If you’re an artist who’s been seriously thinking about making the shift from old fashioned charcoal and paper to the digisphere, you’re not alone. In the 2020s, digital art is making a profound impact not only on the art world at large, but on multi-media platforms such as video games, video game apps, comics, manga, and even children’s books. In other words, as a digital artist, you stand to make quite a bit of money.
But is it difficult to actually make art on your computer? Can you use the computer you already own? Or do you need a whole new, expensive setup? What about digital drawing software? Can you afford it on an artist’s salary, or lack thereof?
Here are some answer to these and other questions regarding how to make digital art for aspiring newbies:
Make Digital Art with Your Existing Computer
The good news: you don’t need to purchase a brand new computer. The bad news: If you find your current system is freezing up on a you all too often and your memory is running very low, you either need to pay for more memory, or purchase a new computer. Art Rocket Magazine suggests that if you go with the latter, make certain you speak with a salesperson who is knowledgeable not only about computers but also about art programs and digital drawing. That way you will find a system that serves all your digital art needs.
While you can get away with as little as 4GB memory for making digital art, Art Rocket recommends going with 8GB to get the most out of your new computer. Whereas Mac computers used to be considered state of the art in terms of making art, the Windows devices being manufactured in the 2020s will operate just fine. Just go with what makes you comfortable.
It’s also possible to make digital art right on your smartphone using a plastic stylus. But the technology is said to be limited and lacking in stroke detail. That said, select a computer and/or a device that suits all your drawing ambitions. If you want to make a living from being a digital artist, you should probably go with that 8GB computer.
Illustration Software for Newbie Digital Artists
All sorts of drawing programs and applications exist for making digital art, or what’s also referred to as digital illustration. Some of the software programs are free while you need to pay for other more professional programs and apps. Of course there is very expensive software on the market, but these can also be somewhat complicated to use. Like choosing the right hardware, make sure you choose a program you are comfortable with and that brings out the best in you as a newbie digital illustrator. That means taking advantage of a program’s free trial. Test the heck out of it. If you feel it works for your digital art vision, and it fits your budget, you are good to go.
What kind of software is out there for aspiring newbies who want to make digital art?
*Adobe Photoshop: Probably the most popular digital art graphics software. It boasts advanced features and offers a 7-day free trial.
*Clip Studio Paint: This software is popular among comic book and manga illustrators. It also offers a 30-day free trial.
*Paint Tool SAI: Said to be a simple digital art software, it contains fewer features than its competitors, but is said to operate intuitively, if not easily. It has a 31-day free trial.
It should be noted that software shouldn’t be based on price or ease of use so much as what you plan on drawing, be it full color illustrations, manga, portraits, watercolor-style painting, landscapes, or even action characters. It will be important for you to print many of your designs, and for that you want to use a printer that can deliver a full spectrum of colors. For this you will require not just black and white ink, but many vibrant and brilliant colors, like those offered by Cosmos Ink.
Pen Tablet for Making Digital Art
This is a must-have tool for making digital art and illustrations since they produce smoother lines. All you have to do is connect the tablet to your computer, download the included software and you’re ready to create. Some tablets come included with Clip Studio Paint or Adobe PhotoShop. Some tablets are as inexpensive as $100, but these tend to run small—200X160mm. Others are more expensive but run larger—264X160mm. Like anything else, a test which tablet feels right to you and what you plan on creating. There’s never been a better time to begin a career as a digital artist. But it’s important to choose the right equipment and software that works well with the type of digital illustrations you plan on creating.