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Interview with :iconstelari:STelari

Eoten by STelari

Have you ever studied Art or are you self taught?

I'd start with the part that there is no such thing as pure self taught. What it actually is, it's learning by observing what the others know. People who brag the most about being self-taught and what not also love to demean taking any lessons, or - good heavens! - even taking a look at a tutorial. All while having no idea what a difference it makes when you learn the basics, the proper, raw basics, that you can later use and develop whatever way you want. A naive way of thinking, though I suppose that everyone has that phase at some point. From personal experience, I can tell you that it's one big waste of time.

I graduated from a faculty of graphic design of technology and computer science uni last Spring, top grade with a honorary distinction. While it mostly didn't have much to do with what you can see in my dA gallery, it gave me quite an insight into those basics I mentioned, plus I gathered knowledge about other useful things to make an extension to my abilities, like designing a book, or a magazine, for example – I don’t mean the cover or illustrations, but the construction of all the contents.

And in the end, if you decide to pursue a career in art, no one is going to ask you if you are a self taught. Employers and contractors will be interested in your portfolio and
what courses and schools you've been through. So quite the contrary. If you have opportunities to learn and study, don't sit back and wave them off just for the sake of keeping a "I'm a self-taught, praise me" tag.

Why become an artist?

Why not? Like Jim Carrey said, you can fail when doing what you like, and you can fail when doing what you don't like, so why shouldn't I try the thing I like first?

Buka by STelari

I noticed you use mainly traditional media. Why work with watercolour, pen and pencil?

I like the media I use, and I spent a lot of effort on learning how to control them. A pencil, like it is in most artists' cases, was the first thing that I utilized when my interest in drawing started taking shape. Pen was easy enough to pick up afterwards. Then I got bored with drawing along, so I picked up painting. That's all. We'll see what comes next. While I do experiment a lot, I don't see why should I completely switch to something else all of a sudden. If I do, it'll progress slowly and gradually. I'm quite curious to see what I'll be doing later.

What is your inspiration for your artworks?

Anything. I go out shopping and I see a pattern on a skirt, or a weird crack on some wall, or an interesting person, or I smell something nice (or not nice), or I overhear a bit of some conversation... I have a really screwed up memory that keeps every detail and there's plenty to choose from. Of course, that includes art and fashion and other things that I stumble upon on the internet as well, but I admit that it's a very small percentage of what I actually am inspired by.

Do not draw their attention by STelari

What is the process you go through when painting a piece of work till it's final state?

I always start with a sketch. I have currently... five, I think, sketchbooks in use. Each one is for a different kind of stuff, one is for fan art, one for my own original things, one for commissions, one for simple training, and so on. I don't like mixing subjects. But going back to the question, after I finish some sketches (usually I make a couple for one idea, to choose the best composition and else), I redraw the best one on watercolour paper. From there, I add some general details, clean unnecessary lines, correct any errors. Currently I use ink for final linearts, so after I'm done with pencil base, I seal it with ink and I go into the tiniest details. After that it comes watercolour, and optionally white gel pen for highlights.

And so we wait by STelari

What would you consider the most important points to think about when drawing or painting?

The basics. Learn proper anatomy, perspective, colour theory and things like that first. If you know them through and you can use them, you can start thinking about bending and breaking the rules. Not the other way around.

You have such an eye for detail. How long does one piece of artwork take to complete?

Depends how much I'm invested in the work and whether I get bored with in in the middle. Usually it's around 3-5 days for the biggest ones, up to 3 days for smaller. That's concerning my personal projects. As for commissions, I try to keep up with deadlines.

Magic is waiting ahead by STelari

I'm wondering if does Japanese illustrations / prints influence you at all? I'm a lover of Japanese illustrations and such and I see some similarities?

Hatsushika Hokusai. Hayao Miyazaki. Junji Ito. And a dozen of others. Yeah, among my inspirations, there is plenty of Japanese artists, and a lot of Chinese ones, but there's plenty of others as well.

Is there any advice you could give to learning artists?

Whining won't get you anywhere. Comparing your art and your progress to other people's won't get you anywhere either. Focus on yourself and your own improvement, train and draw as much as possible. Get a sketchbook and sketch all the time, especially things around you. I find life studies boring as hell, but they actually are the best when it comes to learning. So bite through it and train. You can do it.

The Two Beginnings by STelari

You can find :iconstelari:STelari-->

Hi everyone! It's been a long time since I posted anything but to let you know about the interviews, I will be doing them again now that I have finished University. I got a bit behind and ended up doing a mad rush to finish everything. So the next time I update the journal it'll be an interview.

Anyway DecayingSky is doing a contest here --> CONTEST -over-EDIT: The contest is over, here are the results 
I received these paints from a very generous art teacher that used to teach me. I don't use them and since it was a act of generosity i would feel awful keeping them when someone else can get so much more out of them or pass them on. Thats why I've decided to have this contest.
llama cancan llama cancan llama cancan llama cancan llama cancan llama cancan llama cancan llama cancan llama cancan 
The first place prize is $120 worth of quality oil paints [price does not including the brushes] used only once, some never used.
-sorry for the low qualit

To members of :iconimprovement-club: I would encourage you to attempt this. Not only this contest but other contests as well. It is good practice for drawing/painting skills and such and if you do win you get something good out of it. Contests are a good way to get your work noticed. The theme for DecayingSky contest is fantasy. Dragons, elves, satyrs, aliens, etc.. 'Anything beyond our world!', which gives you complete freedom! :D For examples you can look at these!

A merry song by Detkef

Study Of Light by RadoJavor

Ernesta by yuchenghong

3kingdomsconquest by Masway

That other other project. by Fealasy

All the Worlds to See by juliedillon

Darkwoods by urosaurus

Page template 1 by oione

Comic Fiesta 2011 by FeiGiap

Sanctity of Aldebaran by Yue-Iceseal

2012-05-02 by heise

Lake of moon_Tera by moonworker1

elf mage by Kroy111

His First Sunset by keiiii

Gnar_League of Legends_Splash screen by strenerus

autumn fish by KlimN

Noble ceremony by CGlas

CatOwl by manusia-no-31

Sorry guys got carried away. ^^; Anyway, I would love to see the work you all do! I want you all to try this if you can! :iconiluplz:

You can find more contests here --><da:thumb id="543528306"/>

Interview with :iconfrankatt:FrankAtt

Sky Capital by FrankAtt

Have you ever studied Art or are you self taught?

I am self taught. With tutorials and learning by doing.

What appealed to you the most about being an artist?

To create worlds/scenes I have in my mind, so I can show them to others.

Lake Side by FrankAtt

What is the inspiration for your works?

A lot of things. But usually just sketching around till I find something I really like.

What influenced you to draw fantasy/sci-fi (?) works?

Movies. Especially "Star Wars" and "Lord of the Rings".

Docks Of Valura by FrankAtt

I noticed in your gallery you focus a lot on creating landscapes. What do you enjoy about painting landscapes the most?

I really like to create paintings which gives a sense of scale. I like the feeling of be a little viewer who looks at a giant environment (e.g. mountains)

What would you consider the fundamentals of creating your landscapes?

Big shapes and atmosphere perspective.

The Sleepy Giant by FrankAtt

What is the process you go through when starting a piece of work till it's final state?

I start with big shapes and try not to get to early into the details.
When I like the overall feeling of my painting, I work on that part I don't like the most.
I do this from big parts till the little details in the end.

What artists on dA inspire you the most and why?
and a lot more.
I really enjoy their work (ideas and techniques), because it's what I try to achieve with my paintings.

Is there any advice you could give to learning artists?

Just paint and have fun! Every painting/sketch/study makes you better!
Sometimes it's hard, but don't give up! =) (Smile) is your best friend, if you struggling with fundamentals/techniques or if you are a beginner.
I learned a lot of this site (there are even some new things for me from time to time) and Matt Kohr is doing a awesome job with this site and with his tutorials.

Interview with :iconcaphricorn:Caphricorn

Totoro by Caphricorn

Have you ever studied Art at school or University? Are you self taught?

 I do study at animation school. But for illustration I'm learning it by myself. I was helped by my partner with drawing, she is the one who taught me many things about illustration. She is at we are trying to improve our art together.

What appealed to you the most about being an artist?

Hmm... well when I see someone looks happy watching my art or buy my works, it is the most interesting thing in my life as an artist.

-Prologue - by Caphricorn

What is the process you go through when designing a piece of work till it's final state?

I need more than a day and it might took 10 hours to finish one work, I usually imagine things, when I got an idea I might search for some references to help build my image, and continue drawing it until its done.

What genres and styles you use? How did your drawing style develop? 

Some people have said my style was like Japanese manga Style, although the truth is I want to learn realism. I am still learning realism style . T^T

CIRCLE OF LIFE by Caphricorn

What would you consider the most important points to think when drawing or painting art?

Details and concepts about the illustration it self was really important to me. Every piece of illustration at least must have a good concept so when the people watching it, they could understand about the art we want to say it self. I do think details very important, since you want to improve, you need to give all the best you can do .

What materials/software do you use and why?

Right now I currently using Adobe Photoshop CS6 since I feel very comfortable using it. I use tablet Genius Pen , aahh maybe because I don't have money for buy Intuos and Cintiq wkwk, and I better use this this pen is my partner.

Kaneki by Caphricorn

Is there any advice you could give to learning artists? Is there any learning materials, artists, books or references you would recommend?

Well I'm still learning too, so I could say " Don't give up! Everyone learning everything from zero. We all could improve as well". 

Don't forgot to visit me and my partner works in here :…
This year we will made something special and thank you for having interview with me.

Aldnoah Zero Ending by Caphricorn

Interview with :iconrittik-designs:Rittik-Designs

Dragon's Bow (CLOSED) by Rittik-Designs

Have you ever studied Art at school or University? Are you self taught?

- I’m self-taught, that’s why I still make lots of mistakes. I try to improve, but it’s a long process! I started exploring Photoshop about 7 years ago and there is a lot to learn yet. =) (Smile)

What is your inspiration? Where do you get ideas to create your designs? Why design fantasy objects?

Oh, that’s an interesting question. I take inspiration everywhere – in nature, in everyday objects, sometimes I look at something and think: “If I add some swirls here and put a blade there, it’ll be a sword!” And a lot of ideas come when I sleep, in my dreams. Sometimes I wake up at the middle of the night and make a few sketches.
Why fantasy objects? Well, I have another account – my first, actually. I started with drawing fanarts, then created several original characters, later I tried making some accessories for them and suddenly understood that it’s what I really like.

Staff adopts 36 (CLOSED) by Rittik-Designs

What is the process you go through when designing a piece of work till it's final state?

Sometimes commissioners ask for a lineart, and then I’m at a loss, because I newer make them. I start with a rough sketch and for some time try different variants, change or add something. When I’m satisfied, I make vector shapes for all small details – sometimes up to 50-70 layers if the design is detailed. And then colour them, using also Photoshop styles for glass and metal effects.

Tyamar, the Keeper of Bones by Rittik

What would you consider the most important points to think when drawing or designing art?

The most important thing – draw what you really want. When I drew people, I was never satisfied with the results, and drawing was almost a torture. But creating jewellery and weapons is a great fun! I know a lot of my friends think my designs are not real art and I waste my time with them, but I’m sure that art should bring happiness. Unfortunately, I know many artists who draw what is popular, not what they like, and I think it's wrong.
Another important point is patience. An artist should be ready to face problems, learn on their own mistakes and remember that progress is a slow process.

A binding gift by Rittik

What are your plans for the future?

Don’t really know! =) (Smile) If a few years ago someone told me that I would draw weapons, I wouldn’t believe! So I can’t tell what I’ll be doing in future. Maybe I’ll return to fanarts, maybe will try new styles, maybe will choose art as my profession. The only thing I’m sure about is that I won’t stop drawing!

Elite potions 2 (CLOSED) by Rittik-Designs

Is there any advice you could give to learning artists? Is there any learning materials, artists, books or references you would recommend?

I must confess – I’m a really lazy person. I never read books or watched any tutorials, I even explored Photoshop without reading instructions, just by poking different buttons. Of course, it’s not the best way to become a professional artist. =) (Smile)

Swords adopts 3 (CLOSED) by Rittik-Designs

People usually ask where I take Photoshop styles for glass or gold effects. Here is the site where I found some interesting styles –
And another great resource is a site with free textures and cliparts -

Hi everyone! :wave: Is everyone still enjoying the interviews? :o Another interview here but with :iconcolgatetotal97:!

Interview with :iconcolgatetotal97:colgatetotal97

Snowfall by colgatetotal97

Have you ever studied Art at school or University? Are you self taught?

Yes, i am an art major attending university. I took one art class in high school, but for the most part i am self taught in drawing and painting, schooling does help to improve my skills though.

What appealed to you the most about being an artist?

