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Digital Art Wonderland: Creative Techniques for Inspirational Journaling and Beautiful Blogging Paperback – 24 Jun 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: North Light Books (24 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440308322
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440308321
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 1 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 366,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

The art of husband-and-wife team Angi Sullins and Silas Toball has been featured in several publications including Somerset Studio, Somerset Digital and Smashing Magazine. Angi and Silas are veterans in the digital art movement and their Web site ( and blogs have won numerous awards.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Suky on 17 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i enjoyed this book on two levels, firstly the creative ideas were quite inspirational, and I can see that although this is fantasy themed the techniques could be equally applied to other genres. The technical aspects of using photoshop were fairly straight forward (maybe not on a novice level) but for a competent user there were some new things to be learnt and once again I can see this creative process being applicable to other subject matters.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Philip H. Petford on 9 May 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent book if you are familiar with using Photoshop.This book uses Photoshop CS5 and I have Photoshop7 which is an older version, but I can still do most of the exercises. My only criticism would be that all the work displayed tends to be on a similar theme, but I guess that the authors are inspired by these
themes and most people will find this book inspirational and will learn much from it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Beth Ball on 2 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book as I am interested in using Photoshop and wanted to see exactly what Photoshop was capable of. This book is fantastic! I would buy this book for the illustrations and layout alone. It has inspired me to want to take a course in Photoshop techniques so that I can copy the ideas set out in the book. Fabulous!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 30 reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Good if you have the materials 5 Jan. 2012
By lisaleo (Lisa Yount) - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has a lot of surface appeal. Sullins's writing style is friendly and encouraging, Toball's Photoshop instructions in the eight tutorials are clear, and their art is gorgeous. If you are an experienced collagist/mixed media artist or scrapbooker, already possessed of a wide stock of component materials, who is fairly (but not completely) new to Photoshop and wants to expand your artistic range into the digital realm, you are likely to find Digital Art Wonderland an excellent choice. If you do not fit that picture, however, you may come to feel, as I did, that the book's weaknesses ultimately outweigh its charm.

The greatest of these weaknesses, to my mind, is that what makes Sullins and Toball's art gorgeous--in addition to their delightful imagination and sense of play--is not primarily their Photoshop techniques, but rather the wonderful assortment of materials they work with... and they give almost no information on how to find such. They refer to "photography sites and other online resources" but don't list any, except a few for fonts; they just assume that you have an extensive "digital library" and "old books" and "ephemera" scattered about. If you don't, I recommend that for starters you look at the many books of line art, most of it copyright-free, that Dover Publications has put out.

The Photoshop instructions are aimed, I would say, at the advanced beginner or early intermediate user: someone who knows the basics of the program (how to use layers and make selections and so on) but has not explored it in depth. The techniques Toball describes in the tutorials are good (I share his admiration for blending modes, and I thank him for reminding me about blending options, which I have never really explored but certainly now will), but they are of limited range; he uses essentially the same handful of techniques in all eight tutorials. More experienced Photoshop users will probably want more variety and find this pretty lightweight as a how-to book. I had a few specific quibbles as well: Toball brings up vector graphics, but he doesn't explain what they are or how to use them--and they can be quite challenging (in fairness, however, they don't play a major role in his overall technique); and I would recommend masking rather than erasing (which he uses extensively) for situations where one is likely to change one's mind, such as blocking out parts of a layer to let the parts underneath show through, because masking can be easily reversed at any time and erasing cannot.

Sullins rounds, or at least fills, out the book with a few pages of comments on composition, use of type, blogging, and the desirability of being willing to play and enjoy "happy accidents." These certainly do no harm, but for the most part they're too general to be very helpful either.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Exactly What I Wanted 1 Jun. 2011
By L. Frisch - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Before I launch into how visually stunning and down-to-earth helpful this book is, I should explain. I am a Photoshop dork - as one of the authors calls herself! - and I have been poking around, making advertisements and other graphics for work, starting with banging my head against the screen and completely ignoring the manual that did NOT come with our corporate copy of CS4, to now being proficient with masking, layers, the pen, paths, etc. But I feel like I am using Photoshop like I use my brain, and that there is a large percentage of capability there I just don't know how to use. So I looked at books at the bookstore, and combed through online searches here at Amazon, but nothing really spoke to me before now. I wanted to elevate my digital collage abilities and make vibrant, impossible, stunning collage art. I wanted to be inspired. I wished for a book that would SHOW ME EXACTLY HOW TO MAKE THAT COOL DIGITAL STUFF!

And then one day - IT APPEARED, for pre-order (darn!), then magically appeared on my doorstep two weeks earlier than promised! Digital Art Wonderland! - it's where I want to be! Yesterday I tore open the padded yellow envelope with abandon. I love this book. It is all of the techniques that I need to know to specifically accomplish such beautiful works written in a voice that makes me think I can do it. Every page of every tutorial is geared toward this genre of artwork, rather than it being relegated to a single chapter in technical books on Photoshop. It addresses every aspect of collage, down to typography and composition.

The authors speak to you as though you are an artistic peer, though clearly I have a lot to learn to be on their level, and they encourage you - they come through as just plain nice people. The instructions are clear and concise as one can imagine with all these Photoshop terms flying about, but any skill and technique must be practiced to be learned. I am only part way through but have already learned things that will help me in my day job, great tips and tricks, and I can't wait to learn more about the once murky world of "blending." Some techniques I am already quite good at, I just didn't see how to apply them to this kind of artwork. Others are quite easy, but weren't intuitive, until now.

