Learning Photoshop: Day 15 – Fireball

I am starting on what will eventually be composing scenes and added special effects.  For today’s project, I’m going with this tutorial.   Adding a little magic, as it were.

He has the link for the circle on his youtube page, but the image for the flame no longer had a working link.  Instead, I went and got some brushes here.  No use recreating the wheel when a good tool is already available.

My stock can be found here, courtesy of mjranum-stock on DeviantArt.  Lot of great stuff in his gallery, I encourage you to go give it a look.

My results?


Just need a background and a bit of playing with the reflected light, and she’s all set to fry a dragon’s face.  Tomorrow, I’m going to work on a compilation and add said background.



Marinus Draak has dark brown, almost black hair, and dark brown eyes.  He wears his hair fairly long, giving him a somewhat leonine look.  He stands about 6’6” in height and has a very muscular build.  Even with that, he manages to be somewhat stronger than he looks.  Among his people and quite a few others, he is considered a good-looking man.  His common garb is a simple pair of trousers with the leather vest of his people, though when he is actively being a prince he often adds gold armbands.

At the start of the story, he is twenty-seven.  He rarely uses his full name, preferring to go by Rien, and has the nickname and sigil ‘The River Dragon’.

As a fighter, he relies heavily on his size and strength, but he is not without skill.  His primary defense is to simply kill his opponent before they get the chance to hit him, and it mostly works out for him well.  His preferred weapon is a massive axe, though he can use other weapons if needed.  He takes considerable joy in fighting, and can sometimes be heard laughing in battle.  To Rien, there is no kill like overkill and he occasionally makes a game of things like seeing how many limbs he can chop off an opponent.  Rien has several scars, and wears them proudly.

He was the baby of a high ranking family, and as such grew up with few actual responsibilities.  As such, he’s fairly immature and hedonistic, and tends not to consider long-term consequences or how other people will feel about a situation.  However, as a raider he is quite talented, as his boisterous and fearless nature causes him to inspire the warriors around them, letting them accomplish feats some would claim are impossible.  However, he has a short attention span and is easily bored.  Though he isn’t stupid, he is somewhat book-dumb and has a tendency not to pay attention to what is going on around him.  Rien is prone to acting without thinking.

When it comes to responsibility, he usually handles matters by finding someone who knows what they are doing and putting them in charge of dealing with the situation.  One of his good traits is that once he does that, he then actually listens to the advice he is given and trusts his people to do their jobs.  His temper is considerable, and when riled up he often acts without thinking.  However, his sense of humor and tendency toward occasional self-depreciation makes provoking him a bit harder than most anticipate.  He finds Bastien’s invective toward him more amusing than insulting, sometimes even encouraging the man or admiring particular phrases.

As a boy, he genuinely adored his brothers, and he regrets the rifts that have grown since they all became adults.  Jurgen was more a father to him than a brother, and even as an adult Rien hero-worships him.  He used to look forward to Lammert’s returns from his travels with glee, and not just because Lammert always brought him back presents.  He and Rutger were closer in age, and throughout most of their childhood they were inseparable.

His mother chose his father because of Pauwel’s own considerable strength and combat skill.  Pauwel was killed in a skirmish against another Wilder clan when Rien was five.  He took almost forty with him when he died.


Sir Bastien Kohler has red hair and green eyes.  He is light-skinned even when tanned, and does still have a few youthful freckles. His build is trim, not overly muscular but by no means weak.  He’s a little on the short side, standing about 5’9”.  In his teen years, making height jokes got his blood up, but that was before he proved he could kick the asses of men much larger than himself in tournaments.  When the story begins, he has just turned twenty-three.

Before ending up with Rien, he dressed very modestly as befit a knight who actually took the ideal of chastity seriously.  Rien lets Maela dress him, and Maela loves showing him off.  Bastien endures it stoically.  He would never admit it to Rien, but he actually kind of liked the temporary tattoos Maela put on him.

He is a defensive warrior, using a shield and armor.  While he wears considerably more armor than the Wilders, he actually wears less than most Solsthriem knights as his smaller size and mobility gave him an advantage in combat.  His training with the blade began almost the day he learned to walk, and he wields a sword as though it is a natural extension of his arm.  Bastien is a skilled and disciplined warrior, who keeps his head and maintains control during a fight, preferring efficient and effective over flashy.

His mother died when he was three, in childbirth with what would have been his sister had the babe survived.  His parents had been a genuine love match, and thus despite his standing his father never remarried.  He kept Bastien close, doting on the boy, and thus Bastien grew up a responsible and dutiful young man, well trained as a knight.  His father was an idealist, and instilled that in his son.  He and his father share considerable family resemblance, and those who knew Aurel in his youth have no problem recognizing Bastien as his son.

Despite being polite and well-educated, he did grow up around soldiers and can curse with the best of them.  He is an avid enough reader, though not necessarily the most well-rounded.  He is a man of honor and duty, and if he gives an oath he will keep it.  He is extraordinarily stubborn and willful, and perfectly willing to fight unto the death to defend his honor or those under his care.  Pretty much the only way to get him to surrender is to threaten those he is protecting.

As an attractive and well-positioned young man, Bastien did attract a considerable share of female attention.  However, as a squire his interactions were always well chaperoned, usually by his father.  This combined with his own chivalric ideals and modesty are a large part of why he was still a virgin at twenty-three.  Also, he was often quite busy training, doing his duty, or taking part in tournaments.

It didn’t take him long to become fond of the twins despite the glee they take in tormenting him.  He can be quite protective toward them, and tolerates their teasing in a rather big-brotherly fashion.  He will endure and even take a bit of pleasure from what Rien has the twins do to him, but is extremely uncomfortable about the possibility Rien may ask him to do anything to the twins.

Slavery does not appeal to him, though he accepts his situation.  The fact that he takes some physical pleasure from what Rien does to him is something he finds irritating, but that is slowly fading as he adapts to his new life.  He will keep his oath, and keeps his anger at Rien pretty well buried most of the time.  Thus, despite the fact that he would really like to kill Rien, Bastien is someone Rien can trust absolutely.  This fact is something both men find rather ironic.