 Just the freedom of creativity and not being bound by anything. I like the feeling of being able to express myself visually. it can be difficult and I am still learning many things but to me, it is such a rewarding thing, personally.

Half Human, Half Ghoul by colgatetotal97

What is the process you go through when designing a piece of work till it's final state?

I usually do a few sketches until i am satisfied with the composition and such, with digital art that is how it works; a few layers of sketching and then colouring. with traditional media, it is a similar process, but i like to have models there to model for me, and I like to take photographs as well to refer to. The ideas often take a very long time for me to finalize.

Ymir by colgatetotal97

What genres and styles you use? How did your drawing style develop?

Because i have so many interests ranging from anime to pop culture to fine art, I would say my traditional media work is a combination of all those things. Digital art was a way for me to carry out my hobby of fan art. I really like the way many artists online draw so i tried to emulate that but also keep the style my own. I still draw very loosely, digitally or traditionally.

How often do you draw?

Almost every day.

What would you consider the most important points to think when drawing or painting art?

My advice is that its okay if you don't have a clear idea, the important thing is to let yourself go and put something on the canvas or sketchbook and see where that leads you. Using references is also very helpful, it would be nice if we all had photographic memory but we don't, and that's the beauty of art, every one has their own style and interpretation. do not strive for perfection, consider that the imperfection IS perfection.

Under The Sea by colgatetotal97

What materials/software do you use and why?

For traditional media, I use oil, watercolour, or acrylic. For drawings, i prefer a range of charcoals and thick toned paper. For digital media, I use Sketchbook Pro 7.1.

Ling and Lan Fan by colgatetotal97

Is there any advice you could give to learning artists? Is there any learning materials, artists, books or references you would recommend?

Since i was pretty much self taught at a young age, I would say keep drawing or painting or whatever medium it is you prefer. never give up on it, you will improve. Draw from life, keep a sketch book and charcoal and draw a bunch of self portraits and such. as for references, you can try checking out books on artists that you enjoy or are interested in, you might find new inspiration and new ideas.

Interview with :iconkarijn-s-basement:Karijn-s-Basement

Lantern Munchkin Adoptable Auction 2 - CLOSED by Karijn-s-Basement

Have you ever studied Art at school or University? Are you self taught?

I am a self-taught artist, though I had some mandatory art lessons in high school where the teacher let us play with brushes and paint. I always loved drawing so I didn't find any hardship in practising by myself.

What is your inspirations for your fashion designs?

Things I see in my everyday life, mostly. A curtain, a table, a flower. That gives me at least part of the design, then if I can't find the 'spark' there are usually some safe bets (like long skirts+sandals or strapless top+necklace) that save me every time.

Fashion Custom 26 by Karijn-s-Basement

Do you use a set colour scheme?

I have some palettes that I use more than others, by personal preference, such as the white/black/gold combo or the white/blue/turquoise one. Generally I decide which parts of the design should be the same colour and leave them on separate layers. Then change hues until I'm satisfied with the end result.

What is the process you go through when designing a piece of work till it's final state?

Creatures are a bit different than clothes. With creatures I generally do a pose sketch that contains the main idea I have of the design and then change things when I do the lineart, if there are some features that are more fitting than others. My creature sketches are always a mess. On the other side, for clothing I just pick the mannequin and start doing the lineart right away, just adding things I like. This is a bit risky because sometimes I zoom out and see that the top part of the dress clashes horribly with the pants and the shoes... So I separate the two parts and try to make both designs flow. So I get two nice designs instead of an ugly one. (My tip is, save everything no matter how ugly it looks.)

Sunchild Design Adoptable - CLOSED by Karijn-s-Basement

What would you consider the most important points to think when drawing art?

It is true that we post our art online to share it with people who understand our passion and this communication and growth is something everybody should aim too but I still see art as a very personal process. I like drawing, it makes me feel good. It's something I do to gratificate myself and the simple creation of something is enough to make me feel accomplished, it's something I don't need anyone's approval to do and enjoy. So remember that the most important thing when you're drawing is to *ENJOY* it. Anything after that is just a nice plus.

What materials/software do you use and why?

Most of my works are done with an Intuos 4 tablet and Paint Tool SAI, because I find I work best with those. SAI is a very intuitive program to use (Photoshop always baffled me) and the tablet was a birthday gift. Before that I was a traditional artist. I still use watercolours, and lately I've been able to purchase a set of artist quality, so I've been doing small 'practice' pieces before releasing some art online.

C: Nyla by Karijn-s-Basement

Is there any advice you could give to learning artists? Is there any learning materials, artists, books or references you would recommend?

I would really love to suggest some materials, but the truth is... I never had any. I have read avidly many tutorials here on dA but I've never been able to re-create that same effect and that kind of put me off. What instead I've found useful, is saving the brushes settings they gave. While I would probably not be able to get the same effect, I would have a new instrument to use in my drawings. Other than that... Learn to watch the whole subject and not just a part of it. Learning to draw a hand is important but it's also important to know that, when it's 'down' on a standing person, it's not on the same level as the knee. I often focused too much on the single detail and then found that I could not make the whole subject work and that caused me a lot of headaches and frustration.

OC - Galaverna by Karijn-s-Basement

Art block is a thing that happens. I've read of many artists that still believe you should practice anyway, maybe draw some pose sketches or something to 'keep you in shape', but I want to tell you that not wanting to draw during an art block is normal and that you should not feel pressured in doing so. Instead of being worried about 'when is my inspiration going to come back', take a breath, relax, move that butt from the chair and do something else. You don't even need to go outside, you can simply watch a movie or check your fridge contents. Inspiration *will* strike again, so while it's taking a vacation, take a little one of your own as well.

Interview with :iconindiron:Indiron

I choose you hydra!!!11 - Diablo 3 Fan art by Indiron

Have you ever studied Art at school or University? Are you self taught?

Yes, basically I have a degree in graphic design and illustration.
I can say that sure it helped me in some aspects, but at the end of the day I found myself sitting in front of my computer for more then 8 hours drawing and painting. I consider myself more self taught because Uni did not teach me a lot when it comes to some important foundations, it all came down to constant work and self improvement. Uni programs are always lacking somewhere. My advice to fellow deviants who are concerned about giving preciously earned money for art school tuition is don't do it; you wont get your money worth unless you are enrolling to the best of the best art schools. If you feel like you really lack discipline to make yourself do practice then you might have to do it.

What appealed to you the most about being an artist? What is your inspiration?

My parents are artists. That is one of the many reasons how I got into doing art. However, it also made me somewhat tired from fine art. I enjoyed playing games, reading comics, and fantasy books, I was a pretty nerdy kid xD. I discovered digital painting pretty early but didn't develop much of an interest for it until I grew older. I played a lot of World of Warcraft and Warcraft3 when I was in high school, and the blizzard artstyle is what got me to eventually to pick up a pen and draw every day; I loved the blizzard way or illustration and game art. Ironically, you can't find much blizzard fanart in my gallery xD. Hopefully I'll get to change that soon :>

Celestia by Indiron

What genres and styles you use? How did your style of art developed over time?

Depends mostly on what I'm working on; If its some medieval fantasy related painting; It'll probably be just classical realism with very minimal stylization. Of course you always want to make your painting somewhat dynamic unless requested otherwise. When it comes to anime and fanart related series; I use heavy stylization and render materials somewhat realistic. I love to do stuff very painterly but many clients request well rendered stuff so there isn't a big window for that.
My style does keep evolving constantly but I can't really categorize it that much; I was influenced by a tons of artists in the industry, although I'd like to mention that top noch game art is always a certain inspiration and Guangjiang Huang is the first on my drool list these days!

What is the process you go through when starting a piece of work till it's final state?

There are many ways I approach a painting; it depends how I feel like starting and what will fit the theme the best. If something is anime related I almost always start with some kind of sketch. If I happen to start painting suddenly while sketching I continue by doing black and white values and then convert to color and paint on top of it. If I don't start with a sketch (mostly when doing realism stuff, I directly paint with color. I don't do black and white that much but when I do, Its very good for getting the perfect values. If I feel like a piece is going an interesting way or I feel that It's very important I might even spend weeks on it, I do tend to overdo things sometimes. Details come last, but I do like to spend a fair amount of time on them.

Angelarium: hope by Indiron

What software do you use and why?

I recently upgraded from Photoshop CS6 to Photoshop CC (new release). Only because of a bugfix and some minor improvements. Nothing special. I chose photoshop as its the industry's standard, the .abr brush format is widely spread in the artist community and it offers almost all tools a digital artist needs in order to create an awesome piece of work. The only downside is that Photoshop is very hardware hungry when working on higher resolution images with many layers. Fortunately I recently upgrades to 32gigs of RAM from 16 and everything's good.
Beside using PS for painting, I paint on a Wacom Cintiq 22HD.

What would you consider the most important points to think when drawing or painting art?

Foundations are the most important thing when doing anything art related. You should practice human anatomy and do studies often. Try to understand how values and surfaces work. How light and shadow work. Then go into color theory. If you start from a sketch, draw everything first and don't go into details until everything looks ok. Same goes for painting or anything really. Check your thumbnail (navigator), flip your canvas often to spot mistakes, etc.

League of Legends - Sorceress Lux splash art by Indiron

What are your plans for the future?

I wish to expand my dA audience further, post more personal stuff and do more fanart. Of course improve all the way every single day!

Is there any advice you could give to learning artists? Is there any learning materials, artists, books or references you would recommend?
I recommend all the old Lumis books for beginners. They are great and explain everything from anatomy to perspective, values, shadows etc. Grab tutorials from great artists if they have any. Research try to find some great free processes and classes like the ones from Feng Zhu. -Read lots of books and watch movies for inspiration :) (Smile)
As far as advice goes, the best I can give you is just to practice daily, try to discipline yourself and make a small schedule, print it and hang it on your wall. Put studies, anatomy, color study or whatever area you think you are lacking in.

Peppy Pepooni Pines by Indiron - Feng Zhu's design cinema mostly focusing on concept art - Free and paid tutorials and various subjects and most importantly foundation - Levelup! Wojtek Fus and Darek Zabrocki's channel - Concept cookie has some decent tutorials as well
Additionally you can find some great tutorials on Gumroad and various artists are offering tutorials in forms of monthly pledge on Patreon.

You can also check out my Patreon too, I am offering in depth tutorials and step by steps every two weeks:
Thank you for the interview!

Interview with :iconmizaeltengu:MizaelTengu

Masanori Saito - Commission by MizaelTengu

Have you ever studied art and school/college?

I've never studied art school or college, though I'd love to study one day, I think it is very important for our formation as artists.

What appealed to you the most about being an artist?

Art is somewhat divine. We have the power to bring to life anything we want. It is exciting. We can generate thoughts and feelings in people.

Xios -  The Dragon Knight by MizaelTengu

What is your inspiration for your artworks?

Mainly: music, manga, 2D game fighting, books and so on.

What would you consider the key factors in creating/designing characters?

Free your mind. Don't over-think art.
Practice figure drawing.
Develop your aesthetic feeling (mental-visual-library) concerning to the shapes and features.
Always try to show your vision of things.
Never worry more about technical than creativity. Find the balance.
Focus more on the whole silhouette than details.

Malkavian by MizaelTengu

What traditional/digital materials do you use and why?

I work in both medias, much more traditional cause I'm still learning digital media.
traditional: Mechanical pencils, Ink, nibs, fine-liners, mechanical erasers. The basics. I sometimes use copic markers.
For digital media I use wacom bamboo and PhotoShop CS3. I use PS because I'm more familiarized with the interface. Wacom bamboo is a kind of standard for digital painting.

Dragon Slayer - KnightPunk by MizaelTengu

What are your plans for the future?
I have some manga projects. Some of them already in storyboards. I plan to execute them this year.
Improve my digital media skills.
Improve my traditional media skills.

Is there any advice you could give to learning artists? Is there any learning materials, artists, books or references you would recommend?

materials for learning:
Youtube channels:

concept Cook
Xia Taptara

Never be afraid of learning. Even if your skills aren't that great, don't let this impede you of having fun and expressing yourself. Be patient and enjoy the journey.

"We can only fill a vase from the bottom till the top"

Balto. by MizaelTengu

Thank you to :iconmizaeltengu:MizaelTengu for answering my questions! :iconiluplz:

Interview with :iconhestertatnell:HesterTatnell

PrettyUgly Wallpaper Pt.3 by HesterTatnell

Have you ever studied art and school/college?

Hmmm, sort of! Well I chose to do art for one of my A Levels, although I think the maximum amount of pages I ever did in a sketchbook was about 5!! ...I then went on to study Printed Textiles at university - mainly because I thought it would more likely lead to a career (I now work as a textile print designer alongside my art) ...this involved a lot of drawing things and putting them into pattern, which was really fun :) (Smile)
However I would say that I was never really 'taught' how to draw in any of these courses...I think I spent most of my time ignoring what we were supposed to be doing and just doing my own thing instead. I'm sure there are some really good courses out there but I felt like mine were more focused on fulfilling criteria than encouraging individuality. :( (Sad)

What appealed to you the most about being an artist?

