Let your drawings come to life with digital painting. Back in the days you needed a bunch of tools and supplies to achieve a certain art style. Nowadays, all you need is a computer/tablet with software for digital painting and you are ready to go. Or at least, ready to practice and learn digital painting skills. In this blog I’ll tell you about what you need for digital painting and show you how to paint a goldfish.

What do you need?

Digital painting software

For digital painting I use Adobe® Photoshop® most of the time. This is a photo-editing program available for Mac OS and Windows. It’s also often used for drawing and painting by professionals. Other software available for the PC and Mac are Krita and Clip Studio Paint. I prefer to use Adobe® Photoshop® because it’s widely used at studios, and I started using it at an early age.

Another option is to use Procreate® or Autodesk® Sketchbook® on the Apple iPad and other mobile devices. In the end it doesn’t matter that much what kind of digital painting software you use. I believe it’s much more important to focus on learning the principles of painting.

Digital painting tools

When I work on a computer I use a Wacom Cintiq, which is a screen that you can draw on. If you are just getting started, you can start with a simpler and more affordable drawing tablet, like a regular tablet from Wacom. There are also alternative brands that sell similar products like XP-pen and Huion. I’m a fan of the Wacom products, because of the better overall quality.

Here in this video I show how I paint in Adobe® Photoshop®. Be sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel for more videos about drawing and painting.

Digital painting step by step

In this image, you can see the steps I make for painting a character (in this case a goldfish). Step 1 is the sketch. In step 2, I created color blocks; here I pick the colors that I want to use. At step 3, I started to add shadows with a soft brush. Next, in step 4, you see I added some finer details like bouncing off the light. After this you can see I add more and more color and light and details each step. I always save the finest details for last.

digital painting goldfish

Learn more!

Learning how to paint digitally can be difficult and takes time. If you want to learn more about digital painting and color and light, check out my ebook and video tutorial below. In this ebook and video I show in depth my tips and tricks for painting characters, humans, animals, props, and backgrounds. I also talk about how to use color, how light and shadow work and more!

ebook digital painting

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