Digital painting is the art of painting right in your computer, using the computer (or tablet) screen as your canvas. Our "brushes" for drawing and painting are simulated by the mouse or a graphics tablet and pen, such as those carried by wacom.com:
Personally, I prefer to use this tablet and pen over a mouse because the pen is so pressure sensitive and can pick up the minutest changes in the pressure and tilt of your hand as you draw or paint. Digital brushes are also designed specifically to work with these pens. Please do not confuse this kind of tablet with a computer tablet such as the iPad! The Wacom graphics tablet and pens are designed to act as your palette and brush or pencil. I have the INTUOS PRO tablet and pen, shown above.
The third piece of equipment you will need besides a computer and graphics tablet and pen is a painting software program which you purchase from the respective company and install on your computer. I use three programs right now to paint with: PHOTOSHOP (by adobe.com), PAINTER 2015 (by Corel.com) and REBELLE (by escapemotions.com). They all offer digital brushes and papers or canvases already installed. In addition, you can purchase brush sets from individual vendors and install them into the appropriate program. Be aware, however, that brushes made for PHOTOSHOP, for example will not install into PAINTER and visa versa! (The brush sets that I have for purchase right now are all designed to be installed into the latest version of PAINTER which is PAINTER 2015.)
It is important to note also that these software programs cannot be installed onto a tablet that is not a full computer, such as the iPad. There are painting and drawing apps for the iPad but they can't be compared to the 3 painting programs I mentioned above!
With computer, computer software program and graphics pen and tablet you are ready to paint digitally! And what a world of fun it is! You can replicate ANY traditional media while still having the flexibility of undoing any mistake by pressing control Z. Or you can change you paper and canvas surface in mid stream... Or you can change the colors in your painting after it is completed.... The possibilities of creation are ENDLESS with digital painting!
A word about the concept of "cheating.". Digital painting has gotten a bad reputation among a few ignorant individuals out there mainly because of the abundance of apps that allow you to press a button and replicate a painting style. And that is true-in the computer painting world many options are open to us. Some of you may even have heard of the technique of cloning a photo, whereby pixels from your chosen image are brought up onto your canvas surface and smoothed around. Yes, that certainly acts as a guide to color placement and shape development. Even this option is more subjective rather than a form of "cheating," as it is very dependent on how we individually wield our digital brushes. But few realize that you can paint from scratch using your digital brushes on your digital canvas just as you would with traditional media! That is how I LOVE to paint! The courses I offer show you how to clone and also how to paint from scratch...
Want to learn more? Check out my completely downloadable online painting workshops available HERE.