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yukihana joined on May 29th, 2010, since that has made 4 posts that are still accessible today, 0 of which are threads. Helping shape the community, yukihana has given 4 upvotes, and was last online on Mar 11th, 2013.
CL has changed so much since I joined 2 years ago. So many new people, and so many features that have come and gone.
Ah the crisis of life. I'm not in too bad of shape since I only started watching anime in high school, but I had a lot of the same issues as you did because I read a lot of fantasy books. I don't regret watching anime though. I do a lot of artwork, so I view anime and manga more as art to learn from rather than a pass time. Because of that, I'm actually considering going back for another degree in graphic design or something. First, I think I need to find a job though...damn economy.
It takes a lot of practice. I'm learning myself. Try looking at other pictures to see how they do it. I like and use UdonNodu's pictures as a reference for brush strokes. This is the brush pack that I installed and use when I draw. I found and now use this color swatch to color in my images. It uses the colors from Copic Markers. DeviantArt also has a ton of tutorials that you might want to check out. Here are the tutorials I've favorited. There are some good ones. And if you don't have a graphic tablet, I'd suggest getting one. I tried using a mouse, but it just didn't work for me. I bought the cheapest Wacom Bamboo tablet and love it.
It hurt so much they ran to the bathroom yelling, "Oh, no!"