This book is put together a lot like a physical collage art book, with a supply list of images you'll need to complete the project. So you'll bring your own versions to the work, instead of duplicating the authors' work exactly. Unless I blew past it, there are no lists of resources like "get your public domain images on here" or anything, so you'll need to do some hunting on your own (google "the graphics fairy" while you are at it.) I think this will lead to a lot of what the authors term "happy accidents."

It is based on Mac version of CS5, which is fine for me on my PC - use the online help to find what you are looking for and play around with settings if they aren't exactly the same as shown in the book. Some basic Photoshop skills are encouraged by the author. Minimum photoshop version CS3 is recommended. Upgrade from Elements is recommended.

Thank you thank you thank you to the authors for putting the time and energy into showing how it is done. I am staying up all night tonight to play with photoshop and this book, again!
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Digital Art WONDERLAND 5 Jun. 2011
By Maureen Murphy - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The arrival of Digital Art Wonderland Digital Art Wonderland: Creative Techniques for Inspirational Journaling and Beautiful Blogging was purely divinely guided, in my case. The arrival is so perfect for where i am at this specific time, just coming off an art class using Photoshop, it has gotten me so re-inspired.
The book is really a visit into the art-wonderland that the authors, Angi Sullins & Silas Toball actually live in. It appears to be a wonderland so totally rich in images, creativity and down to earth good ideas. Upon receiving the book 2 days ago, i immediately jumped into doing the tutorials with both feet. i am now working on the 4th tutorial, and i am proud of my first 3 digital collages.
The beauty of these 144 pages is that it is really about art and creativity, using Photoshop as a wonderful tool. Usually Photoshop books are just too technical to grasp the many uses the techniques could be used for. In this book the authors take you through the process, step by step, and you are able to play around and see the many possibilities, and you end up with a stunning piece of your own creativity using their steps and prompts.
To be honest, i have never written a book review before, this book has set me on fire.
Check it out! and Good luck with your Digital Art!
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
just Patty Anne's RAVING Review 6 July 2011
By just Patty Anne - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Angi Sullins & Silas Tobal of Duirwaugh Studios since I first saw their art appear in one of the Stampington publications. It is magical in color and theme with so many layers of color, image & texture that I had NO idea how they created such intricately detailed images that still seemed to blend into the one whole. No matter how many times I study a piece, I always manage to see more details and nuances that I'd somehow missed the last time.

I ordered the book knowing that if nothing else, I'd be happy with so many of their art pieces to look at. I had high hopes of learning some great techniques and insights, but there have been many books in my past that taught cursory techniques that in no way brought about the types of art pieces that the books showcased.

I am THRILLED BEYOND MEASURE with Digital Art Wonderland. This book reads like a conversation with a couple of enthusiastic friends who are thrilled to show you just how easy it can be to create stunning digital collages - even walking you through each of the steps necessary to achieve their actual art. There are step by step detailed descriptions as well as close up shots of both the art & the tools or layers being worked within Photoshop. Nothing is skimmed over.

Their enthusiasm is contagious in their excitement about the creative journey they are on as they grab you by the hand & creative spirit and sweep you off into their Wonderland of Color, Imagery & Photoshop. Nothing is intimidating. You will know & believe that you can do this too. "Play, Play, Play!" she tells you again and again.

You will learn new things in new ways but you will also learn some old things in NEW ways. Fresh ideas will infuse your own library of techniques. New insights into ways to play with old tools.

At times they take a partially created paper collage and scan it in to then be manipulated digitally, however, if you're not a cut & paster, these rough collages can easily be constructed digitally. They take you through various ways to combine disparate parts, they even clue you in on workflow shortcuts they've learned along the way.

I am not a rube when it comes to Photoshop, but there were times I was left thinking "they can do that???" to which it was quickly replaced with "HEY! I can do that!"

There are artists in the world that hoard their secrets & techniques, not wanting to share the behind the scenes of how they create their artwork, there are other artists that try to make it all sound so very snooty & superior. This is not the case with Angi and Silas. They are right there with you each step of the way, cheering you on, their excitement & enthusiasm always prodding you through your own tentative steps. They let you see their own meandering through the process, why this works & why that doesn't but letting you know it's all going to be OK and you'll land safely on the other side of each courageous new maneuver.

There is a chapter on general blogging guidelines and another on typography, but I think this book is more about the digital techniques of creating your own digital masterpieces.

I have to say that I adore the final chapter "On Spontaneity and Happy Accidents". Angi gives you some small challenges to kick-start your play, bump you a little out of your usual comfort & work zone and to give you 'new eyes to see' as you go through your own supplies, art & processes.

I give this book 5 stars, 2 thumbs up and a whole hearted "Hell Yeah!"
*Woooo Hooooo!!! she screams as she throws her hands up in the air and plunges back into the Wuirbaugh Wonderland*
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Graphics amazing but... 26 Feb. 2013
By Nichole S. - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
They show you these truly amazing images and how to build them but don't provide you with images which to me doesn't make a lot of sense since the techniques are shown with very specific images and it would be nice to be able to use the images they use to instruct in the book to practice and learn with.
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