- Digital art tools can be broken down into two main categories:
- If you have only one of the following, you can be incredibly proficient in digital art:
- Besides those of the above, there are many good accessories and software/apps to really hone in on what works for you and your art style.
Digital Art Tools to Get Started in Digital Art
Becoming a digital artist requires a lot of creativity, patience, and the right set of digital art tools. As technology has advanced, the digital art industry has grown exponentially, as well as the selection of the best digital art tools, offering artists a vast array of options to create stunning pieces of digital art.
Whether you are starting as a beginner or looking to enhance your current digital art skills, this guide will help you understand what digital art tools you will need to become a better, more capable digital artist!
Best Hardware for Digital Art Tools
What to Look For
The central processing unit (CPU) is the brain of your computer and is responsible for processing all of your tasks. For digital art, you’ll need a CPU that is powerful enough to handle large, complex files. The more cores and threads the CPU has, the faster it will be able to process information, so look for a computer with at least an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, or an AMD Ryzen 5 or 7.
Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
A graphics processing unit (GPU) is a specialized processor designed to handle the demands of graphics-intensive applications, such as digital art software. A good GPU can greatly improve the performance of your digital art software, especially when it comes to rendering and playback of 3D models and animations. Look for a computer with a dedicated GPU from Nvidia or AMD, such as the Nvidia GeForce RTX or AMD Radeon RX series.
RAM is a type of memory that is used by your computer to temporarily store data. The more RAM your computer has, the more applications it can run at the same time and the faster it will be able to perform tasks. When used as digital art tools, you should look for a computer with at least 16GB of RAM, and more if you plan to work on large, complex projects.
Your computer’s storage is where your data, files, and software are stored. For digital art, you’ll need a lot of storage space for your projects, so look for a computer with at least a 256GB solid-state drive (SSD) and, ideally, a secondary hard drive for backups.
A good display is essential for digital artists, as it allows you to see your work with accurate colors and detail. Look for a computer with a high-resolution display with at least 1920 x 1080 resolution and good color accuracy, such as a display with an IPS panel. You may also want to consider a computer with a larger display, such as a 27-inch monitor, to give you more screen real estate to work with.
Having the right input devices, such as a graphics tablet and pen, can greatly enhance your digital art experience. Look for a computer with good compatibility with your preferred input devices, such as support for Wacom tablets, and a good-quality touchpad and keyboard.
Finally, it’s important to consider the price of the computer you’re interested in. Digital art computers can range from budget-friendly options to high-end models, so you’ll need to determine how much you’re willing to spend. It’s important to keep in mind that the more you spend, the better performance and features you’ll get.
Pros of a Desktop Computer
Desktop computers are typically more powerful than laptops, meaning that they can handle demanding tasks such as 3D rendering and video editing with ease. This is because desktops have more room for high-performance components, such as powerful graphics cards, large amounts of RAM, and fast processors.
One of the biggest advantages of desktops is that they are highly customizable. This means that artists can upgrade or replace components as needed, ensuring that their hardware remains up-to-date and capable of handling their workloads.
Most desktops come with large monitors, making them ideal for digital artists who require a lot of screen real estate. This is particularly useful for those who work with multiple applications open at once or need to view detailed images at high resolutions. (Check out the monitor section below for a much more in-depth look at monitors as digital art tools.)
Although the initial cost of a desktop can be higher than that of a laptop, it is often more cost-effective in the long run. This is because desktops can be upgraded and maintained more easily, and they often have a longer lifespan than laptops.
Drawbacks of a Desktop Computer
One of the biggest disadvantages of desktops is that they are not very mobile. This means that artists who need to work on the go will find it difficult to transport their hardware with them.
Desktops can take up a lot of space, especially if they come with multiple monitors, keyboards, and other peripherals. This can be a problem for those who have limited workspace or who need to set up and break down their workstation frequently.
Some desktops can be quite noisy, especially if they are equipped with high-performance components. This can be a distraction for artists who work in quiet environments or who prefer a peaceful workspace.
Desktops can be more difficult to maintain than laptops. This is because they require regular cleaning, and components may need to be replaced or upgraded over time.
