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Group Info Group Founded 2 Years ago Statistics 97 Members
3,684 Pageviews94 Watchers

Group Info

A group for dark digital work :D This means digitally edited traditional work of any sort, as well. We just don't like raw images here, too eyesore-ish.

Submit to the closest-appropriate folder. "Dark Fantasy" would be the catch-all.
Featured folder is where you showcase two or three of your best works. Let me know and we can replace some of the ones you might have in there when you get better ^_^
No -raw- photography (this rule does not apply to the stock folder!)
Lit. and edited photography welcome
Anything digitally altered and dark in nature/concept/execution is very welcome here
Dems the rules.
Founded 2 Years ago
Nov 6, 2011


Group Focus
Art Collection

97 Members
94 Watchers
3,684 Pageviews
Daily Pageviews

Gallery Folders

Dark Emotion
So Dark It's Cute
Sorcerers, Magicians, etc
Dark Beauties
Graphic Horror
Scenery and Space art
Manipulated DA ID
Wolves and Werewolves


People always talk about my lighting and to be honest I owe most of it to layer styles.

- Inner Shadow
- Gradient Overlay
- Bevel and Emboss
- Color Overlay

Inner Shadow:

Gradient Overlay
One of my favorites.  It can always help improve dramatic lighting when set to overlay, soft light, or even just normal, with the opacity somewhere under 50%.

Bevel and Emboss:
Increase the Size slider for best effect, and keep the opacity low.  It helps on some things, but not everything.

Color Overlay:
A really good way to darken your subject.  Change the color to black and lower the opacity.

All of these combined with the usual lighting effects usually does it for me... :D

Dark Art Critique Blog

Sat Mar 15, 2014, 8:00 AM

Danger Under A Blood Moon by StarfireArizona

"I had chosen and wrote a short critique concerning the wind earlier. The deviant changed the direction of the wind, and other adjustments, and the image looks so much better.  I even have a connection with the model. I feel like she had to go through danger to reach the top of the rock (the skeletons helps with this feeling) to only missed the chance to tell her love how she feels. This is definitely a dark romantic deviation. " - thefantasim

"OK my first thing here is the contrast. I'm not sure about this, but I'm gonna guess how you went about doing this. Please feel free to correct me. And remember this is just my opinion. YOu're darkest areas in this image is black. The problem with that is, you probable achieved it with a mixture of brightness/contrast and dodge and burn. THe problem I have with the way it came out is the effect makes the whole image look low quality. To describe to you what I mean by low quality, it look like you took a bunch of stock that 500x500px and stretched them to be 2000x2000px. My problem with the hair is that at the back of her head everything is perfect and straight, and only on the sides these bits that are flapping in the wind. The hair at the back of her head should get some movement also. No way in hell is your hair gonna stay perfect like that in heavy wind. Other than the overall quality of this image and the hair, I can't really find anything big wrong here. There's a lot of things wrong I mean, but I think correcting those two things will automatically make the rest better. I hope this was helpfull" - mippieArt

Chiropteras by debzdezigns-lamb68

"I actually love this image. I think you need to do this one again in a year or two, this has the potential to be a really epic artwork. What I could suggest is this;

- The reflection on the fave and hair could do well with a soft and almost white shade of yellow (pick the lightest part from the fire with eyedropper) outline. Just around the edge of her nose and her jaw, a few hair strands. The effect there is kind of flat to me. Composition wise you could maybe add a bit more at the top of the image or make the model a bit smaller, so she will be on the upper right crossline of the rules of thirds. It might increase the impact of this even more. Also I think the moon is a bit too bright, it should be a bit darker, just a little, at the moment it draws all the attention away from the model. And try adding a blue or purple colour to the image to create a nice contrasting of colours. I would suggest you add a purple-ish tone to the shadows you using selective colour or gradient map. And that's about it that I can say. Hope this was helpfull" - mippieArt 

Your turn!!!! Here's how this is gonna work. If you give some feedback on one of these 2 artworks, you can leave me a thumb and I will give your artwork a critique also. Please leave a link to the feedback you gave so I can check you. If you give the feedback here as a comment, please mention the artist who you are giving feedback in the comment so they will see it. 

Dark Photomanip Q and A

Fri Mar 14, 2014, 8:00 AM

So a while ago I asked the community to send me questions they would like to ask us about Dark Photo Manipulations. Here they are!!

Question > SoulcolorsArt asks "Do you scare yourself sometimes with the art you make?"

