I know that I've been known to dabble in digital art, machinma, animation, or photo manipulation from time-to-time, but believe it or not, I've never used Photoshop. The only image editors I have limited experience with is MS Paint and Sony Vegas. 

I recently picked up a copy of Photoshop, and I've been wanting to dig into it since I know next to nothing about its capabilities. So, what a fun project for a Sunday afternoon, right? Not so much.

Some highlights:

1 | I used a real photo image to trace a basic outline. Other than that, it's all freeform drawn directly in the application.
2 | Everything looks plastic and painted on. But I'm moderately confident that's the point of Photoshop (see image above), so I feel as though I am crawling along the right learning curve here.
3 | Pretty sure this type of project would have been much easier and more efficient with a pen tablet as opposed to torturing myself with a netbook touchpad -- it's likely the difference between outlining with a 1mm paint brush and a crayon. Unless I am doing something really wrong (and that's entirely possible), I found it impossible to create fine lines - a key component when drawing facial features. Don't even get me started on the hair.
4 | I may not know much about digital art, but I can talk to anyone (who will listen) and tell them everything they want to know about financial derivatives. I'm hoping that helps even the playing field in some way. Probably not though. I don't know if I will attempt anything like this again, because seriously, what a pain-in-the-ass. 
5 | I still refuse to draw an ear. Mainly because if I make the attempt I will probably cut my own off. So I either work the drawing around it or omit it altogether. I did both on this one.
6 | Digital boob jobs are cheap and easy. Need a little more heft? A little lift? No problem.  
7 | With the exception of the hair, mouth, nose, eyes, eyebrows, neck, breasts, and arms -- this is a self-portrait. Frankly, I was thrilled when I was able to make something look like anything. Just to put things in perspective. And no, the pun wasn't intended. Damn.
8 | The ears are all me. So is the armpit. But I've never worn any derivation of the color pink in my life. 

9 | For certain people, I like to make things for them as opposed to buying gifts. I suppose if I put a lot more effort into this, it could possibly qualify under the right circumstances. It's just too bad it looks nothing like me. And there may be something a little off-putting about "Here's a picture of my ears and armpit I made just for you". As such, it ends up on the internet. Please hold your applause for later.

10 | Photoshop is a complex and sophisticated software package, and I am sure I only scratched the surface with what it can do. The photo image on the right-hand column in the 'About' section? That is me. With the exception of applying a sepia effect (and that was me thinking I was going all Annie Leibovitz on it), it is completely unaltered. Medieval of me, I know. I see that now. Edit: I've had a couple people call-me-out on the photo I mention. It has changed since I wrote this post. Yes, it is totally photoshop'd (because I can now). You mean you don't really believe I was an original member of Charlie's Angels? And to think I could have gotten away with it if it weren't for those meddlin' kids!

But now it makes sense why people assume every online image they see has been "photoshop'd" in some way. Because unless your are holding the 4x6 in your hand, it probably has been. For kicks I may do a before-and-after to show what I really can do if I "photoshop" an image. 

When Newton wrote "To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction," he wasn't referring to physics; it was merely a foreshadowing of the Air Brush and Layer Masking tools in Photoshop. My proof: