Art Unboxed

Art Unboxed To New Digital Artists

The first thing I would say to new digital artists is to have patience, both with yourself and the medium. Just as any other art form, learning it will take time. I would encourage you not to allow a momentary frustration to be a long term setback.

Second I would completely agree with the statement made by the wonderful, both traditional and digital artist, Aaron Blaise. He said that digital art is like any other medium of art, you must practice to not only learn it, but to understand its advantages and challenges. There are things you can’t do with digital media just as there is watercolor, but each have their strengths.

Thirdly I would encourage you to avoid a mistake I had made. When I first began using my iPad as a digital art tool, I fell in love with one particular program. My best friend suggested I try another program, which I did try. However because it was different I stopped using it for awhile, which was a mistake.

One that cost me time, and that had I not corrected, would have been more detrimental. Thankfully after my friend mentioned it again I retried it, and moved over to the new program full time. Now it is my primary digital art program, which is wonderful for two reasons. One, it’s a powerful program with a lot of options, but second because the original program I was using is very out of date.

This is another important lesson especially in digital mediums, but also with art products in general. Don’t get so used to your tools that you become locked in. When you become resistant to trying either new tools or new methods, it can hamper your abilities. Also don’t be quick to discard a new tool because it’s unfamiliar or different. Continuing to improve and enhance will ensure that you have the mindset of a student, which maybe even more important than muscle memory.

Speaking of tools, while digital art programs differ, the best ones share something that I feel is as essential as a palette knife is to acrylics, layering. I believe layering is the most useful tool for beginning digital artists, and is one of the most important for advanced ones as well. A few examples of the options layering offers include adding and correcting detail, adding a light source, fading, as well as adjusting shading, color, and tonal changes.

I have found my digital artwork has enhanced my traditional work, and vice versa. All of it goes back to draftsmanship, whether in pixels or in paint. So be patient, keep practicing, and you will find what began as line art can end up turning into a high quality digital portrait.

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