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girl sleuth.updated: 1 october 2017

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#1 nancy drew.

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Posted 22 June 2016 - 10:42 AM

girl sleuth.

rachel. 23. photoshop cs6.

books, romance, and coffee always.












chapter images.














blends & other things.












lyDLVcaZ.png  IkqPh3v6.png

page thirteen.



red herring








Edited by nancy drew., 01 October 2017 - 10:12 PM.

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 girl sleuth.  || beautiful set from beautiful bex!

#2 starbuck.



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Posted 22 June 2016 - 04:17 PM

hello and congrats on making a gallery! ^_^ just a question before it can be approved - you credit starlightshades@tumblr, but as far as i can see they don't offer resources (i might be wrong and looking in the wrong place)? if you're just using images they post/reblog they might be copyrighted so it wouldn't be okay to use them...if you ever have any questions, feel free to pm me! :)

Edited by starbuck., 22 June 2016 - 04:18 PM.

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#3 wildest dreams.

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Posted 23 June 2016 - 01:47 PM

hellooo lovely <3


so i am here to admire your pretty gallery!

i know you told me not to look but I couldn't resist and I have no regrets :P

i absolutely love the start you have here, your graphics are well thought out, you're already playing with comp and depth which i loooove esp in this+

your banners and CIs are super good too, the storm one and the bride one are both super gorgeous

i absolutely want to see more from you, this is soo good esp considering you've not been doing this for a while

i bet you're going to improve so fast and I can't wait to see it!  :loves: 


as always, let me know if you need any help <33


#4 nancy drew.

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Posted 23 June 2016 - 02:27 PM

HANNAH. :wub: I am only a little mad that you came and looked (except not really). Thank you so much! Photoshop is a brand-new experience for me but my old GIMP skills are coming back to me slowly, even though "skills" is overstating it, and I'm so happy you like it so far! You are the literal nicest.


:loves: You inspire me to go create more stuff.

Edited by TenthWeasley, 23 June 2016 - 02:49 PM.

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#5 gryffiefan


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Posted 29 June 2016 - 08:26 AM

Hey there Rachel ^_^


I can't believe that I haven't seen checked your gallery yet. I like the gallery title by the way ;) I would have dropped by earlier but RL is kinda tough for me these days.

Anyways, I really love what you have in here (your header is so nice!). I like how you're experimenting and working your comp. Your CIs are really good and I particularly like your Esmeralda banner.

And your colorization!!!! (I don't even know how to make one!)

Now I'm gonna be waiting for more of your work and keep on the good work .


~ Cee <3

Edited by gryffiefan, 29 June 2016 - 08:27 AM.

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#6 nancy drew.

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Posted 29 June 2016 - 09:02 AM

Okay, so I know I said I'd respond to your post after I made headway in the piece I'm working on, but all of that hard-cutting got tedious. So I'm here now! The Office is my addiction, it's only natural I'd pick it for my gallery title. :P Thank you for the kind comments, Cee! ♥ For colorizations, I used Bethy's tutorial in the help forum, and you won't believe how simple and amazing her method is. Seriously -- that Kate Winslet one was my first. And it was a ton of fun, sort of like a coloring book! You should go check it out and experiment, and I'm sure you'll be a colorizing pro before too long.


Thanks again for dropping by! :wub:

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#7 RedHairGinny

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 04:33 AM


I'm returning the gallery visit and omg <3

I absolutely adore your graphics :')

this is my favourite, I just love the mono with a splash of red!

I really love the style you have on your banners and blends and I hope to see much more of your work around here too!!

Varsha. Wanna-be writer and Chaser at the Appleby Arrows! Malazan Book of the Fallen <3

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#8 nancy drew.

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Posted 30 June 2016 - 08:59 AM

Thank you so much! ^_^adore black/white/red as a color scheme, and if I had my way, I'd completely fill my gallery with it. I'm trying to experiment more with color, but I definitely love me some black & white. ♥ I really appreciate you stopping by. Hope to talk to you soon!

