Reasons to learn digital painting this year

7 Reasons to Learn Digital Painting This Year

Still on the fence about learning digital painting?

So you’ve followed a couple of digital painters on Social Media, you’ve been watching a couple of YouTube tutorial videos, you might have even bought your first Wacom tablet. And then a doubting voice in you asks, “Why am I even doing this?”
 
Is there anything good to gain from learning digital painting? Is it worth my time and effort? Will I ever be good at it? 
 
These are some valid questions you deserve to get answers to, and we’re here to do that. So before you try to pawn your unused drawing tablet on eBay, here are 7 reasons to hold on to it and learn digital painting today.
Get started with a tablet and some free software
Beginners can get started with just a $70 tablet and some free software. No inks, canvases or other art supplies necessary!

Reason #1:
It’s way cheaper than traditional painting. 

Let’s face it- traditional art mediums cost a lot of money. You need to invest in a set of high-quality brushes, assorted paints, inks, thinners, papers, canvases and perhaps even an easel. Not to mention, most of these supplies are consumable—which means that you will need to replenish these every couple of paintings.
 
Now compare that with what you will need to get started with digital painting: a computer (which I’m guessing you already have, or you wouldn’t be reading this), a drawing tablet, and a stylus. There are several open-source software options for free, and more advanced software like Adobe Photoshop is available for as low as $9.99/month. You can buy a beginner’s drawing tablet for as low as $30, and that will last you for hundreds, if not thousands of paintings (depending on how well you take care of your tools, of course).
 
Perhaps you’ve always wanted to get into painting, but been held back by a tight budget? Digital painting is the perfect alternative for you. It may be a little bit of an investment up-front, but in the long run it works out far cheaper than traditional art.
 

Reason #2: 
It’s so easy to share your work and get discovered on the web. 
 

Getting your work out there is important not only because it helps you find clients, it’s also a great way to keep you motivated. And by sharing your work in communities like our Paintable Facebook Group, you have the opportunity to get invaluable feedback and critiques, helping you grow much faster as an artist.
 
Sharing your work online has never been easier. Art-sharing platforms like Artstation and Deviantart can quickly get your work in front of thousands of people. You can also use social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep your fans updated about your latest work and let them share it with their friends and family.
 
Digital painting is especially suited for sharing your work. No more having to worry about photographing your work in a studio, or finding a large-format scanner to scan big paintings. Simply save your finished painting and upload it. It’ll look equally as good on everyone’s screen, and you don’t need to worry about colors and details getting lost in the process.
  

Reason #3:
It’s more portable and less messy than traditional mediums. 

Now aren’t you glad you’re not painting with oil anymore? Source: Unknown

If you did traditional painting before, you may have damaged your hardwood floors, your furniture or your favorite shirt by accidentally getting a bit of paint on it. Even if you happen to be careful enough to avoid these, you still can’t deny that sometimes you wish you could just skip the part where you have to clean up the mess you made after each project.

If you have always loved art but hated the mess that you have to clean up after each project—digital painting is the best activity for you. Painting on a tablet doesn’t require you to stick layers of old newspaper on your floor. Digital painting tools are so neat and mess-free, you don’t even need to set up a separate studio. Using a drawing tablet and your computer, you can create amazing works of art right at the comfort of your bed or couch. 
 
With portable drawing tablets such as the iPad Pro and the Cintiq Companion, you already have a portable studio that you can take anywhere. The next time you find yourself in front of a beautiful sunset, all you have to do is take out your tablet and start painting.
 

Reason #4:
There are many more career opportunities and possibilities.   

(It opens the possibility of making a living by doing something you truly love. )
 
Traditional painting is great fun and comes with a lot of prestige, but it can be very hard to make a living with.
 
