holliander asked: Hey, I only just found your art today. (How did I never see you sooner because I love it!) But I wanted to ask how you started doing digital art? I have been trying to do more digital art but it just doesn't click, I don't really get it. I love how your digital art comes out though. It's probably a weird answerless question but I was curious if maybe you had some tips to translating pencil and paper skills to digital medium?
thank you! my first attempts at digital art (other than the occasional crap MS paint doodle) were limited to coloring only, as i didn’t have a tablet yet, and trying to draw with a mouse is a special sort of torture that i’m sure is forced onto artists in hell. i used to scan my inked lineart from paper, and then add some really limited coloring with adobe photodeluxe, which was mostly aimed at home users and had some built-in tutorials (mostly for photo editing, but it taught me the basics of how layers work.) soon after, i moved on to adobe photoshop, which i taught myself how to use by testing all the tools and brushes out on a blank canvas.
a few years later, i got myself an intuos and switched to corel painter for most of my drawing and coloring. i picked up tablet drawing pretty quick without much trouble (although a few things have always irked me about it, like not being able to rotate a regular tablet to make some strokes easier — you can rotate your canvas in most painting programs though, which helps a lot.) it did take me a while to figure out which tools i liked best for tablet drawing and coloring, i had to do a lot of (ugly) experimentation. at first i think i was inclined to try and make everything ultra smooth and airbrushed, which was time consuming…but i eventually realized some brush strokes and textures and hand-drawn flourishes are a very nice thing, in most cases.
as for trying to make digital art more doable, i might not be the best person to ask since i’ve never had too much difficulty adjusting to it, but i’ve heard some stuff over the years that might help?
i’m going to assume you have a tablet? i know that some artists don’t care for the smooth plastic surfaces tablets offer, and tape a regular sheet of paper over them to provide a more natural drawing texture. also, if your tablet is too big or too small for your drawing style, that might cause some trouble (if you tend to draw carefully, from the hand/wrist, smaller tablets are good; if you draw in large strokes from the elbow/shoulder then bigger is probably better.) using a tablet with a built-in screen (wacom’s cintiq) might help, since it’s more like drawing on paper than hand-eye coordination, but those are big expensive tablets and likely not worth it if you aren’t looking to be a full-time digital artist.
have you tried out different drawing programs? most people seem to have a preference for something; i like photoshop and painter, other people really dig sai and mangastudio. also, have you tried looking at tutorials, downloading different brushes, etc? there’s a ton to browse on dA!
have you tried using keyboard/tablet key shortcuts to make your work go faster? some of my friends have some genius custom hotkeys like ctrl+s as a tablet key, alt = eyedropper, setting alt+z to undo more than one step in photoshop, etc.
honestly though, if you’ve tried a million different things to make digital art more enjoyable and it still isn’t, don’t beat yourself up over it. work in the media you enjoy instead of fighting your way through a media you dislike, it’ll likely make a visible difference in your art. i know there’s a lot of pressure these days to go digital, but there are still tons of artists producing amazing traditional work. i’m actually trying to do more traditional stuff when i have the time, it has a quality that CG can never fully duplicate, both in the creation process and the finished product.
best of luck!