Monthly Archives: February 2007

Help Me Help You

Help Me Help You

I’ve received a lot of attention lately, thanks to Boing Boing. I’d like to welcome any new visitors and thank everyone who has commented and linked to my site.

I’ve also received a few emails with questions. Unfortunately, this exposure has come at a crazy time (vacation, yeah!), and I won’t have access to my computer for the next couple of weeks, so I won’t be able to do any research or respond right away.

But I want to turn this into an opportunity for you all. If you have a question regarding art, illustration, software, or any other topic you might think I have an answer to, send it to When I return, I will dedicate a few posts to answering these questions so that everyone can benefit and learn from them.

Again, I apologize to those who have already written and were expecting a more prompt response. I always look forward to receiving your comments and emails. Keep them coming!

Dan Draws, too:

I would like to take a moment to highlight another great blog. Dan, the owner, says this about his site: “ isn’t really about me or my art. Instead, it’s a place where I hope to help everyone who visits here understand art better. Whether you’re a new artist, just interested in art, or even an established art professional, my goal is for you to make your daily resource for art information.”

Like, EmptyEasel features articles and tutorials for artists, but it has its own flavor that many of you might be interested in. As an oil painter, Dan has more tips and tricks for traditional artists. Some topics he has covered include Color Mixing Tips, Oils vs. Acrylics, and Making Canvases. You will still find plenty of digital tricks also.

The content on doesn’t end there. You will also find artist reviews, website suggestions, and a web comic, Bachelor of Arts. You can also submit your own art if you would like to be highlighted on the site.

I like how this site tries to both help artists and educate people about art. The variety of content and good design made it stand out from other art blogs that I’ve come across. Be sure to take a visit, and subscribe to the blog if you like what you see.

DI Award: Crash and Sprout

Here is the winner of this week’s Dani Jones DI Award. It comes from Brittany Whited. It looks like she had a lot of fun with this one. And you gotta love the cows.

Also, I skipped last week’s award, so I thought I would include it here also. This image is by Becca Scholes.

I’ve featured both of these artists here before. They both do excellent work. Be sure to check out their blogs.

Software Spotlight: ArtRage 2

ArtRage 2

I had heard of Ambient Design’s ArtRage software before, but I never really desired to try it out. After all, why would I need another program cluttering my computer when I already owned Photoshop? Well, I recently sat down and finally gave it a try, and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. It’s fun, unique, and intuitive, and the price is very hard to beat (free!).

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Dani’s Videos #9: Fairy

Working with paths in Photoshop isn’t quite as extensive as Adobe Illustrator, but it is enough to create some pretty fun images. In this video, I experiment with the pen tool in Photoshop, utilizing shape layers to create my basic shapes. The beauty of using Photoshop is that I was then able to use the brush tool to add texture and color.

I have been experimenting with more ways to make my technique and methods clear to you viewers. I tried to zoom in on the menus and palettes, and I included a more variety of views to get an overall feel for my workflow. I hope this looks a tad better. Let me know what you think.

Video: Fairy (Quicktime, 4:38, 6.1 MB)

DI Award: Red

This week’s award goes to Brittany Whited. Others in her class are having an easier time with the technique, but I like the emotion in this piece. She doesn’t let her troubles with the software get in the way of creating a good image. She also has a strong sense of design and used color well. Beautiful illustration.