Digital painting, on the other hand, offers a lot more career options. You can start earning by doing freelance work, steadily building your portfolio and reputation by working for clients around the world. Most clients prefer to hire digital artists over traditional artists since the former generally have lower rates, work faster, and are more willing to revise their work. Examples of freelancing websites where digital artists can look for gigs are People per Hour, Upwork and Indeed
 
Once you have a considerable portfolio, you can start selling art prints from your own website. Alice Zhang’s website is a great example of an online art shop that you can aspire for. If you get noticed for your unique artistic style, clients may commission you for a piece of art, for which you can charge a premium price.
 
If you’re also passionate about movies and games, you can also consider becoming a concept artist. If you become one, you’ll draw concept boards and character designs to assist in the early stages of production–which means access to top-secret info such as early screenplay drafts! It might be a bit more challenging to land such jobs, but the experience is certainly rewarding. 
 

Reason #5: 
You can take part in a growing creative community.

If you’re the only artist among your family and friends, you might have always longed to be friends with someone whose comments on your latest masterpiece are not limited to “Looks nice”.
 
It’s a lot easier to stay motivated when you’re surrounded by people who share your passion. Fortunately, digital artists are easy to find on the internet. Reddit, Quora and Facebook groups are just some online communities where you can exchange ideas and tips about digital painting. You might be surprised at how many people are now learning digital painting either as a career or hobby. 
 
Our Facebook group is also a great online community which you should consider joining. Our over 5,000 members participate actively in discussions by posting their work and sharing critique (in a nice way, of course!). Getting engaged in discussions like these in social media is a quick and effortless way to learn while building your network.
 
As Albert Einstein said, “Creativity is contagious”. Surround yourself with passionate and creative people, and watch your talent grow at a tremendous rate.
 
Join our community of digital artists on Facebook
Join our community of digital artists on Facebook

Reason #6:
It’s a fun, productive and relaxing hobby that you can enjoy
in the evenings and weekends! 

Do you know what’s better than a relaxing weekend? A relaxing AND productive weekend!
 
If you’re quite artistic but got no plans of quitting your day job anytime soon, you can still learn digital painting as a hobby. Admit it: it’s an impressive one to have. With the right techniques, you can create realistic paintings that would surprise even yourself. Imagine posting an amazing painting you made on Instagram or Twitter every couple of weeks, wouldn’t that impress your family and friends?
 
And you wouldn’t just be doing it for the likes, of course. After a stressful week in the office, wouldn’t it be nice to have a creative outlet you can retreat into? Creating art is proven to be a great way to relieve stress. This is why so many people are in love with artistic activities such as scrapbooking and DIY home decor. 
 
Since you’re going to do art anyways for its therapeutic effect, why not take it a notch higher and do digital painting instead? 
  

Reason #7: 
It doesn’t take a huge time commitment to get into.

You don’t have to be excellent at traditional mediums before you try digital painting. In fact, digital painting is actually faster to master than traditional drawing or painting. Painting tools have never been so intuitive and beginner-friendly, you’ll be creating amazing artworks in no time.
 
It is often said that digital painting is just like traditional painting, except that the ink never dries. This rings true to the experience of any digital artist, who can undo mistakes, repeat patterns, fill backgrounds, and duplicate elements of their work effortlessly. Anyone who did traditional painting before would recognize that knowing these techniques give any beginner a great headstart.

We’re not saying that digital painting is easy. Of course, it comes with its own set of challenges, all of which are easy to overcome if you’re equipped with the right tools and knowledge. Nevertheless, we guarantee that with enough patience, practice, and learning of Photoshop techniques, you will soon create high-quality paintings that will amaze your friends and even yourself.

If you’re ready to really learn digital painting, whether you’re a beginner or someone who’s already build a foundational skillset, I invite you to check out the Digital Painting Academy. You’ll get a easy-to-follow roadmap so you always know what steps to take next, and professionally produced lessons and walkthroughs. Also, once you’re inside, you’ll get live feedback and critiques, and connect with other digital artists just like yourself!  You in?

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