Best Desktop Computers as Digital Art Tools
Apple iMac Pro
This all-in-one computer is a great option for digital artists, with powerful processing power, a high-end graphics card, and a large, high-resolution display. The iMac Pro also offers excellent color accuracy and has a sleek, professional design.
Dell Precision Tower 7920
This desktop computer is a great option for digital artists who need a lot of processing power and storage. It comes with a powerful Intel Core i9 processor, a high-end Nvidia graphics card, and up to 1TB of SSD storage.
Microsoft Surface Studio 2
This all-in-one computer is designed specifically for digital artists, with a large, high-resolution display and a powerful graphics card. It also has a compact, space-saving design that makes it a great option for artists who have limited desk space.
HP ZBook Studio G5 Mobile Workstation
This laptop is a great option for digital artists who need a portable computer that still offers the power and performance of a desktop. It has a powerful Intel Core i9 processor, a high-end Nvidia graphics.
What to Look For
The resolution of a monitor refers to the number of pixels it displays. A higher resolution means that the monitor will display more pixels, making images and text appear sharper and clearer. As digital art tools, a monitor with the resolution of at least 1920 x 1080 (also known as Full HD) is recommended, but a 4K resolution (3840 x 2160) is even better.
The color accuracy of a monitor is a crucial factor for digital artists. A monitor that displays accurate colors makes it easier to edit and create art that will look good on other displays as well. A monitor that covers the sRGB color gamut is a good starting point, but a monitor that covers the Adobe RGB color gamut is even better.
There are two main types of monitor panel technologies: IPS (In-Plane Switching) and TN (Twisted Nematic). IPS panels offer better color accuracy and viewing angles, but are generally more expensive. TN panels are less expensive, but have lower color accuracy and limited viewing angles. For digital art, it’s recommended to choose an IPS panel for the best color accuracy and viewing experience.
Monitors can be calibrated to ensure that the colors are accurate and consistent. A monitor that comes with a built-in calibration tool, or one that can be calibrated with a separate tool, is ideal for digital artists.
The size of the monitor can greatly impact your workflow. A larger monitor will allow you to see more of your artwork at once, making it easier to edit and view your work. However, a larger monitor also takes up more space on your desk. Consider your workspace and personal preference when choosing a monitor size.
Display ports allow you to connect your computer to your monitor. Look for a monitor with multiple display ports, such as HDMI and DisplayPort, so that you can connect multiple devices to the monitor.
A monitor that can be adjusted for height, tilt, and swivel will help you find a comfortable viewing position, reducing eye strain and discomfort.
The price of a monitor can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. While a higher-priced monitor may have more features and better specs, a lower-priced monitor can still be a good choice for digital artists. Consider your budget and the features that are most important to you.
Best Monitors as Digital Art Tools
Dell UltraSharp U2720Q
The Dell UltraSharp U2720Q is a 27-inch 4K monitor with excellent color accuracy and versatility. It has a resolution of 3840×2160 and supports a wide color gamut of 100% sRGB and 95% DCI-P3. This monitor is also equipped with an IPS panel, providing excellent viewing angles and great color representation. It also has a built-in USB hub and multiple input options, making it a great choice for a versatile setup.
Eizo ColorEdge CG279X
The Eizo ColorEdge CG279X is a 27-inch 4K monitor designed for professional use. It features an IPS panel with excellent color accuracy, a wide color gamut of 99% Adobe RGB, and hardware calibration for consistent color representation. It also has a built-in USB hub and multiple input options, making it a great choice for a versatile setup. The only drawback is the high price tag, but for those who require the highest level of color accuracy, it is a worthwhile investment.
The BenQ PD2700U is a 27-inch 4K monitor with excellent color accuracy and versatility. It has a resolution of 3840×2160 and supports a wide color gamut of 100% sRGB and 95% DCI-P3. This monitor is also equipped with an IPS panel, providing excellent viewing angles and great color representation. It also has a built-in USB hub and multiple input options, making it a great choice for a versatile setup.
