Ever wondered how to create digital art? The great news is that it’s never been easier to begin. Digital art is an imaginative way to express yourself, learn new skills, and even earn extra money online. So let’s get creative. Check out our guide detailing seven digital art ideas and learn how to can get started. Move over, Beeple!
In this guide:
Types of digital art
Digital art refers to art made using some form of digital software or computer. Here are four types of digital art.
1. Digital painting
Digital painting involves using various tools and techniques to create images that look like they were painted by hand. A huge choice of software means creating digital art is more accessible than ever.
Here are some digital painting tutorials:
- Krita Tutorials has many tutorials ranging from beginner to advanced levels. It includes video and written instructions and step-by-step processes for each lesson.
- Gimp Tutorials is a free program that works on Windows and macOS systems. Users can learn to create digital paintings, illustrations, comics, and more.
- Digital Art Tutorials have created an excellent list for those who prefer written instructions.
Once you have picked up the basics, try experimenting with different tools and techniques to find your style and preferences.
2. 3D modeling and sculpturing
3D modeling is the creation of three-dimensional objects using computer graphics software. Modeling tools allow you to create video games, films, and animation.
Sculpting is the process of shaping or modeling 3D objects using digital tools. As with traditional methods, digital sculpting allows artists to create organic shapes by manipulating virtual materials, such as clay or metal.
There are multiple software options for creating 3D models and sculptures. Some are designed specifically for game development, while others are used primarily by digital artists and designers. So which software should you use to start creating?
- Blender is a great 3D modeling starter tool. It’s free, easy to use, and has a large community of users who regularly share useful tips.
- Cinema 4D is another popular modeling program specializing in animation and motion graphics. The software has announced the release of extra features and functionality in 2023, including comprehensive modeling symmetry and features to support soft body simulations.
- ZBrush uses “3D pixels” technology instead of CAD programs to create its models. It’s an incredibly user-friendly software for modeling and texturing: great for beginners and experienced digital sculptors.
Photobashing is a technique whereby you take photographs of people, places, or things and use the photos to create new images. It works with both stock photography and original images.
For photobashing, you can use software programs such as Photoshop or GIMP or free tools like Pixlr and Canva.
4. Pixel and voxel art
Voxel art and pixel art are somewhat similar. Pixel art is the use of tiny squares to create images. Voxel art uses cubes (also called voxels) instead of pixels for its source material. This type of artwork was popularized by Minecraft, which allows players to build worlds using 3D cubes.
How can beginners create digital art?
So long as you have a laptop or tablet and illustration software, you are ready to begin. Here are some tips for getting started:
- Choose a subject for your digital art project.
- Consider how to express your idea visually. Create an idea board with photos or sketches of images or concepts that inspire you.
- Work on rough sketches on paper before transferring to a digital medium.
7 ideas for beginners to create digital art
If you’re stuck for digital art ideas, don’t worry. All of us need occasionally need a little help with inspiration. The following projects can be achieved using Adobe Illustrator or similar drawing software.
1. Draw fan art
Fan art is all about expressing yourself through the characters you love.
Drawing fan art allows you to experiment with different styles and techniques without spending too much time on each piece. You’ll see how people react and what works best for various mediums (like sketching vs. coloring).
Fan art is also a great way to build your portfolio. You can post your drawings online on DeviantArt or Tumblr and receive feedback from people who share your interests.
2. Create a personal logo
Another great way to learn how to create digital art is by making a logo for yourself. Multiple free online tools can help you create logos. You can use the logo on social media, your website, and any marketing materials you may create. Canva is an excellent choice for its simplicity and diverse range of templates.
3. Draw a portrait
Take inspiration from the people and faces around you. Portrait drawing can be difficult, but try not to look for perfection. Getting started is key. The result can even double up as a gift for your muse (perhaps depending on your skill level!).
4. Art collage
Another digital art idea is to create collages. This can involve taking elements from pre-existing images and putting them together in new ways. Collage is a great way to showcase your creativity and is an enjoyable, no-rules form of digital art and self-expression. The possibilities are endless: choose your materials and begin experimenting.
5. Alternative movie posters
Creating a poster based on your favorite movie is a surefire way to spark your imagination. For film poster design, Adobe Suite is your friend. Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and InDesign are all ideal pieces of software with which to design movie posters.
6. Motion graphics
Anybody can create motion graphics using animation software such as Adobe After Effects, Adobe Animate, and Adobe Photoshop.
Motion graphics can be used to create:
- Special effects such as digital fire and water
- Title sequences introducing a film’s cast and crew
- Opening credits for television shows or films
7. Animated GIFs
Animated GIFs are fun and easy to create. In a meme-led world where viral content is king, learning to make GIFs can be a savvy business move.
EZGIF, GIFS.com, Photoscape, and Wondershare GIF maker are all easy-to-use, free online tools to help you create your very own GIFs.
Digital art fuses innovation with self-expression
From NFTs to AI image generators, it’s clear digital art is an ever-evolving medium. With new tools being released every day, there’s no telling what digital art ideas we’ll have in the future. As creatives continue pushing the boundaries at the intersection of technology and art, we’ll likely see incredible innovations emerge. For now, why not give digital art a go yourself?
Is digital art good for beginners?
Yes, beginners can learn how to create digital art armed simply with computer software and a few handy tutorials. For inspiration, try drawing fan art, making motion graphics, or creating yourself a logo. There are many beginner friendly tool on the market, and everyone has to start somewhere!
What are examples of digital art?
Digital art is a broad term that encompasses many different styles, including illustrations, digital paintings, animations, photographs, and videos. The most common type of digital art is the animated GIF. Photo manipulation can also be classed as digital art. Famous digital artists include Beeple, Alex Heywood, and GMUNK.
What is the most popular type of digital art?
The most popular type of digital art is digital painting, also called digital illustration or digital drawing. The process involves using a graphics tablet and digital art software to create images that look like traditional paintings or drawing.
How do I start digital art?
A drawing tablet (like the Wacom Intuos line) allows you to create art with real brushes and pencils on the screen. Alternatively, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are powerful programs you can use to specifically for creating digital artwork by hand. Photo editing apps like Photoshop provide easy access to tools typically reserved for professionals in the industry. There’s no wrong way to learn how to create digital art.
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