Creating digital illustrations is an extremely popular way to showcase your artistic talent. There are many types of digitally-created artwork, from still life pictures or landscapes to paintings or sculptures that use figurative or abstract themes and styles.

Many artists begin with simple sketches before moving onto more in depth drawing and painting. Some even start with computer generated imagery (CGI) before transitioning into traditional media like pen and paper or oil paints.

While there are no hard and fast rules on how to be considered a professional artist, one thing is for sure – you can’t fake it! Becoming familiar with the different types of illustration will help you identify what style fits you best and give you some inspiration.

This article will go over several different genres of illustrative work and describe why they matter to aspiring artists. For more creative tips, you can always check out our collection of art and design inspired blogs right here on

Manga Studio

how many types of digital illustration

With manga, or any kind of digital illustration, your can start creating yours by choosing what type of style you want to use. There are three main styles used in making manga-styled illustrations: line art, traditional cartooning, and drawn anime.

Line art is typically very simple and clean looking. Line drawing was one of the first ways artists got into digital painting and designing. Artists would draw lines for detail and shape, then add colors to it.

Traditional cartooning uses thicker outlines and simpler shapes than line art. This creates an easy way to begin drawing cartoons as you know what thick looks like!

And lastly, drawn anime is just taking normal comic book drawings and translating them into vertical pictures. These layouts feel familiar to people who have read comics before.

There are many applications that allow you to mix and match these types together to make your own unique style! The most popular ones are called “Manga Studio” and “Toon Boom Animation Pro.” Both of these software programs offer all three types of styles at no cost. You do not need to purchase anything else to create beautiful manga-style artwork.

Adobe Illustrator

how many types of digital illustration

When it comes to creating digital illustrations, there are several applications that can help you achieve this goal. Some of the most well-known include Photoshop, InDesign, and Adobe Illustrator.

Most people start off in Adobe Photoshop before moving onto another application. While some may learn how to use InDesign best, many artists begin working in Adobe Illustrator because of its versatility.

There are two main reasons why most people choose to work in AI over other apps. One is because almost anyone can use it, which makes it more accessible. The second is due to all of the features available for customization.

In this article, we will discuss the different types of illustrations and what each one entails. If you’re looking to develop your drawing skills, then you should be familiar with at least the basics of every type!

Disclaimer: This article shall not take away from the importance of learning photoshop or any other graphic design software. Only add to yours!

Vector Graphics

A vector graphics file does not contain pixels as they are scaled down instead. These files are compressed so they require less space than normal bitmap (pixelated) images. This means you get better quality graphics without having to make them very large.

Converting into Vector Format

When converting an image into a vector format, the setting changes depending on the app. For example, in Adobe Photoshop, go to File > Convert To New Document Profile.

Adobe Photoshop

With every new design tool, what kind it is depends mostly on which category it fits into. For example, if you are looking to create an illustrative piece or graphic image, then using Photoshop as your main drawing software will not be too surprising. It has many feature sets that can be used for this purpose alone!

Some examples of these features include making textures, adding effects, layers, etc. All of these help make your illustrations more interesting!

Another important one is vector editing. These files are defined as lines instead of pixels, so they do not have quality limitations like photos. You can easily scale down a vector file and it will still look good!

Vector editing also allows you to edit the shape and size of things such as doors, windows, cars, and other similar shapes. This goes along with our previous point about scaling being possible.

All of these things combine to give us a much higher level of precision when designing digital images. If these concepts seem difficult, no worries! There are plenty of free resources available online and in apps where you can learn how to use some of them. Some of the most popular ones are YouTube, Canva, and Graphic Tools.

Adobe InDesign

how many types of digital illustration

Over the past few years, there has been a rise in popularity of what is known as digital illustration. This form of artistic expression uses illustrations to create new possibilities for creative projects.

Many people are drawn towards this style of art because it allows them to express themselves creatively without any limits.

There are many software programs that can produce beautiful digital artwork. Some of the most well-known include Photoshop, Sketch, and Indesign.

In this article, we will discuss one such program – Indesign. If you’re already using Indesign to edit and organize your documents, then you know how powerful and versatile it is.

Digital Painting

how many types of digital illustration

As we’ve discussed, digital painting is an artistic expression that does not require you to use or mix with other mediums. It’s also considered as a genre in and of itself!

Digital artists typically begin with a still life, nature scene, or character piece and develop it into something more. Artists choose from many different brush types and styles and blend them together to create beautiful pictures.

Some people may refer to these as illustrations, but they are not. That term refers to graphic design that does not involve using paint or mixed media. A well-designed image can be thought about very seriously, and therefore, it should be categorized under another term.

I like to call this new form of art digital illustration because it includes all of the defining characteristics of traditional illustrative work, but goes one step further by not requiring any mediums outside of computer graphics.

There are several programs that allow users to make their own illustrations. Some examples include Adobe Photoshop, GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program), PaintTool SAI (Short for Scalable Vector Graphics), and Manga Studio.

By practicing your hand-eye coordination, yourself or through trained professionals, you can pick up most anything needed to start creating.


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