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What's A Digital Painting?

Well I guess it's many things to different people but for me a digital painting is a painting done on a computer instead of a canvas. After extensively researching my subject I start with a blank white screen and do a very detailed sketch (1). Next I begin to rough in my colors under the sketch (2). I refine the details and colors to a higher and higher degree (3) until at last I have a finished piece of art (4). I tend to stay away from filters and computer effects to keep my work original.

1                                2                             3                               4   

It's like playing classical music on an electric guitar.

The following is a list and brief description of some of the hardware and software I use for my digital art.


Youíll need a computer to start with. I use a PC but lots of people swear by a Mac. The important thing is that you really load up on the video card memory and RAM. I would suggest at least 128m of ram or more. These programs will run with less memory but it really slows them down.

            You will also need a stylus pen. I use a Wacom Graphire Stylus Pen and an Aiptek Hyper Pen 8000. The Aiptek seems to be a better value at this time. You can get either of these at Comp USA  or on the internet.

            A decent printer is needed to see your work on real paper and show it to others.

            A scanner is very handy for bringing your sketches and art into the digital realm. 


Adobe Photoshop. This is the foremost graphics program around and is the one I use the most to paint with but it does many other things as well. There are cheaper demo versions of photoshop and they are good for getting to know the program.


Adobe Illustrator. This is more of a page layout tool than photoshop, but you can also draw some neat stuff with it. Illustrator is a vector graphic program so the images tend to be more computery looking.


Painter Classic. This is an art program with some really good functions like textures and brush strokes but it seems to be set up more to make a photo look like a painting than creating original art from scratch.


Poser 4. This is a 3D modeling program with human and animal forms. Itís a great reference tool for posing your figures.


Bryce. This is a 3D ray tracer I like to use to set up reference backgrounds, sky's, and liquids.


Adobe PageMaker. This is another page layout program that I use to make things printready.

This webpage was designed and published by John E. Kaufmann. All rights are reserved.