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Ha, well no less than 3 weeks after I bought my Surface Pro I sold it! Instead I bought the Ipad Air i originally intended to buy, stupid or what!
Reasons for selling? Too heavy, too hot, rubbish battery life (struggled to get 3 hrs), and desktop mode just too small on a 10 inch screen.
Trying to use Photoshop even with the amazing artdock was a frustrating experience. If you wanted to draw on your lap ideally you needed 3 arms: one to hold it, one to manage the artdock and the other to hold the pen. And of course the Photoshop interface is tiiiny on that screen. Eye strain? Yes indeed.
I now use Procreate on the Ipad which of course is made for touch. With the wacom creative stylus it feels just as good as the wacom tech for the surface pro and there are none of the compromises I had to put up with on that device.
I do miss having it, all that said. It was amazing having all the power in a device that small and portable.
Maybe next year when they release the Surface 3, when it should be lighter with better battery, then i'll reconsider.
Thank you to everyone for all your messages of support and for keeping me happy and motivated! I really, really appreciate all the comments you leave me and even though I can't reply to every one I do read them all... eventually!

Surface Pro Review
I received a Surface Pro (1st gen) for my birthday.  I had been looking around for a replacement for my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 and wanted something that would act as a portable sketchpad. After umming and aahing for quite some time over the new Samsung Note 10.1 and the new Ipad Air, I finally decided on the Air, simply because I found the art apps on android to be lacking and I had found procreate on the ipad which seemed to be everything I was looking for.
 At the last minute, I decided to check on ebay. You see what I really had in mind was a Wacom Companion or alternatively a Surface Pro. Realizing that both were way out of my price range I had limited my options to the Samsung Note and Ipad Air. As I said, I was moments away from clicking Buy when I thought to check out ebay for a used Surface Pro. I had decided I would only buy one if the price was comparable to the Ipad Air ~ £450-470.
Well as luck would have it there was one on ebay for the exact same price as a 32gb ipad Air. I didn't stop to think and bought it straight away.
I've been using it now for 2 weeks and it's safe to say this is now my new favorite gadget. Here's my take.
It's super fast- boots in 8-10 seconds. Screen is incredible, sharp and bright. Windows 8.1 is actually really nice to use and is perfectly suited to a touchscreen device. I had tried Windows 8 preview on my desktop and absolutely hated it but on the Surface Pro with 8.1, it was a revelation.
The screen size for me is fine as the real draw of the Pro is that it can be picked up and used as a tablet when needs be which I find myself doing a lot.  Yes it's twice the weight of an Ipad Air but geez it's not going to break your wrists holding it with two hands. I don't find it a problem at all.
The only thing I can say against the Surface is battery life. If you're looking to buy a Surface Pro get the second gen as battery life on the Surface Pro 1 is terrible. I manage to get anywhere from around 2.5 to 3.5 hrs even with screen brightness down the 50 and bluetooth off, processor at 60%. It's terrible for a tablet, kinda average for a laptop. Definitely get the Pro 2 if you can!
But now for the real test. How would it function as a portable drawing tablet? The pen has 1024 levels of sensitivity which is fine. I had an intuos 3 which had the same level of pressure sensitivity - I now use an intuos 5, and 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity is no problem. In Photoshop the pen works amazingly well. Not as good as my intuos 5 but much, much better than I was expecting. You really can draw on it just like you would on a dedicated graphics tablet. There's a bit of cursor drift in the top right corner which I have adapted too and is not a problem for me now.
The only issue I had initially was the small ui of Photoshop. Fortunately that can be solved by installing artdock (version 2.0 is now even better) which has all the most commonly used functions  available in one handy place. I also used Adobe Configurator to add a panel with any extra shorcuts and tools I use the most. This allowed me to remove the remaining ui panels to give me maximum space for the canvas.
The only downside is the colour gamut which I don't seem any people mention. It's only 64% of SRGB and comparing the screen to the one on my 24 monitor, there's a huge difference and for that reason I certainly won't be finishing works on the Surface Pro before I've adjusted it on my calibrated monitor.

