What is Digital Painting?

Any article which is created using digital technology is called a digital painting. More and more people are turning to digital painting nowadays as it has become easy compared to traditional painting. There are many reasons for that but, the first and the foremost one is because computers are fast and cheap and do not require a lot of material (art supplies), every time we have to paint something. It is less messy. Also, there is no waiting period (drying time).

  • How is Digital Painting different from Traditional Painting
  • History of Digital Art
  • Types of Digital Painting
  • Examples of Digital Art
  • How to get started?
  • Learn Digital Painting online

How is Digital Painting different from Traditional Painting?

Traditional Art does not involve computers or any kind of digital media. It involves the use of real canvas, brushes and paints.

Difference between digital painting and traditional painting

  Digital PaintingTraditional Painting
1.UnchangeabilityNothing is permanent in digital painting. You can undo whatever you want at any time.  Changing anything once done is almost impossible in traditional painting. Digital painting is more forgiving than conventional hand painting.    
2.Price pointThe only monthly/yearly expense is the expense of software. There are many softwares available in the market, expensive as well as cheap, some of them are even free. Other than that, all other things like a tablet or laptop/computer are one-time purchases.  Traditional painting is quite expensive in the long term. Purchasing brushes, paints, and canvas can get quite expensive.  
3.MessyIt is not at all messy.  It is messy. Setting up tools and brushes and later cleaning them can be tiresome and unpleasant.  
4.ResourcesA digital artist has a thousand different types and sizes of brushes, canvas, pencils, colors, etc., at the back of their hand.A traditional artist might run off of their tools.  
5. Conectivity Internet connection and electricity is required. It does not need internet connection.

But when it comes to the texture, the touch involved in a traditional painting, cannot be created in digital painting. And that is one of the reasons why there is still a huge market for traditional painting. Some people still prefer hand paintings for their homes and offices.

History of digital painting

It all started in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The earliest art on a computer was done by Frieder nake, who created an algorithm to draw different shapes. Then in 1967, two Americans, Leon Harmon and Kenneth Knowthon drew one of the first digital artwork called computer nude.

In the early 1980s, a painting program was created, which was used by Harold Cohen. It was the first time the term Digital Art was used. And Harold Cohen became the first digital artist. It was also the time when personal computers gained popularity.
And by the 1960s, many exhibitors were exploring and conducting digital artwork.

Types of digital painting with Examples

There are many types of digital paintings. Some of them are mentioned below-

  • 2D painting
  • 3D painting
  • Photo Painting
  • Pixel Art
  • Vector Art
  • Photo bashing
  • Fractal Art
  • Mixed Media

1. 2D Art

It is a 2-dimensional art which composes of length and width but does not have a lot of depth.

2. 3D Art

Painting texture directly onto a 3D model is called a 3D painting.

3. Photo painting

It is doing changes in a picture clicked with a phone or camera. It is an essential requirement every photographer needs to learn. 

4. Pixel Art

It is mostly used in games. This easy-to-animate art is created by using basic shapes.

5. Vector Art

It is algorithm based and does not pixelate. You can zoom these images as much as you want.

6. Photo Bashing

Photbashing is combining two different images and creating something which does not exist in real life. It is basically photo manipulation.

7. Fractal Art

These are patterns with intricate details.

8. Mixed media/ Hybrid painting

It is a mix of glass, ceramics, pottery, and photography.

Different examples of Digital Art






How to get started/What you will need for digital painting?

If you want to start and have no budget, then you can start with your laptop/computer only. First, learn the software (whatever you are using), and then gradually, you can switch things up. There is no need to wait and waste time. Yes, it is not the best experience because working with a mouse on digital painting is not something anyone wants to do. But it is better than waiting.

If you have some experience and want to invest in digital painting supplies, then these are the things you should be looking for.

You only need two things- a drawing tablet and a pen which comes with it and makes it really easy to draw. There are tons of drawing tablets available in the market which are affordable yet work wonderfully.

The two tools needed for digital painting are-

  • Graphic tablet/ all in one tablet
  • Softwares

Graphic tablets

If you are a beginner, start with graphic tablets. They are cheap. The graphic tablet comes with a pen and a touchpad. You can plug these onto your laptop or computer, as they don’t have a screen, our laptop will work as a screen. The only thing is you will have to get used to working with these.

Display tablet

If you have a little more budget, then go for display tablets. As these have a screen, you can directly draw on, unlike graphic tablets. These are a little more expensive but, you can draw more accurately on them. The problem with them is you will still need a laptop or computer to plug it into, which makes both displays and graphic tablets difficult to travel/carry with you.

All in one tablet

If budget is not a constraint for you, then go for all-in-one tablets. You will not need a laptop or computer for this.



It is the best software out there. If you have the budget, you can try it for free for a month. It is for Rs 699/month.


Procreate work for both Ios and iPad os. It is a good alternative to photoshop and, the learning curve in Procreate is easier than photoshop. But it is not available on mac or windows. It is only 9.99 USD for a lifetime.


If you want free alternatives, then you can try Gimp or Krita. Both of these are free. Krita is mainly designed for animation and digital painting and is available on android, mac, windows, chrome os, whereas Gimp runs on windows, mac os, and Linux.

Learn Digital Painting online

Best youtube channels for digital art learning

If you are a beginner start with these youtube channels and later you can enroll in an online course.

Read these tips if you are learning or thinking of learning Digital Painting – https://crazy-graphics.in/digital-painting-tips-for-beginners/

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