The LG 27UK650-W is a 27-inch 4K monitor with excellent color accuracy and versatility. It has a resolution of 3840×2160 and supports a wide color gamut of 95% DCI-P3. This monitor is equipped with an IPS panel, providing excellent viewing angles and great color representation. It also has a built-in USB hub and multiple input options, making it a great choice for a versatile setup. It is also more affordable compared to some of the other options on this list, making it a great choice for those on a budget.
ASUS ProArt PA279Q
The ASUS ProArt PA279Q is a 27-inch 4K monitor designed for professional use. It features an IPS panel with excellent color accuracy, a wide color gamut of 100% sRGB and 99.5% Adobe RGB, and hardware calibration for consistent color representation. It also has a built-in USB hub and multiple input options, making it a great choice for a versatile setup. The only drawback is the high price tag, but for those who require the highest level of color accuracy, it is a worthwhile investment.
What to Look For
The display is one of the most important aspects of a laptop for digital art. As a digital artist, you need a screen that accurately represents the colors, brightness, and contrast of your artwork. A high-quality display will ensure that your work looks as you intended it to, both on your laptop and when printed.
When shopping for a laptop for digital art, look for a display with a high resolution (at least 1920 x 1080) and a high color gamut (95% or greater). A high color gamut allows you to see a wider range of colors, which is particularly important for artists who work with color-sensitive projects. Some of the best laptops for digital art have displays with 4K or 5K resolutions, which offer even more detail and accuracy.
Processor and Graphics Card
The processor and graphics card are the heart of your laptop, and they’re critical for running digital art software smoothly and efficiently. Digital art applications are often demanding, and you’ll need a laptop with a fast processor and a dedicated graphics card to handle them.
For digital art, we recommend looking for a laptop with an Intel Core i7 or i9 processor and a dedicated NVIDIA or AMD graphics card. These components will ensure that your laptop can handle even the most demanding digital art projects with ease.
Storage and Memory
Digital art projects can quickly take up a lot of space, especially if you’re working with large image and video files. As such, you’ll want to look for a laptop with a large amount of storage, ideally an SSD (solid-state drive) with at least 512GB of space. An SSD is much faster than a traditional hard drive and will help you work faster and more efficiently.
Memory (or RAM) is another important factor to consider. The more memory your laptop has, the more applications and programs it can run at once. For digital art, we recommend at least 8GB of memory, although 16GB or more is ideal.
Portability and Build Quality
While you may spend most of your time working on your laptop at a desk, you may also need to take it with you to work on projects on-the-go. As such, you’ll want to look for a laptop that is portable and has a sturdy build quality.
For portability, look for a laptop that is lightweight and has a long battery life. A laptop with a good build quality will ensure that it can withstand the wear and tear of frequent use and travel.
Finally, price is a major consideration for many digital artists. A laptop for digital art can range in price from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, and it’s important to find the right balance between performance and affordability.
When shopping for a laptop for digital art, consider your budget and the specific requirements of your work. It’s important to invest in a laptop that has the right combination of performance and features, but you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a great laptop for your digital art projects.
Pros of a Laptop for Digital Art
One of the biggest advantages of using a laptop for digital art is its portability. Artists can take their laptop with them wherever they go, allowing them to create art on-the-go, in coffee shops, on trains, or anywhere else they find inspiration. This is particularly useful for artists who need to work in different locations or for those who like to work outside of their studio.
Laptops can be used for a wide range of digital art tasks, from sketching and painting to 3D modeling and animation. This versatility means that artists can work on multiple projects and switch between different software programs with ease.
Compared to desktop computers, laptops are generally more affordable, making them a more accessible option for many artists. This affordability is particularly important for artists who are just starting out or who have limited budgets.
Ease of Use
Laptops are designed to be user-friendly, making them an accessible option for artists who are not familiar with computer technology. They also often come with pre-installed software and drivers, so artists can get started with their digital art projects right away.
Drawbacks of a Laptop for Digital Art
Limited Processing Power
One of the biggest drawbacks of using a laptop for digital art is its limited processing power compared to desktop computers. This can make it difficult for artists to handle demanding software programs or large files, causing slow performance and crashing.
Smaller Screen Size
Laptops typically have smaller screens than desktop computers, making it difficult for artists to see their work in detail or to work with multiple windows open at once.
