Creating digital illustrations is a medium that has exploded in popularity over the past few years. A growing number of professionals are creating beautifully designed artwork for business purposes or as a hobby.

Illustrations have become integral parts of our media literacies, helping to tell stories through pictures alone!

Digital illustration is an art form that allows you to create images quickly and efficiently using software and tools. You can use textures, palettes, styles, and techniques to make your illustrative pieces unique.

There are many ways to get creative with digital illustrations so there is no wrong way to use them. They can be used for product advertisements, logos, websites, flyers, etc. — any field where creativity is appreciated.

This article will go into more detail about some basic concepts of digital illustration such as shapes, color theory, and typography.

History of digital illustration

digital illustration tutorial

Since the dawn of time, humans have used pictures to tell stories, inspire emotions, and influence behavior. Ancient civilizations left us paintings and sculptures that still hold up today. More recently, cave drawings depicted scenes of animals for inspiration or worship.

Now we have a whole new medium to use this ability in! Graphic design uses illustrations as an integral part to telling a story through their shapes, colors, and textures. A well-designed image adds appeal, elicits reactions, and influences perception and attitudes.

Digital technology has allowed artists to create and publish their work much more quickly than ever before. Computers can manipulate images nearly endlessly, which allows for very fine control over every aspect of the artwork.

This article will go into detail about some basic drawing tools and how to apply them to make beautiful illustrations.

How to start a digital illustration

digital illustration tutorial

Starting with a plain white canvas is a great way to begin creating your own illustrations. You can then add shapes, textures, and other components to develop your design.

There are many ways to take your art beyond mere decorations. By adding characters or stories, you can create new works of art. It’s easy to pick up where artists left off for better understanding the process!

Here we will go through some basics of drawing for beginners so that you may put our final product in this article into context.

Open a digital drawing

digital illustration tutorial

A lot of people start experimenting with illustration by creating still illustrations. These are things like framed pictures or decorations that you can’t move, but look very beautiful!

Creating these kind of illustrations is great way to begin practicing your craft as an artist. But doing this will not help you progress as a designer/illustrator.

As you may have guessed, moving illustrations is much more complex than just taking a picture and then altering it.

It takes special software, technical skills, and creative concepts to do so. And there are no easy ways to learn how to make moving images unless you already know some basic graphic design principles.

But before you dive in and try making your own animated designs, we must talk about something important — copyright.

Learn to use a color palette

digital illustration tutorial

Color is one of the most powerful tools in digital illustration. There are many, many ways to use colors in your artwork, but learning how to use a limited number of colors effectively is an important thing to know.

The first way to learn this is by looking at examples of other artists’ work. Many artists publish their color schemes, or create pages and posts with tips on using color.

By picking and choosing which colors you include in your own personal style, you will find that your illustrations look more unique. It is also easy to combine different shades and hues together, making it fun to experiment with.

Create a visual theme

When creating your own digital illustrations, there is an important step that most people forget about! Creating a solid theme for your artwork can make all of the difference in how well your image looks.

The hardest part of this is actually choosing your style. There are many ways to get inspiration from other illustrators’ work, so do not hesitate to look around. You do not have to be trained as an artist to pick up some tips, anyone can do it!

Once you find your style, stick to it! Do not add too much random detail or things that do not go with the theme of the picture.

Make a logo

digital illustration tutorial

As we have seen, logos are one of the most basic types of digital illustrations. They play an integral role in our lives every day – whether it’s for business or personal use.

A well-designed logo can be a powerful tool to enhance your career or start up. It can attract new followers, inspire repeat visits, and influence buying decisions.

And while creating a logo is not as difficult as some make it seem, there are certain rules you must obey when doing so. In this article, we will go through all of these tips and create a very simple but effective logo using only software that any beginner could get away with.

Practice editing

digital illustration tutorial

Editing is an integral part of creating digital illustrations. When starting out, you will probably want to avoid editing your art unless it is completely dry.

That isn’t a good way to begin because bad edits can totally take away from the image!

As you create more and more artwork, there are going to be times when something doesn’t look right and you have to fix it. That is why it is important to practice editing before moving onto higher level things like re-drawing or replacing parts of images.

There are many ways to learn how to edit pictures, but most start with using Photoshop or another similar picture editing software. You can also use websites that offer easy editing features such as Canva.

This article will go into detail about some simple ways to improve your hand editing skills in Adobe Photoshop. If you’re already familiar with Photoshop then feel free to skip to the next section.

Learn to use a variety of effects

digital illustration tutorial

Effect styles are one of the most important parts of digital illustration. They’re an easy way to add some polish to your illustrations!

Most people start by drawing their main character, which is always good practice. But then they go about adding decorations or backgrounds to make the image more interesting.

Some artists may even blend in additional elements like hair or jewelry, but there’s no hard and fast rule as to how that should be done.

It’s up to you! There are many ways to achieve this.

The easiest way to do it is to find an effect style and apply it to your picture. For instance, if you wanted to draw a still life with a table and nothing else, then using an atmospheric texture would work well.

There are many free resources online for all types of textures. You can also purchase them at almost any brick and mortar store.


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