Ways to Improve Your Digital Art Skills

by Karen Jones

We have the artistic works in ancient times - ageless paintings and other creative artwork. And like that too there is a type of art in recent time that has successfully create a bridge between raw and pure creativity and the trend in the society which is technology. You will agree that the world has gone digital and with this came the evolution of a kind of art other than the kind we used to know before and that is called Digital Arts.

Digital art is the type of art that took advantage of digital technology for making completely or for the presentation. This kind of art includes the images done on computers from scratch or the ones hand-drawn but scanned and finished using programmed software like the Adobe Photoshop or illustrator. Also, this kind of art includes the animated images and the virtual 3D objects render. Some of these arts involve mixing and manipulating the images and the renders to form videos and that makes the cartoon videos an example of digital art.

Digital Art became an accepted terminology as it was first used in the 80s and it has a connection with the computer program for painting made earlier that year. And this process of making creative art has the advantage of being viewed in many multimedia formats and most of the arts are made either for the internet or TV.

The Types of Digital Art

The Types of Digital Art
The Types of Digital Art

Digital photography

This "digital photography" term was invented upon the discovery and development of computers which brought about the advent of digital cameras to capture the shot. Before the advent of cameras, the preceded era is that of photographic films input into camera rolls after it is being clicked, and this took a whole lot of time to develop.


The advent of cameras and digital arts brought a whole lot of professionalism to photography as a business and with an increase in modifications of technology comes the advancement of cameras and a whole lot of editing options.

2D Computer Graphics/Painting

Traditional painting and other drawings are known for the authenticity and the artist's hard work which is what turns them to the masterpiece we all know. These arts are well appreciated are even auctioned until today in transactions worth millions of dollars. But, in time, the advent of technology caught up on the art industry and the introduction of digital art took over.

2D Computer graphics are those concepts derived from the digital images and text with two-dimensional modelling. Truly, the 2D graphics arts are derived from the traditional ones but it added a whole new touch with it giving it optimum flexibility and multiple and diverse usages on the internet and other media platform.

3D Computer Graphics/Painting

This is a step ahead and further from the 2D graphics art or say it is like a modified version of it. The 3D art concept came with the new modern era and the technological evolution that came with it.

Graphics on computers can be given a 3D feel and these are factually infeasible and impossible on the past technology. However, the art gets better with time and the evolution of new software and technology. Software like Cinema 4D, Maya, Blender focused on this special side of art and then comes a new technology called 3D printing which allows you to render anything designed on these apps in real like without smearing your hand with cement or any material used in traditional sculpture.

Also, painting in recent time has been mastered digitally to show the three-dimensional depth.

Ways to Improve your digital art skills

In every skill whatsoever, there are those things that must be done to hone it and maximize the use. As creatives, a conscious effort is exerted to develop our skills and this goes beyond learning that new software first. But it is all about refining and refreshing the core and primary art skills that will make the brainchild more brilliant in any way it is presented and assessed. Here are a few tips on how to improve your digital art skills.

Consistency - Sketch regularly

In any way, you can or any medium you use, either with paper, pen, pencil, tablet or stylus, sketching regularly is a very essential way of honing and improving the skills.

Sketching regularly gives you the liberty to make mistakes and also to try new things - combining ideas or styles. However, it helps you to develop concepts and ideas that you might not even have taught of in any way. A fantasy artist, Tony Diterlizzi wrote about himself on his website, he said he often sketch random concepts and ideas that conjured from his relaxed state of mind. And this access to his part of imagination allows him to sketch ideas that are unusual which he used to incorporate into his finished illustrations.

Work on Your Figure Drawing Skills

On the way to perfect your digital art skills, one of the things you must master is the figure drawing skills. This might look so unneedful to abstract illustrator, but on the general, it is a skill that is needed to improve one's digital art skills.

Figure drawing is the accurate (re)production of a human form in diverse postures and shapes and this is a core skill that is required of any artist either digital or traditional. There is life drawing classes that can help master this and this is one of the basic ways of mastering this. However, there are books online that can be leveraged on in mastering this skill.

Figure Drawing Books

Book Author Reason to read
Figure Drawing for Artists Steve Houston It is rated as one of the books with the best introduction to the subject of figure drawing
Figure Drawing for Concept Artists Kan Muftic Made for experienced artists and the author has created great and mind-blowing concepts art for movies like Godzilla, Jungle Book and Guardian of the Galaxy
Human Figure Drawing Daniela Brambilla This book is more about the theory of the human figure drawing and everything it encourages is practice. There are a series of exercises in there which helps you to learn by doing and learning from mistakes.
The Anatomy of Style: Figure Drawing Techniques Patrick J. Jones The book uses a well-detailed and annotated version of most of his pencil drawings without undermining the creativity.

Outside books, there are some other resources online that can be leveraged on as well. There are articles and even videos littered on YouTube by numerous artist and these materials shows how the top artists and maestros of this skill put it to use.

Develop a Portrait Skills

Develop a Portrait Skills
Develop a Portrait Skills

After you have mastered consistency and have developed the (human) figure drawing skill, another very great and fundamental skill to master is portraiture whether the ones drawn from the imagination of from life.

Like other skills, there are books to read to master this skill. A very great example is Draw Faces in 15 Minutes by Jake Spicer, an art teacher and expert. The book is very easy and straightforward and contains a very great introduction to the subject matter, and in it, you will learn the how-to of constructing basic sketch for a basic portrait.

Other resources online tutorials that are in a way software-based. There are those for the Corel Painter, Adobe Photoshop CC and also Adobe illustrator. Also, there is this video created by Kyle T. Webster, an award-winning Photoshop brush maker, on how to create portraits in Adobe Photoshop CC using the Edvard Munch style.

Understand Composition

Composition is vital in any kind of art whatsoever you are producing. Understanding how to position each element of the art as a whole will define the content of the art. Moreover, it defines the level of professionalism that is in the art piece.

There are key principles behind composition when it comes to art and the common of them is the Rule of Thirds and the Golden Ratio. These principles can be learnt online and can be mastered by paying attention to how other artists leverage on it to produce fantastic digital art.

Hone Your Character Drawing Skills

To achieve this character drawing skills, practicing cannot be overemphasized and in that hard work and inspiration will be much needed.

One of the materials needed is a book The Silver Way: Techniques, Tips and Tutorials for Effective Character Design by Stephen Silver - a man who has worked on diverse TV shows like Kim Possible and in charge of running the Silver Drawing Academy. The book has huge and comprehensive instructions on great techniques needed as an artist such as blind feeling, memory sketching and throwing up on the page which will help bring the character drawing to a whole new level.

Other General Ways to Improve Your Digital Art Skills

  • Create target goals in art creation.
  • Watch videos and learn the strategies behind them.
  • Improve Sketch Quality and Line Art
  • Study and Master Small Details
  • Have a Painting Formula - Do not just paint!
  • Exercise Like an Athlete


Above all the ways listed and explained above, one of the vital ways of improving your digital art skills is to first trust yourself. As a creative, trust yourself will give you the ground on which you will explore imagination and be able to internalize the contents being learnt online and in books.

About Karen Jones

Karen Jones has always been a writer at heart. As a freelance writer and social media marketing consultant for the last decade, she's honed her skills in crafting catchy and interesting articles that reel in readers. She also enjoys traveling, which is where she gets most of her ideas for her writing. In fact, if you can't find Karen around her friends and family, it's likely because she's holed up in her home office working on refining her writing composition and printing press!

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