Getting Started with Digital Painting

The Basics - Quiz

Do you think you have the basics down? Take our quiz to double-check.

In this lesson, we cover the interface and its five main sections. These are the same for virtually any image editing software and you need to know them to find your way around.

Lesson Questions and Answers

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  • I’m assuming Gimp will do but would Krita be even better as far as freeware goes?

    Submitted 4 weeks ago by Patrick Hertel

    No answers yet
    • Really it just comes down to what ever program you find works best for ya.
      And of course, nothing to stop you from using both if you prefer!

      Submitted 4 days ago by darnhyena

  • Is there any value in my watching these lessons if I there is no place for Adobe on my systems?

    Submitted 4 weeks ago by Paul Bransford

    No answers yet
    • I believe there is if you get freeware like GIMP (which is close to Photoshop) or Krita (made for digital art)

      Submitted 4 days ago by Patrick Hertel

  • Hi, enjoyed the course, some great basic information but will you ever produce an equivalent course using GIMP?. I will never be able to afford photoshop so I need to learn how to be proficient with GIMP instead.

    Submitted 1 month ago by Stewart Maybery

    No answers yet
    • Having used both GIMP and Photoshop, there’s really not much of a need for a separate set of tutorials for GIMP. Many of the features in Photoshop are in GIMP as well, though you might have to look up how to use the GIMP equivalent is.

      That said, you can get Photoshop for the same amount per month as a CGCookie subscription or half that if you spring for the photographer’s package (which includes Lightbox.) This is one of the really nice things about the Creative Cloud subscription. It allows you to get those tools without shelling out hundreds of dollars up front. That said, you will be locked into paying that for a year, and canceling the plan is a pain in the butt (speaking from personal experience.) If you don’t like the idea of paying per month, Autodesk has Sketchbook Pro which will run $75-$100. Be warned that it is meant specifically as a digital drawing/painting app, much like Corel Painter, and the interface is much, much different. It does allow for custom brushes, layers, and layer blending modes, but it doesn’t have anything like the Liquefy tool that I’m aware of.

      Another App you may want to look into is Krita, which is open source and free. I’ve only been dabbling in that one, but it looks good and might be a worthwhile alternative to GIMP, though it seems Krita’s brush engine is a lot different from GIMP’s and Photoshop’s.

      I hope this helps you and anyone else wondering about getting Photoshop. I feel that it’s a worthwhile investment, but I know that several people are not happy with Adobe switching to a subscription only model. The main reason I stopped my subscription was due to financial reasons that are not as pressing now, and I am think about going for the photography option this time instead of the whole shebang (mainly because it’s cheaper than just getting Photoshop.) I think the model works well, even if it’s a monthly or annual expense rather than a one time cost.

      Anyway, sorry for going off on a tangent. I hope this helps you, or at least doesn’t muddy the waters more.

      Submitted 4 weeks ago by Adam Warnock

    • I work to try and make the tutorials non-software specific so even though I’m teaching in Photoshop, all the lessons and material can be applied to any software. I work with basic brushes and rarely use filters or Photoshop only tools to make sure artists working in any software can feel like the education can still apply to them!

      Submitted 1 month ago by Tim Von Rueden

      • Thanks for the replies, really helpful, very much respect this blender community

        Submitted 3 weeks ago by Stewart Maybery

  • I wanted to say Thank you for the Lessons and for including the Assignment file, it was very helpful to follow along and practice with. I am not by any means a traditional draw or painting artist and was hesitant to take this group of lessons but found it fun even though I use a mouse rather than a pen tablet.

    How did you create the dabs of color on the canvas to use with the eyedropper? I have not seen that that demonstrated before. I enjoyed using it and hope to be able to set something up and uses it in that manner again.

    Great lessons, Thank you!

    Thank you!

    Submitted 1 month ago by

    No answers yet
  • For digital art do I need a graphics tablet or am I ok with a mouse?

    Submitted 2 months ago by James Crofts

    No answers yet
    • You will have an easier time adapting traditional paper techniques with a tablet. A mouse is not pressure sensitive.
      Also, Monoprice has great tablets, at 1/3 the cost of Wacom. I use one. It’s great!

      Submitted 4 weeks ago by dval

    • Its worth getting a tablet I’m rocking a Ugee EX07 its great for the price like 70 bucks on amazon and its a 6 x 8 area.

      Submitted 2 months ago by artwithjustin

  • What was the shortcut for changing size and hardness of the brush depending if you took your mouse to the left, up, down, or right?

    Submitted 2 months ago by Thim Hansen

    No answers yet
    • Hey there, I explain the shortcut in the free blending tutorial starting at :36 seconds! You definitely want to memorize this shortcut!

      Submitted 1 month ago by Tim Von Rueden

  • Do you have any suggestions on how to choose the appropriate resolution for the canvas? I’ve always had a hard time understanding resolution. I always seem to either estimate too low, and can’t seem to get crisp lines and details, or way too high, and I make my laptop lag or crash. (I’ve been using GIMP 2.8 and 4 GB of RAM, if that affects the situation at all). I noticed you said canvas size would be address later in a customization lesson, but I didn’t see one right off. I’m not sure if that lesson isn’t uploaded yet, or if it’s somewhere I forgot to look, or what, but I wanted to start practicing and I didn’t want to start off on the wrong foot. Thanks!

    Submitted 2 months ago by vassternichdrauka

    No answers yet
    • It’s a tutorial we have to still post but as a general rule, stick to 300 dpi resolution and work on files larger than 8 inches (usually 11 x 14 is a good starter). Usually this works best for any given situation!

      Submitted 1 month ago by Tim Von Rueden