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.
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partially for my
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wandering in the
a beautiful letter
written by Sergio
Larrain in 1982 to
his nephew, who had
Larrain where to
begin to become a
and foremost, you
have to have a
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well, one th...
Little thing called
Talent"My name is
Marc, my emotional
life is sensitive
and my purse is
empty, but they say
I have talent."Marc
talent means the
skill that someone
has quite naturally
to do something that
is hard, a high
degree of ability
that a person was
born with. It's
^Nyx-Valentine arrived in our community and started whipping everyone into a frenzy with her relentless desire to bring the Artistic Nude and Fetish galleries to the fore. 9 years later, and it's safe to say that Nyx is not only a leader as a photographer in these galleries, but she has also established herself as a much saught after model. ^... Read More