Honestly, drawing and painting is just something I've always done and I'm sure whatever career I ended up in I would always still be painting... In person I'm fairly quiet and so for me, art is a way of expressing myself without words :) (Smile) I love the freedom of it all, when you paint there no limits, you can create whatever beautiful world you want and live through your own creations, it's a truly wonderful and medicinal thing!

WIP For Megan by HesterTatnell

I noticed in your gallery you like to combine people and flora. What is your inspiration for this?

Hmm, as uncool it is to admit, it's really quite an emo concept haha!
Basically I've always struggled with a skin condition and scars...I've never really valued my own appearance but I think the human form is magical and I love to study faces and all of their subtle expressions and emotions! I guess in trying to learn to accept myself I've become obsessed with seeing the positive side of flaws ...and I'm a total sucker for anything surreal, macabre or albino...
The 'PrettyUgly' project is something I began in my last year of university...the floral and patterned scars of my figures are what I like to think of as 'beautiful deformations'...the pretty within the ugly :) (Smile) For me, perfection is uninteresting...I would rather hear the story of your flaws :) (Smile)

  What traditional materials do you use and why?

At university, we were always encouraged to use Gouache paints as you can sort of 'edit' things easily with them and draw on top! - very useful if you're designing patterns.
However, my favourite thing to use right now is oil paints! I just don't think you can beat the insanely rich and gorgeous colours and finishes you can create with oils! Also they are a total dream to manipulate...I could just spend hours blending colours and creating little patterns in the paint!
Throughout school I was always very good at maths and science (which I have to give credit to for my ability to draw!)...I think the logical side of my brain kind of loves all the technical processes and little experiments you have to consider with oil paints too...I learn more about them every time I paint. :) (Smile)

PU014 by HesterTatnell

What is the process you go through when starting a piece of work till it's final state?

I read somewhere recently (and I can't remember whether it was said by an artist or musician!) that something is finished when you literally can't bear to look at it anymore and that's probably about right hehe.
My art can be inspired by a lot of things... sometimes it's a beautiful colour palette, sometimes a strong emotion or sometimes it's just seeing something else that strikes a chord. I'll often begin with a little composition and colour doodles to figure out how I want the piece to feel... then it's just a case of getting the right photo references for the lighting and pose!
I nearly always use photo references as I think it's a great way to learn (as long as you're not tracing haha)...I'll often use myself as a (very rough!) model, which is pretty embarrassing if I forget to delete the photos, and my poor brothers get roped in to being my male references...I'm sure they love it really...
But anyways, once I've begun painting, all that pretty much goes to pot haha...I'll always keep my initial ideas in mind but the painting process for me is like a conversation between me and the canvas (or wooden panel in my case)...sometimes it can turn into an argument when things are not going well... but I basically just paint what I feel and whatever comes out at the end is just the product of all that :) (Smile)... i kind of love the anticipation and not knowing what the hell you're really doing, only that it feels good! And like I said, it's basically finished when I get bored of it...

What are your plans for the future?

Well, the ultimate dream would be to 'work' for myself in a little magical forest studio with a waterfall and my own little cave haha... really I'm not too fussed about earning a lot of money or anything, I just want to spend my life doing what I love with the people I love and lots of chocolate and music... Honestly chocolate and music are also very important tools of the trade for me, I would die without them ;) (Wink)

'Happy Face' by HesterTatnell

For artists wanting to sell their work in the future. What advice would you give them? 

've only just begun to take my art career more seriously but I think the most important thing is just to get your art out there! The internet is a bittersweet thing but it's an excellent way to promote your stuff for free! Also, just go to events, meet other artists, get involved in the industry somehow... and always carry business cards, or wear your art on a t-shirt haha... shameless promotion at its best ;) (Wink)
Basically, not everyone will instantly love your art, but if you believe in it and create art for the right reasons I think there will always be a market for it... you just search a little deeper!!

  Is there any advice you could give to learning artists? Is there any learning materials, artists, books or references you would recommend?

The biggest and most important piece of advice I can give to aspiring artists is this: no matter what other people may try to tell you (whether it's in school or whatever), always always always create from the heart! Don't change your style to try and be more commercial or to copy what someone else is doing because if you don't truly believe in what you are doing then no one else will either ;) (Wink) you're individuality is your most powerful weapon so screw everyone else and just do what you love... it will pay off in the end :) (Smile)
Also I think it's really important to know that for most people, success (however you rate success) will not come overnight... I myself am giving myself 10 years to get to where I want to be. I believe the best things in life often have to be fought for haha.
As for materials... keep an open mind, try out lots of different things and see what you bond with most...I'm not very official with my equipment and I'll often use random bits of crap found around my room to paint or blend with... maybe I own one or two decent paint brushes though!
With books and references or other general things for inspiration, I'm afraid I'm quite lazy... but nothing beats real life if you can draw from it! Obviously if you're painting dragons that'll be quite hard but just look for something with similar anatomy :) (Smile)
I think the key to learning is to basically experiment, keep an open mind, take inspiration from everything you enjoy (music, colour, food, whatever)...and practise practise practise! You should see my work from 5 years ago... haha shocking! But here on DeviantArt is a pretty awesome place to look for resources and tutorials...just utilise everything you can and accept that it takes time to get to where you want to be :) (Smile)

Nekane by HesterTatnell

You can find :iconhestertatnell:HesterTatnell at:


Also I just want to say that for anyone that isn't totally bored by now, if you have any questions or want to know more then feel free to message or email me or whatever... I'm a big supporter of sharing :) (Smile)

Much loves, and big thank you Katie for taking an interest in my work!! x x x x x

Sorry about the wait everyone! I have sent out so many notes asking about interviews but nobody has been replying lately (maybe busy with Christmas?), so I have a lack of interviews to share with you! I will keep on trying and will share as soon as someone replys back!

And thank you to Hanami-Mai for answering my questions! :iconiluplz:

Interview with :iconhanami-mai:Hanami-Mai

The Ryuu Household by Hanami-Mai

Have you ever studied art and school/college?

I just graduated (this week!) on Design college, were I had basic lessons on drawing - shapes, shading, perspective, material rendering... But for my personal drawing style, I was mostly self-taught – a slow process through several years, always trying to improve my art bit by bit.

What appealed to you the most about being an artist?

I love to read good stories, as well as to admire drawings and paintings. Creative, beautiful artworks always inspired me, so drawing, as well as writing, are things I love to do, because they allow me to create my own stories, characters, places… worlds! Even with the difficult parts of the creative process, it’s always fun and rewarding to see my ideas taking shape and coming to life in the paper/screen.

Kisetsu - Rain and Dew by Hanami-Mai

 I did notice in your gallery you are influenced by Japanese culture. How did you find an interest in Japanese culture? What appealed to you the most?

As many westerns, I was introduced to japanese culture through anime/manga, an aesthetic that I still love – specially in its more delicate, semi-realistic side – and that heavily influences my style. However, a few years ago, I decided to take a new step on a story I was drafting (and that would eventually evolve into Kisetsu), changing it from a fantasy, japanese-inspired work to a more deep, historical-accurate novel. I started to research more carefully on japanese history and culture, and ended up fascinated with the subject.

There are many things I find inspiring on japanese culture – the subtle, elegant aesthetics, the valorization of simplicity, the intricate japanese ancient etiquette, and many other… But if I have to choose, one of the aspects that captivate me the most is the wafuku/kimono culture. Not only I find kimono beautiful in its shapes and amazing colors, but also very interesting in its historical evolution. The deep meaning in every detail in a kimono, and the way it takes seasonality in such harmonic, elegant account, is to me absolutely fascinating.

Has learning another culture affected your artwork or your view on art?

Absolutely. I believe everything an artist learns and feels inspired by adds up to their art, and helps them grow – both creativity and technique-wise. Anime greatly influenced my drawing style, and my interest in japanese culture and aesthetics reflects in my work through things like palettes, composition, thematic… Other influences (like the french rococo, Disney, western historical fashion, fairytale illustrations, korean hanbok, and so on…) also add up and contribute to my art.

1850 - 1920 by Hanami-Mai

What is the process you go through when starting a piece of work till it's final state?

I start from an idea of what I want to portray. Then I browse for inspiration – on my image folders, my Pinterest boards, around the internet… This helps me think of possibilities for poses, ideas for palettes, accuracy of historical elements... Then I make a quick sketch for getting the general shape of the drawing – anatomy and details are not vital, I worry more about composition and the naturality of the pose.

Next, I refine my sketch, adding details, changing elements, correcting anatomical errors… Then I work on the lineart and colors. I usually fill in the drawing with plain tones to get the overall palette, then, when I’m happy with the result, I proceed to shading – my favourite part!

Finally, I add the last details – a decorative background, sometimes a soft filter, my signature and websites… and voilá! ^^

 What is your 'Kisetsu' project? What are your aims for the novel?

Kisetsu is a period novel i'm currently writing, set in 15th century Japan. The story is divided in four volumes, each one named after a season of the year.

The story follows two rival families of the upper military nobility (the samurai class) and the delicate balance of power between them and the central government of the shogun. With a war in the North as a background, an intricate web of political disputes and personal relationships begins to spin, involving characters from several sides of the conflict. A world filled with subtlety, were grudges and affections are veiled by fragile masks of formality, and conflicts of duty and desire, loyalty and distrust, honor and ambition entwine lifes and feeling in the ephemeral cycle os seasons.

The first volume, Spring is currently available as an ebook at Amazon in portuguese - my native language ( ). I'm currently working on the second volume, Summer as well as translating the first volume into english. My goal is to have all the four volumes both in portuguese and english available eventually. ^^

In the meanwhile i'm also working on illustrations for the novel which i post regularly on my DeviantArt account.

Kisetsu: Spring - My Novel Cover! by Hanami-Mai

What are your plans for the future?

My main goal is to follow my career as Interior Designer, for which I just graduated – and to keep on my work as an author. But I plan to also work as an illustrator as well, as time permits. Apart from that, drawing will always be one of my main hobbies.

8. What is the main software you use?? And what would you recommend for learning artists? Know of any cheap/free software for newbies?

I used to use Photoshop exclusively for several years until I found out Paint Tool SAI, which, in my opinion, is far much better both for inking and painting. I still use Photoshop a lot for final editing and details, like making patterns and applying filters, though. Paint Tool SAI would definitely be my recommendation for learning artists because it is really “shaky hands-friendly” for the lineart. Also, it has the great feature of allowing you to flip and spin the screen as you work, which helps a lot with noticing and correcting mistakes.

Oiran by Hanami-Mai

Is there any advice you could give to learning artists? Is there any learning materials, artists, books or references you would recommend?

I guess the main advice I can give to young artists is “work hard! ^^” Even if you think your art is far from perfect, don’t feel discouraged. Keep working! Watch carefully your favourite artists’ work and try to understand the structure of their drawings (don’t trace! That doesn’t help! If you must, you may copy a drawing or photo to try understanding the shapes, but don’t post the result as if it was an original drawing. It’s for exercise only!), read tutorials, observe from life and stock photos, and practise a lot! Even if slowly, you will start noticing you’re improving! ^^

White as Snow by Hanami-Mai

For anyone who’s interested, here are:

# Kisetsu – Spring (in portuguese) on Amazon:
# My art & kimono blog (with several articles about kimono, and a few artworks I don’t post on DA):
# My pinterest account (with many boards on kimono, traditional Japan and other pretty/fun/inspiring things) ^^:

And last but not least, I want to thank :iconimprovement-club: and :icondark-zeblock: for inviting me to this interview. It was fun to answer! ^^

Interview with :iconhetiru:Hetiru

.GOOSEBERRY's bonus promo characters' ref. by Hetiru

Have you ever studied Art at school or University? Are you self taught?
Nope, I've never attended any art-school class. When I was 7 years old, my mother (and my first teacher) wanted me to join the art club, but I didn't express any thought or emotion about it, sooooo...... I became a dancer, and after a karateka, and after a programmer and so.
Nowadays I sometimes think about it , think about all opportunities which I could receive thank yo the art school courses, bu it too late ;w; And this time I have to do my best and rely only on myself.
However I've got a good experience - when you have a child, you should care of him/her enrolling you baby to the music club or something. Because little children usually don't know what they can do, and don't know how club experience will be useful in their future.