Limited Graphics Card Capabilities
Laptops often have weaker graphics cards than desktop computers, which can affect the performance of certain software programs and make it difficult for artists to create high-quality digital art.
Short Battery Life
Laptops rely on battery power, which can be a problem for artists who need to work for extended periods of time without access to an outlet. The short battery life can also be inconvenient for artists who work on-the-go.
Laptops are more fragile than desktop computers, making them vulnerable to damage from drops, spills, and other accidents. This can be a problem for artists who need to take their laptop with them on the go or who work in environments where accidents are more likely to occur.
Best Laptops as Digital Art Tools
Apple MacBook Pro
The MacBook Pro is a popular choice among digital artists due to its powerful hardware and high-quality displays. The MacBook Pro comes in two sizes: 13-inch and 16-inch. Both sizes offer stunning Retina displays with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels, making it ideal for artists who need to view their work in high detail. The MacBook Pro also features powerful processors, such as the M2 chip and the Intel Core i5 and i7, making it capable of handling demanding software, such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. Additionally, the MacBook Pro also comes with a Touch Bar, which allows for quick access to frequently used tools and shortcuts.
Microsoft Surface Book
The Microsoft Surface Book is a unique 2-in-1 laptop that offers versatility and portability. Its detachable screen can be used as a tablet, making it ideal for artists who prefer to work on their artwork in a more traditional manner. The Surface Book also comes with a powerful processor, such as the Intel Core i5 or i7, and a high-resolution display of 3000 x 2000 pixels. It also features the Surface Pen, which provides a natural and accurate drawing experience.
Wacom MobileStudio Pro
The Wacom Mobile Studio Pro is a laptop designed specifically for digital artists. It features a powerful processor, high-resolution display, and a Wacom EMR stylus, which provides a natural and precise drawing experience. The Mobile Studio Pro also comes with Wacom’s Pro Pen 2, which offers 8,192 levels of pressure sensitivity and tilt recognition. This laptop is ideal for artists who need a portable solution for their digital artwork and want a device that provides a professional-level drawing experience.
Dell XPS 15
The Dell XPS 15 is a powerful laptop that offers a high-quality display, strong performance, and a sleek design. It features a 15.6-inch display with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels and is available with powerful processors, such as the Intel Core i5 and i7. The XPS 15 also comes with a dedicated NVIDIA graphics card, making it ideal for artists who need to work with 3D models or require additional graphics power.
Pros of a Tablet for Digital Art
The best drawing tablets are much more portable than traditional computer systems, making them an ideal choice for artists who need to take their work with them on the go. Tablets are compact and lightweight, making them easy to carry in a backpack or purse, and they don’t require a power source or a desk to use.
Ease of Use
Tablets are designed to be user-friendly and intuitive, with large, touch-sensitive screens that make it easy to create digital art with just a few taps. Tablets also come with pre-installed drawing and painting apps, so artists can get started right away.
Tablets offer a variety of functions and features that are perfect for digital art, including pressure-sensitive screens, digital pens, and the ability to save and share files quickly and easily. With the right apps and accessories, artists can create digital sketches, paintings, and graphics that are nearly indistinguishable from their traditional counterparts.
Tablets are often more affordable than traditional computer systems, making them an ideal choice for artists who are just starting out or for those who need to upgrade their equipment without breaking the bank.
Drawbacks of a Tablet for Digital Art
One of the biggest drawbacks of using a graphic tablet as a digital art tool is the small screen size. Tablets typically have smaller screens than traditional computer systems, which can make it difficult to see all the details of your work.
Limited Storage Space
Tablets have limited storage space compared to traditional computers, which can make it challenging to store large files or store multiple projects at once.
Tablets are not as precise as traditional computer systems, which can make it difficult to create intricate designs and details. Tablets can also experience lag, which can be frustrating for artists who are used to working with high-end computer systems.
While there are many great apps for digital art available for tablets, they may not have all the features and functionality of professional-level software available on computers. Artists who are used to working with specific software may need to make adjustments or find alternative apps that offer the same features.
