas/parts of tutorials). DON'Ts: Don't use tutorial-based graphics in challenges or for your 'Your Best Work' entry. Parts of tutorials can be used (for example, you can use the fancy curved text you just learnt from a tutorial, or the brilliant new way of blending, etc.) , but not complete areas/parts of the tutorial (for example an entire coloring scheme, the composition of the graphic, the exact font and text, and so on)! Don't copy/steal any other artist's style by directly copying/closely recreating tutorial graphics. Tutorials are for helping you learn new things, not to steal styles from others. If you're clever enough to steal someone's style without using a tutorial, then kudos to you. Creativity and originality, however, it always preferred. Remember, the TDA staff are omniscient and know all the tutorials and styles. Don't bump tutorials. Bumping means double-posting (instead, please edit your post by clicking 'edit' in the bottom-right of your post) or posting 'randomly' (for example, a post saying 'Yay, tutorial!' is considered bumping). FAQs: I have a question about a graphics program. What should I do? The Magical List of Assisting Artists+ was created to help you with this! PM an artist on the list that shares your program, or the program you have a question about. If you don't get a response in a timely manner or if you need the answer quickly, please feel free to go ahead and post your question in a tutorial using that program right away. Is each tutorial only applicable to a specific graphics program? The software version noted next to these tutorial names (for example 'Photoshop CS5', 'GIMP', and so on) refers to the software that the author of the tutorial used to make the graphic - this does not mean that the tutorial cannot be adapted for another program. Some are very translatable, especially those that dont involve Selective Coloring (a Photoshop tool). I've tried a tutorial. Can I post the results? Brilliant! It's always nice for the author of the tutorial to see your results. Please do post them as a reply to the tutorial post! I've found a tutorial in the incorrect section. What should I do? If you find a tutorial you believe to be inappropriate for a particular section (for example, something that cannot be translated as it cannot be executed in different software, a tutorial that is improperly explained, etc.) please feel free to send a personal message to a staff moderator or admin (a list of current staff can be found here+) regarding the subject. Please remember to include a link and an explanation of why you are questioning the tutorial's location or validity.
  12. Writing Tutorials Writing tutorials can be daunting for anyone who hasn't written one before! Hopefully this guide will help - and remember, you can always PM a moderator or admin and take tips from tutorials that are already written! There is also a post with tips and tricks, written by some artists, here+. Writing Tutorials Dos and Don'ts DOs: Do make your tutorials as cross-platform/translatable as possible. Tutorials are subject to cross platform review. Clearly, no-one expects you to be able to tell someone how and where to find something in a piece of software you don't use, but instead of saying "create a new layer and set to soft light, then hit ctrl-u and desaturate it", try saying "adjust your contrast settings a smidge - I used 32% opacity and a desaturated soft light layer". While it may seem like this makes tutorials more vague - and it does - each tutorial section has tutorials teaching people how to use their specific software and this is simply teaching them how to make a specific graphic. Do make sure you are credited properly. If you have a case where someone made a graphic using your tutorial, but hasn't credited you for it, please PM a moderator or admin (please click here+ for a list of current site staff). Do check to see if the tutorial you want to make hasn't already been made in a similar fashion by someone else. This way we can prevent tutorials from getting too repetitive! Do give your tutorial a proper title. "Emmy Rossum sig" is not a title - it could mean literally thousands of things! Try to come up with something descriptive and make sure it isn't already taken by another tutorial. DON'Ts: When posting specific images (i.e. stock images, people, etc.) in a Step-by-Step tutorial, please adhere to the Copyright Rules+ - link to the original source of the image if possible (if not, upload it to a reliable image host) and always credit the author. Don't post any PSD files in your tutorial. TDA has a blanket ban on PSDs. For more information, please click here+. Posting Your New Tutorial All new tutorials need to be posted in their proper categories. Please note that Members and Member Artists cannot submit specific graphic tutorials, only technique tutorials. What should I include in the tutorial post? In the title of your topic, give the tutorial a specific name relating to what the tutorial is meant to teach. For example: "red coloring banner", "light texture icon", etc. In the topic description, include the original program you used and a general skill level (beginner, intermediate, advanced) depending on how difficult the tutorial is to follow. As many images of the process as possible of the steps of the graphic/technique so that people can "see" how you are making the graphic and how the graphic should look at particular steps. Also try to describe your steps in enough detail so that those less familiar with the program can attempt to understand your tutorial The skills needed to complete the graphic as you made it. For example, 'this graphic mostly uses hard-cutting'. Links to other tutorials that are relevant. For example, if the graphic requires hard-cutting, you might link to a blending tutorial. Placing Your Tutorial on the Masterlist Once you have posted your tutorial, please fill out the form provided in each tutorial category for your tutorial to be added to the Masterlist. If you have any further questions, please feel free to send a personal message to a staff moderator or admin (a list of current staff can be found here+) or feel free to ask in the FAQs+ or the chatbox/shoutbox on the main forum page :)
  13. Accepting a Promoted UFG Graphic Dos and Don'ts DOs: Do post in your original request if you are accepting a promoted graphic. A post saying 'I'll use this, please!' will be fine. Then, follow the link to the thread where you can post your new claim. There will be a form for you to fill out (yes, we know, we like forms a lot here) and then the artist should simply fill your request and make the changes you require. Do post in the artist's UFG thread to accept the graphic once the artist has replied/made your requested changes. This is so that the artist and moderators know that the graphic is no longer available. DON'Ts: Don't feel obliged to accept the promoted graphic. If you don't want to use the graphic suggested, simply post a reply asking to keep your request open. FAQs: What if the artist hasn't replied to my form and posted the edited graphic? If it's been 3 days or more since you posted the form, send the artist a polite PM to let them know your post is there. They may not have seen it!
  14. Promoting UFG Graphics Dos and Don'ts DOs: Do promote your graphics if you are a Junior, Senior, Graduate or Staff Artist. You can do this by replying to an open request with the link to your UFG and, if you would like to, you may include the graphic itself in your reply. Do promote your graphics if you are a Member Artist, however please only do so in the Member Artist or Specific Artist request sections. Do look out for UFG or Requesting Arena (RA) moderators promoting your graphics. If they think a graphic is appropriate for a requester, they may guide the requester towards your UFG - so make sure you've tracked your topic (see 'Posting UFG Graphics - Do's and Don't's' above)! DON'Ts: Don't promote other artists' UFG or graphics.
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