How do you become a manga artist? What appealed to you the most about being an artist?
I've found myself in anime style for some time ago - I read a lot of "Witch" and "Barbie" and another girls magazines drawing what I saw in the same time. And one day I understood that an anime style is very simple for me to draw. Moreover, it looked very beautiful and "cool"/// So I started to practice in it. In cold blood. Tardy.
And now I'm here ;DDDD

.CC. Magic of the night. by Hetiru

What is the process you go through when starting a piece of work till it's final state?
Firstly I think about the future work and what exactly I want to draw. Sometimes there IS a thought, but the sheet of paper is still white. I'll lie if I say that it's simple to draw a picture having something in your mind. Sometimes you CAN'T correctly understand the idea of your brain, so you have to spend for a long time trying to draw the close ones.
After having finished a sketch on the A4 paper, I scan it and then start to do a lineart. And after that I color it, of course! Coloring is my favorite stage of art progress. And lineart is loveless one ;DDDD

 How did your style develop? What inspired you to draw manga?
I don't care about my style - I didn't create it for specially. I've been drawing, drawing and drawing. And the way how it's simple to you to draw IS your style. That is what I think about it. Don't rush you to draw something different - just enjoy the drawing process.
And.. what inspired me to draw manga? Of course, my conscience! I have a lot of ideas to share with people, and manga is the best way to do it! ^^ Unfortunately, it's VERY difficult to draw even 30 pages, but there are no thing in the life which we could easily achieve.

.You and me like two white roses. by Hetiru

What is the main software you use and why? And what would you recommend for learning artists?
Usually I use albums (for sketches), Paint tool SAI and Photoshop. Some time ago I learned how to work with Corel Draw either, but now I don't use it.
For learning artist I recommend practice, confidence and diligence. Don't look around and don't envy - just love what you'are doing now and on what stage of art progress you're. If you love your works despite their drawing level, you can attain success. Of course, this is no talk about narcism and artist ego.

What is the first step in designing your characters?
A body carcass. Firstly I draw a "naked" boy or girl, and after finishing it, create eyes, haircut, clothes and more and more.
Sometimes it's useful to search different characters (anime or OCs) in the internet and look on their designs - sometimes it gives you a portion of inspiration.

.CC. You are so careless, Elvera. by Hetiru

 Do you use any traditional media? What digital software do you use and why?
I'm not good in traditional art, so I don't draw finished pictures (except sketches for the future work) in it. I'm pleased with digital software and don't really have a wish to learn how to use a watercolor or something.
And I've said about software which I use a few questions above.

What is the 'Dream in Color Artbook' about and what are your plans for the project?
This is artbook about people dreams - each of us have goals which we really want to make true oneday. So artist in that artbook just drew different characters with their dreams. It could be any sphere of our life - to fly with parachute, to see your hometown, to touch the real sea crab and more, and more.
For this project I drew my characters and only one dream - to hear how the real sea sounds.

.CC.Fulled of roses fairy tale. by Hetiru

Thank you for answering my questions Hetiru! :iconiluplz:

This week I am featuring :iconlas-t:LAS-T! :)

Interview with :iconlas-t:LAS-T

Greyson by LAS-T

Have you ever studied Art at school or University? Are you self taught?

I did Visual Arts in High school but it was a total bludge.

I’m currently doing an Illustration and Graphic design course and that’s been helpful in terms of understanding the industry. I’ve recently had more classic traditional drawing classes. All my digital art skills were self-taught.

What appealed to you the most about being an artist? Where does your inspiration come from?

Actually I never wanted to be artist.

For the longest time I wanted to be an author or a photographer for the National Geographic (even though I know nothing about cameras). Hell, even a marine biologist at some point…along with being a kick-ass ninja spy. But never an artist. I couldn't even tell you why, I just didn't consider it.

I was about 15 that I seriously thought ‘yeah…I think I can do this’ and then BOOM I caught the digital art bug from the inspiration I was bombarded with from DeviantArt. It was probably the first time I realized that the sheer amount of talent out there was astounding if not downright terrifying.
Then I was like ‘Christ…I really want this.’
Then I was like ‘Balls…I can’t do this.’ There's way too much talent to compete with.
Then I was like ‘Screw it. Keep going till it all stops flowing’
And here I am.

Besides I like creating something out of nothing.
It feeds my god-complex.

Citrus Summer by LAS-T

What genres and styles you use? How did your drawing style develop?

My art genre leans towards fantasy and I paint mainly semi-realism.
I’ve drawn black ‘n’ white pencil sketches all my life then as time went on I’ve become a 100% digital media artist - probably because you can use the ‘undo’ key.
Best thing since sliced bread.

What is the process do you go through from start to finish in your work?

Firstly I do a rough sketch that seriously looks like it’s been drawn by an epileptic infant.
Secondly, draw a cleaner sketch.
Cover the entire thing in a medium-grey multiply layer.
Then start fleshing everything out in grey scale. It’s important to work out the lighting and tones in this stage.
Then start applying base colours with overlay or multiply layers then start fleshing out the colours.
The next stage is cleaning which can take a long time but it’s also quite fun.
Lastly, ‘level’ the whole thing and BAM! It looks sexy.

Midnight Sun by LAS-T

What is your 'Nostalgia Collection'?

It was the theme I based my end of High School Art project on. I did four painting and a traditional sketch that represented nostalgia. I got a high distinction for it.
Eventually it became a theme that I loved overall.

What is the main software you use? Do you draw any work using traditional tools?

My first digital painting program I used was Corel Painter 11 but now I only use Adobe Photoshop.
I still draw traditionally but I don’t incorporate that into my digital paintings. They’re two separate things for me now.

What would you consider to be the most important points to think when drawing or painting art?

Know your basics. I can’t stress that enough. Colour, lighting, perspective, composition and anatomy.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a traditional or a digital artist, you need to know the fundamentals.
I’m still learning myself and I’ll probably be always learning these basics but once you get started you can only keep going up.

Kairos by LAS-T

Is there any advice you could give to learning artists? Is there any learning materials, artists, books or references you would recommend?

Here’s an exercise you can do:
Take an artwork you love, something that made your jaw drop.
Stop and just look at it – I mean really look at it.
Then ask yourself, why you liked it in the first place. There must have been a reason. Is it the colours? Was it the lighting that caught your eye? What about it made it so appealing?
Deconstruct the entire thing bit by bit.
Then reapply it in your own artwork and see if it created the same jaw-dropping effect.
It doesn't have to be good, you just need to try and understand the ingredients that made the dish so delectable.

I learned all my digital art skill by observing others paint through livestreams, youtube, online tutorials and step-throughs. We live in age were we can access an obscene amount of information at lightening speeds and whenever we please. USE those resources especially the stuff online, there’s so many.

Take it. Use it. Abuse it.

Steps - Jytiko by LAS-T

Happy Halloween everyone! Here is a special interview with ChrisCold:iconchriscold: and visaga and :iconvisaga:

Interview with :iconvisaga:visaga

Plague by visaga

 Have you ever studied Art at school or University? Are you self taught?
Nope! Self taught in digital art but have a private tutor for traditional art.

 How do you become a artist? What appealed to you the most about being an artist?
Just draw! There's not really a procedure, anyone can be an artist. I love how I can influence people through my works and share my ideas.

 What is the process you go through when starting a piece of work till it's final state?
First I plan an idea in my head, when I've thought it through I sketch. Clean up the sketch. Then I color over the sketch and get base colors down. On the same layer, I do details.

Lies by visaga

Why draw monsters or draw artworks relating to sins? Where doe's your inspiration come from in your work?
Ehh it's because I'm sort of a bitter person because I get exposed to the dark sides of adults. I guess it's something that consequently influences my works. My inspiration comes from my thoughts and experiences.

What is the main software you use and why? And what would you recommend for learning artists?
Photoshop CC, because it you can do awesome custom brushes! I recommend Photoshop for anyone. If it's too difficult then Paint Tool SAI is good too.

Betrayal by visaga

What would you consider the fundamentals in drawing art?
Anatomy, perspective, sense of depth, color theory, and backgrounds/landscapes.

How did your art style devlop?
I don't know, has it developed?? I guess I became happier so my art has gotten happier.. actually, not really.

Doppelganger by visaga

Is there any advice you could give to learning artists? Is there any learning materials, artists, books or references you would recommend?
Yeah, look up to a better artist, it helps with my improvement! Errr everything by Andrew Loomis is good.

Bright Eyes by visaga

You can find :iconvisaga:visaga at:

Interview with :iconchriscold:ChrisCold

Dramargu by ChrisCold

Have you ever studied Art at school or University? Are you self taught?

 No, I never studied art or anything art-related. When the time came to decide where I want to go to college, I still wasn't doing art, well maybe just starting out. For a long time I wasn't even sure if I should pursue it seriously, I just slowly got into it more and more.

How do you become a artist? What appealed to you the most about being an artist?

Well, the first thing I wanted to do and started doing was space art. I still like the genre a lot, space imagery can be very enchanting and unique. I guess I just saw a few images of space art somewhere and was attracted to them at first sight. I also wasn't really that much of an arts person before, as in, I didn't go to museums or galleries or anything like that (I still don't :P (Lick)), so it was definitely something new for me.

Demon Sketch 10 by ChrisCold

What is the process you go through when starting a piece of work till it's final state?

 It depends on many things, I guess. If it's a personal illustration, I can do whatever I want with it, I can experiment and improvise or I can stick to the original idea I had when I started it. For commissions I almost always do quick sketches for the clients to look at, so they can see where the image is headed, that way it's also easier for me in case I need to change anything (would be much harder at later stages).

Why draw monsters and fantasy landscapes? Where doe's your inspiration come from in your work?

 I guess once I figured I could probably try out new things and break away from my usual space-related themes, the first thing that came to mind is to try and tell stories (with the help of my art). I'd like to think of myself as a storyteller, at least I never had many problems coming up with a short plot for anything. So that's the root, I think, all those fictional things are a byproduct of me thinking about some imaginary world in my head.

Idol by ChrisCold

What is the main software you use and why? And what would you recommend for learning artists?

When I was starting out with digital art, the first thing I was using was GIMP (it was free) for linux. Only later I got Photoshop, and I guess that's the program I would recommend, at least I don't have any trouble with it. However, I'm sure there are some alternatives out there, I just never got the chance to explore them once I settled with PS.

What would you consider the fundamentals in drawing art?

 Well, as I said, I didn't study art, so I can't say I should preach about fundamentals.
You need to have a sense for composition (basically, where to put what).
You need to understands how shapes look/work, this also includes perspective because perspective is just the way shapes deform.
And color and light.

How do you create texture in your work? Fer example, your 'Enter Shadowgate' or 'Snow-Cloaked' works.

In 'Enter Shadowgate' I used a few photo-textures applied to brushes, just to get that additional grip from real life rocks, I didn't really have time to do everything from scratch, as we were really behind on the work of Shadowgate.
'Snow-Cloaked' started out as a study of a photograph, it's completely done from scratch, but because I could rely on something for reference, it wasn't that hard getting the textures done properly. In the end it's about how much time you are willing to spend on minor details, they aren't always necessary.

Darkness by ChrisCold

Do you have a set colour scheme when starting a piece of work?

No, I'm usually very random with my colors and end up making them up as I go. I might have a general idea, like “ok, that demon will have red fire coming out of his mouth...” but other than that, no specifics.

Is there any advice you could give to learning artists? Is there any learning materials, artists, books or references you would recommend?

 There are a lot of free materials and useful tips/tutorials online. You'll have to look for whatever it is you need. I can say that I know great artists who never studied art, and I know really bad artists who have art degrees and can't paint at all. I never spend a cent on any learning tools (of course, I'm by no means a master), but I believe it's perfectly possible for anyone to learn how to paint or draw on their own.

Demon Sketch 06 by ChrisCold

You can find  ChrisCold:iconchriscold: at
-  Facebook:

Hello everyone! Today I am featuring :iconrosuuri:Rosuuri and :iconk-koji:K-Koji!

Interview with :iconrosuuri:Rosuuri

Ripple and Trails by Rosuuri

Have you ever studied Art at school or University? Are you self taught?

I’m currently a senior Multimedia arts student in an arts and design school. My college is mostly focused on other mediums aside from illustration and they are biased against anime/manga styles like most colleges. I can say I’m self-taught in terms of my illustration skills.

How do you become a manga artist? What appealed to you the most about being an artist?

Since elementary, I liked writing stories but I was never a good writer. My English is average, my vocabulary is limited and I’m not fluent with my native language too. Drawing was the only medium I could use to tell these stories. Manga has a creatively dynamic way of using panels and effects such as their use of screentones. I find this style unique and appealing.

What is your inspirations for your art work?

I have so many artist inspirations such as Rella, Anmi, Kkuem, Namie, Loika, Alphonse Mucha, Gustav Klimt and more. Aside from artists I admire, outer space and forests inspire me a lot!

Summer Tea Time by Rosuuri

What is the process you go through when starting a piece of work till it's final state?

I draw tons of thumbnails on paper then pick one I like best. Afterwards, I sketch and finish everything digitally. I have progress shots that show my work flow: Progress Shots of Daisy by Rosuuri Progress Shot of Commission-Lovette by Rosuuri

What is the main software you use and why? And what would you recommend for learning artists?