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#9 Holster



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Posted 02 July 2016 - 12:36 AM

Hi Rachel! Thank you for commenting in my gallery. You're so sweet <3 Here I am, returning the favor, and I already adore your gallery! Your banners are so gorgeous, especially the first one. How do you use stock? I am terrible at using stock and only stick with textures. x3 I love how simple and minimalistic your CIs look and your signatures are amazing! Especially that 'Six of Crows' one. Love the text on that. :D Can't wait to see more of your gorgeous graphics! :)


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#10 nancy drew.

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Posted 04 July 2016 - 07:38 PM

Hey Charlotte! Super mega major congrats on your promo -- I am totally not surprised, because your gallery was gorgeous. ♥ And thank you so much for your kind comments on mine! Stock is a fickle beast, and I hate it almost always, so you're definitely not alone there. Really, all I do is a load of blending and coloring and more blending, all until it looks vaguely respectable. :P I'm so happy you like them, though. It was so sweet of you to pop by my gallery in return; thanks so much, lovely! :glomp:

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#11 TreacleTart


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Posted 08 July 2016 - 02:16 PM

Hey Rachel,


I'm Kaitlin. I'm pretty sure I remember you from the HPFF forums, so I thought I'd stop by and check out your gallery! 


You're off to a really lovely start so far and I'm really impressed by the variety of your graphics. In particular, I love your chapter images the most. I think the two of them really stand out and caught my eye quite quickly as I scanned through the page. I think the Cinder CI is my favorite because of the lovely pops of purple and pink in the background. The image that you used for Cinder is also really clear and the hardcut on it is so good. (I'd love to see you incorporate some of her cyborg features, but I literally have zero ideas of how that might be done.)


I also really enjoy your Six of Crows Signature. Again, I love the use of color, but also how you blended all of the images into the background. The text on that is really good too and I think the red edging around the title really makes it pop. 

One thing that really stood out was the variety of fonts that you use as well. I think often times people struggle with font, but it seems to me that you've done a great job with it. Each banner has a unique text look, but it fits with each banner.


If I had to offer a small amount of concrit, it would be to keep playing with colors. There is a lot of black, white, and gray in your gallery, so I'd love to see you do things with some really bright flamboyant looking colors. Like I said above, that Cinder CI stands out so much because of that purple background. 


Anyway, really good work on all of this. I'll be back periodically to check in and look at all of your new stuff! I have no doubt that it's going to be fantastic!



  Kaitlin - My Gallery / Available


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#12 nancy drew.

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 09:43 PM

Hi Kaitlin! I definitely remember seeing you around the HPFF forums, and it's really nice to run into you here again -- thanks for stopping by. :) Congratulations on becoming a member artist, by the way.


I definitely know what you mean about me needing to work with more color, because it's something I'm very aware of. I sort of go through phases, and until pretty recently there were a couple of more colorful things in my gallery, but somehow the more I improve, the more I want to make dark graphics. :D They're what I'm drawn to and almost always what I request, so it comes naturally to me. But it is something I want to make more of an effort to work on (along with stock use -- blugh)! I do appreciate you commenting on it, and always appreciate constructive criticism. :)


And of course I appreciate your compliments as well! Truly, they made my night. Thanks so much again for stopping by! :glomp: I'll definitely have to be by soon to check out your own gallery, I promise!

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#13 Marzipan


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Posted 08 July 2016 - 11:24 PM

Rachel, I saw your colorization of the sultan and had to come over and say hello! Your gallery is A++ especially your banners, which are all super pretty, and that Spartacus blend :loves: 

Your stock use is awesome so great, like lightyears ahead of mine up until pretty much staff level lol. Make more soon, I'll be back to stalk the pretties  :hide:

♥ Hi, I'm Mary, nice to meet you. PM first ♥

#14 nancy drew.

