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Thread: Absolute beginner!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2017

    Absolute beginner!

    Hi guys
    I recently bought a graphics tablet to use with a photography course I`m starting and I seem to have stumbled across digital art/software by accident. I`ve never really drawn or had any artistic bent before but I`m thinking its something I really could get into having bought a copy of Artrage 4 initially for the grandkids but liking what it can do. My question - Should I start to learn to paint the conventional way with brushes,paints etc or is it possible/best to learn painting by digital means?.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    You will probably enjoy learning both simultaneously. I do. I love the smell of crayons and the sound of a pencil moving across rough paper, but I also love that I can produce a "watercolor" drawing on ArtRage without having to wash brushes. Do both. You will have a wonderful time.
    Welcome to ArtRage, and to the forum!
    Sue Ellen.

  3. #3
    Well, it won't hurt to learn either before the other. And it wont hurt to learn both at the same time. But if you are comfortable working with the graphics tablet, I would suggest mainly learning digitally to start. That is before you start using actual paints and canvases. You'll save tons of money in that area and it will give you a bit of an idea of how to work with real paints. However working with real paint is different. It is a lot less forgiving, a lot more messy, but also you have a lot more freedom.

    Not sure what kind of art interests you (portraits, landscapes, concept, manga, etc) but a great solid place to start would be with Value scales and shading. You cannot go wrong here. Light and shadow is everywhere, applies to everything, and affects your work in incredibly dramatic ways. At the most basic level its what gives depth and shape to objects in your work. It's what will turn a flat boring circle into a sphere. When you get more creative you can change the lighting in your work to not only give shape to your work but to also change the mood.

    This also happens to be where you're going to feel one of the biggest differences between digital and traditonal. Blending. But either way you will need to learn it. You might start with basic shapes.. Sphere, Cone, Cylinder.. etc. Decide where your light is coming from and where your shadows fall. You can also hang a towel up and paint that. Whatever you do, really try to focus on the shading. After a little bit you'll learn how to apply it to nearly anything without a reference. Also pay close attention to different surfaces and textures. Dull, soft, rough surfaces(like a towel) will have very soft high lights and have nice soft gradients in rounded areas. Where as hard glossy surfaces (like chrome or a wet surface) will have very bright hard highlights and the shadows will be more like reflections. The gradients will not be very gradual and will look better if you place a bright hard high light right next to an extremely dark reflection with little to no blending between them. Hope this made sense and helped a bit.

    As far as getting good at drawing specific things like eyes, hands, feet, clothes, mountains, trees, bushes, whatever.. Most of these either have techniques that will really help or/and it just a matter of practice(as most skills are acquired by). Obviously for the nature stuff like mountains and trees.. you cannot go wrong with Bob Ross. Dude was a genius with this stuff and made it all incredibly simple.
    Last edited by CMDesign; 01-25-2017 at 03:35 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2017

    Thank you!

    Many thanks for the helpful replies guys, also just printed off the manual ,really quite in depth this software isn't it ☺

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