I use Sai and Photoshop CS6
Sai has one of the best brushes and a really light program that opens in seconds. Paint Tool Sai is what I recommend to artists because I’ve been using it for 3 to 4 years and it’s just wonderful. However, it’s a limited program (limited memory, brush size, tools) considering there are no adjustment layers and text engine in the said program. Photoshop fills in the gap for me. Before I tried drawing digitally, I was obsessed in making graphic designs, banners and UI interfaces since I was first year high school. The software I used every day was Photoshop. I am comfortable with the program and now I just use it for adjustments in my illustrations. Photoshop is difficult to comprehend at first but that’s every new program for you. Q v Q );

Prison by Rosuuri

What is your project 'Alice's Cross'? What are your plans for the manga?

Alice’s Cross is my webcomic project that I’ve started back in 2011 which you can read for free in Inkblazers or Smackjeeves.

I drew it for my original character Pinku and March. It’s a tragedy, adventure and fantasy manga inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. I have already written the story from start till the end and would really do anything to have enough time to finish the comic; however, because of time constraints due to work and school, the updates are really slow.
My current plans for the manga is to redraw the first 30 pages of chapter 1 exclusive for the print version which I’ll be selling next year and at the same time draw the rest of the chapters. Hopefully, after my graduation next year (2015), I’ll have time to focus and pump out manga pages for it!
If you have time, do read, fav or any form of support you can for my project Alice’s Cross and my one-shot Spider and Rain!

Commission - Lovette by Rosuuri

In quite a lot of your work, I noticed lighting plays a big part. Your 'Summer Tea Time', 'AWC - Robin' and 'Love Letter' for example, lighting is very bright, like the sun is shining on the characters. Was there any particular reason for this?

“Anything with good lighting is pretty”
That’s what I learned in my photography class. I applied it in my art and it seems to give my art more depth and appeal. It’s fun to play with lights, and the more I got used to it, the more it’s difficult to stop!

Is there any advice you could give to learning artists? Is there any learning materials, artists, books or references you would recommend?

This is something I don’t do anymore due to time constraints but it helps A LOT! Be observant with your surroundings, take inspiration from your environment, observe techniques your favorite artists do then apply all these in your art. DO NOT stress about finding a style. Focus on improving your skills.
As for resources, YouTube and Tumblr are the sites I used often. There are Tumblr blogs dedicated for art references and tutorial videos on YouTube by really amazing artists. If you are comfortable with Japanese, do browse Pixiv as they have the best resources for anime/manga styled illustrations.

Commission - Paper Hearts by Rosuuri

You can find :iconrosuuri::devrosuuri at:
My art shop (prints and books):
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Interview with :iconk-koji:K-Koji


Have you ever studied Art at school or University? Are you self taught?

I studied classical animation in school. But I'm not really using a lot of what I learned lol. Animation school is intensive and they really want you to draw cartoony style ( the one I went to did anyways). They weren't very versatile for individual style. And there was no painting class. So about 3.5 years ago I decided to teach myself how to paint and use digital art programs. In that way, I think I'm mainly self taught.

 How do you become a manga artist? What appealed to you the most about being an artist?

I can't answer this one because I'm not a manga artist, or at least, I don't draw for comics at the moment. ! ( I lived in Japan for a long time and to me it means I draw comic books which I'm afraid I don't). But I understand much of my subject matter is anime/manga related Meow :3

Opera Star by K-Koji

 What is your inspirations for your art work?

I'm not too sure. But I grew up loving videogames. Living in Asia, and growing up in part there, you have access to lots of interesting games that they don't seem to import to the west. The artwork for the promotional posters or books was always really cool. I also get inspired by certain shows or books, and fanfiction.

 What is the process you go through when starting a piece of work till it's final state?

I'm not sure I work like many other artists. I find it really difficult to start on a picture sometimes lol. I sit in front of my computer with my tablet and go " Ok. We are gonna create today! Something epic! YES. Let's do it!".. :iconspartaplz:
... and then 2 hours later I'm :iconheaddeskplz:

Then I have a little demanding shih tzu puppy who I have to give a belly rub every 30 minutes. Or throw his monkey...
But eventually I get a concept I want, and I rough out the pose, and background and light source. I spend a really long time plotting and the rough looks like this canvas of blobs. I swear, no one would know what is going on but me. Then I start clearing up stuff.
Then I refine it all and add details. I usually try to do the backgrounds first.

Asian Fusion by K-Koji

 How did your style develop? Your two artworks 'Hotel Reno?' and 'Opera Star' for example are very different.

Well, Hotel Reno was one of my FIRST digital paintings ever ( I had dabbled a bit years earlier but never really set my mind to it) XD. I find it hard to look at it sometimes, but I realize other people still like it even if it makes me cringe.
When I painted that, I picked a subject I liked ( Reno :icon0inuheheheplz:) , and decided " This will have a background". :iconhandsomeonionplz:
It bothers me sometimes when there's nothing but character after character with no background. I realize it's a popular thing, and that lots of artists are famous for doing that, but I think a background really adds something to a piece in most cases. Even if it's a minimal one.
And the funny part, when I painted Hotel Reno, I had no idea what I was doing. None. Zip. I barely new how layers worked in Photoshop. So that painting had a grand total of 5 layers. I approached it like a traditional painting.
Fast forward a year and a half later, and I painted Opera Star. I had learned so much during those years about painting and the software. I had a brand new tablet that wasn't a piece of junk ( a moderately priced wacom tablet, intuous 4). I was finally starting to figure out my own style as a painter. I also wanted to branch more and more into semi-realism.
Though there are a few things I'd fix on it, I still like Opera Star actually. It represents a huge style jump and things coming together after a lot of hard work and self study. And it had well over 100 layers.

What is the main software you use? And what would you recommend for learning artists?

I mainly use Photoshop CS6 now. But I was using Photoshop CS3 up until mid 2013. I think you can even get that version for free now, and it's a great program. I find I don't do too much in the latest version that I didn't do in the old version.
I also use Corel Painter 12 sometimes, though honestly, I wouldn't recommend that one for any beginners. It's really confusing and quite buggy. I only use it when I need specific brushes.

What are the most important points to think when drawing or painting art? What would you say the fundamentals?

I'm a huge fan of the basics. I study them all the time.
So practicing and always working on things like:
- proportions
-perspective ( in backgrounds too!)
I see it a lot on Deviantart where someone enjoys painting, and they are always doing these really pretty faces. We all like doing faces, and they are usually a focal point of a character drawing anyways. However, I often see around that beautiful face with the glitter, and shine, and lips that have 5 layers of lip gloss, and magical hair... a pretty wonky body.
It's as if they spent 4 hours making the face and hair perfect, and the hands and body attached to it are an afterthought.
I guess I would stress that the entire picture is important. It's not that every tiny part of it has to be rendered perfectly, but it's important not to skimp out on things like hands, or body proportion. All artists get burnt out, or tired of working on the same pic ( Im totally guilty of that too). But at those times, one might consider leaving it for a day and coming back to look at it with fresh eyes.

Kuroshitsuji: Undertaker by K-Koji

 How often do you practice drawing or painting?

I usually am drawing or painting 5 days a week. From 6-8 hours a day. I just joined a weekend traditional Life drawing course as well. I know some artists ( and my animation teachers) claim you have to chain yourself to a desk, drink nothing but toilet water, and eat nothing but gruel and insects as you grind away at drawing 14 hours a day every day or you're not good enough..

:iconragefaceplz::iconsaysplz: "You aren't working hard enough, maggot"

..... but I find if I do that, I burn out. And when I burn out, my paintings turn to utter crap and I get cranky. I often need to walk my dog and pay attention to my life. That way I really focus on what I'm doing and I don't find it painful.

 Why draw fanart? Did it play any role when you were learning how to draw?

Fanart is probably the reason I'm even painting at all right now. I went through a hard time in my life where I became very tired and jaded by the art world. I found so many people in it kind of bitter and unpleasant. They would tell all the new young artists that they sucked. So I took a break from drawing entirely for a long time. Then one day, I realized something in my life was missing. As flaky as it sounds, art has always been a part of me, and I wasn't going to let some crabby, unkind people take it away. So I made myself a deal: Go at your own pace. Draw whatever you feel like, whatever makes you smile. Try not to tear yourself down. . I have always been my own worst critic and enemy. So For that time, around the time I painted Hotel Reno, I decided to just lay off of myself, give myself a break, and see what happened. I was also very inspired by fanficton writers for the FF7 fandom. I was living in Kyoto ( It's boring) and I'd often read them when I got home at night. I even talk to some of those fanfic writers now on Skype! I think all artists and writers should support each other. And I appreciate them, because I can barely type let alone write a good story lol.
Everyone go pat your favourite fan-fic writer on the head today :iconheartrollplz:

But from there, I started doing everything. And I found more inspiration the more I learned. :icontheplz::iconmoreplz::iconyouplz::iconknowplz:

 Is there any advice you could give to learning artists? Is there any learning materials, artists, books or references you would recommend?

I don't know any off-hand, but just absorb all the anatomy references and tutorials you can. If you're doing a painting, and there's for example, a car in it? Grab photos of a car and really look at how to draw it. Drawing a christmas tree? Look up Photoshop tutorials ( if you use digital) on how to create glowing light effects. All these little things that you do will help you overall. Keep a lot of photos of naked people.
No, not porn, you dirty birds :iconohyouplz:

Posing and anatomy Wink/Razz

Kuroshitsuji: Grell Sutcliff by K-Koji

You can find :iconk-koji:K-Koji at:


Etsy shop…

Interview with :iconyami-hydran:Yami-Hydran

Dreams Flight by Yami-Hydran

Have you ever studied Art at school or University? Are you self taught?

During my studies, I’ve had some classes on nude drawing, or on the position of shadows and lights. But as to what’s in my DeviantArt gallery (the manga style, watercolor, etc), I’ve learned by myself how to draw this way and my style evolved throughout the years.

What appealed to you the most about being an artist? Where does your inspiration come from?

What I like the most about being an artist is the power to create various universes and characters, and to make these characters come to life by staging them through illustrations or comics. Sharing all those things is also very important for me!Like many, I find inspiration in the world around me, especially artists on internet but also photos, color patterns, objects, costumes from all eras, animals, particular places… I collect all kinds of images that I like on my computer to have some ideas when I don’t have any inspiration, or to keep them as references for future projects.

Underwater by Yami-Hydran

What is the process you go through when starting a piece of work till its final state?

For a watercolor, I generally do a very small sketch of the general composition. I then directly sketch it on watercolor paper (it took me years to learn how to sketch properly on the first try without using a light box).
After that, I start by putting a first layer of diluted paint on all the elements, in order to define their tints and the general atmosphere of the illustration. I repeat the process three, four, five times in order to add more pronounced contrast and shadows, and at the very end I work on details (eyes, etc).

Why use watercolour as your main medium? What brands do you use?

I don’t know since when watercolor became my favorite medium for coloring, but what I’m certain of is that I’m more used to traditional mediums : digital coloring quickly bores me, and staying in front of my computer makes my back hurt. On the contrary, I have a lot of fun handling water and paintbrushes; it’s really something difficult to explain!
What I like about watercolor is the fact that all the colors are “ready-to-use” in their pans, not like color inks for example. I lack patience when mixing colors even though I’m starting to get used to it… I also love the fact that the colors are not saturated when using watercolor. And finally, what I love about this medium are its very particular and watery textures, and the interplay of transparency when applying the colors layer by layer.
I mostly use White Nights watercolors. I also have some pans of Sennelier and Winsor & Newton.

Frozen Garden by Yami-Hydran

What is 'CORTEGE' and 'The Queen society'? What are your plans for these projects?

Cortege gathers together a lot of characters which belong to fantastic universes, inspired from myths, legends and fairytales. As most of them don’t have their own stories, I regrouped them under this name for now. Cortege is also the name of a collaborative project that I realized in 2012 during my studies, where I asked participants to create characters files that I would draw then. The created characters belong as much to their creators as they belong to me (project tumblr: ). I’m planning to develop the characters of Cortege little by little with Shini-FG in order to create stories taking place into separated or linked universes, following places and times where the action takes place. We will probably make several comics around this project.
The Queen Society is a comic in three volumes of 140 pages each, written by :devshini-fg :. Here’s the summary of the first volume: London, XIXe century. The industrial boom marks the uprising of machinery, and thus humans and mechanic puppets live altogether at the heart of a capital torn by repression. Ethan Bradley belongs to the Queen Society, a secret society which aims to throw back the American occupying forces. He’s going to meet Joey Keller, a mechanic. Together, they get involved in crazy adventures of conspiracy, treason and murders.
We finished this comic in July 2014 so this project is finished!

