We’re constantly extolling the virtues of digital art tools and technologies on this site, aligning ourselves with the general global trend toward technology. That trend is as alive in the world of art as it is everywhere else. When it comes to learning and for beginners in particular, we cover many of the tools required to learn here and here, but it is also important to know where and how to learn the techniques required to use them.
…and so in this article, we’re going to cover the topic of digital art tutorials for beginners, where we are going to run the full gamut of experience levels to ensure you are learn the full range of skills as you work through the tutorials.
And now, without further ado, let’s find out what digital art tutorials are out there!
Digital tutorials for beginners
1. Beginner’s guide to become a digital artist
Becoming a great digital artist isn’t a walk in the park. It takes hard work and determination. That said, the kind of workflow and software you pick for yourself matters a lot. With the right workflow, you could shave several hours off your development time and have more skills with which to express your creativity.
This video guide is just what you need to teach you the right workflow. The tutorial walks you through all the equipment and software you might be interested in as a beginner, explaining the details for each piece of hardware and software and how to use it effectively.
The host also talks about the features you should look for when shopping around for equipment and software, including the kind of quality and cost range you should prefer.
The host is an experienced artist, and for part of the video offers valuable tips on how to build your artistic skills, especially in the beginning when things might be overwhelming and confusing.
2. Tips for beginner digital artists
Alright, you’ve already learned how to use digital art hardware and software. The next tutorial should ideally be something to give you tips on how to succeed as a digital artist.
This particular tutorial has golden tips for beginners and advanced digital artists alike. These tips should help you produce great work early in your career and gain confidence to do more. By the end, you should know what you can do to improve your workflow and a deeper understanding of the requisites of mastery.
3. The basics of digital art
The vast majority of this video is a general discussion of digital art. However, around the 3-minute mark, the artist begins a tutorial. To be entirely honest, it’s more of a demo than a tutorial. However, the artist is careful to explain everything he’s doing and talks about the tools he’s using.
This video is pretty fun to watch, as you can see the artist bring a character to life from scratch right in front of you.
4. Digital painting: a simple method for beginners
If you’re interested in painting and need a tutorial to help you dive right into it, then this is a great place to start. This video goes into the details of using a simple large brush. You will learn a simple coloring technique using basic colors. The tutorial goes in-depth on how to build forms before teaching shading.
Once done with creating forms the tutorial goes on to teach shading and blending. You will also learn a lot of useful keyboard shortcuts to help you pick colors quickly. By the end of your video, you should have much more confidence about your digital painting skills.
5. Portrait painting beginner’s guide
Many beginning digital artists aspire to be good at portraits. It’s fun to be able to draw a realistic picture of someone and it can also make for lucrative freelancing. That said, digital portrait painting can feel quite intimidating to the uninitiated. This video tutorial seeks to present it in a simple and exciting way.
The tutorial will walk you through the whole processing of making a portrait, starting with the preliminary sketches and going all the way into the details.
The tutorial involves tracing the portrait off a picture to get the form. This is because it’s more about building painting skills than sketching skills. You may need to watch other tutorials to learn about the sketching. This tutorial can then help you build your painting skills as you build a portrait.
6. Basic rendering methods
If you would like to learn how to render in Photoshop, you will love this tutorial. It’s a basic tutorial, as the title suggests, but it goes into detail explaining many of Photoshop’s tools for drawing and rendering. The tutorial goes through the entire process of sketching a creature, outlining it, and then painting it.
All of these happens within Photoshop so you will not only learn to draw, but also lots of Photoshop features and shortcuts.
7. How to blend colors
This is yet another pretty cool Photoshop tutorial. In this one you will do a deep dive into brushes in Photoshop, including their capabilities and how to alter the settings to suit your purposes.
You will learn how to control the effects of brushes using textures and also which settings and brushes are best to use while making portraits. You will also learn about color blending with brushes, whether you’re going for a smooth or choppy look.
8. Landscape painting tips
Landscapes are a pretty integral part of concept art, and you will have to be good at them if you want to take your art to the next level. You will need landscape drawing skills in a lot of different artist work, such as fan art, illustration, animation, and even video game design.
This tutorial will teach you some simple but powerful basics to help you create incredible landscapes. It starts from scratch with the sketching, all the way to the painting and rendering.
You will learn how to quickly create landscapes by using large brushes to cover more area, as well as how to blend colors so the end result looks realistic.
9. Painting basic foliage
Building on the skills you learned for making landscapes above, you can get better at filling in the details by learning how to draw and paint foliage. This tutorial goes into the basics of creating foliage on bushes and trees without having to draw every single leaf.
This is a common trap that many beginners fall into, so this tutorial will help you overcome it.
The host is an experienced and articulate artist, going into the details of different brushes and colors and how to use them to your advantage while creating foliage. This is also a great tutorial to teach you some useful still life drawing and painting skills.
10. Elephant digital painting tutorial
This is more of an intermediate level video tutorial, but it has a lot to teach. It is by the Disney artist Aaron Blaise, so expect to learn some valuable tips from an industry expert. In the tutorial, he uses images as inspirational references and then makes original drawings.
This video is a seriously deep dive into Photoshop, and shows you lots of cool things the application is capable of. You will learn to take full advantage of the software’s tools to create truly great art that would be near impossible to make with traditional art tools.
The tutorial also goes into detail about the process of developing sketches, with tips on how to keep them organized while you brainstorm on what to draw and how to do it. You will also learn lots of rendering and texturing skills. It’s a bit of a long tutorial, but by the end you should have learned a great lot.
11. Painting skin tones
Part of being good at drawing and painting people is being able to capture their skin textures and tones. This seemingly mundane aspect of portraiture actually has a lot to it and takes a while to master.
In this tutorial, the artist takes you through the entire process of creating different skin tones. She starts with a mid-tone background and then colors on top of it, adjusting transparency and picking different colors as necessary to shade and highlight the face.
Learning to paint skin tones is pretty important, even if you won’t be working with typical skin tones in your work (like if you do concept art, for example). This tutorial should help you learn to pick the right colors for anything you’re drawing, whether it’s a character or a plant.
12. How to paint hair and fur
Finally, this tutorial is about painting fur and hair, which is a very important skill if you’ll be drawing lots of animals and people. Painting skin may be as simple as getting the tone and texture right, but fur is a lot more complicated. Once you learn, however, your drawing skills can go to the next level. Ditto for hair.
In this tutorial you’ll learn how to render shadow and light when drawing fur and hair. The tutorial also goes in-depth about the different brushes you can choose for this task and how to use them to get the end results you’re looking for.
And with that we come to the end of our short article. As you can see, digital art is an exciting and diverse field with a little something for everyone. Hopefully, by trying the tutorials above, your skills will grow and your interest in pursuing digital art further will be piqued. Until next time, happy drawing!