Best Tablets for Digital Art
Wacom Intuos Pro
The Wacom Intuos Pro is a top-of-the-line graphics tablet that is favored by many professional artists. This tablet offers a large, active area that provides ample room for detailed work, and comes in two sizes (medium and large) to accommodate different workspace setups. The tablet also features a highly sensitive stylus that provides a natural, paper-like feel and responds to even the slightest pressure changes. Additionally, the Intuos Pro has customizable ExpressKeys and Touch Rings that allow you to create shortcuts and control various functions within your software.
Huion Kamvas Pro 24
The Huion Kamvas Pro 24 is another great option for artists who are looking for a quality graphics tablet. This tablet features a large, high-resolution display that provides an incredibly vivid and accurate representation of your work. The tablet also comes with a stylus that features 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity, ensuring that every stroke, whether light or heavy, is captured with precision. The Kamvas Pro 24 also has adjustable stands that allow you to adjust the tablet’s angle for comfortable drawing, and it also supports tilt recognition, making it ideal for those who prefer to draw at an angle.
XP-Pen Artist 15.6
The XP-Pen Artist 15.6 is a more budget-friendly option, but it still offers a lot of features that artists will appreciate. This tablet features a large, 15.6-inch display that provides a bright and clear representation of your work, and it also comes with a stylus that offers 8192 levels of pressure sensitivity. The tablet is also very thin and lightweight, making it easy to carry around with you for on-the-go drawing and sketching. Additionally, the Artist 15.6 has a built-in battery that provides up to 8 hours of use on a single charge, so you won’t have to worry about being tethered to an outlet.
Apple iPad Pro
For those who are already invested in the Apple ecosystem, the iPad Pro is a great option for digital art. This tablet features a large, high-resolution display that provides a vivid representation of your work, and it also comes with a highly sensitive stylus (the Apple Pencil) that provides a natural feel when drawing. The iPad Pro also has a powerful processor that provides a smooth and responsive user experience, and it runs on the iOS operating system, which provides access to a wide range of creative apps.
Best iPad Accessories as Digital Art Tools
The Apple Pencil is a must-have accessory for artists and designers who want to use their iPad for digital art. It offers precise control and pressure sensitivity, allowing for a more natural drawing experience. The Apple Pencil is compatible with a range of applications, including Procreate, Adobe Sketch, and many others.
For those who don’t want to use the Apple Pencil, there are other stylus options available. A good stylus should offer pressure sensitivity, fine tip, and good overall performance. Some popular options include the Adonit Pro 4 and the Wacom Bamboo Spark.
A keyboard can be a useful accessory for artists and designers who want to use their iPad for digital art, as it makes typing and entering text easier. Some keyboards also offer additional functionality, such as backlit keys and the ability to adjust the angle of the iPad. The Apple Smart Keyboard Folio and the Logitech Slim Folio are both popular options.
An iPad stand is a useful accessory for artists and designers who want to use their iPad for digital art, as it makes it easier to position the device for optimal viewing and use. There are a range of stands available, including the Twelve South HiRise and the Belkin Tablet Stage.
A protective case is a must-have accessory for artists and designers who want to use their iPad for digital art. A good protective case should offer protection from scratches, bumps, and other types of damage. Some popular options include the OtterBox Defender and the Apple Smart Cover.
External Hard Drive
For artists and designers who work with large files, an external hard drive can be a useful accessory. An external hard drive can provide additional storage space for digital art files, allowing for more efficient use of the iPad’s internal storage. Some popular options include the Seagate Backup Plus Slim and the Western Digital My Passport.
USB Camera Adapter
The USB Camera Adapter is a useful accessory for artists and designers who want to use their iPad for digital art. It allows for the transfer of photos and videos from a digital camera to the iPad, making it easier to use these files in digital art applications.
Software as Digital Art Tools
Best Windows Apps as Digital Art Tools
Digital art is an ever-growing and expanding field, and with the advancement of technology, artists now have access to a range of tools that allow them to bring their creative visions to life with ease. Among these tools are Windows applications, which offer a range of features that are designed specifically for artists, graphic designers, and other creatives.
