The purpose of this FAQ is to answer all those questions that I get asked pretty regularly all in one tidy spot.
If, after reading this, there is something else you would like to know, please send me a Note and I'll answer it for you, or add the question here and answer in more detail.
Thanks for reading.
"How long have you been drawing?"
Cliched I know, but I am told I started drawing the moment I learned how to pick up a pencil. I used to draw a lot of trees that looked like lollipops... houses on wheels... Superman's 'S' logo (even though I didn't realise it was an S for several years - child interpretation I guess)... and Spiderman from the 70s TV series with Nicholas Hammond.
And ducks. Don't ask me why.
My imagination is pretty limited and trust me, it's very annoying. This explains why what you see in my gallery relies strongly on reference images. I consider myself an 'observational artist' and I get a lot of "incredible details!" type comments. Those are the ones that give me the biggest buzz.
"What art training do you have?"
I'm mostly self-taught. Sure, I studied art at school but that is a bit of a generalisation since most people take an art class but not all enjoy it. I enjoyed it, but did not really learn anything as such.
I tried a couple of higher education courses - BA in Illustration - but didn't conform to the teachers standards. So technically my art schooling ended at the age of 16.
"What software/hardware do you use for your digital painting?"
I use Photoshop CS2 and a Wacom Intuos3 graphics tablet for all my digital work.
If you can't afford Photoshop, try The Gimp - a program that I'm told is very similar to Photoshop - and the best part is it's FREE.</strong>
"How long have you been painting with Photoshop?"
I started painting digitally in 2003 using Photoshop 5 Limited Edition and a cheap Trust graphics tablet. Currently, I use Photoshop CS2 with a Wacom Intuos3 graphics tablet.
"Are graphics tablets worth the fuss?"
In a word - YES!
Having said that, they're not for everyone but a lot of people (myself included) find that once they understand how they work and the benefits they provide, wonder how on earth they managed using a mouse. I compare it to trying to draw whilst holding a brick. It's nowhere near as precise or natural.
Drawing with a pen makes a lot more sense!
There's no need to go out and pick up the most expensive tablet you can find. I usually recommend buying a smaller, cheaper version from a PC store and seeing how you get on with that first. It will feel quite strange to begin with but use it to play Minesweeper... Solitaire... scribble in Paint... all just to get a feel for the thing and you might find you take to it pretty quickly.
Then you can decide if you want to get a Wacom...
"What do you do for a living?"
I currently create diagrams for examination papers for a company based in Cambridge. Remember those pictures of leaf cell cross-sections? That's probably me. The hypotenuse triangle where you have to calculate angle X? Yeah, that too. Technical drawing, geography, physics, biology, chemistry, agriculture... a whole heap of subjects.
It's all black & white line-art created using Adobe Illustrator. Not a movie director or actress in sight. It's a pretty varied job but is completely different to the work I have on here - again, kinda frustrating, but I could be doing worse jobs, right?
"Do you make much money from selling your artwork?"
I made no money from having my Prints on dA and I don't have time to do private commissions - at least not right now. Everything in my gallery is just a hobby.
"Do you do commissions?"
I prefer not to receive unsolicited requests.
By all means ask me via a Note but I'm offering no guarantees. I have a 9-5 job during the week so I have limited spare time. And you wouldn't want to deprive me of that, would you?...
I tend to work on pieces that I find personally gratifying. I definitely don't do Manga, Star Trek, adaptations of your original character, DS9, Buffy or RPG-based pieces. I have no attachment to these things. There are plenty of other artists on dA who would be happy to oblige I'm sure.
I usually only accept 1-2 commissions per year.
"Can you teach me to paint?"
I've created several tutorials which you will find in my gallery. They cover the various techniques that I use. There are plenty of other more specialist tutorials on dA covering other things.
As much as I would like to, I am unable to offer a personal mentoring service. I will, however, try my best to answer any questions you have.
I do the illustrations for examination papers for a business based in Cambridge. Geography maps, music scores, biological cross-sections... that kind of thing. So I'm an illustrator at work, but it's not the same as the stuff I do here at dA.
away time is back
:D! This time I've
got 1500pts to give
away c:The last
giveaway was really
well received so I'm
doing another! After
the way the last one
panned out, one
thing I would like
to remind you guys
of is to PLEASE
PLEASE follow the
guidelines so you
can be properly...
A few days ago we
had a chat to
issues and solutions
(see the original
thanks to everyone
who came and raised
took 45 minutes for
the volume of talk
to max out Sta.sh
limit and this chat
went for two more
Even though summer
is imminent, you
often find yourself
on your couch,
watching Honey Boo
Boo, thinking; "I'm
rather chilly o_o.
OMG I'M CHILLY." .
would rather blast
the air conditioning
and bundle up then
turn it down and
rely on the earth to
There are ten days
left to submit to
the Louder Than dA
folder. With that
being said, I'm
putting out an
article that offers
some tips and quick
problems a poet may
be facing when
writing their slam
poem. But very
quickly, I would
like to address a
`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More