The biggest problem when you move to digital illustration is preparing your set-up and choosing a tool. This article summarizes the main things you need to consider when getting started.
If you’re thinking about starting digital art for the first time, the following questions may have come to your mind:
“What do I need to start drawing?”
If you’re concerned about this, read below for a summary of what you need to know as you get started. (Please note that the prices in this article are only a guideline.)
- Device: Computer, tablet, or smartphone?
drawing on computer
If you already have a computer, good news!
Memory-wise, although you can create images using only 4GB of memory, we recommend going with 8GB or more if you want to get the most out of your new device.
Many people recommend a Mac computer for drawing, but you can create drawings on a Windows computer or laptop without any problems. Feel free to choose the operating system of your choice.
drawing on a tablet
Tablets make it easy to start drawing digitally! Some of the more well-known options are the Apple Pencil (2nd generation) along with the Apple iPad and the S Pen for Galaxy tablets. Specifications for different apps are mentioned in their respective app stores.
drawing on smartphone
You can download an art app and draw on your smartphone, but few smartphones support pen pressure sensitivity, which is important if you want to draw lines as you do when creating traditional art. Samsung Galaxy devices can use the S Pen and Androids and iPhones with pressure sensitivity can use the Wacom stylus pen, like the Bamboo Sketch.
If you use a computer, you may need a pen tablet
If you have a computer that doesn’t have a touchscreen for drawing, you’ll need a pen tablet.
You can draw smooth lines with a pen tablet, so if you want to draw on a computer or laptop, you should give preference to this tool. You’ll find many companies that sell pen tablets, but Wacom tablets are the most popular products. Wacom’s product line is really solid and works well for beginners.
You also have the option to draw on a smartphone or tablet using a stylus. However, these options are technically limited, so they may hold you back or make you feel less confident because they do not reflect the details of the stroke.
2. Illustration/Drawing Apps
A variety of software exists, ranging from freeware to paid professional programs and applications.
It’s best to get some practical experience first. Most paid software has a free trial, so you can choose whether to purchase something after testing it. Also consider your budget.
Big names in software
Adobe 7-day free trial
clip studio paint
A sophisticated software for comics and illustration. This software is popular among many professional artists, especially comedians. It is sometimes abbreviated as “Clip Studio” or “CSP”.
Free trial of Clip Studio Paint
paint tool SAI
An intuitive and simple drawing software. The software has less features but operates smoothly even with low specifications.
Software is an important tool for drawing. You should choose the software according to what you want to create, whether portraits, comics, illustrations, anime-style art, watercolor-style paintings, landscapes, or characters.
For more information on the latest comparisons of drawing software, check out this article where we compare 13 different drawing applications for PC, tablet or smartphone!
- If you want a larger display, invest in a monitor
If you are confident with your PC’s current display, you do not need to buy a new display.
However, if you are planning to buy a new monitor, choose a larger monitor as it will reduce fatigue. 20 inches or more is good! This may be important if you plan on drawing on your laptop.
When drawing traditionally, your supplies eventually run out and you have to buy them again. However, in a digital environment, you don’t have to replace equipment, resulting in lower costs in the long run.
- Final Thoughts
You don’t have to start with a high-performance computer, try to use what you have and practice drawing digitally until you move to a better set-up.