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About Digital Art / Professional Senior Member Ashley WaltersFemale/United States Groups :iconcgpepper: CGpepper
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My full terms of Use can be found here:…

The condensed version: All my artwork is protected by copyright law. I hereby claim that my work is NOT in the public domain. You may not alter my work in anyway, claim my work to be yours, publish my work without permission, or unlawfully collect profit from my work. You may display my artwork on your blog so long as you link back to this deviantart account or



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Ashley Walters
Artist | Professional | Digital Art
United States
I am a professional freelance illustrator and concept artist and a mother of three. I enjoy painting, Sonic's milkshakes, Netflix binges, and the ever-elusive quiet house. When I'm not painting, I blog about arty things. For tutorials, goodies, and art news, catch me over at my website.

I am available and looking for commercial work, including concept art, book covers, and illustration in the fantasy and sci-fi genres. Please note me or fill out the contact form on my website.

Ranger Orc by lithriel Stone Elemental by lithriel


10 Time-saving Photoshop Shortcuts for Artists

Did you know the average person wastes a staggering 64 hours a year by neglecting to use keyboard shortcuts? Time is a precious resource. Don't squander it hunting for tools when you could be painting instead. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned pro, the time you invest in learning a few shortcuts will be well worth the added efficiency boost.

Chances are, you're familiar with the universal shortcuts: CTRL + S, CTRL + Z, CTRL + C, and CTRL + V (and if you're not, learn them now), but did you know nearly every key on your keyboard can access a shortcut in Photoshop?The full power of this incredible program is literally at one's fingertips, yet it's often underutilized. While looking at cheatsheets with a dizzying number of quick keys can be daunting, don't let Photoshop's complexity scare you. Start small with these 10 easy time-saving shortcuts for artists.  

1. Brush Tool

Mac: B
Windows: B
Press the letter 'B' and you've found the number one artist shortcut, the brush tool. Pressing one key is much faster than hunting.

2. Toggle Brushes

Mac: , / .
Windows: , / .
Like traditional artists, digital artists use various brushes to paint. Use the period and comma keys to toggle between them with ease.

3. Re-size Brush

Mac: [ / ]
Windows: [ / ]
Painting hair? No need to open the brush panel to get a smaller brush. Just use brackets to increase and decrease your brush size.

4. Increase / Decrease Hardness

Mac: { / }
Windows: { / }
Sometimes you need sharper details than your current brush offers. Increase or decrease the hardness of your brush by using curly brackets.
straightlinePRO TIP: To paint a straight line, select the brush tool, paint a dot, hold down 'shift', and paint another dot off to the side. Photoshop will connect them for you.

5. Select a New Color

Windows: ALT
Don't interrupt your work to find the eyedropper. Just hold down ALT / OPTION to pick a color. Photoshop will then go back to your previous tool.

6. Switch Foreground / Background

Mac: X
Windows: X
Quickly toggle between your foreground and background colors by pressing X.  (Press D to automatically select black and white ).

7. Zoom In / Out

Mac: SHIFT + Spacebar
Windows: SHIFT + Spacebar
A must for the digital artist—zoom in and out instantly by pressing SHIFT + spacebar and scrolling or moving the mouse or down (up zooms in, down zooms out). Let go to revert back to your last used tool.

8. Move / Hand Tool

Mac: CMD / Spacebar
Windows: CTRL / Spacebar
Don't bother with the move or hand tools. Just press and hold CTRL / CMD to move a layer or the spacebar to move the canvas inside the viewport. Release the button to go back to your previous tool.
fillPRO TIP: Fill the canvas (or current selection) by pressing ALT/OPTION + DELETE for the foreground color or CTRL/CMD + DELETE for the background color.

9. Create a Duplicate Merged Layer

Sometimes an artist needs a merged version of layers without flattening the file. Simply press CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + E or CMD + OPTION + SHIFT + E to create a duplicate merged layer on top of your work.

10. Select the Layer Above or Below

Mac: OPTION + [ / ]
Windows: ALT + [ / ]
Press the ALT / OPTION key, then press the right bracket ] to select the layer above or the left bracket [ to select the layer below. Photoshop will automatically circle back around when you reach the top or bottom.

Final Notes

Notice there's no need to select the eyedropper tool (I), hand tool (H), or zoom tool (Z)--even with shortcuts. By temporarily switching to the function of that tool without deselecting your brush you can move much faster. The difference might seem minuscule, but it adds up. Imagine gaining 64 hours a year over a lifetime. The benefits are undeniable.

What are your favorite Photoshop shortcuts for painting? Share them in the comments below.


This article is from my art blog, For more like it, be sure to like me on facebook and follow me on twitter where I post art resources and industry secrets for aspiring illustrators.

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Cocoletta Featured By Owner May 7, 2015
Have you read The Demon trppers Serie ?
Lexi247 Featured By Owner May 4, 2015
Just stopping by to say hello :hug: Have a wonderful day!
LJEKC Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2015

Hello, it's an honor for me to welcome you in Fantasy-NPC :) (Smile)


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GiantPanda Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love your fantasy art!
doctorci Featured By Owner Edited Nov 29, 2014  Student General Artist
hey lithriel what happened to the sequel Things Unseen is cancelled is no more or what
lithriel Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I might have lost all my work on it. My computer went kaput about three weeks ago. I have a new computer and I've been rewriting the Price of Victory, but I'm honestly not sure what's in store after that.
doctorci Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2014  Student General Artist
well good luck in you future projcts and i hope you be writing the sequel of Things Unseen one day 
barananduen Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2014   General Artist
Dropping by to wish you a very happy birthday. I hope you have a great time with family and friends, and may the coming year bring you great happiness and success!

:party: :hoLA: :cake: Remnants Carameldansen 
daeien Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2014
Happy Birthday! :D :party: :cake: :party: :D
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