Do you use a set colour scheme? I noticed with your works such as 'Frozen Garden' and 'Dreams Flight' there is few range of colours.

Nowadays, I do try to restrain my color schemes for a sole illustration, because I usually like to use many different ones. I like both ways of proceeding in the end, and I don’t want to limit myself to one. What’s for sure is that for each watercolor, I don’t color without having first defined the color scheme.

Wisterias by Yami-Hydran

What would you consider to be the most important points to think when drawing manga?

_Keeping a good readability for the reader through the organization of the pages, the position of the characters and the speech bubbles
_Keeping in mind the rhythm that you want to give to the story, because it will influence the organization of the pages and the feelings of the reader.
_Mastering the expressions of the characters and the emotions that you want to convey

As a whole, always try to put yourself in the reader’s shoes by focusing on what he’s going to feel: readability, rhythm and emotions.

Is there any advice you could give to learning artists? Is there any learning materials, artists, books or references you would recommend?

Never give up! It’s through hard work and time that one can evolve. It’s also necessary to learn to listen to others’ advice, and to be able to question yourself continually in order to advance.
I don’t have any particular references to give. I’d rather advise people to find inspiration among the artists and subjects that they like, and to establish from it a little collection of books and/or images taken from internet.

Sunset by Yami-Hydran

You can find :iconyami-hydran:Yami-Hydran at:

Interview with :iconkutty-sark:Kutty-Sark

Halloween Commission 3 by Kutty-Sark

How long have you been an artist, how long have you been studying? Have you studied art at school or college?

I loved to draw as long as I remember myself, but it was more like doodles for fun. I started to take it seriously, when I was 17 years old, because I decided to pass exams to theatre arts college. I used to learn theatre and historical costume design there. We learned painting and drawing as well as costume design. Now I continue studying at academy of fine arts.

Witch and Princess by Kutty-Sark

Where doe's you inspiration come from?

It comes from everywhere I guess X)
As for some particular things, Listening to music and watching to illustrations with historical costumes, photos of different subculture costumes, concept designs and costume stylizations always inspire me a lot. Also the art of some great artists inspires me so much. Watching to beauty they create, I want to improve my skills to!

What is the main software you use then drawing Manga? I notice you mentioned on your profile that you use SAI and a graphics tablet. Why use these? I realise you also use watercolour. Is there any particular favourite? Why use watercolour?

As for drawing with computer, I use SAI for drawing and Photoshop for editing scans of my traditional works and adding manga screentones (I draw manga with ink and then edit scans). And sure, I use graphic tablet too. Anyway, I always was more traditional artist. For example, I use Sai just because it's easier for me to find some similarities between drawing in SAI and drawing by hands.
And as I already mentioned, I think that first of all I'm a traditional artist ^^ And my favourite technique is watercolor. I used to try different traditional techniques, but watercolor is my love ^^ When I started to drawing with it, I thought that I will never learn using it. My first tries were really horrible! XD I have no words to describe how awful they were! But after some time I felt in love with watercolor. Anyway there are a lot of things I still have to learn about this technique.

Commission: Owlivia by Kutty-Sark

Can you tell me any information on the materials you use for your traditional works?

Sure ^^ I use "White Nights" watercolor paints, "UniPin", "Faber Castell" or "Sakura" waterproof liners and white ink. Also I use natural brushes from fox, squirrel and kolinsky fur for painting. As for the paper, I oftenly used ordinary local watercolor paper. Sometimes I use canson and fabriano. It's not common or cheap here, but I buy it when I have a chance. It's easier to buy good paper now, so I try to draw using better paper more =) (Smile) It always gives a better result ^^
Also I use ink, color pencils and acrylics.

What is the Princess Project? What are your goals for the project?

Princess Project is an artbook that tries to create fairytale world full of really different fairly kingdoms with their beautiful princesses, based on different fairytale and legend creatures and just lovely ideas.
It was a first artbook for me and my goal was just to try how it can be and have fun ^^ Everything about this project goes pretty slow and I can't wait to see the final result! ^o^/

FrankenCyborgs by Kutty-Sark

Is there any advice you could give to learning artists? Not only with learning concept artists, you can include those studying for Fine Art or Illustration. Is there any learning materials, artists, books or references you would recommend?

The first thing I want to advice - never give up! No matter how it hard, no matter how much time and tries it will take, you can always improve your skills if you really want it! And also, never stop at what has been accomplished.
As for learning materials, I think every artist should have an anatomy book by Gottfried Bammes. It's the best book about human anatomy for artists I ever saw.
Also, If you are interested in costumes like I am, try to find costume history book by Auguste Racinet. Most of books about costumes are based on this book, so It's better to see the primary source ^^

Commission: Waanmo 3 by Kutty-Sark

Hello everyone! This weeks interviews are with :iconmellanthe:Mellanthe and :iconnegshin:Negshin!

Interview with :iconmellanthe:Mellanthe

In Your Hands by Mellanthe

Have you ever studied Art at school or University? Are you self taught?

Actually, much like a lot of other artists on DA I am self taught. Haha, I basically learned through trial and a lot of error!

What appealed to you the most about being an artist? Where does your inspiration come from?

What appealed to me the most would have to be being able to put my imagination down on paper. That and bright colours. REALLY. BRIGHT. COLOURS. A lot of my inspiration comes from the Tales Series games actually which many people really wouldn't notice unless they looked really closely.

What genres and styles you use? Why draw Manga?

I mainly draw in manga/anime style with a hint of semi-realism at times, but people rarely get to see that. As for why Manga? I think it's because cartoons, anime and Disney made up some of my earlier childhood memories.

Private Eye by Mellanthe

What is the process you go through when starting a piece of work till it's final state?

Ahaha, if you ask people who know me, they would tell you I have the absolute weirdest art process, that's all over the place. I'll draw the legs, then lineart them, then sketch the torso, and go back and colour the legs. The process continues....if you can even call that a process?

I noticed in your gallery you draw a lot of Vocaloids. Why draw Vocaloids? Doe's music have any influence in your work?

I do tend to draw a lot of Vocaloid. I think fanart of Hatsune Miku was the first piece of fanart I ever drew. (Which is surprising since I like the Tales Series art and still haven't drawn fanart of it to this day) Mainly vocaloids though because it's amazing to realize that mostly hobbyist musicians, composers, artists, animators and singers can make such amazing stories with Vocaloids. Music isn't a huge influence on my art, but it can from time to time.

What is the main software you use? Do you draw any work using traditional tools?

I mainly use Paint Tool Sai for all of my art. I've also recently got Photoshop Elements but I haven't used it in any of my gallery art. I rarely work traditionally too unless it's doodling with a pencil. Oh! In case anyone is wondering I use a Wacom Pen Tablet.

THANK YOU by Mellanthe

What would you consider to be the most important points to think when drawing or painting manga art?

I think the most important thing to think about is how to balance technical art knowledge with your imagination. Sometimes I may have the coolest composition - in my opinion - and have to sit down to fix the anatomy because I know it's highly unrealistic, unless they really are suppose to have a twisted ankle and broken arm that is.

Konoha - Aug. 15 by Mellanthe

  Is there any advice you could give to learning artists? Is there any learning materials, artists, books or references you would recommend?

My advice would be to start from the basics, pick up an anatomy book or stare endlessly at artists with good anatomy. I wouldn't recommend a lot of Manga/Anime How to books, especially for English speakers. However, what I saw from a friend of mine, Mark Crilley's Mastering Manga books could be very helpful.
Once upon a time... by Mellanthe

Something I would like to mention is that currently, I am working with an insanely talented team of people as the Art Director for an indies JRPG game we are making called Remnants of Twilight. If it seems interesting to people, please support us and let us share our passion with you! We are going to have a kickstarter campaign soon, but until then, feel free to give us a like and follow on our facebook!…

As well, thank you to the lovely Katie for this interview, it was really fun!

Interview with :iconnegshin:Negshin

Beautiful Imperfection by Negshin

Have you ever studied Art at school or University? Are you self taught?

I do have a degree in Film Studies and an MA in Animation (specializing in Sequential Arts) however both were very heavily focused on theory development and not really art related in terms of practical skill sets so I am as self taught as they come. I learned how to paint and draw from endless trial and errors, from carefully studying other artists’ works, books, videos and tutorials online.

I’m still learning like that by myself, it’s a never-ending quest.

How did you become an artist? What appealed to you the most about being an artist?

I grew up on manga and anime just as much as I did on Disney, DC, Marvel and other international comics and animations, it was just part of my childhood and not something I really thought of as a separate style. I just picked it up, just as I picked up many other things that have helped me along with my career.

Even from a very young age, I knew I wanted to be an animator so I went after that dream with a very tunnel-like vision and passion. A bit further down the line, I discovered that I wouldn't really be happy just doing animations. I wanted to draw, paint, do character designs, tell stories, do anything and everything from storyboards to special effects XD

I guess that’s what appeals to me the most about being an artist, all the endless possibilities when it comes to creation and storytelling. Being a manga artist fits me well because usually the work from start to finish, is one artist's creative vision

Nimue by Negshin

What are your inspirations for your work? What genres and styles you use and why?

LOL tough question... goodness.

To this day, I still think my biggest inspirations come from films and animations, especially animations. I get so absorbed into that world, everything about it, from the concept designs, the story, the characters, the music, the timing etc. is magical and inspiring.

The late master Satoshi Kon, was a huge influence on me when it came to what you can achieve in terms of storytelling and a fragmented timeline structure.

I won't list you all the names though else this would go on forever but one of my other biggest influences are art movements such as the Pre-Raphaelite, Impressionism and Realism art movement artists like William-Adolphe Bouguereau.

Comics too, the Neil Gaiman/Dave Mckean duo, Masamune Shiro... yes, this list would be very long, so I'll stop Sweating a little...

As for genre, I'm not sure if I fit into anything specific; I just do what feels right to me as a creator. My style varies because of that too, sometimes it's more manga, sometimes more realistic, sometimes it has more fantasy elements, sometimes more modern.
Though recently I am homing down on my combined manga-realism style the most because it offers me the best of everything that I love and is very flexible for me to use for my projects.

Zack: Faded smile by Negshin

What is the process you go through when starting a piece of work till it's final state?

The couple of things I do often before starting to do any work is to just gather some things that I think will be useful references to look at and I often try to do several thumbnails/drafts of an illustration just to get the idea down… LOL really bad ones cause they are super quick so no one but myself would ever understand them (nor would I ever show or admit to creating Sweating a little...).

It's a very basic problem solving and inspirational step to take, it really helps avoid problems that would be difficult to fix in the later stages.

Other than that, my actual painting process is quite random. It all depends on what the work is for and wheatear or not I have time.
If it's a personal piece and I don't have to report to a director/client, I am likely to go straight into colour and brushwork, composing the idea as I go along because I like to have fun painting. And because I'm self-taught, I try a lot of different methods often, it makes it more interesting and you always learn some things along the way.

What style did you start with? How did you reach the style that you use now? When did your style develop?

hummm... I'd say maybe the Disney style? Though I haven’t drawn like that in years now, I was a huge fan and wanting to be an animator, it just had such a huge influence on me.
Then I'm not sure what happened. I was always a big fan of art history, even from a young age. There are just as many paintings from when I younger of me copying Renoir and Monet from as there are pictures of things like Totoro, Dragon Ball and Batman Sweating a little...
I did have a phase of having a slightly similar style to Kouyu Shurei because I was trying to learn how to ink and to tone. I was even a professional inker and toner for a while because I was practicing so hard and my portfolio was full of finished pages, but that lead me into discovering that I didn’t really like inking, I tend to kill my work when I try to be too neat.
My comic style has become much looser and sketchier as a result and it suits me, and my natural way of working more. I still love toning though; my comic pages will probably always have lots of tones XD

So, I guess, the manga-realism thing just sort of happened by itself. It was a natural growth from trying to do comics as an alternative way to learn storyboarding, always loving to create stories and to experiment, and just wanting to do more and more complex illustration pieces.

What are your plans for the 'Threads' Artbook project you and other artists are working on?

To be honest, it was something that just came about very spontaneously and suddenly. Kit ( :iconkitjoyuki: ), just happened to mention something about how fun it would be to be involved in a big artbook project and I told her I would happily participate. A couple of hours later, we had settled on the fashion theme and I started sending out invitations to artists I knew might be interested and by the morning, we had a whole team of fifteen artists already gathered Sweating a little...

We've been working very hard in secret on this for quite a few months now; everyone has been very active in sharing their ideas and suggestions. It's a great team of very skilled and talented artists so we will have lot of new pictures and just to make it more special, there are exclusive tutorials covering a wide range of styles and subjects too.
It's going to be a thick book, at least 130 pages XD

I'm not going to say much about the campaign yet but please keep an eye out for it; there will be lots of exclusive and worthwhile incentives for the fans to nab.