All in all I'm very pleased with the Surface Pro, it's replaced my tablet, my 17 gaming laptop, and because it's so much quicker to boot up, my desktop as well - though for serious work and of course gaming, you can't beat a dedicated rig.
Yes there are compromises. Yes you could buy a tablet and an ultrabook which perform their functions better than a Surface Pro. But if I were told I could only keep one, it would always be the Surface Pro.

Hope everyone has a Happy Christmas and a great 2014.
It's week 8, and that brings to a close the digital environment course. Going back and looking over the last  2 months has really proven to me how much I have learned and benefited from this course.
So why an environment course? Well firstly I love painting environments, they've always been my strength and I enjoy painting things on a grand scale. Secondly I'm not much good at character design, in fact I suck so bad it's embarrassing, and yes i know you should build on your weaknesses but I chickened out this time and opted for the thing I know best.
So to the course. Having read the course outline before enrolling I had a general idea of where we were headed although how we would get there was another matter.
In the first few weeks we covered lots of new ground, at least for me, and I can safely say it was in these first 3 or 4 weeks when I really got the most out of the course. We covered thumbnails, blocking in scenes in 5/10 mins with one brush, created callouts for use in later scenes, covered 1 2 and 3 point perspective, color theory, composition and storytelling all whilst being informed of tricks and shortcuts to improve our workflow. I found Simon to be a great teacher who every week would offer feedback to every student on what was working and what could be improved. It was also great to be in an environment with other like minded students where we were constantly pushing each other to do better in a friendly competitive sort of way.
Some people may question why these courses are relevant today when you can get so much for free off the internet. I would counter this argument by saying that whilst it's true you can learn a lot from other students and professionals online (i have too), it's in a classroom environment, or virtual classroom in this case, where the one to one feedback from tutor and student alike shows itself to be an invaluable part of any aspiring student's education. For that reason any student hoping to go the whole way solo, will most likely find it much harder due to that lack of feedback and direction. Certainly I found that recently I had plateaued  with regard to both creativity and technique yet this course has in turn raised my level once more and you can't ask for more than that.
Hi Guys, a few of you have begun asking me for higher res versions of certain  paintings so I am now reuploading some at the original resolution for you all to enjoy. Right now I have a couple of paintings also available as prints though I may add more if the demand is there. Of course I can't finish this without thanking you guys so much for all the nice comments, and more critical ones :), and for all you who fave and watch my work. It really motivates me to keep on drawing, learning and growing as an artist.
Take it easy :)
So this week I began the 8 week online course with Simon Scales. Right now we're going back to basics and working on the techniques for thumbnails. The kind of style required is rather
loose and sketchy, something I'm not really used to as my drawings tend to be rather more controlled - although I have always seen this as something of a negative, so exploring a 'looser' style should
really help my work not to mention help cut the time it takes me to complete some of my larger paintings. This week we've been asked to provide 10 interesting thumbnail sketches, sort of
homework if you like, by next monday. As usual I've left it rather late (bangs head!) and am now trying to note down some interesting ideas first before painting them in Photoshop.
Will post the results soon! :)
Been working on a cityscape for some time now. I got the idea, colour scheme, composition, from inadvertantly observing a picture on a brochure of a glass or something against a red backdrop, that to my slightly blurred vision ( wasn't wearing my glasses) appeared as the vague outlines of buildings. Funny what your eyes see sometimes, maybe I should forego my lenses! Anyhoo, now that I have all my references I have begun painting so will hoepfully ge round to finishing it within the next week or so - about time i posted something new.
I have also just signed up for the CG Society's Environment Design for Games course with Simon Scales.  Course is 8 weeks long and starts on the 30th so really looking forward to getting some more experience and feedback from one of the best in the business. Should be invaluable.
Lastly a massive thank you to all you guys for your favs, watches and positive feedback, I really appreciate it. :)
My new account, new name and everything!
I have been operating on deviantart for some years, although have been pretty silent of late, under the alias dorranrj  and felt like a change and a rehaul.
A lot of my former work consisted of traditional paintings and drawings. Since then I have become very interested in digital art.
This September I will be starting a course at Leicester University in Game Art Design, where I will learning all the necessary programs and skills necessary
to hopefully make it in the games industry.
Right now though I am brushing up on my Photoshop skills and some of those efforts I will post here. Have also learnt some Maya and working my way through learning 3DS Max,
but the results are a bit meh still so we'll leave that for now.