Monthly Archives: January 2007

DaniDraws Videos on YouTube


I’ve started up an account and have officially joined the YouTube madness!

This will allow you to view my videos right within the website. You will also be able to share them more easily through email or by posting them to your own blogs.

I will still keep the original Quicktime files available on the website, or you can also subscribe to the videos in iTunes. I hope you enjoy this new feature!

Here’s my YouTube channel link:

And here’s some YouTube links to the videos I’ve already posted:

#1 Painting the Witch:

#2 Happy Thanksgiving:

#3 Bake Sale Drawing:

#4 Portrait in Orange:

#5 Watercolor Pumpkins:

#6 Mustache Man:

#7 Painting Test:

#8 Painting a Hero:

Why Every Artist Should Watch American Idol

Why Every Artist Should Watch American Idol

Every artist faces criticism. In art school, it’s from teachers and classmates. As a professional, it comes from art directors. We illustrators, artists, and designers all have to learn how to face a critique in a polite and professional manner. The success of our careers depends on it. So with this article, I would like you all to take a moment and consider what kind of person you are when your art is being judged.

So why watch American Idol? People face criticism on this show every week in the form of Randy, Paula, and Simon. The contestants react to their judgment in a variety of ways, and this greatly affects who wins the heart of the American people. What kind of contestant would you be? Would you make it the next round?

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Dani’s Videos #8: Painting a Hero

Painting a Hero

This is a head study that I painted in Photoshop in an attempt to create a more traditional painterly image. You’ll probably recognize this guy if you watch the TV show Heroes.

I’ve done something a bit different for this video than I’ve done previously. Here, I’ve recorded my entire screen so you can see what I am doing in Photoshop. I’ve also encoded this video at a larger size so you can see it better. I hope you like the changes. Enjoy!

Find notes for this video at

Video: “Painting a Hero” (Quicktime, 3:20, 1.1 MB)

Wacom Tablets: How to Get Started

Wacom tablets

If you are a painter, and you are trying to transition to the computer, it will be necessary for you to get a tablet. It’s the best way to translate your traditional skills to the digital world. A mouse will simply not do it for you.

When it comes to digital drawing tablets, Wacom is pretty much the authority. If you are just starting out and are trying to decide which tablet to buy, here’s a quick guide to the products they provide and how to get started once you’ve bought one.

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Make Your Own Photoshop Brushes

Create a Custom Brush

Creating your own custom brush is really quite easy:

  1. Open an image, any image.
  2. Select all or part of the image.
  3. Go to Edit –> Define Brush Preset.
  4. Voila! New brush…

You can use anything from scanned textures, photographs, or drawings to make new brushes. The real key to creating a brush is understanding how they work and finding the right settings. In this tutorial, I’ll give you a few tips and show you how to create some specific brushes to get you started.

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Bonus Tutorial on Amateur Illustrator

Layers Tutorial

In my daily browsing, I occasionally stumble across other websites that share the same enthusiasm for art, illustration, and learning that I try to encompass here on

One of these great sites is It is packed with resources for illustrators and students of illustration, including tutorials, interviews with professional artists, and forums.

If you register on the site, you can also post your own gallery of artwork for other users to rate and comment on. And the best part is that you can do all of this for free!

I was honored to get the opportunity to collaborate with Amateur Illustrator recently. In an effort to bring great content to both of our audiences, I have written a tutorial that will be shown exclusively on their site. You can find it here:

Layer Tricks for Digital Painting

This tutorial explains some of the various parts of the Layers palette in Photoshop. Some ideas include:

  • How to use layer effects, such as drop shadows, bevel/emboss, and glows, to add some additional interest to your painting.
  • How to use layer masks to edit and erase objects, without actually deleting them.
  • An explanation of all those blending modes (Multiply, Overlay, etc.). I’ll cover what exactly they are doing and some good ideas for using them in your painting.

So while you are checking it out, be sure to take a look around. I guarantee it will be worth your while.

Go there now –>

Creating Line Drawings in Adobe Illustrator

One Grumpy Dude

This is one grumpy dude. He was created in Adobe Illustrator with the brush tool. I don’t use the program a lot, but when it comes to “inking” my drawings, I find it very useful. Here’s an in-depth look into the making of this cute little grandpa guy including:

  • How to place a sketch into a new document
  • Some digital drawing tips
  • How to fix little mistakes after you’ve drawn your stroke
  • Ways to finish and color your drawing

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How to Work Faster and Stay Organized on Your Mac (or PC)

Is your desktop scattered with Photoshop files, scanned sketches, and email messages?

Have you ever searched your computer for several minutes trying to find a certain drawing you did last week?

Do you want an easy way to keep your work readily accessible for you to use on your mailers, fliers, and postcards?

Every illustrator should keep his work area tidy. This applies to the digital desktop also. In the following article, I’ll outline some of the methods I use to keep my files organized on my own computer. I’m not saying that my way is the best or only way, but hopefully I will get you thinking about your own system. It can be a great way to get you working more efficiently so you have more time to meet those deadlines.

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