> " Actually, no.  I'm not a fan of scary movies or horror in general, but I do love suspense.  The best dark art leaves the viewer wondering - what next?" - Nolamom3507
> "Not in a looong time. But even on the occasions where I did it was more because I was alone in the dark at 4 in the mourning. Everything is scary then. " - AbbeyMarie
> " I don't get scare, but I often surprise myself with the final image. " - thefantasim
> "Never. But sometimes I scare my relatives - they think I have psychological problems, as "a happy man wouldn't create art like that" " - LadyEvilArts
> "Lol, no. I watched my first horror when I was 4, Pet Cemetery. So I don't scare easily. I think the stuff that goes on in my head is anyway, and my art is just an extension of that. I can never be scared of myself. Darkness is part of who I am.... " - mippieArt

Question > nikkidoodlesx3 asks "When it comes to dark pieces, most people think of black. Do you specifically use a lot of black, or do you like to avoid black and go with dark color tones? What colors work the best for you when creating dark pieces?"

> " Color can be one of the most effective ways of portraying the uncomfortable or the unconventional - the dark." - Nolamom3507
> "I don't think I use a lot of flat black. I don't try to avoid anything though. If the art calls for it I will do it." - AbbeyMarie
> "I never use black, but when it comes to dark, I like "night" because that's when the ghoulies come out and the dark magic happens. So I use other methods to get the dark and the darkest dark areas, which doesn't have to be black." - thefantasim
> "Black is a good colour, I use it when it suits my idea. For dark art I mostly use grey-bluish-greenish (classic), but I can't state that I'll never use other colours, focus on feelings and concept, not colours." - LadyEvilArts  
> "Yeah I don't think there's a specific colour set for dark art. It's about the concept and the aura more than the colour. Al though if there's one thing we all agree on it's that too much solid black isn't always a good thing. Except for if you're doing a B&W artwork." - mippieArt  

Question > debzdezigns-lamb68  asks "What is the single most over-used item in Dark Manipulations?"

> "Girls in long dresses, BUT lately I have been telling myself "There is no such thing as a cliched idea, just cliched execution". We shouldn't avoid cliches, we should revolutionize them." - AbbeyMarie 
> "Do you mean stock wise, theme wise? Gothic/Victorian women wearing black in a night forest background." :devfantasim:
> "Hmm...I cannot name one thing... Have to say, no matter how overused the item is, if you work on your own concept." - LadyEvilArts
> "Girls in dresses with a gloomy background. All though I must add that there's no such thing as over used if you are able to give a over used concept a interesting flair." - mippieArt

Question > Noxy-Voorhees asks "Dark concept vs dark imagery?"

> " Concept - what is the idea behind the piece that brings to mind the unconventional and uncomfortable, vs. Imagery - the visual that the viewer finds disconcerting....concept definitely leads to the imagery." - Nolamom3507
> "Concept leads to imagery." - AbbeyMarie
> " The word "concept" means idea, and "imagery" means pictorial images ("the formation of mental images, figures, or likenesses of things, or of such images collectively",… )  So, the difference is the dark idea versus the dark image itself.  One really does go side by side with the other. " -  thefantasim
> "Always go together, have no answer for this question." - LadyEvilArts

Question > BloodMoonEquinox asks "Is there a difference between dark and macabre, and if there is, where is that line?"

> " Dark is uncomfortable in some way, it may include an element of pain (either physical or emotional), whereas macabre delves more into the realm of death - our most fundamental fear.There is nothing more uncomfortable than confronting one's own or another's demise.  Macabre often uses elements of the supernatural to emphasize the death aspects. " - Nolamom3507
> "Macabre has to do specifically with death. I believe it's a "All macabre is dark art, but not all dark                                                        art is macabre" situation. " - AbbeyMarie
> "Macabre has to do with death and anything that represents death.  You can have dark illusions,but you need to indicate death (bones, skeletons, grave yard, face painted as skeletons, etc.) for it to be macabre." - thefantasim
> "Yes, quite a difference - looking at dark art you feel sadness and melancholy, horror - fear and sometimes disgust (please, don't misinterpret my word, I like horror art, when it's done with taste,but it usually has a lot of blood, wounds, rotten things etc not all people like to look at)" - LadyEvilArts
> "I think dark artwork is more about the concept as oppose to macabre/horror being more about the image. Macabre/horror artworks mostly have straight forward concepts, where dark art usually has a more suggestive concept." - mippieArt

Your turn!! Tell us;
- Do you have a question about dark art?
- Do you have an answer for one of the questions asked?

Dark Groups Feature

Wed Mar 12, 2014, 2:00 PM

There are so many groups on dA that focus on dark/horror/macabre artworks. Bellow are some groups I know about.