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Posted 11 July 2016 - 07:19 AM

MARY. :glomp: It's so good to see you again! I see you also colorized the sultan, which is 100% unsurprising. ♥ Thanks for your lovely compliments and for stopping by! You are the knees of bees, yo. :loves:

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#15 Guest_apsara._*

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 10:37 AM

Hii there Rachel!! I am finally here with your crit (&love) :dumbles:  :loves: 
First of all, I want to say that you have a really great start as an MA! You already have a good eye for composition- which is amazing, because thats not an easy thing to master! So without any further ado, let me begin going technique-wise
Composition and Blending
Like I said, you already have a good eye for composition, and you know how to give a graphic depth by varying the sizes of the images, and by trying to make your images interact with the stock- which is great! You mostly have a good sense of focal point, and I like how you position a bigger image in front and then the smaller images at a slight distance (which is usually the way to go about it), but in some cases, there are certain focal point issues. For example, in this+ banner, while the comp is interesting, the smaller male model is a little too far away from the bigger model, which is kinda throwing off the focal point. Focal point is basically that place in the graphic where your eyes focus- and since our eyes automatically look at where the people are looking, or where the text is, leaving too much gap inbetween people (or inbetween people and text), your eye gets confused where to look and the focal point becomes messy. However, in this banner, the solution is easy- if you move the smaller model a little more to the right (closer to the text) and increase the text size a little bit more, the graphic will look a lot more cohesive! Similarly, on this+ sig, draco is a little too far away from hermione, which is again, throwing off the focal point a little. Ill also comment a little bit on this+ CI, because while the focal point isnt off per se, something about the positioning of the smaller model doesnt  seem right. Maybe you can make her smaller and shift her a little to the right? It might make the graphic more cohesive.
However, on this+ and this+ banner, your focal point is perfect so youre definitely improving!
Now, let me come to blending. First things first, since you said you have trouble with stock use, let me comment a little on that. I think your stock use is definitely, definitely a lot better in your newer pieces. The stock use on this+ banner is SO GOOD!!! I love how seamlesly you blended the clock with the flowers! I also love your use of the clocktower in this+, however, that magic ball thingy in the front looks kinda blurry, so watch out for that! In general, I feel that you blend stock into your bases quite well- you dont overdo it, and you dont leave too much negative space either, which is good! However, watch out that your stock doesnt become too pixellated or blurred by your colouring!
As for blending people, your hardcutting is somewhat inconsistent. In your newer pieces (like the UC graphics), the hardcuts are much much better, but in some graphics, there are halos around images and the cuts have jagged edges. In this+ sig especially, the model on the far left looks quite awkwardly hardcut, and in this+ banner, the jagged edges are far too prominent and there is a slight halo around david tennant. I dont know what process you use for hardcutting (everyone has a different method!), but what I find the most convenient is using the magnetic lasso. Just drag the magnetic lasso tool around your image, and once you select it, go to refine edge and increase the smoothness- this will reduce jagged edges drastically and make your hardcuts look far cleaner!! Blending using layer masks is also a good method (youll find some great tutorials on it in the tutorials forum which will explain it better than I will haha)
Colouring and Image Quality
So, right now, this is the consistent issue that I can spot in your graphics- but dont worry! Everrryone faces this issue when they start out! Your image quality is getting affected by overcolouring and overfiltering (something literally all of have done at some point or the other).
The first and foremost thing to keep in mind- is to use hq images. Most photoshoots from behance or hqdiesel  (or fashion editorials) come hq or decent quality as it is, but with screencaps (which I notice that you use a lot of) they arent always of the best quality. When you just *have* to use an image but you can see that its visibly lq, there are two things you can do- a) do not use too many colouring layers! Try to keep the colouring basic and at a minimum. To bring in some depth, you can duplicate the image layer and set it to soft light at a lowish opacity, or you can duplicate layer, set to graussian blur at a low opacity, then duplicate the (original) layer again and set it to sharpen at a low opacity- but all of these work differently for different images b) use black and white or mono. This is the ultimate cheat code lol :P
