Always wanted to try digital art, but don’t know where to start?
When I first picked up a graphic tablet, I didn’t know where to start either. Before I started painting my own digital works, I would experiment with coloring pages to get a feel for the tools and brushes of digital media. Before coloring books for adults were popular, I serendipitously stumbled upon some line art by Jessica Galbreth (shown below) and decided to practice the art of digital painting on that. I found it took the pressure off me to create a composition, and allowed me the freedom to just experiment. I never had to be a critic or go through the process of hating my work …because it was never mine to begin with! It worked like a charm! In the end I came out with the confidence to move forward using these tools on my own works of art. I highly recommend this exercise for anyone who wants to get started in digital painting.
Left: Original watercolor painting, “Lavender Moon” by Jessica Galbreth
Center: Line art by Jessica Galbreth
Right: My digital study/practice of Jessica’s original work (2009).
I do all my work using Corel Painter. If you’re thinking of using this software for your artwork or coloring exercise, here is a list of my favorite brushes to get you started:
Pencils: Real 2B
Erasers: Eraser, Darkener, Gentle Bleach
Blenders: Smudge, Smear, Just Add Water
Tint: Basic Round
Here are links to some digital painting software that you may want to try. Do your research and find out which one will best suit your needs. They vary in price and complexity.
- Corel Painter – Free trial available before you commit to buy.
- Krita – Free open source software for digital artists.
- GIMP – Another free and open source option.
- Clip Studio (formerly Manga Studio) – Price options range $25-$200.
There are a TON of coloring images out there these days. Truthfully, you can probably find what you need for free by doing a quick Google search, but here are a few of my favorites:
- Molly Harrison
- Selina Fenech
- Myka Jelina
- Hannah Lynn
- Amy Brown has some images available through a 3rd party coloring app called Pigment