Krita is a free, open-source digital painting software that is perfect for artists who are just starting out, or who are looking for a budget-friendly option. This software is designed to provide a smooth, fast, and user-friendly experience, with a range of brushes, colors, and tools that are designed specifically for digital painting.
Some of the standout features of Krita include its brush engines, which allow artists to create custom brushes, and its ability to work with multiple layers and filters, which makes it easy to create complex pieces of artwork. Krita is also compatible with a range of file formats, including PSD, which makes it easy to transfer your work between different software.
Part of the Adobe Creative Suite software packages, Adobe Photoshop is one of the most well-known digital art applications available, and it’s widely considered to be the industry standard. This app is designed to provide a range of features that are perfect for digital artists, including the ability to work with multiple layers, filters, and brushes.
Photoshop is also known for its ability to work with a range of file formats, including PSD, JPG, and PNG, which makes it easy to share your work with others. Some of the standout features of Photoshop include its ability to work with 3D models, its powerful color correction tools, and its ability to work with a range of graphics and images.
Corel Painter is a digital art application that is designed specifically for artists and graphic designers. This app offers a range of features that are designed to provide a natural and intuitive experience, including a range of brushes, colors, and tools that are perfect for digital painting.
Some of the standout features of Corel Painter include its ability to work with multiple layers, its support for a range of file formats, including PSD, and its ability to work with a range of graphics and images. Additionally, Corel Painter is also known for its ability to work with 3D models, which makes it perfect for artists who are looking to create digital art that has a 3D feel.
Best Mac Apps as Digital Art Tools
The MacBook has been the go-to device for digital artists and graphic designers for many years now. With its powerful hardware and intuitive software, the MacBook is the perfect tool for unleashing creativity and making digital art. In this section, we will explore the best digital drawing programs for MacBook and how they can help you create stunning works of art.
Procreate is a highly-regarded app for digital artists, and for good reason. This app is a digital canvas with great features to create stunning digital art, including a wide range of brushes, advanced layer management, and a powerful canvas that is capable of handling even the most demanding projects. Whether you’re looking to create a simple sketch or a detailed masterpiece, Procreate has all the tools you need to get the job done.
Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe Creative Cloud is a must-have for any digital artist. This suite of tools includes everything you need to create and publish digital art, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and more. With Creative Cloud, you can take your digital art to the next level, using powerful tools to create stunning designs, edit photos, and publish your work to the world. Whether you’re an experienced digital artist or just starting out, Creative Cloud is the perfect toolkit to help you bring your ideas to life.
Affinity Designer is a powerful vector graphics app that’s perfect for digital artists. This app is packed with all the tools you need to create detailed designs, including advanced vector tools, a customizable UI, and a powerful layering system. Whether you’re creating logos, illustrations, or any other type of digital art, Affinity Designer has everything you need to bring your ideas to life.
Sketch is a popular app that’s designed specifically for digital artists. This app is packed with tools to help you create stunning designs, including vector tools, advanced layer management, and a powerful canvas that is capable of handling even the most demanding projects. Whether you’re creating web or mobile designs, Sketch has everything you need to make your vision a reality.
Blender is a powerful 3D modeling and animation app that’s perfect for digital artists. With Blender, you can create stunning 3D models, animations, and visual effects, using a range of powerful tools and features. Whether you’re creating character animations, architectural visualizations, or any other type of 3D project, Blender has everything you need to bring your ideas to life.
Best iPad Apps as Digital Art Tools
The iPad has quickly become one of the most popular devices for artists and designers, offering a large and high-resolution display, a variety of input options, and a growing library of powerful drawing apps. Whether you’re a professional illustrator or just looking to doodle in your free time, there are plenty of mobile apps that can help you unleash your creativity. Here are some of the best Pad apps for drawing:
Procreate is a powerful and versatile drawing app that’s perfect for both beginners and professional artists. With a sleek interface, a vast range of brushes, and a variety of color and layer options, Procreate is a great choice for anyone looking to create digital art on their iPad in all avenues, including comic artists to concept artists. As some of the best digital art software, it also supports a variety of input options, including the Apple Pencil, so you can get the perfect level of control over your creations.
