Blue Moon Atelier
The Art Of Mary Layton
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Can I use this artwork on my website?

That depends. If you simply wish to display an image in a "My favourite art" gallery, or something of the like, you may do so as long as you do not alter the image in any way and you clearly credit the artist (Mary Layton), and provide a link to the Official Gallery ( We would also prefer you ask before posting the image on your website.

Prohibited uses of our artwork include displaying the art and claiming it as your own creation, or otherwise claiming copyrights, as Mary Layton is the sole copyright owner of the artwork displayed in the galleries on this site. You may not alter the artwork in anyway to make websets, logos, labels, stickers, or PSP Tubes to be distributed or sold without our permission. Usage of the artwork for tubes or tags is not currently permitted, however, if you have previously purchased licenses from Fantasy Scraps, you may still use the images as outlined in the terms of your purchase. We do not allow "hotlinking" to any images in our galleries, so if you wish to display an image on your site, you must save it to your own database. If you ask nicely, and your intended use of an image is approved, we might even send you a copy of the file to upload to your website. You may not sell, offer the work as "clipart" or otherwise distribute the art (physically or electronically) without the express permission of the copyright holder. Displaying of the artwork (either as is, or as a background image, or any other type of placement) on adult, or hate-promoting (racist, sexist, etc.) websites, or websites with excessively violent content is prohibited. If in doubt, ASK. We also prohibit the use of any of the images as character portraits in RPGs. If you would like a character portrait, there are many fine artists available who specialize in RPG character portraits, and charge reasonable fees. Portrait Adoption at Ellen Million Graphics is a great place to start and there are others out there. Please obtain your character portrait legally - you'll surely be happier with the result, as you'll have control over the look and environment for your character.

Engaging in any of the prohibited uses of our artwork (including, but not limited to the prohibited uses listed above) is illegal, and prosecutable under intellectual property laws. All artwork is digitally watermarked for copyright protection (even the thumbnails).

For more information about copyright law, visit the "What Is Copyright Protection?" web site.

If you have a question that is not addressed in this F.A.Q., Email Us at admin at

Questions for the Artist:

How long have you been an artist?

As a career, since 2000, but I've doodled ever since I was able to hold a pencil. My father was an artist, so I guess it was only natural that I picked up an interest in visual expression from him.

Did you have to go to art school?

I have not had any formal training. What I have learned has been by trial and error, the help of some well-written books on artistic methods and the kind assistance from other artists.

What, or who inspires you?

Places inspire me: mountains, the beach, a garden in full bloom, castles... People who have inspired me include Alphonse Mucha, Arthur Rackham, Maxfield Parrish, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, J.W. Waterhouse...most of the Pre-Raphaelites, in fact; Sulamith Wulfing, Tolkien.... Also, Stevie Nicks is a big influence; all things magical, mystical and mysterious - Wicca, Faeries, Elves, and the like. I've also been known to find inspiration in a random pattern on a floor tile, or in a cloud. Another source of inspiration is the community at the Epilogue online gallery. Some of the finest artists of the day maintain portfolios there and are known to frequent the message forums offering advice and encouragement.

You work in a couple of different mediums - do you have a favourite?

I go through spells where I work on one medium more than the others sometimes. I don't consider myself an expert at any of them, but I like to change every now and then to keep myself on the learning curve with a particular medium. Each medium is different, although the basic techniques and rules of composition, lighting, anatomy and colour apply to all. I don't know that I have a particular favourite, however - I think I have a little more control with coloured pencils; watercolour is always an adventure; and one thing I do like about digital is the ease of making corrections - you don't ruin the paper when you 'erase' a mistake in digital!

Do you use reference materials, or is it all in your head?

I do use references a lot. They're invaluable when you're trying to depict a certain pose, or achieve a certain perspective.

Isn't that cheating?

Cheating? In what way? I suppose if I copied a reference photo pixel by pixel it would be. No, I wouldn't consider an artist's general use of reference cheating. Reference can be a stock photo, or a live model; the idea is that the item is a reference, not the end result. I have used myself as a reference, even! It's the artist's task to utilize a reference to create the vision in his or her head - not to make the vision match the reference. I often use several references for a single artwork - to get a hand position accurate here, to judge how highlights in the hair should be affected by my light source there, to get a fold in the dress right...I rarely ever use enough of a reference photo that the reference source would be easily identifiable, and the instances where I have were either in creating commissioned portraits where the subject and photographer granted permission for the photo's use; from stock photography where usage requirements permit the end result to be easily identifiable; or for practice to learn more technique - in which case the resulting paintings/drawings are part of my personal collection and are not offered for sale.

Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?

Pick up a pencil and draw!! I think any one can be a good artist, whether they have a "natural talent" for it or not. Anyone can learn the mechanics of drawing, after that, you let your imagination guide your hand. I think if you're in school, and there is an art programme available, you could do worse than to take the course. Although, I've heard from artists who've been to proper "art colleges" and then had to learn how to draw for each instructor depending on that instructor's personal tastes and bias to art. I think that is unfortunate, but I do think a basic education in the fundamentals of anatomy, perspective and colour are invaluable. So, if you find yourself in the situation of being molded to any instructor's idea of an artist - take what you need and can use from the experience, and disregard the rest.

From Sherry in MD: What type of coloured pencils do you recommend?

I use Derwent Artists Pencils. Derwent make a range of pencils, from graphite to colour mediums, including watercolour pencils. I have the 120 set of Artists Pencils, and a 12 set of the watercolour pencils. I've also used Prismacolor, but I find them to be a bit *too* waxy for my tastes, although many coloured pencil artists swear by them. I've also tried Caran D'Ache Supracolour (I have a 12 set). The best way to find the right pencils for you is to pop down to your local art supply store - a good supply store will have open stock of at least two brands, some stores have even more - and purchase a couple of pencils of different brands. Many online art supply stores allow you to purchase open-stock, so try googling if you don't have any luck locally. Then, try out each brand until you find the one that works for you. Paper selection will make a difference in the performance of your pencils as well. I use Stonehenge because it has a smooth feel, but has plenty of tiny little grooves for your colour to settle into.

From Cindy in CA: What is the best pencil for detailed drawing, erasable & can be blended or 'smudged'? Is there a complete set of pencils for all uses?

If you mean regular graphite pencils, the softer the lead, the easier it will be to erase and smudge. I have two sets of graphite pencils (both by Derwent) that I use when doing an initial drawing. One set is of soft pencils, HB, 2B, 4B and 6B (with 6B being the softest and most smudge-able), which are best for shading and doing preliminary sketches. I also have a set of medium pencils, 2H, HB, B, and 2B, which are better for harder lines, outlining and detailing. If you mean coloured pencils, I also use the Derwent brand - the "Artists" set. Those are blendable and smudge-able to some extent - for deeper blending, I use a Prismacolor Colorless blending pen (they also have a colorless blending pencil, but I prefer the pen). The Derwent coloured pencils are variably erasable - some of the pigments will erase better than others, and it also depends on how many layers you've applied and how heavy your strokes are. I haven't used Prismacolor coloured pencils a lot, but I imagine they would be easily blendable and erasable as well.

Have a question? Ask Mary: mary at, or through

The images in these galleries are protected under international copyright laws and may not be
used for any purpose without express permission from the copyright holder.
All images Mary E Layton/Blue Moon Atelier

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