First Graphics Application

What would people suggest I start with for learning how to do digital art? I know offline techniques for drawing and painting, but have no real exposure to photography or computer tools.


Maybe some of the members who are artists can help. But if you are already an artist I believe transferring to digital media is not a big step.

I would do a Google search for digital painting apps and pick one to try.

If by “digital art” you mean painting and drawing using computer software, that’s beyond the scope of this forum. However, a lot of folks here mix that type of thing with digital photography and digital photo processing. So hopefully you’ll get a few responses.

Personally, I use ArtRage, Rabelle, and Corel Painter for digital art, and I have a small Intuos Pen and Touch drawing pad to with them. This site is pretty good for digital are and drawing tutorials:

For digital photography stuff, Topaz Studio is a good choice to get started if you’re new to this. It’s free and has plenty of built-in free tools for you to get experience with the basics of photo processing.

This is a good site for tutorials on photography and digital photography:

And check out the tutorial videos for any of these and other stuff you run across.

Best regards


I did drawing and painting long before I used computers.
Maybe it would help to approach it from the other direction.
Learn the basics of computers and photography.
Photography is its own expressive medium.
Computer tools are just that. Tools. They can vastly expand the capabilities to control and enhance images.
There are many good photo-editors. Including free ones and on-line applications. Don’t be afraid to play around with them and get crazy, just to see what they can do.
If you see a “special effects” image that you like, you may be able to find out how it was done, so that you can use that technique, plug-in, etc., or some variation.
Remember that great effects don’t necessarily make a good image.
Start with good art. Whether it’s drawn, painted, or photographed. And then apply any treatment to it that you believe will make it a better image.


I’ve been digital painting for years with Corel Painter, but you also need a tablet so you have control your brush strokes with pressure. You can do a search in You Tube that has tutorials. My personal experience is taking classes at the Digital Art Academy, with Karen Bonaker and Skip Allen are excellent teachers. If you want to paint with Photoshop Tim Shelborne at The Artists Quarter has excellent tutorials for Photoshop, Rebelle, and Painter. Tim is also a fabulous teacher as well.

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Corel Painter sounds like the closest to what I’m looking for. None of these applications properly simulate what happens when mixing different kinds of paints, or even repeatedly stroke a particular area with a little paint multiple times with different strokes (opacity is a poor substitute). It’s more common on sketching applications.

I started using Painter about 20 years ago and it has a high learning curve. That why I suggest taking classes at the Digtial Art Academy. Skip Allen has a great course for Painter, and he’s always there to answer any questions that you might have. They always include new brushes and he shows you how to use them. Creating your own brushes is half the fun.

Don’t forget that you can crate all kinds of great art work with Topaz Studio.

You might like to check out:

It’s an easy way to get started with Computer Graphics, that is 3D digital Graphics. DAZ Studio is free and you can get a look at how illustrations for book covers, posters, etc. can be created quickly and immediately viewed from different angles (since it is really 3D), zoomed in, zoomed out. Basically, once you create your scene you can photograph it any way you want. You can even create animations of it.

People with drawing and painting talent will always be especially good at using CG, because artistic creation (drawing and painting is the basis of it all. For those less talented it is a way to create, in very much the same way as photography does not require drawing or painting skills, just some technical competence and a good eye. As you would expect an artistic sense, a sense of design and visual taste is of paramount importance in any type of visual art.

If you really love this stuff, then you can go on to create original 3D characters, objects etc. from scratch and even sell them.
In any case you have chance to learn how CG is done in the big time films at your local theater.

Let us know if this proves to be of interest to you.

There are many free drawing programs such as Gimp, Krita, Medibang Paint, Mypaint…
Also Low-priced programs such as Artrage, Paint Tool SAI, Clip Studio Paint…
I also recommend you get a drawing tablet which comes with a pressure senstivity digital pen, and it feel more nature than mouse.
I’m a professional illustrator and I own a 24" XPPen Artist 24 Pro, older XPPen Deco 01. By far my best experience is on the Artist 24 Pro with my powerful PC but I do like brainstorming or larger more free flowing paintings on my Deco 01 still, painting on a tablet like that just feels more ergonomic to me.