I am starting out as a freelance website developer so I need to improve my graphics drawing skill. Up till now I'm using an open source tool GIMP to create the concepts and mock ups of the websites I design.I know that Photoshop is the Industry standard(at least as far as I know).

So,what books can help me in learning some advanced Photoshop techniques used frequently in web designing.Also I want to learn how to draw cartoon characters like this.I know it is a matter of creativity but still there must be some techniques which I can learn.Please express your views.

Just for the record, I'm basically a web developer so my graphics drawing capabilities are very limited(but I want to improve that).

  • Sorry, find myself editing the wrong post. Peer-review: please ignore my "changes"
    – user7179
    Nov 2, 2012 at 22:46

3 Answers 3


Personally, I find that Illustrator (with pixel preview and align to pixel grid) has been much more useful than Photoshop in a web workflow. Artboards are intuitively helpful when designing for multiple output devices, the Pathfinder panel allows you to create more nuanced objects, and the Symbols palette allows you to develop more modularity in your approach to asset creation. Modularity = rapid development = the way to go in the current industry environment. Plus, the way Illustrator handles layers and stacking order is more simple than Photoshop's Layers panel.

I apologize for slightly derailing the question, but I feel that Illustrator is a tool much better suited for web work than Photoshop—it's more maintainable and intuitive, once you've gotten past the initial unfamiliarity that comes from working with vector files instead of raster files. I think the links I've provided will serve as a pretty good primer for getting yourself situated with using Illustrator as an alternative to Photoshop for web development.


Experiment a lot, test out all those buttons and functions one by one, read tutorials, try them out, bring your knowledge over from Gimp such as how to use layers, repeat.

You can always buy a book and test out the techniques there, but unless you aim to become a 100% graphic designer I will recommend you to keep it simple at first, more related to what your purpose with it is.

(the cartoon you link to is probably made with Illustrator though)

Edit: if you specifically want to this for web design, check also Adobe Fireworks which is more targeted towards web design than PS is.

  • I think Fireworks will serve the purpose :) Nov 4, 2012 at 14:28

Personally, as a beginner, if you are using Mac, I'd HIGHLY recommend using Sketch 3 over Photoshop/Illustrator. The learning curve is far easier and for web/mobile design, Sketch is a hands-down winner. I have been using Photoshop/Illustrator since the mid-90s professionally, and after 1 day with Sketch, I had no reservations about dropping them like a bad habit. I won't get into specifics as you can read endless reviews and comparisons online.

Check it out!

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