In-Obscuro :iconin-obscuro: - They only except Photo Manipulations of the dark kind. They also have a great poll called 'The Chosen One' where the winner of the poll gets a huge feature and interview.

Ombre-De-Nuit :iconombre-de-nuit:We are a peaceful site in the shadows where dark souls can feel at home. Our goal is to give dark and horror/macabre digital artists a voice and a place to share their creations. And, why yes, we do in fact have cookies.Anyone can join our group, but only quality submissions will join our wicked gallery. 

PsychoArtistUnited :iconpsychoartistunited:Welcome to this side of the world EVIL Laughter! This group was founded by rottenz and latter given to StarsColdNight  so here i encourage you to share your most twisted, freaking, and darkest works Chainsaw

Please follow the rules and have fun!

Devilz-Playground :icondevilz-playground:We are a HORROR GROUP and only accept very dark Gothic and horror art, The more blood the merrier.
We promote artists and their art. Don't be shy, if you think you have talent contact one of the admins. There is nothing wrong with thinking you have what it takes.

And here are a bunch of other dark groups I know about;

:icondark-etheria: :icondarkcoven: :iconsexy-evil: :iconthevoiceofdarkness: :icondark-demonic-state: :iconblackhole-horizon: :iconbeyondlife-da: :iconobscure-world: :icondeviant-nightmares: :icondark-of-souls: :iconrelativelyinsane: :iconuniquebreed: :iconbeautifullydamned: :iconmasters-of-dark-art: :iconinside-dark: :icondarkclub: :icondark-asphyxiation: :iconour-dark-imagination: :iconwhats-the-piont: :iconliliths-realm: :iconwhen-darkness-comes: :icondaparanormal: :iconrosary-cross-club: :iconmirificencesmacabres:

Your turn!!! Please tell me;

- Do you know of a Dark Art Group that I didn't list above?

- Do you know of any special dark groups? (groups that not only allows submission, but does something different also)

-What's your opinion of the groups I featured? Do you like my selection?

Mature Content Filter is On
(Contains: nudity and violence/gore)

Interview: Conzpiracy

Wed Mar 12, 2014, 6:50 AM

Most of us have heard about this website called SurrealPSD in the last couple of months. We have seen people posting about it in journals and we have seen people recommending the site during critiques. We have seen so much of conzpiracy 's tutorials going around. People writing, "Check this tutorial out, it will explain to you exactly you do achieve the effect you are after" So I guess it's needless to say that we all would like to know a bit more about the guy behind this movement. 

Conz Profile 2012 by conzpiracy

conzpiracy is a Digital Artist from the UK. He mainly designs book covers and runs the Photoshop tutorial site Previously he taught Advanced Digital Imaging at the university level in the UK for a number of years. He got involved with Photoshop at the young age of 14 and started freelancing shortly after that. At first and for a long time he created event flyers and album designs for artists and promoters in the Drumm n Bass scene. It was only later on that he went on to work in the horror industry, designing book covers.

"Horror is my first love, but I also go crazy for Sci-Fi and Cyberpunk!!" - conzpiracy

We the People by conzpiracy

My first question to conz was how he first got involved with deviantArt and the PM community. He said, 
"DeviantArt really took me to the next level. Even though it's a deeply flawed site, it will always have a special place in my heart!!

I signed up in 2005, because I wanted to learn more about the 'grunge' style of photomanipulation that was popular. I submitted some devs, got talking to like-minded artists and it just snowballed from there. It came to a point where I was creating art just to post on DA, and get feedback - so in that respect it's a tremendous engine for growth."

I noticed that he had a lot of dark artworks in his gallery, obviously I know, but I wanted to know from him what it is about dark artworks that inspires him? He answered, 

"The obsession with dark stuff and monsters goes right back as far as I can remember, so there's probably some deep-seated freudian reason for it haha..

The macabre is transgressive, it illicits a primal response - the crazy chemical dump of fight or flight. Violence is in our DNA, and it doesn't hurt that skulls and bloody vixens look totally badass!!"

Fuseli's Nightling by conzpiracy

Obviously I had to ask about!!! I can imagine that starting something like that and growing it takes a lot of hard work. So I wanted to know from him how much work he has to put into that to make it a success.

"Wow, it's great to be perceived as a 'great success', so thank you very much for that. In all honesty, the site is still in it's early, humble beginnings. In the grander scheme of things, we're still pretty small, but the site is establishing itself well as a niche site for creative photomanipulators.

The site started as a university project, and started to gain traction in the PM community, so I continued to build the brand - focusing on ALL the core skills photomanipulation. I was annoyed at how the on-line and magazine tutorials just seemed to ignore essential fundamentals such as composition, scale and stock selection, so I set out to remedy that.. It's not all theory though, we also put out lots of fun walk through's with a specialism in monster effects!!

