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Have you ever thought about creating digital art?

A guide to creating digital art for beginners
Courtesy of Pexels

Figuring out how to start can be a daunting task, especially with the vast amount of free and paid programs available. Most professional artists use Adobe products like Photoshop and Illustrator, but they can be quite complicated and expensive, based on a subscription rather than a one-time purchase. Personally, I use a software called FireAlpaca that’s free for both Windows and Mac. Its interface is fairly simple and accessible, and different windows can be disabled or moved around for user comfort, which makes it easy to get used to as a beginner. Years later, I don’t feel that I’m lacking anything and still find myself discovering new and helpful features such as the reference window or a variety of filters. FireAlpaca also has some bare-bones animation features like onion skin and a preview panel, but I suggest using a separate program for stuff like that if you want to keep your sanity.

Now you have software, but what hardware should you go with? Graphics tablets that connect to your computer provide the feeling of drawing on paper with all the benefits of creating digitally. 

Starting out, you probably want something fairly cheap, such as the Wacom Intuos or Huion Inspiroy, but if this proves to be something you want to continue, you could invest in something nicer with its own screen. Personally, I’ve used the Huion Kamvas 13 for a few years. It has a nice display and it comes in a nice purple color which is a bonus in my opinion.

 But what if you don’t want to invest in new technology and would rather use your iPad or phone to draw? There are plenty of software options still — Ibis Paint is a favorite of cheap people like me, and it’s recently come out with animation capabilities as well. If you’re willing to spend a little money, however, Procreate is a great option that rivals Adobe for a much lower price. 

This guide is extremely basic, so if any of this interests you there are more detailed tutorials that you can find on the process of digital art.


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