• Got Bread?
    Got Bread?
  • The English Robin
    The English Robin
  • Afternoon Snooze
    Afternoon Snooze
  • Waterton Lakes Valley
    Waterton Lakes Valley
  • Magic Mushrooms
    Magic Mushrooms
  • Vino sulla Vite
    Vino sulla Vite
  • Fairy Stream
    Fairy Stream
  • Sunset Smoke
    Sunset Smoke
  • Om Nom Nom
    Om Nom Nom
  • Summer Lake Cabin
    Summer Lake Cabin
  • Stormy Mountain Sunset
    Stormy Mountain Sunset

Category: Tutorials

Beginner Crochet: Ten More Tips to Enhance Your Hobby

In August of 2016 I wrote Beginner Crochet: Ten Tips I Wish Tutorials Had Taught Me after I felt I had more or less progressed beyond the very baseline learning phase of the hobby. Since then I’ve been working on improving my existing skills as well trying new things and have picked up another ten tips I’d like to share!

Note: Although several products are recommended in this post, there are no affiliate links.


Beginner Crochet: Ten Tips I Wish Tutorials Had Taught Me

It’s been eight months since I started crocheting amigurumi. I’m having a lot of fun with it, particularly as it still allows me to engage in other things I also enjoy, like science fiction, fantasy, gaming, and so on. So far I’ve completed about a dozen projects and have progressed fairly well with my skills (though I still have lots to learn!). While reflecting on how far I’ve come, I realized there are things I’ve learned along the way that would have been helpful to know up front. I’m sure I’m not alone in this, so, without further ado, here are ten beginner crochet tips I wish amigurumi tutorials had taught me!


Sphere Attack

This tutorial will teach you one method for creating a fabulous-looking sphere of energy that can be used to simulate a magical attack in your artwork. It was created using Photoshop CS2 for PC. Newer versions may need slightly different steps. It also assumes that you are somewhat familiar with the software. :)

In order to complete this tutorial, first you need to follow the Lighting and Colored Energy tutorial to at least step 3 (step 4 if you want color in your sphere). Although following the tutorials exactly will help you replicate the same effect that I created, the best way to learn is to experiment and create your own results!

Let’s begin!


Space Art

I LOVE space art. I’ve done a few pics which feature space as backgrounds or as the primary subject. It’s a great way to express your creativity because there is still so much we don’t know about space. Artists aren’t limited by “reality”—who’s to say what really is and isn’t possible out there? The void can be as beautiful or as harrowing—or both—as your imagination desires.

Space art takes quite a bit of effort and patience to make it look good and believable. I’ve spent upwards of six hours working on a single image. The artists I admire can spend double or more than that. There’s a lot of intuition involved, especially regarding color usage, shapes, etc. From what I’ve experienced so far, it takes a lot of practice. The results are oh so rewarding though!

I’m just learning and still experimenting with space art myself, so at this time I don’t feel I should be offering a tutorial of my own making. There are a number of fabulous tutorials out there that I have used (or are planning on using) to help me break into this art form, and my purpose here is to share them with you so that you can try them out and start making your own art.

I do not take credit for any of the tutorials linked below. Please respect the authors’ wishes if their tutorials list restrictions and give credit where credit is due. :) And have fun!

Exploding Planet
Planet Rings
Sun Tutorial

I also recommend the LunarCell, SolarCell, and Glitterato Photoshop plug-ins from Flaming Pear, though these plugins could be considered “cheating” and it’s usually much better to learn how to create the same effects manually. :)


Lightning and Colored Energy

To add realistic-looking lightning or a great magical effect to your artwork, follow this tutorial! The tutorial was created using Photoshop 7.0 for PC. Newer versions may need slightly different steps. It also assumes that you are somewhat familiar with the software. :)

Although following the tutorial exactly will help you replicate the same effect that I created, the best way to learn is to experiment and create your own results!

Let’s begin!


Digital Inking

The Freeform Pen tool is a fabulous alternative for artists who are not fond of inking their sketches. Some reasons you might not want to ink the sketch are:

  • not wanting to ruin the sketch if a mistake is made;
  • the pic is on lined or otherwise unsuitable paper for the finished product;
  • you don’t own a light table;
  • you are going to CG the picture instead of coloring it with traditional media.

Using the Freeform Pen tool to outline (digitally ink) the sketch allows you to create lineart that is perfect for CGing on the first try. The lineart will already be on its own layer and it will be 100% clean—no smudges or other souveniers from the sketch will remain to hamper coloring efforts!

The Freeform Pen tool can be a bit intimidating and frustrating if you’ve never used it before, so this tutorial is designed to help you become familiar with it. It does take a bit of practice and patience to get the hang of it, so don’t give up if you don’t get it right away!

This tutorial was created using Photoshop CS2 for PC. Newer versions may need slightly different steps. It also assumes that you are somewhat familiar with the software. :)

Although following the tutorial exactly will help you replicate the same effect that I created, the best way to learn is to experiment and create your own results! There are also many effects you can incorporate to the lineart while you are creating it, such as setting pressure sensitivity if you have a tablet or using different brush types for different styles of lines. For this tutorial I won’t be showing those advanced techniques. Experiment on your own after you’ve learned the basics. :)

Let’s begin!


Digital Coloring

There are many ways to use Photoshop to color lineart. This tutorial demonstrates the method I use. It was created using Photoshop CS2 for PC. Newer versions may need slightly different steps. It also assumes that you are somewhat familiar with the software. :)

Coloring art in a program like Photoshop is not only fun (because you can get very creative using the tools and filters) but it can also save you time and materials, since you don’t have to worry about dry markers, broken pencils, or possibly starting over because of a mistake! You can also recolor the same image many times to see how different color combinations look.

Although following the tutorial exactly will help you replicate the same effect that I created, the best way to learn is to experiment and create your own results!

Before moving to this stage, I prepared my lineart using the steps outlined in my Digital Inking tutorial.

Let’s begin!