Will You Join Me? by Negshin
What is the main software you use? Why use Photoshop?

When I was starting to learn software, I used Painter along side Photoshop too and have dabbed into using Paint Tool Sai occasionally.

As the years passed and upgrades were made, I became more and more Photoshop focused because it really is a leading industry package and just offered me everything I needed. Also, if you want to be in this business professionally, you REALLY need to know how to use it, and use it well.

I've been using it for years and even though I'm at an expert level, I still discover little things here and there. LOL it's actually quite common for us artist to ask each other our Photoshop tips and tricks, there’s always something you’ve had no idea about XD

It's so huge, the creative options really are limitless and as I said, it's an industry standard.

What would you consider to be the most important points to think when drawing or painting manga art?

I'd say don't worry about "fitting in" to the style too much. The problem with wanting to achieve a certain style is that so many people just copy it without really paying attention. It's a perfectly natural thing to do of course; we have an artist we like, so we try to achieve that look.

Any style, be it manga or not, has that look and feel because of a set of rules.
Try to learn to distinguish what those rules are. There are tons of manga out there that don't quite fit into the "big eyed, small nosed" standard people associate with the manga style, yet looking at them; you wouldn't consider them being anything else other than manga.

Look for those rules, learn them and then you can have a lot of fun with them while remaining within the recognizable boundaries of the style.

Threads Artbook Preview - Kano by Negshin

Is there any advice you could give to learning artists? Is there any learning materials, artists, books or references you would recommend?

- Learn from life and ALWAYS start with realism.
I can't stress how important this is. It's so easy to want to just dive right into doing a certain "style". PLEASE DON'T!

Study real things first, build your foundations such as anatomy, perspective, light theory, colour theory, composition.

Your focus should be on one thing at a time. It’s very difficult to be thinking creatively about a subject while your mind is also trying to store information about how a software interface works or how light works or how to get your hand to draw a fluid line.
That often leads to frustration because you want to “create” something good, but your skillsets aren’t developed yet so the results are likely to be poor which can damage your confidence.

Your focus should be the skillsets first.

If you want to practice digital painting, line drawing, brush strokes etc. - draw still life; lots of it. Paint figures and portraits from photos (better still if you could get real life models at later stages).
Don't try to be creative while you are trying to nail down practical skill sets such as brush strokes. Not when you are starting out anyway.
Once you feel more comfortable, then try combining what you've picked up with imagination.

Style is something that will naturally develop because you are bound to approach things in the unique way only you can.

- Paint/draw/study as much of the things you dislike/hate as you do the things that you love.
It may not seem at all relevant that if you want to be a manga character artist for you to go and paint architecture or cars but you are picking up valuable data. Your mind has a wonderful way of collecting information and storing it for us to use later in the most creative and unexpected ways.
For example, knowing how to paint shiny hard surfaces like a car is going to greatly help you when you go on to paint a character with heavy armour.

- Be patient and take your time.
Speed and skills are things that will develop with a lot of endurance, persistence and hard work. It will take time.
It's a very common to see artists who are learning get frustrated, disheartened and angry with themselves that they aren't improving fast enough. We all do it Sweating a little...

The important thing is to be realistic about that said time. For example, if you are just starting to draw faces and are new to painting, don't expect to be able to draw an amazing portrait from imagination within a week or two after just a few attempts. Just because you see another artist being capable of doing so, that does not mean that you are bad. You are learning and with practice, you will be able to do that too.

Being a good and successful artist is NOT about natural talent, it's ALL about skill sets and skill sets can be learned and fine tuned with time and practice (even the most natural of artists still need to learn them).... and the rest is just the magic of imagination XD

There are many, many resources widely available out there now but for anyone starting out and needs a solid, yet simple to digest structure (and best of all completely FREE), I highly recommend Matt Kohr's Ctrl+Paint ( ).
It’s a fantastic series for any artist, beginner to advance, with tons of well-organized tutorials with practical assignments for you to go through for pretty much any topic.

Thank you for doing the interview :iconmellanthe:Mellanthe and :iconnegshin:Negshin! :iconiluplz:

Hi everyone! This week I am featuring :icondaarken:daarken! Next week will be a new theme. So keep your eyes open! :thumbsup::D

Interview with :icondaarken:daarken

Call to the Grave by daarken

Have you ever studied Art at school or University? Are you self taught?
Yes, I graduated with a BFA in traditional illustration from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco back in 2004.

How do you become a concept artist? What appealed to you the most about being an artist?
It really depends, I’m sure there are a number of ways you can become a concept artist. I was actually an illustrator for a long time before I became a concept artist.
One day Mythic Entertainment sent me an email asking if I would like to work on Warhammer Online as a concept artist. I flew out for an interview and got the job. I’ve been doing concept art ever since.
I think the final product appeals to me the most. The actual process isn’t always that glamorous and I always find myself getting stressed out while I’m painting. Once the painting is finished and I see it on the shelf at a bookstore or in a video game, that is when I feel good about the painting.

Mass Effect 3 and Kingdoms of Amalur Promo by daarken

What is your inspirations for your concept art work? What made you interested in fantasy?
I think I’m always inspired by other artists, movies, and games. When working in this field, you can’t help but be inspired by your peers. Of course you always have to make sure you are coming up with new ideas and not copying the work you admire so much.
I’ve always loved art. When I was a kid I copied covers of comic books in pen and ink. I think what really got me into fantasy was the first time I saw a painting by Brom. I immediately knew that was what I wanted to do.

What is the process you go through when starting a piece of work till it's final state? Do you use thumbnails or speed painting?
It really depends on the type of work and the client. Usually a client will want to see a sketch. Most of them don’t require different thumbnails, so I just show them one sketch. If it is approved, I take the sketch to final.
If I’m working on concept art, sometimes I will have to show the client several different variations. Once we narrow it down, I take that to final. I very rarely have to show a color WIP.
Now the type of sketch also depends on the client and my mood at the time. Sometimes I do line drawings while other times I block in big shapes and silhouettes.
Dread Warlock by daarken

I noticed you have fan art in your gallery. Doe's fan art have any role in concept art?
Well, not really. I think most people use fan art to build an audience and to also sell more prints. I suppose sometimes an artist might create fan art and then it might be seen by someone making a movie of the same IP and they might take some of the ideas. Of course you probably won’t get any credit, especially since you don’t own the copyright to someone else’s IP anyway.

What is the main software you use? And what would you recommend for learning artists? Know of any cheap/free software for newbies?
I only use Photoshop. Painter SAI is pretty cheap and a good program. I’ve heard ArtRage is good, but I’ve never used it myself.

Horus Heresy by daarken
What would you consider the fundamentals for painting concept art? What are the most important points to think when drawing or painting art? ( Eg. is composition important? Creating atmosphere? Dynamic?
The fundamentals of concept art are basically the same fundamentals required for all art. You need to have a firm understanding of anatomy, perspective, design, light, color, and composition.
I think all of these things are important and you need to think about all of them when you are painting. If you are strictly speaking about concept art, design is extremely important.

Do you use a limited colour palette? Or do you use a certain colour scheme? How doe's the colour palette effect your work?
No I don’t. I don’t think I use a specific color scheme, but I guess I might gravitate toward some color combinations more than others. It also really depends on what you are working on and what type of mood you are trying to convey.
Color can affect your work by changing the mood. If you are trying to paint a happy sunny day, you probably wouldn’t paint everything blue and grey.

The Winds of Magic by daarken

Is there any advice you could give to learning artists? Is there any learning materials, artists, books or references you would recommend?
Try not to get discouraged and take advantage of online resources. There are so many online resources out there, I wish there were that many when I was still in school.
It can take years and years of hard work and dedication before you reach a professional level, so don’t give up if you don’t feel like your work is improving fast enough. Give it time.

You can find :icondaarken:daarken at:

Thank you to :icondaarken:daarken for the interview! :iconiluplz:
 Hello everyone! This week features :icondinmoney:dinmoney and :iconjourneyful:Journeyful!


Interview with :icondinmoney:dinmoney

Anima: The Red Lady by dinmoney

Have you ever studied Art at school or University? Are you self taught?
Yes, I have some art training, but majority of learning was done on my own. Lots and lots of practice.

How do you become a concept artist? What appealed to you the most about being an artist?
Originally I started drawing to make comics, but i fell in love with painting and character design. I still work on my comics when i have time, but my day job is concept art.

How do you get ideas to create your character designs? What is your inspiration?
My original inspiration was Blizzard Art when i was a kid. The game manuals would be full of character sketches and art, I wanted to be able to draw as cool as that one day. Now, I take inspiration from all over: nature, history, other artists, movies, tv, anime, games. Basically anything I see that looks cool, I keep it in mind and add it to my art.

Samurai Genji Cover (no logo) by dinmoney

What is the process you usually go through when creating your characters?
I have a walk through of my process that can be found in my gallery:

What is the main software you use then drawing and painting? And what would you recommend for learning artists? Know of any cheap/free software for newbies?
I use Photoshop Cs6, but anything Cs4+ is good. There are some cheap programs out there, but Photoshop is the industry standard, so the sooner you start learning it, the better. It is a very expensive program, so look into getting a copy through your school, B&H Photo has good deals on tablets as well as deals on Photoshop sometimes.

Din by dinmoney

What would you consider the fundamentals for painting concept art? What do you find the most important to consider when drawing or designing your characters?
Anatomy, Design, and Soul. Use your knowledge of the human form to make the character body and stance believable. Be creative with your designs, and think about functionality. Lastly, give your drawings life, try to get emotion and soul into your art.

Corrupted Angel Armor by dinmoney

Tell me about you current projects? What is your Samurai Genji comic about? What inspired you to create that comic?
I can't say too much about the projects i am working on, other than I am doing character designs, environments, and illustrations. My comic, "Samurai Genji" is a classic revenge story that takes place in a fantasy feudal japan where people are eating people. You can read it online at Tapastic or Ink Blazers.

Is there any advice you could give to learning artists? Is there any learning materials, artists, books or references you would recommend?
DRAW DRAW DRAW!!! As much as you can, make time for it. When you can't draw, be thinking about drawing. Look at people's body structure and clothing fashion. Study light phisics and colour, always be thinking "why do things look the way they do?" If you want to take classes i would reccomend Life Drawing, very helpful if you wish to get into character design. Other than that, be proffessional, meet your deadlines, network, and most importanly, have fun!

Yanshi: Yuan and Tama by dinmoney

Interview with :iconjourneyful:Journeyful

Skuther by Journeyful

Have you ever studied Art at school or University? Are you self taught?

I studied Film and Animation at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. I consider the game-art and painting side of my portfolio to be self-taught but still influenced by my studies at school.

How do you become a concept artist? What appealed to you the most about being an artist?

Though I am a concept artist currently, I worked mainly as a 3D Environment Artist at Insomniac Games for two years. But how do you BECOME a concept artist? Its like asking how do you become a working professional in general, and it is a huge question. I would say that the best way to become a professional artist is to take each piece you make very seriously and allways give it your best shot. Don't get lazy! Make the best work you can NOW, and start building an image of your idol-self (yourself if you were someone you looked up to). Start getting an idea of and being the mega-you as soon as you can and you'll be on the road to securing your career. You'll see that a career is really the product of several well intentioned steps towards defining your ultimate self. As far as portfolio goes (because everyone allways has questions for that) you should research the studios that inspire you and start targeting your work towards them. Dont make fan art! Make origional pieces that cause you to stand out from the crowd to the studios you are trying to appeal to and don't forget about the creative process! Thumbnail all of your ideas before you make your final piece. Trust me, an organized approach to art making makes all the difference. Research - > thumbnail - > rough painting - > Final painting.
What appealed to me most about being an artist? Doing what I love every day - creating worlds and telling stories. Any art form is a career of exploration and adventure, and I find that discovering worlds and characters with my mind is a fascinating experience. Everyone should do it! I think sometimes that this kind of internal exploration is perhaps an uncommmon and undefined form of meditation.

Ichor Refieneries by Journeyful

What is your inspirations for your concept art work?

Good question! Its what I call Sight Tracks. Sight tracks are individual music tracks from bands and albums that I LOVE. They are often motivating songs that springboard my mind into playing imagined movies and stills that are inspired by lyrics or the movement of the music. Many of my ideas come from what I imagine to some of these tracks. I mainly listen to metal bands like Hammerfall and Amorphis, and also some electronic like Mind.In.A.Box. and Hybrid. The best thing about sight tracks is that anyone can do it. Next time you are listening to music, try to visualize a movie starring your original character and setting. Really try hard to see it as clear as day! When I come up with something awesome I keep coming back to that moment in the track for more! I can't get enough of it.

Building Thumbs, Flora Thumbs by Journeyful

What is the process you go through when starting a piece of work till it's final state? Do you use thumbnails or speed painting?