Adobe Fresco is a relatively new drawing app from Adobe that offers a unique set of tools for creating digital art. With a focus on natural media, Fresco includes a variety of brushes that mimic traditional materials, like oils, watercolors, and inks. This makes it a great choice for artists who want to create more traditional-looking art on their iPad.
Autodesk Sketchbook is a popular and powerful drawing app that’s well-suited for a wide range of artists. With a focus on simplicity and ease of use, Sketchbook offers a variety of brushes and tools, as well as a simple and intuitive interface that makes it easy to get started.
Paper by FiftyThree
Paper by FiftyThree is a simple and elegant drawing app that’s perfect for anyone looking to create quick sketches or jot down notes. With a focus on natural input and a variety of brush options, Paper is a great choice for anyone looking for a more relaxed and intuitive drawing experience.
Pro HDR X
Pro HDR X is a unique and powerful app that’s perfect for artists who want to create high-dynamic range (HDR) images on their iPad. With a range of tools and a simple interface, Pro HDR X makes it easy to create stunning and dramatic images that are sure to impress.
Reference Images for Digital Art
Reference images have been one of the essential tools in traditional art for centuries, and they have become increasingly popular in digital art as well. Whether you’re an aspiring artist or a professional digital artist, using reference images can have a significant impact on your work.
Benefits of Reference Images as Digital Art Tools
Accuracy and Realism
One of the biggest benefits of using reference images in digital art is accuracy and realism. If you want to create a realistic image, you need to understand the anatomy, structure, and perspective of the objects and subjects you’re drawing. Reference images provide a visual representation of these elements, allowing you to better understand how they look and how they should be drawn.
For example, if you’re trying to draw a portrait, using a reference image can help you understand the facial structure and proportions of the person you’re drawing. If you’re creating a landscape, a reference image can provide you with an idea of the colors and shadows of the landscape.
Using reference images can also save you a lot of time. Instead of trying to imagine an object or subject in your mind, you can simply use a reference image as a guide. This can save you the time and effort it takes to try and figure out the details of an object or subject from memory or imagination.
Reference images can also help you improve your technique. By looking at how other artists have drawn similar objects or subjects, you can see the different approaches and techniques they have used. This can give you ideas for how you can improve your own work.
Reference images can also serve as a source of inspiration. Whether you’re looking for new ideas or just want to see what’s possible, reference images can give you a glimpse into the world of digital art. You can see how other artists have used light, color, and texture to create beautiful images, and you can use these examples to inspire your own work.
Finally, reference images can be a valuable tool when collaborating with other artists. If you’re working on a project with a team, reference images can help everyone stay on the same page. You can use a reference image as a common starting point, which can help everyone understand the goals and expectations for the project.
Where to Find Reference Images
Public Domain Websites
One of the best tools to find free reference images is on public domain websites. These websites offer a wide range of images that are no longer protected by copyright and can be used freely for any purpose. Some popular public domain websites include the Library of Congress, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and The British Library.
Stock Photo Websites
Stock photo websites are another great place to find reference images. Many of these websites offer a vast collection of images that can be purchased for a small fee. Some popular stock photo websites include Shutterstock, iStock, and Adobe Stock. However, keep in mind that not all images on stock photo websites are free, and you may need to pay a fee to use the image for commercial purposes.
Reference Books and Magazines
Reference books and magazines can be a valuable resource for artists. They provide detailed information and images on a wide range of subjects, from anatomy and wildlife to architecture and landscapes. You can often find used copies of reference books and magazines at secondhand bookstores, library sales, or online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.
Museums and Galleries
Museums and galleries are also a great place to find reference images. Many museums have online collections that allow you to browse their holdings from the comfort of your own home. You can also visit the museum in person and take photographs of the works on display. Just be sure to check the museum’s photography policy before taking any images.
Final Thoughts on Digital Art Tools
In conclusion, becoming a digital artist requires the right set of tools. A computer or laptop, graphics tablet, digital art software, external hard drive, reference images and stock photos, and a high-quality monitor are essential for creating stunning pieces of digital art. With these tools, you can unleash your creativity, bring your ideas to life, and achieve the results you desire.