Where to Start with Digital Art
I’ve been asked a lot recently about how and where to start doing digital art. I’m not much of a teacher, but I’d love to share some tips that I would have loved to have back when I started out. These will mostly be pointing at specific questions I’ve received via ask, so I might be missing a few points here and there.
- Photoshop or whatever program you use WILL NOT do the work for you. Its like expecting paints to jump from their tubes and make shapes and shades without knowing where/how to do it yourself. Digital programs are a medium, not a template or a wizard.
- You CAN do very fine works with a mouse! It will, however, take much longer to do the same job with a mouse than you can with a tablet most of the time.
- Wacom is NOT the only tablet maker out there. They are like the Macs/Apples of the tablet world. You can find MUCH cheaper and same/nearly the same tech in tablets such as these. Yes that is $12 for a tablet. If you don’t have a tablet/never used one before, START HERE. Upgrade to an Intuos later if you want to, but there is no reason to throw down 100-300$ for a tablet that you will get the same results from when you’re first starting.
- Photoshop is expensive! It is also the industry standard for most digital works. However, it lacks a lot of features that other, cheaper (sometimes) programs have. Painter is where I started and gives beautiful strokes and textures and real-life medium equivalents. Paint Tool SAI is what I use nearly exclusively these days. openCanvas is an old classic, and the oC 1.1 version allows you to connect to your friends so you can draw together! (Almost like Paintchat, but private!)
- Vector graphics are an underappreciated print-ready art form. Infinitely scale-able and extremely clean, if your style is crisp in form, I recommend using Illustrator or Flash to work with instead of Photoshop. It’s great for design work instead of character art/illustration. I used Illustrator exclusively for these pieces: [X] [X]
- Your stuff might not be as great as you want it right away. Many of these programs have SO many options, you might not know where to even start drawing or how to even open a new canvas. The user interface on photoshop in particular is so crowded that any newcomer could easily become too intimidated by it and ditch it without really getting anywhere. If you want a private tutorial/class/whatever about how to use any of the above mentioned programs, I’m here to help. There are many people out there just like me who would love to help out.
I’m sure there’s more tips I can add but I’ll keep this short for now. If you are a starting digital artist with any particular issues (such as- my lines are too shaky, how do you get this effect?, how do I choose colors?, why does this look like this when I want it to look like this?, what resolution should I be working in?,) or any questions of any type about digital art in general, I’d be happy to help!
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