Running a website requires two major ingredients: Consistency and Resilience. This includes working when you're hungover, missing out on paid gigs and undertaking repetitive tasks such as content syndication. At the back-end, it's not that glamorous - but I do love it :) (Smile)

As things are progressing, the site is becoming more of a 'business' now as opposed to a hobby, so I've had to sharpen up my professional approach in many respects. I still consider myself a noobie in 'content marketing', but having great fun with the journey."

So it is now very obvious that everybody who receives advice from this guy should value it tremendously, he knows what it takes. But what advice does he have to all the new comers in our community and to deviantArt.

"This depends on the goals they'd like to achieve.. Would you guys like to earn from your creative endeavours, or would you like to gain notoriety / be the best photomanipulator you can in the hobbyist sense?

To build a name, you have to be consistent, and always improve your skillset. Create frequently, post across all platforms. Interact with your peers, leave comments, be decent. Share with others.

It's not the most glamorous advice in the world, but two hours practice a day over a number of years will definitely move you toward your goals."

Starlet by conzpiracy

mippieArt - "What are the 3 most important things you think a dark photomanip needs to consist of?"
Conz - "There's no real 'checklist' for creating dark works, as with any creative pursuit. What I will do however, is give three general pointers for succesful photomanipulation work:

1. Stock Resources - Studio-shot, high resolution images will instantly improve your work. There are many stock artists who post first-rate stock photography, for free on DA. Train yourself to be incredibly fussy with what you use, and everything will leap forward in quality.. INSTANTLY.

2. Scale / Composition - The number one stumbling block I've found with my students hasn't been Photoshop operation, it's composition. Look at your favourite photomanipulation works and identify how large the various elements are. How big is the 'focal' element (usually figurative), in relation to the supporting elements and the overall frame. Keep this in your mind at all times, an image has 'hierachy' - too many focal points can distract the eye and lessen impact considerably. Hardly anyone puts any thought into this, but it's a phenomenally important aspect of the game - a well composed manip screams out from the thumbnail!!

3. Learn the Pen Tool - I've had many arguments about this online, but I'll stick to my guns here. The Pen Tool, without doubt is the best compositing tool for 'cutting out' elements in Photoshop. There is a learning curve (excuse the pun!), but once you have it mastered, everything just looks so much better. I have a trained eye, and can instantly see ragged edges when a manipulator uses inferior techniques. In raster software, there's no substitute for the good ol' Pen Tool."

Authors note: Please note that not one of the things he mentioned was about theme or specific elements, like a gothic girl in a dress in a cemetery.)

Lastly I asked this great entrepreneur and artist what the greatest lesson he learned was, with regards to this industry and generating and income.  "
Diversify your income streams.
With such a ferociously competitive marketplace, it makes sense to have multiple revenue streams, so think seriously about other avenues where you can earn from your skill-sets.
For me it's working as a commercial artist, lecturing and the revenue generated by - with those three together, I just about make a living from this crazy art stuff!!"

Autopsy_Admission by conzpiracy
PlugIn_Baby by conzpiracySecond Splinter by conzpiracyBlack Swan by conzpiracyBeauty of Fear II by conzpiracyDivine Cruelty by conzpiracyAeon Loop by conzpiracyBeauty in the Posthuman by conzpiracyThe Oracle by conzpiracy
Cenobite by conzpiracy


On behalf of the entire team I would like to thank conzpiracy for agreeing to do this. We all can learn a little something from him. Please visit and improve your photo manipulating skills today!!!

More Journal Entries


Add a Comment:
Teddy-Cube Nov 20, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
thanks for request :)
Teddy-Cube Oct 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
thanks for very much for req :D
neverdying Sep 25, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks a lot for the requests! :)
Isafri Sep 1, 2013
Thanks very much :) !!!
BiBiARTs Aug 28, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks so much for the request, much appreciate!
Hey R. whar wood i submit literature in here? :paranoid:
Noxy-Voorhees Aug 27, 2013  Student Digital Artist
You can submit it to either the category it might fit in (vampires, etc) or stick it in the Literature folder I just made.  :D :D :D  I totes forgot about literature on dA DD:
You can't forgit' lit! :XD:
I don't see the literature folder in the dropdown menu when I go to submit. :ohnoes:
Noxy-Voorhees Aug 28, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Well crap XD  I fixed the permissions now, so it SHOULD finally work D:
(1 Reply)
nachtpixler Dec 6, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
=) thanks a lot for accepting me to the group
Add a Comment: