Biography

My birthplace is Reigate, England 1963, where I was raised, and I currently reside in Surrey. I've always been artistic by nature, but at school I never studied art or enjoyed the way it was portrayed as a series of tedious exercises. I didn't like to simply draw an orange or a crumpled rag but, instead, preferred sketching fantasy castles and
imaginative landscapes.

At the age of fifteen, shortly after my father died, I learned to play the electric guitar. I still enjoyed doing the odd pencil sketch here and there but music took hold of my life for the next 15 years. During these years I had some professional success with a rock band around the late 80’s and in the early 90’s released several instrumental library music albums, which in short is theme music and advertising jingles for television and radio. It wasn't until my early 30s that I rediscovered my dormant passion for art. In 1994 I started learning traditional media and studied portrait and landscape painting in oils.

My preferred works are those of English Romantic Painter styles and I have closely studied the classic works of John Constable and Joseph Mallord William Turner. I have always favoured landscapes and, in turn, studying the landscape has helped me gain the knowledge of light and contrast, which has helped me achieve a degree of realism in my work.

Then, in 1997, I discovered computer art. I began with Bryce 3d and was instantly hooked. At
first I didn't think a pc would become my everyday canvas, but thought of it more as an aid to my painting, since creating fantasy and realistic landscapes were now so easy to do. As computers developed, and more and more software and hardware became available, I put my canvas and oil aside to learn and seriously study computer art.

Today I use 3 main programs: Bryce for the scene creation, Poser for modelling figures, and Photoshop in conjunction with a graphics tablet for post work detailing. However, most of my images, themes or figures start as pencil sketches. I like to create the scene and work on composition before I take the idea into the computer.

I begin by working on the figures and poses using Poser. The figures are exported in wavefront (obj) format, then imported and textured in Bryce. The rest of the scene is then built and rendered in Bryce. From here I take the rendered image into Photoshop for post work. I like to add detail using a graphics tablet such as hair, skin, clothing and foliage, focusing primarily on the focal points of the image. To produce fine detail in 3d takes enormous system resources, but I find more enjoyment in
painting in the detail than I do modelling it, although I am studying techniques for the latter. I do also spend a good length of time adjusting colour balance and lighting until I am satisfied with the overall composition.

Most of my images are created within a few days, since I like to work fast while the ideas
are flowing. Apart from the inevitable computer crashes, digital art for me lets my creative spirit free in ways I never imagined.

 

Andy Simmons

 

 

 

All the artwork & graphics, including the logo are ęcopyright 1995-2011 Andy Simmons unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved. Pictures may be downloaded for personal noncommercial use. All other uses prohibited without prior permission from the artist.

www.ans-graphics.com