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Digital Painting - The Ultimate Beginner's Guide

Updated: Apr 7, 2022

Art is food for the soul, and it helps one grow their emotional horizon and share the experience with the world. It takes years of diligent practice even to reach half the level of the master. The most challenging part of any artistic journey is the beginning, though.

Nowadays, many artists are shifting the paradigm towards creating digital art prints. Even more and more people are showing enthusiasm to buy original art online. The rising sale of NFTs involving art is proof of that.

If you too dream of becoming a successful digital artist, you need to start in the right direction. This involves getting your hands on the right tools first.

If you were wondering what digital painting is and how you can start on becoming one, then keep on reading.

What Is Digital Painting?

When you think of painting, the images of watercolor, acrylic, or oils come into the mind. The digital medium has completely taken the concept of artwork to a whole new level. Don't get it wrong. It still requires the same level of techniques and skills as conventional painting.

The only difference is, instead of stroking your brush on a canvas, you paint directly onto your computer or tablet. This makes the process more convenient and faster to deliver.

However, just like a traditional painting, you need to know the tools of the trade for digital artwork.

Digital Painting Tools

There are only two things that you need when you are starting your digital painting journey:

  • A tablet

  • Some software for painting

The Hardware

Choosing the hardware is pretty simple. You just have to get a decent tablet that can run your painting software smoothly. There are three types that are available.

Display Tablets

If budget is not a concern for you, then you should definitely invest in one of these. They come with a built-in monitor to allow you to draw on the screen directly. The only drawback is that you may require an actual computer to avoid the "dead pixels" over time.

All-in-One Tablets

Options like the iPad Pro from Apple or Surface Pro from Microsoft makes these tablet choices highly popular. These are self-sufficient devices and offers a 2-in-1 functionality too. The only problem is that these are highly expensive with a minimal selection of software to run.

Graphic Tablets

For beginners, this is the best choice since they are cheap. Even a lot of successful artists prefer using these tablets. They come with a touchpad and a digital pen, also known as a stylus. You can plug them with your computer via a USB cable, and they are pretty simple to use.

The Software

There are many options available in the market, and the choices will never end. However, you can choose from any one of these three classics.

Adobe Photoshop

This is a stalwart in the field of digital artwork, and you might want to invest in the premium version for the full features. Any artist will recommend the Adobe software without hesitation.


If you don’t want to spend money, then this free software is a good choice. It is an open-source alternative to Adobe, though not as good as Adobe.


This is another premium software worth investing in. Despite being a relatively new software in the market, its user-friendly interface and lightweight structure have made it popular.

The Art of Digital Painting for Making Your First Masterpiece

Now that you have all the tools at your disposal, it is time to do the actual work- paint! If you are using Adobe Photoshop, then go to File> New Document to open a new document.

  • Use More Layers

Pay attention to each layer, from the body part to the highlighted section or a shadow, to make your work come alive. If you want people to buy original art online, then you need to pay attention to intricate details, and layers are your friend in this.

  • Utilize the Brushes and Erasers

In digital media, you will get tons of brushes, so try to make the most of it. You can add a lot of details to your painting by using the right tip, softness, shape, and size of the brush. Also, the applied pressure while painting creates a difference.

  • Optimize Blending Effect

This is the aspect that gives a three-dimensional effect to your painting. Use a lot of different blending effects to discover what suits your painting style the most. Of course, Adobe comes with a variety of tools to help you in this.


Remember that becoming a successful artist takes patience, hard work and time. By taking the first step towards your dream of becoming a digital artist, you have completed the most difficult phase, though.

You can gain inspiration from learning about the discipline and passion of successful artists who sell their art online. Examples like Ino Chang can motivate you to work hard to make a name in the art industry.

You will learn a lot from their high-spirited endeavors and struggles that brought them success. It is their passion that drives their work and compels people to buy original art online.

So, follow these guidelines and learn more about how to hone your skills to become successful.

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