FAQ + Ask me!
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By vtas   |   Watch
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Published: November 20, 2011
Commissions l Livestream l Tumblr l Twitter l Instagram l OC Masterlist

Comment with your question(s)
Last updated: June 2015

I suppose it's time I made something like this to answer random commonly asked questions about my art and me but there really isn't anything interesting about me...

Feel free to spam comment with crazy and non-related anything you were dying to know... I have a feeling I unleashed a terrible monster. I'll try to be as honest as possible if it's art-related but everything else is up for grabs. /shot



ART-RELATED


  1. What art program(s) do you use?

    Adobe Photoshop CS6. (I've used Photoshops CS2, 4, 5, and now 6, for all my drawings. Honestly, there's not much of a difference between programs and skill - yes specific programs have limitations that can't be overcome, but I'm sure by the time you get there, you would know how to expand your repertoire without me telling you, haha. I advocate using whatever you want (Sai/GIMP/PS/Painter/etc) but stick to one at first and master the quirks of it before you move on.) too lazy to learn anything else

  2. Tablet?

    Yes, Wacom Intuos 5 medium. (I used to have Wacom Bamboo Fun, and though I wouldn't give up my Intuos now, tablet brand hasn't affected my artwork.)

  3. Custom brushes?

    Eh, sometimes. I almost always use the stock brushes provided by Adobe, and usually it's the basic round brush (sometimes with texture effect), and add some new brushes in post-processing. I highly recommend leventep's amazing brushpack: [clickie]

  4. How long does it take you?

    Headshots & speedpaints generally take 1-2 hrs, but it depends on details. Like, Empress took 8 hrs. Everything else varies by a lot... but full pic (half/3-4 body + bg) probably used to take about 4-8 hrs to color (from sketch). However, I have been developing/learning a lot of new things, so painting and post-processing are both taking longer. Now I'd say, full image probably takes 10-15 hrs.

  5. Do you draw lineart?

    I hate doing lineart with a passion (cannot help but admire all the people that can make beautiful lines--). I'm better at it than before (had to practice it for some work stuff) but I still avoid it WHENEVER POSSIBLE. I do a super super super super disgusting rough sketch (ex. (1) (2)) and go straight into color. I heard Paint Tool Sai was good for lining C:

  6. How many layers?

    My layer process is like this: I start with rough sketch (aka, stick figures). I make a new layer under that and label it "base color" and fill up the entire canvas with a rough base coloring of everything, including background. These 2 layers I keep (permanently). Then I make a new layer on top of the rough sketch and that's what I use to detail. If at any time I'm uncertain about the details of the image, I make a new layer and keep drawing on that. My layers after the first 2 never get labelled and would never be considered "real layers" because there are no boundaries (literally, every layer would have a dash of paint here, some detailing there, all over the canvas). If I have to adjust anything in the image (color, anatomy), I merge all my layers, copy the part I need to adjust, delete the merged layer, paste the selected part, and adjust that. At some point, if I'm happy with the current progress, I merge everything & delete all my layers except for the sketch and rough color under that. Then I continue to work on new things in a new layer on top (so it would look like: "base color" < "sketch" < merged everything < new layer).

  7. Canvas size?

    The bigger the better 8D! If I know it's gonna be a sketch and end there, I don't bother with bigger things. But the smallest size I ever do for any illustration is A4 (or letter size), 300 DPI (that's 2480 X 3508 pixels).

  8. Do you keep the background (BG) separate from the character?

    Nope. I color on top of both. It's rather traditional, but all my brushstrokes cross character/clothing/bg boundaries. Nowadays, I don't start coloring unless I know exactly what I plan for the entire image, bg included. I used to not be able to finish images because I rendered the character first, and then blanked out on the BG.

  9. What's your process?

    See Q#6 and check out my gallery's WIP/steps/process folder: here. I also livestream ([link]) so you could wait for those (I make a journal announcing it).

  10. Any tutorials/recommendations?

    Yes. Tips on how I color (the creator is using Sai, and I use photoshop, but the process is pretty similar): [link] , brief layer property tutorial: [link]. Semi-realistic eyes/noes/lips/etc: [link] and [link]. Manga to Realistic series: [link]. And this amazing guy's PDF (he is one of my idols, seriously, and I don't have the PDF myself, but it's clear from the sample pages that it's amazing) [link].

  11. Can you help me with my art?

    Yes, if you want feedback on your work, you can put a thumb here or note me and ask for it. (I'm sorry I don't check notes that often, so you might have to wait awhile...)

  12. What are you inspired by?

    Everything! Photography, scenery, other arts, designs, games, etc. I never run out of ideas, just time.

  13. dA Artists you admire?

    Too many to count. Check my faves~ [link]

  14. Do you do free requests?

    Sometimes I do sketch requests in the middle of Livestream, sometimes I do raffles for free art, and almost every year, I pick a request during xmas time for santas-workshop.


PERSONAL & ART RELATED


  1. How long have you been drawing?

    A while? Improvement Meme: fav.me/d3e6yjn

  2. Did you start with anime/digital?

    Nope. Read my improvement meme. C: Traditional mediums/copying from life all the way! I dabbled in digital medium once or twice a year until approx. November, 2010. Now, it's mostly digital

  3. Are you self-taught?

    Nope. Well, it's complicated I had an art teacher on/off most of my life, but she never taught us how to draw, she'd just show us without explaining anything like watching a livestream and expect us to use osmosis learn from her that way. Mostly we copied stuff with like famous paintings. I'm completely self-taught for how-to-use digital medium. Mostly trial and error since I'm an idiot and never looked up Photoshop tutorials.

  4. Favorite thing you've drawn?

    Sorry, I don't have any. I tend to dislike things I've drawn approximately 2 hours after I finish it (haha). I'm pretty OCD/perfectionist about my art so I end up only seeing the problems in a piece once it's done. This is also why I'd never use my own stuff in a wallpaper or website because I really can't stand looking at it...

  5. If you are an OCD/perfectionist, how do you manage to finish pieces without getting frustrated at errors??

    Yes, that's something I still struggle with. For a long time I had trouble finishing artwork! Since I knew I had this problem, I forced myself to finish pieces all in one sitting. [Click here for detailed answer]
    In summary: 1) Try to finish things in one sitting - Pick something not too time consuming (like headshot/upper body) at first and work your way to bigger and more complex stuff. 2) If a specific area is giving you trouble, skip it, work on something else, come back to it with "refreshed eyes." 3) Flip the image horizontally and continue working, then flip it back (great way to catch mistakes and for the final edits/quality control). 4) When you're happy about something, leave it and don't think about it until you're almost done and in the post-processing phase. 4) Livestream - even if it's just for friends (I actually do a lot of private streaming for friends), knowing that someone is watching you draw pretty much forces you to focus. (Also, talking to friends, getting out my frustrations, helps me a lot)

  6. What's with this dA name?

    Previously, I was reaper-bunny because... (wait for it) I like reapers and I like bunnies? NO WAY AMIRITE. But after hearing this said aloud at conventions ("Hey reaper-bunny!") I decided to nix it and go with something more similar to my real nickname (which is V). So there you have it. I also never lost my soft spot for Latin so, vtas, could be derived from vita (life) or vis et animus (courage and soul - things you need to make art.) C:

  7. Are you a student? Do you major in art?

    I did my bachelor's degree different, with a Public Policy and English double major and a High Distinction on my Honor's Thesis in English. But I'm really interested in design, so I'm starting a 2-year master's in design!



RANDOM PERSONAL


  1. How old are you?

    GETTIN' OLDER EVERY YEAR..........

  2. Where are you from? (Ethnicity?)

    The far far away land of the carnivorous bunnies. My awesome latin species name is Leporidae Mortes. ;D

  3. Where do you live?

    Inside your closet. Really really. Go to your room and slide open that door... -- /shot


Featured: Kaeddyn l Ilien l Ikanus l Mr. Friday l Saint-Laurent l Azael l Rain
Comments73
anonymous's avatar
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Thinkincolor's avatar
ThinkincolorHobbyist Digital Artist
Hey! (:
Do you prefer to draw on bigger canvas or smaller one?
vtas's avatar
BIGGER!

Honestly, it depends on what your PC can support. If I know it's gonna be a sketch and end there, I don't bother with big things. But the smallest size I ever do for any illustration is A4, 300 DPI (that's 2480 X 3508 pixels)
Thinkincolor's avatar
ThinkincolorHobbyist Digital Artist
I see (:
Thanks a lot :la:
Aurareeze's avatar
AurareezeStudent General Artist
Hey since you did state in the comment below that you are an OCD/perfectionist, how do you manage to finish pieces without getting frustrated at errors? I am also a perfectionist and sometimes struggle to finish a piece because I get so frustrated at how is turning out.
Thanks :)
vtas's avatar
Yes, that's something I still struggle with. For a long time I had trouble finishing artwork as well! Since I knew I had this problem, I forced myself to finish pieces all in one sitting. I know that is difficult if you have school/work, so I'd say, set aside a chunk of time (like the weekend). No matter how badly something was turning out, I forced myself to redraw and redraw and redraw until I was satisfied with it. At first, things took a REALLY long time (think 20~40 hrs), but I got faster and faster and more confident. (I don't recommend sitting for 40 hours though, haha, but I have spent 24 hrs nonstop on a piece before xD). In the end, I really turned on my stubbornness and forced myself to persevere. For example, fav.me/d42ocss - for this image, I spent hours and hours redrawing the scarf and being unhappy with it. So finally, I gave up and decided to work on all the other parts of the image instead - her hair, dress, staff, etc. Finally, when I went back to the scarf, I got it done to my satisfaction after only one try. After making myself finish all the illustrations I started for about a year, I was able to improve my speed a lot as well. If you're the type to do better with multiple images (like a friend of mine), you could try sketching something else as your "break" and going back to what you were working on. This strategy doesn't work as well for me, because I tend to drop something once I really stop working on it XD

