As seen with many of the products in this article, digital illustration is very popular these days. It is easily accessible to anyone who has an internet connection and some basic software. There are several ways to begin practicing your hand drawn illustrations. You do not need to be professional yet to get great benefits from drawing.

There are several mediums where you can publish your drawings including blogs, YouTube videos, and printed materials like books or magazines. This article will go over different types of digital illustrative apps that exist and how to use them!

These applications range from simple drawing programs all the way up to full blown design softwares such as Photoshop. No matter which one you choose there are things you can do to improve your style. By experimenting more, you’ll find ones that you love and that help you express yourself.

This article will also talk about what kind of styles people have used in past years so you can look back and learn something new.

Create a digital drawing

how to digitally illustrate

There are many ways to digitally illustrate. You can create vector graphics or illustrations in Adobe Photoshop, Manga Studio, Sketch, and other similar software.

There you can start creating your illustration from scratch or find yourself inspired by something already existent and add some features or detail to it.

You can also take inspiration from real life! This is very common in digital artists where they will use things like shapes, lines, colors and textures of things around them to make an interpretation of their design.

Another way to do this is called tracing. You can pick a object that you want to draw and trace all the lines onto another surface or file.

Practice drawing in different media

how to digitally illustrate

Choosing which tools to use for digital illustration is like choosing your favorite color — you have to be passionate about it! There are many ways to start designing with illustrations, so do not feel that because you cannot draw well then this style of art is not right for you.

All styles of digitally illustrated artwork can look very similar and even sometimes seem almost indistinguishable at first glance, but there are several key components used to create each style.

There are three main components in design theory called the colors, materials, and shapes. Each element contributes to defining the style of an illustrative piece.

The way these elements combine and contrast with one another makes up the overall theme or value of the artist’s style. For example, if the artist uses bright, strong primary colors together in large quantities, their work will be referred to as vibrant. Or if they use dark solid tones and heavy layering, their style is considered conceptual.

By using these concepts to develop your own style, you will know what parts of the process make yours more unique. You may also find new inspiration by looking into how other artists apply these theories to their work.

Learn to use Photoshop or another illustration software

how to digitally illustrate

While there are many ways to get inspiration for your illustrations, none of them require too much investment. You can take any type of image you like and edit it in an app such as Photoshop or illustrator.

There is no rule that says you have to do digital art! Many artists now learn how to create their own style through experimenting with different mediums and styles.

You do not need to be professionally trained in graphic design to produce beautiful work. All it takes is having a passion for creating visuals and learning from others’ creative works.

This article will talk about some easy ways to start designing and illustrating. We will go over some apps that can help beginner designers begin producing designs of their own.

Practice using a grid

how to digitally illustrate

Choosing your style is an ever-evolving process that depends heavily on what you like and how you want to use digital illustration. There are many styles of digital illustrations, but one of the most basic is called “digital painting” or sometimes just “painting.”

This type of drawing uses a regular grid as a framework for your design. Most artists start with this technique because it creates very balanced compositions.

The hard part is creating strong lines in the proper direction! Luckily, there are some easy ways to do so. You can either use vector tools (like InDesign) or pixel editing software (like Photoshop). Both give similar results.

Practice: Try designing your own picture using a grid! Keep practicing your hand drawings by starting with simple shapes then moving onto more complex ones.

Learn to use a cartoon style

Cartoon styles are one of the most popular ways to digitally illustrate. Creating cartoons is very fun and you can create lots of great designs this way!

There are many different types of cartoon styles that artists use to convey messages, develop characters, and make illustrations funny or dramatic.

Some examples include:

Roughly drawn lines with bold colors and shapes

Simple silhouettes (only shadows and shape)

Shapes that repeat in patterns or tessellations

Squiggles, scribbles, and messy looks

Detailed, soft, natural looking drawings

It’s easy to start creating digital cartoons by picking an element of the human body as your main subject. For example, a face, hand, foot, knee, elbow, etc. Then, add some background props or context for the image. It does not have to be totally realistic either!

After getting familiar with the basics of drawing people, then moving onto other parts of the body, try experimenting with more complex bodies like doing something beyond just keeping it simple.

Learn to use shapes in your illustrations

how to digitally illustrate

Shapes are one of the most fundamental forms used for creating digital art. They play an integral part in illustrating, designing or developing logos, apps, websites, and merchandise.

Shapes can be categorized as geometric, patterned, or form-based. Using shapes that relate to nature or life is another way to add depth to your designs.

This article will talk about some basic shape types and how to draw them. Then, we’ll look at ways to apply these styles into your own artwork.

Learn to use textures

how to digitally illustrate

Textures are an integral part of digital illustration. They can be naturalistic (resembling plants or clothing) or abstract (geometric, patterned, or shaded).

Natural texture images include things like brushstrokes, leaves, flowers, and other organic materials. Abstract textures consist of patterns such as lines, dots, stripes, or shaded areas.

Using textures in your artwork is very popular these days. Artists often will look up examples of each type of texture on sites and apply them directly in their illustrations.

Texture artists have special names for different types of textures they create. Becoming aware of those terms would help you start using textures in your own work!

If you want more inspiration, you can also take a look at our new collection here at TDA where we gathered all sorts of cool textures that people created.

Learn to use colors

how to digitally illustrate

Color is one of the most important tools in digital illustration. There are many ways to learn color theory, but for beginner artists looking to develop their drawing skills, there is no need to be too technical.

Color schemes are made up of three main components: hue(s), value (lightness or darkness) and intensity (how much each color contributes to the look you want to achieve). By mixing different shades of these colors, you can create lots of new combinations that make your artwork very beautiful!

Colors come in both natural and manufactured forms. Natural colors are produced by plants and minerals which we get from the earth. Artificial colors are not naturally occurring and do not occur in foods or products alone; they are mixed into materials or substances after the fact.

Natural colors tend to satisfy our eye more than artificial ones because they seem authentic. Try experimenting with natural colors such as red, green and blue flowers or leaves to see how well they work together. For example, red lilies have an intense color that appeals to the eyes, while white ones emphasize soft shadows and brightness.


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