Remember, the lesser colouring layers, the better the quality (usually. But again, differs from image to image)
Right now, the graphics where I can spot this issue very visibly are this+, this+ and this+. In the the first banner, there is a lot of oversharpening going on, and also a lot of brightness. When you usually make something bright, always remember to balance it out with contrast- or else it will really mess up the quality! The bulletproof CI has the same issue- there is too much brightness which makes the models face too bright and also a little bit blurry. Another thing which is lowering your image quality significantly (esp in the first banner, dramione sig, and this+ banner) is when you resize an image bit too much- like the smaller models in all of those graphics are lq because youve made them too small. This is an issue even I face and there is no real solution tbh (and ive tried quite a few things). One way to avoid it, like I said earlier, is to not use too much colouring or brightness on those models- this is why I usually like to leave models that are too small b/w or mono on my graphics. In general, just keep track of how much youre resizing an image, and dont make it toooo small. But when you do, try to be careful of the brightness and contrast.
I like how youre experimenting with different fonts already! Thats a great thing to do, especially when youre starting out. Your text is usually good so far, and I especially love it when you use cursive fonts! The text on the dramione sig is my favourite, and so is the one on the Rose banner but this+ has to have the best text amongst all of your work. I love how you broke the text down (which, if youve noticed, I love to do A LOT in my own work) and I love how well you made the  text interact with the image, which just took the graphic to another level!
However, on some graphics, the text doesnt interact that well with the rest of your graphic (but dont worry, text is a bane to us all and comes with practice and experience!). In this+ sig for example, the text seems a bit too big, and the lack of variety in the font doesnt  really work. In the bullet proof CI again, the text looks awkward. The orange just looks out of nowhere (the usual rule of thumb I follow when it comes to text colour, is to pick a colour from the base/graphic itself using the color picker tool and then apply it to the text- so the orange seems weird here) and the font and the spaces inbetween letters dont really work tbh. However, I really like the text on your godrics hollow CI!
General rule of thumb for text (that I follow) is to decide which word you want to be the highlight, and then keep that bigger (or in a brighter colour), and the adjust the other words in smaller text sizes around the bigger word :)
Love :hearts:   
What I love the MOST from your gallery are your colorizations! That kate winslet colorization is truly amazing and Im still marvelling at it (because I fail at colorizing lol). I also, really, REALLY love your blends! I think you really excel at bigger graphics so far which is GREAT because Ive seen even staff artists struggle with blends! What Id really like to see are more composition-heavy blends from you- using more than one person; which Im sure youll pull off well :D
I also LOVEE that rose banner (and also your amy banner! Please put that in your gallery!) I think your stock use is improving so so much and tbh, I cant wait to see what else you do!
So yeah, that turned out quite long and rambly, but I hope it helped!! If you have any questions, dont hesitate to PM me! :dumbles:  :dumbles: 
Rohini :loves:  :loves:  :loves: 

Edited by apsara., 15 July 2016 - 11:26 AM.

#16 nancy drew.

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Posted 15 July 2016 - 02:33 PM

Thanks for the wonderful crit, Rohini! :glomp: You've given me so much to think about and work on, and I can't wait to start trying out some of your tips. You're the best, lovely! :loves:

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#17 Asphodelic



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Posted 16 July 2016 - 04:39 PM

Hey Rachel! Not sure if you remember me... but II remember you from HPFF, and I remember you being here before too! It's great to see you're back and making graphics again!
Your colorizations are my absolute favorites followed by your Chapter Images. 
I love the colors in them.
You're good with mixing things up which is good, so keep experimenting!
I look forward to seeing more new graphics from you! :D
- Asphodel

Edited by Asphodelic, 16 July 2016 - 04:40 PM.

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#18 MorganMayFanficQueen

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 12:59 PM

Hiya Rachel! I absolutely love your work so far! My favourites have to be your colourisations. The dramione sig is a graphic after my own heart, adore it. Your titanic icons are precious! The only thing I will mention is your cutting of the doctors in the first banner, they've got a slight glow to them. Other than that brilliant work! Can't wait to see more!

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