How to start with digital art

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Hello guys! You have been asking me a lot how I started with digital art and telling me you have no idea how to actually start or which tablet to buy,... I remember when I first started I had all these questions too and that's why I am writing this blog. (P.s. : This blog will focus on basics)Text

What do I need?

Well first of all, you need a graphic tablet. I started with my boyfriends old tablet, Genius MousePen. It was pretty old when he gave it to me but it was everything I needed at the moment. The tablet is still working and it was exactly what I needed when I first stated. No additional buttons,which I don't use even now and even pen pressure was great

What do I need to look for when buying a graphic tablet?

Pressure Sensitivity - when you're drawing you are applying a pressure on the pen, creating a thin or thick line, depending on how "hard" do you press. Better pressure sensitivity will give you a "better" variety between thin and thick lines. For example, graphic tablets with 2048 pressure levels will capture more information, than those with 1024.
Size of the tablet - this depends on what do you prefer, bigger or smaller tablet. I recommend to start with something medium. Bigger tablet also come with more buttons and all these stuff, but to be honest, I don't use these buttons at all. Never. I don't even know why they are here. Even more important is the size of the drawing area.

What do you recommend?

I really recommend Wacom Intous Pro (S,M and L) - Best tablets for the money on the market. I actually own Wacom Intous Pro M (2016) and it's still working amazing. 8192 pressure sensitivity is why I don't recommend this tablet to beginners. Because of the pressure sensitivity it's really harder to get used to this tablet. I had problems switching from Genius to the Wacom. The first month I actually prefered my old Genius, because I was so used to it, and hand lettering was so much easier on Genius. But once you get used to it it works like magic! You need to master how hard you need to press the pen to get the lines you actually want  (+ you also get extra nibs)

 Wacom Intous Pro

Wacom Intous Pro

Huion 420, best tablet for beginners who don't want to spend all their money on the tablet. 2048 pressure sensitivity and it only connects through USB. To be honest, again, my tablet is wireless, but I always use USB. So that's why I don't see a big problem in not being wireless.

 Huion 420

Huion 420

Wacom Bamboo, I was choosing between this one and Intous, but choose Intous because it's more professional. But Bamboo is excellent for beginners, and quality is amazing for the price you're paying for it.

 Wacom Bamboo

Wacom Bamboo

Apple iPad Pro and there is a big chance you already have it. I bought it last week and I am obsessed. All you need is iPad Pro + apple pencil + Procreate app and you're ready for you digital art journey. What I really like about iPad is that you actually see what you are drawing on the iPad screen - with Wacom Intous you see what you're drawing on the computer screen and not on the tablet.

 Apple iPad Pro with Pencil and Procreate app

Apple iPad Pro with Pencil and Procreate app

What else do I need?

If you have Adobe creative suite, I recommend to start with Adobe Illustrator. You will get used to the tablet so much faster, because Illustrator is making your lines looking nicer and cleaner while you draw. Also, with the right settings in Illustrator you will notice the best variety in the lines you can do with your tablet. Adobe Illustrator is better for clean illustrations without textures and hand lettering, while Adobe Photoshop is great for various brushes you can use, so it's more recommended for getting the "natural" looking illustrations. P.s. I recommend Kyle T Webster brushes, which actually come with Adobe Creative Suite for free. Otherwise, there is a lot of free brush packs on the internet. But I only use Kyles brushes. They're the best. A lot of people are recommending GIMP, which is free and Fire Alpaca, which is free, too. While Adobe is not. Important: Always save your files as .psd, so you can go back and edit. I also recommend making several layers (new layer for new color, or new layer for hair, new layer for dress etc.). It's so beneficial that you break down your piece.  

Hope this was helpful! If you have any questions send me an e-mail to hello@aljahorvat.com or write a comment below!  

Alja Horvat