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How to get started with Digital Art


I started doing web comics about eight years ago, and my style now is almost unrecognizable from what it used to be. I drew with a ballpoint pen on paper, scanned it, and it looked like this. Then I started drawing digitally, and it changed everything.

 There's a ton of options out there, and with the proper tools, anyone can find out how to try to to digital art. So this is my main set up, and this is just a standard, entry-level Wacom bamboo tablet that you plug into a laptop with a USB cable. And I've had this for a few years, and it has never given me any issues considering how badly I treat it.

 Wacom sells plenty of various models ranging in price, but the new 80 dollar Intros should have quite enough features for anyone just starting. I recently got a nine-point seven inch Ipad Pro and Apple pencil. Mainly so I can work while I'm traveling, but I only use it to draw in bed. I do wish I went slightly more prominent, but it's not a deal-breaker.

 Many artists say that 10.5 inch is like the perfect size because it makes all the toolbars accessible. But I think this works just fine for me and the new 329 dollar Ipad works with the Apple pencil, making portable drawing more affordable than ever. If you don't want to spend 99 dollars on an apple pencil or your older iPad doesn't support it, keep in mind there are other stylus options out there. You have to look for features like pressure sensitivity, palm rejection, tilt support, maybe some short cut buttons. And this will make a move to digital feel a lot more natural. Let's take a step back and talk about the basics of drawing. To draw this bubble head of Will, our art director starts with a rough sketch laying out the proportions with simple shapes. His head is an oval; his body is more or an oblong oval, and his arms and legs are like thick noodles.

 Then I'll return and add details like his eyes connecting the ovals with more precise lines. Now you can start the inking layer. This is going over the rough sketch more accurately, and you have to be a little bit more careful here as this is the final version of the drawing that you'll color in. For me, the most important advantage of digital art is that the ability to figure in layers. Think of it like drawing on tracing paper. Layer allows you to stack the many parts of your image on different levels to form the whole drawing, which makes editing the final image easier. So once I have the full outline of what I'm drawing, I fill in the colors on another layer underneath, and for shading, I'll add a layer over that. Shading can be daunting, but it's pretty easy if you think about light in the physical world. First, decide where your light source's coming from and use that as your guide to work out which parts are the shadows and which parts are going to be the highlights.

 So for the shadows, I take a black brush, which Gallardo passe to darken one side of the drawing and highlight the other side in white where the light is hitting the subject. The end result's this lovely drawing of Will drawn in four separate layers. If you're concerned about how drawing on glass might affect you, you can always look intimate screen protectors that will mimic the feeling of drawing on paper. I tried one out from a corporation called Paper Like, and it really helped bring some resistance to drawing on the iPad. So once you've got all of your tools, we're gonna advance to software. On my Mac Book, I like to use software like Adobe Photoshop, but on the iPad, I use Clip Studio Paint because it's almost like a desktop app.

 There are all these other drawing apps on the iPad like Procreate or Adobe Draw, but these apps kind of have a learning curve because you have to learn each app's gesture controls like double-tapping to undo. Suppose you're not happy with any of these apps there always other options. There's software like Astro pad or Duet Display that lets you connect your iPad to a computer so you can use it as a second display. And if you're in the market for a new laptop altogether, there's always two in one device like the Microsoft Surface Pro, so everything's on there. You can use the desktop version of Photoshop, and there's no transferring of files like you would have with an iPad. Since I'm most comfortable with the mac OS interface, using a Wacom tablet makes sense.

 Suppose you're in a position where you're trying to decide what's best for you. Think more about the apps you would like to use and for what purpose. But ultimately, making art may be a personal experience, so fiddle and find your favorite options. Thanks for reading.

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