Thumbnails. Speed painting I haven't done much of, but if I am feeling like an organized person that knows something about making art (sometimes I just want to screw around on a canvas) I'll thumbnail... keeping in mind that the thumbnails I make are quick images made to present the spectrum of ideas. If you visit all of your ideas as fast as possible in a presentable manner, you can do no wrong. Thumbnailing is really the act of failing as fast as possible so that you can find the best idea sooner. Think about it!

How do you start your little designs or sketches? Such as your pieces: 'Skuther Iterations' and 'Building Thumbs, Flora Thumbs'. Do you normally design using thumb sketches? Why use thumbs?

Like I said, thumbnailing is the act of failing as often as you can. Every piece of art in the entire world can be thought of as a failure - NOTHING IS PERFECT! So really, thumbnailing just allows you to get every idea you have out of you so that you can determine which one or which combination of your ideas fails the LEAST! And then you move forward with it and know that you did your best to find and express the final idea that you have! I realized thumbnailing was important when a concept artist I was working under as an intern a few years ago forced me into it. I used to be a guy who just made final paintings and NEVER thumbnailed. Thumbnailing streamlined my process and made me an organized creative and I'm happy to say that my time doing so especially isn't wasted because the idea that I end up running with is usually never my first thumb drawing! Also, if you're planning on being a concept artist - get used to understanding that thumbnailing is your job. I'm serious. You thumbnail all the time as a concept artist it is the MOST important thing to understand.

Sketch Book 1 by Journeyful

What is the main software you use? And what would you recommend for learning artists? Know of any cheap/free software for learning artists?

Photoshop and Maya. Maya is a common 3D package that can be downloaded for free at I would reccomend these products to anyone as they are the industry standard.

What are the most important points to think when drawing or painting art? ( Eg. is composition important? Creating atmosphere? Dynamic?) What would you say the fundamentals are in concept art?

Conceptart fundementals are all of those things. Every aspect of a painting from atmosphere to composition to rendering are important but above all of them (perhaps) is design. As a concept artist, you are a designer. That is to say, the title of the job REALLY IS concept designer (I dont know when it was replcaed by concept ARTIST), and you need to realize that Concept Artists really just draw thumbnails all day! Thats actually what they do the most! Rare is the mindblowing finished render you see on deviantart and art-station. Students of this need to understand that being a concept aritst is to create compelling designs that function, tell the right story and tone, and grab the right kind of attention... and that reaching those designs is to create many little sketches. Thumbnails! All hail thumbnails. If you are a concept artist that is what you do. Get it allready? HAH!

How often do you practise drawing or painting?

Every day I can.

I noticed quite a lot of sketches in your gallery is grey scale. Why sketch in grey scale?

It is something I picked up from other artists... IT is easier to determine the right values of an object or a scene if you do it in grayscale and THEN use blending modes on different layers to apply color without destroying or manipulating the grayscale image after its worked out. The key here is to work as quickly and efficently as possible. You make your grayscale image and then apply color on layers above it using those blending modes and you do that by actually filling the above layers with solid colors and using masks to mark them down on the image. This process comes from situations in which an art director would come over to you and say, "hey that rocket looks pretty cool in red as you have it... but I wanted to see it in blue!". If you have your color masked into the image as a color layer blend, then all you need to do to make your art director happy is to paintbucket blue into your layer and - wa'lah! It's blue. See what I'm getting at?

Skuther Iterations by Journeyful

How do you create the texture in both your 2D and 3D work? For example, your 'How to train your Sandworm' and 'TEXTURE LISCIOUS'.

Those are both very old images from when I used to paint in a very unmethodical way. LOL. Back then I used photos for my texture and I would actually grab images that were anything from a sandy beach, to a metal panel from, to bannanas to texture my images. (Just kidding, I never really used Bannanas).

Is there any advice you could give to learning artists? Is there any learning materials, artists, books or references you would recommend?

Get bridgeman's life drawing and a good atlas of anatomy book that you can learn the human form from. Then go out and practice life drawing! Draw nude models as often as you can! Understanding form in real life is the best thing you can do to becoming a better artist. I should really do it way more often than I do and I will eat my own advice starting tonight! Time to copy from life. See you out there!


Thank you to the artists for letting me do an interview! :iconiluplz:

Hi everyone! This journal features :iconmerl1ncz:merl1ncz and :iconjjpeabody:jjpeabody! :wave:

Interview with :iconmerl1ncz:merl1ncz

Armory by merl1ncz

A bit about your background. I noticed you do Concept Art, Illustration and Fine Art. Which one did you start out with? And is there any particular favourite one? How long have you been an artist, how long have you been studying?

Well, I was really into drawing since my early childhood. It was always the thing enjoyed the most. And I can't really tell which one did I start with. I always did all of them simultaneously and in my case, it doesn't make any difference anyway. Concept Art, Illustration, Fine Art. It's about visual language and rules are very similar to me.
I've been officially studying fine arts for 5 years know. This year is my final.

I noticed you have speed paintings in your gallery. What is the benefit/importance of speed painting in concept art? How doe's that help you decide your final piece? Or are they simply 'left' in that state of incompleteness as pieces of art in their own right?

Speedpaintings are artworks done in one session and usually under one hour - at least as I see it. They are important, because you can learn how to convey your ideas quickly and with limited means. It's crucial skill to learn for any artist.
I usually make series of quick sketches for clients to choose from in the beginning of every commission. You don't want to spend 2 hours on a sketch that will be rejected so that skill really comes handy here.
When it comes to deciding when the painting is done, it really depends on each artist. Someone likes to have his image polished whereas other prefers to have them rough and sketchy.

Long Journey Ahead by merl1ncz

Where doe's your inspiration come from in your concept art?

Mostly from things I have seen or experienced. I can't stress enough how important it is to base your art on your own world. I see many aspiring artist just copying things they see in movies, games, or in other artworks. Problem with that is that it's really easy to see who painted something he knows personally and who just recycled art of others.
Good example is how you treat light and colors in your painting. I spent countless hours observing weather and light and I can recognize quite quickly who knows and who doesn't - who took their time to learn how it really works and who just copies photographs. So be aware of that.
Golden piece of advice here: Go out, get to know the stuff you want to paint and then paint it. You can't be true to yourself if you just gather ideas on the internet.

Is Photoshop the main software you use then drawing Concept Art? Is there any other software you have used? And what would you recommend for learning artists?  Know a cheap/free software for newbies that is good for concept art?
I've always been using photoshop and I'm not familiar with any other software. But I do use all kinds of traditional media for sketching, studying and even for making finished artpieces. So this would be my advice: don't stick only to digital media but get your hands dirty too. :) (Smile)

Waiting for the End by merl1ncz

I have read about your Traditional and digital technique featured in some of your work. Doe's knowing Fine Art and Illustration, even photography effect your concept art work? Doe's oil painting or illustration have any play in concept art?
Yeah, absolutely.
The stuff you learn when working with traditional media is something you will be applying all the time.
I, for instance, use my oil paintings and other sketches as direct references for further works. That is how I get the colors into my digital paintings. I capture them outside, in my plein air paintings, and then use them later in whatever work I want to do. That's what makes my approach different I guess - usage of my own real life paintings as reference for digital art.

A near future 2 by merl1ncz

Is there any advice you could give to learning artists? Not only with learning concept artists, you can include those studying for Fine Art or Illustration. Is there any learning materials, artists, books or references you would recommend?

Quite a few actually.
Learn everything about art history. Most of the problems you will ever face have already been solved by other artists.
Carry a sketchbook everywhere and observe.
3 Books I can't recommend enough are the Art Spirit by Robert Henri, legendary The Story of Art by Ernst Gombrich and Alla Prima by Richard Schmidt.
And if you are serious about being an artist, you have to live it. Practice every day, give most of your attention to art and be interested in everything related to art. Merge art and your life into one beautiful thing - and what can be more beautiful than spending your life exploring the world and making art along the way?

Elevation by merl1ncz

You can find merl1ncz at:…

Interview with :iconjjpeabody:jjpeabody

Roses took over by jjpeabody

A bit about your background. Have you ever studied Art at school or University? Are you self taught?

My name is Jereme Peabody. I'm a software engineer, not a hired concept artist. While the idea to do this full-time is appealing, there's a couple of reasons why I don't pursue it. First, I get to create in my current career, I just use a different medium (code) so I still get that creative release AND I make good money doing it. Second reason, both careers have their ups and downs. I like art because you can label something as "finished". In software, it's never "finished". There's always some feature to add, something to fix, something to upgrade. Imagine working on the same image for years. As a professional in either career, you don't typically get a creative license to do what you want. When I do art on the side, I do what I want when I want and I make money doing it. It's a win-win-win for me.

Art is a great hobby that I'll continue to do long after I retire. What I do, I do for fun. I am self taught. I always did art in some form. I started with colored pencils and markers making horrible drawings. I always struggled to get the art out of me; nothing came easy. I moved up to sculpting and everything changed. I was pretty good at it, but I lacked the space to really pursue it because it was really dirty. Now, there's skulpy which some people on DA are gods in my opinion. In college, I tried my hand a yet another medium, oil paint. I was good at this. It didn't take that much effort to paint what you're seeing in the still-life. I took this skill to digital art where I continued doing still-life paintings from photos, but I wanted to create something that didn't exist. This, to me, was [and still is] very hard.

How do you become a concept artist? What appealed to you the most about being an artist?

First, be a student of everything. You need to know to paint so many materials; it's not just learning the basics. Second, be good at the art that you do and people will seek you out.

Seriously, I don't advertise myself except on DA. I always have some type of commission going on. I don't make a lot of money to stop my full-time job, but I make enough to supplement my income and buy new big-boy toys like smart TV's, etc.

Iceland by jjpeabody

I noticed your gallery, you focus on landscapes a lot. Are the landscapes based on actual places? Or are they worlds you created?

They are worlds that I create. I find it easier (after a lot of landscape studies) to invent something that doesn't exist than to change something that already exists. I will, however, use reference and sometimes overlay stock in my images to achieve the look that I want.

In your gallery you have realism works. Doe's drawing/painting from Still Life have any impact on your concept artwork? Is learning to draw from Still Life or drawing the actual world important to do first before moving into conceptual artworks?

Good question. While I started with still-life first, I don't think it benefited me. Mostly because no one said, pay attention to how the plastic is reflecting light, look how light reflects differently from that surface to this surface. It was a simple process to just paint what I saw. Now, I still do still-life's, but on a smaller scale to understand the subject that I'm painting.

Where doe's you inspiration come from in your work?

The more studies and experimentation you do, the better you become. Each becomes a new tool in your toolbox. If you study and paint a beat-up toolbox, you'll learn it and when contemplating what to do with an android, you'll be able to apply those same techniques. They become your ideas. You need to have many ideas.

What is the main software you use then drawing Concept Art? And what would you recommend for learning artists? Know of any cheap/free software for newbies?

I use photoshop 6. I tried other programs for a while, but I found them hard to use. Photoshop 6 is on the cloud and you can basically "rent" for $19.95 a month. I easily make enough to cover this little expense each month. The digital still-life paintings that I did were done on a cheap tablet. Now, I've invested in a Cintiq. Don't buy the cintiq until you're ready though.

Fantasy Adventure by jjpeabody

What would you consider the fundamentals for painting concept art? What is the process you usually go through when starting a piece of work?

Chaos. I always start with chaos in black and white (values). I've tried other ways, but this just seems to be my method. I have some brushes that I made that are Silhouette brushes. It makes a bunch of random shapes on the canvas. In these shapes, I [hopefully] see all the studies that I've done in the past. I begin to pull those shapes out. Once you have the idea, you can move to line-art to further define your form, or continue painting.

Is adding details important in Concept art? For example, comparing your 'Castle Garden WIP' to the final 'Castle Garden'. How doe's adding little details affect the whole piece? Why add those details?

Details are subjective, but they add realism and life. When I look at those images you indicated, something is missing. You get this feeling when you look at the WIP. Don't ignore those feelings. If you look at something and it doesn't look right, most likely, it IS off. I don't plan out these images. These images dictate themselves through the use of my toolbox. If my toolbox is empty, so are my ideas.

Do you use a limited colour palette? I notice you practice with values. For example, your 'Old Mill (Values)' and 'Rough Sea (Values)'. Is there any benefit in working in grey-tones first then moving on to colour? Or do you simply start with colour first?

I started doing values first because I was hitting a roadblock. When I'm searching for ideas, using color hinders this process for me. It's easier to generate ideas from values.

Healing Springs by jjpeabody

Is there any advice you could give to learning artists? Is there any learning materials, artists, books or references you would recommend?

For books:
"Color and Light" by James Gurney is by far my favorite.
"Imaginative Realism" by James Gurney

For Video:
Ctrl Paint:
FZD School of Design…

Environment Study: Filtered Light by jjpeabody

You can find jjpeabody at:


Thank you to the artists who let me interview them! :iconiluplz: