I've been running my site at Greenimalist.com, and I've recently decided to hand-craft my own theme for the site instead of purchasing a pre-built template. I have two years of programming experience (in C, objective C, and Java), and I'm comfortable with writing HTML and CSS. Code is easy for me; beautiful design is not.
I'm wondering what type of resources you would recommend for learning WordPress theme design. Although there are plenty of books available (from Sitepoint, Smashing Magazine, Packt Publishing), I'm on a tight budget and I prefer no-cost documentation. Since I'm also traveling right now, I can't visit a local library to borrow books, either. So I'm considering mostly cheap/free e-books and websites.
I'll be spending the next few days devouring the entire WordPress Codex. Unfortunately, the site appears to have lots of obsolete material and missing information. I was wondering if the Codex is sufficient for grasping WordPress, or if I needed to buy a book to really grok how it works.
Although not technically related to WordPress, I will also need help with learning web design. I'm looking for a resource to walk-through CSS tactics step-by-step. I understand how to form CSS, but I have no experience in the little hacks that make a site look beautiful. I'm looking for a resource that walks through hundreds of examples of sample source code rather than one that merely teaches syntax.
I also welcome any references to good art/graphics design sites. I'm also attempting to draw up the artwork (gasp). I don't need manuals for Photoshop/Illustrator; I already know how to use them. The problem is not the tools, it's the artist using them.
Here are the sites I've bookmarked already; if you have better ones you enjoy, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks y'all!
- Smashing Magazine
- Tuts+ Network