So in summary: 1) try to finish it in one sitting - don't let yourself take a break/eat/whatever, until it's done. Pick something not too time consuming (like headshot/upper body) at first and work your way to bigger and more complex stuff. 2) If a specific area is giving you trouble, skip it, work on something else, come back to it with "refreshed eyes." 3) flip the image horizontally and continue working, then flip it back (great way to catch mistakes and for the final edits/quality control). 4) When you're happy about something, leave it and don't think about it until you're almost done and in the post-processing phase. 4) Livestream - even if it's just for friends (I actually do a lot of private streaming for friends), knowing that someone is watching you draw pretty much forces you to focus. (Also, talking to friends, getting out my frustrations, helps me a lot)

Hope that helps!
Aurareeze's avatar
AurareezeStudent General Artist
Thanks a lot for taking the time to give a well written reply! I will try some of the said methods and hopefully all goes well :)
vtas's avatar
No problem! Good luck!
Vyndicare's avatar
VyndicareStudent Digital Artist
What tips could you give me to draw realistic anime digital art?
What is your favorite drawing that you did?
What elements do you use to make your digital art look realistic?
-Thanks! ;)
vtas's avatar
Haha, that's pretty complicated. I think there are a lot of great tutorials on DA that can help you much more than I can. It's really easy to find amazing tutorials on DA using the search button :)  Let me point you to: fav.me/d3k7077
I think the best way to improve is to get your foundations down solid - that means studying RL things like anatomy, form. I started with traditional studies - still lifes, pencil, etc, and after grasping that, should you go on to color. Also, you should practice every single day. The artists I know that improve the fastest all constantly do art.

I don't really have a favorite work - I'm pretty OCD/perfectionist so I tend to only see the errors in my work after I'm done with it xD

That's all about technique and what program you use. It's way too vast a subject for me to just "answer" and I'm not really sure what you're looking for advice on. There are some really good advice places - 10digitalmistakes.weebly.com/ (this guy is one of my idols, really) - You should read the sample pages; he gives really great advice ^^
piercingemeralds2's avatar
Do you do free requests?
vtas's avatar
I do sketch requests in the middle of livestream, and I also do serious requests during xmas time for :iconsantas-workshop:
piercingemeralds2's avatar
Alright, since Christmas has passed I guess I'll wait for a journal about livestreaming to ask. :) Thanks for letting me know! :hug:
AngelofDeathz's avatar
AngelofDeathzHobbyist General Artist
Carnivorous bunny land! And I'm actually terrified of opening my closet door. There be spiders.

I like the art program comment xD. I have PS CS5 and still use PS CS >.>
Every time I open CS5 it's like "What is this interface I don't even ALSHKLDJAHSKLJFA", and I have been too lazy to experiment with it >.>.
vtas's avatar
/terrified of spiders too D:

Oh I felt that way too! But I was forced to learn lmao-- you can actually customize the interface til it looks like CS :D and the side tool-bar (hated that cause didn't know where everything was anymore), press the double-arrow >> at the top and it'll turn into the 2 column one that we're used to XD
AngelofDeathz's avatar
AngelofDeathzHobbyist General Artist
Ooh thanks, didn't know that about the sidebar. It just looked so weird I was like aaaaaaaaaaaaaah. I haven't tried it yet, but I was really looking forward to the screen tilty function :)
vtas's avatar
yeah me too! I delayed moving for over 8 months because of that bar LMAO
Kin-Maru's avatar
YOU ARE SO YOUNG WHAT. And lol osmosis we just did science on that Question tiiiiime!
Um.
Uh.
Have you used tutorials, and are there ones that you found especially useful?
vtas's avatar
:iconfacepalmplz: how old did you think I was? no- wait- I don't want to know never mind LMAO

Do you mean drawing tutorials or photoshop tutorials?
Casper5463's avatar
dude i wish you lived in my closet then i would always have an artist on the premises ><
vtas's avatar
/patpat there there. If you squint hard enough, you can find me! :iconsparklesplz:
rileylaurent's avatar
You're just about exactly the age I thought. =3=

DON'T DO IT; DON'T GET A PH.D. Or at least read the Ph.D. comics before you do. TTATT
vtas's avatar
OH GOOD

nono I must do it ;u; I want to be a professor soooo badly lmao
rileylaurent's avatar
Then you realize...college students are idiots who don't follow directions. D: And you'll wonder how they ever passed high school. You'll also wonder how some professors managed to get their degrees and why others have such huge egos. And then you'll wonder why the whole system sucks so much and you have to do all these pointless things that lead nowhere. And finally, you'll wonder what could have ever possessed you to want to get a Ph.D. in the first place.

I mean... Yes, get a Ph.D.
anonymous's avatar
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