Tips for Beginners: Getting Started in Digital Art

January 13, 2023
Natalie Thorburn

Digital art is a great way to express your creativity. Whether you just want to create digital art as a hobby or you want to make a career out of it, here are some tips on what to think about before getting started.

Pick the device that suits you the most

You might think you need an expensive gadget for creating digital art, but there’s a chance you already have one at home, and use it every day. You can draw on your computer or on a tablet – whatever you feel comfortable with and find easy to use.

If you are ready to invest in a new device, we have also covered some of the most important things to think about when buying a new “canvas” that will help you create the most beautiful art.

Here is what you need to know when shopping for specific devices:


The minimum amount of memory you should have on your PC is 8 GB of RAM, even though some artists recommend 16 GB or higher. The more memory the computer offers, the more it will cost, but the more memory you have on your PC, the faster it will run.

When you create something visually, your art should look the same on different devices, especially if you decide to print your drawings or images. Pick a monitor with high resolution – optimally, it should be 4K or even higher.

Since you will probably use apps that could be highly demanding for your computer, you would also want to have a good processing unit (CPU). It will prevent your apps from crashing in the middle of creating your art and render your drawings easily.

A great advantage of using your computer for digital art is that you can always optimize or build it the way you see fit. You can always install a better graphics card, increase the amount of memory, or fit in a faster processor.


Tablets come in handy because you can draw on them with a pen, and it seems as if you are drawing on an actual piece of paper.

After acquiring your tablet, you want to download drivers that will enable your tablet to recognize the pen, as well as connect it to your computer.

Some basic tablets that don’t have a screen can be easily plugged into your computer, so you can use your PC monitor to see what you are doing. The way you work with them most closely resembles an actual drawing on a piece of paper.

Tablets with built-in screens might be a better alternative for those who don’t want to draw on a tablet and look at what they are drawing on a separate screen. However, some might find this way of drawing awkward because you are drawing on a vertical surface.

Figure out which apps you can use

Digital art typically includes drawings and digital photos, which are created with a variety of software that serves different purposes. The main difference between the two is in their resolution, i.e. the components that create the visual art. Digital images are raster files, while drawings are vector files.

A raster image is built from pixels that contain color. The higher the number of pixels, the more detailed the image will be, which increases its quality.

On the other hand, vector images include mathematical formulas to create shapes and lines. You can scale vector images without changing their quality.

To sum it up, you want to choose the app that will help you express your creativity the most. If you want to edit photo images, the most common app would be Adobe Photoshop, but if you want to use a free alternative, check out Pixlr or GIMP, depending on what device you will use to create your images.

For vector images, most artists use Procreate or Adobe Illustrator. However, if you don’t want to pay for those apps, you can try using AutoDesk SketchBook, Krita, or CorelPainter 2023.

Learn the basic principles of art

If you have been an artist for a long time now and you are just moving to digital art, you are probably familiar with some basic principles of drawing. However, if you are completely new to the art world, you might want to do some research on what makes a difference between strong and weak artwork.

Here are some of the basic principles of art:

  • rule of thirds
  • composition
  • balance
  • leading lines

You can always check out how other artists create their stunning drawings. There are some amazing tutorials you would want to check out if you want to draw something specific, for example, if you want to learn how to draw a dog.

Get familiar with basic tools

Once you start using an app for your art, you might get overwhelmed with all of the options displayed in front of you. It will take a lot of trial and error to get familiar with the software, but the basic ones would include a pencil, a pen tool, and an eraser tool.

Keep in mind that these individual tools can be changed for different purposes. You can always change the size, as well as the size, sharpness, and color of the paintbrush or pencil. You can also change the thickness of the pencil by applying more or less pressure to your canvas.

Make sure you understand how every tool works before moving on to another one. The good news is that most of these apps have more or less similar tools, and once you master one program, you will quickly grasp how some others work as well.


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