Transitioning from Paper to Pixel: Tips for New Digital Artists

Embracing the world of digital art can feel overwhelming, especially if you're transitioning from traditional mediums. The transition from paper to pixel, however, can be seamless with the right guidance. Whether you're a seasoned artist wanting to venture into the digital realm or a newbie starting your journey, these tips will help you adapt and thrive. For those looking for a more structured learning curve, consider joining our Safari Lounge Designer Classes for comprehensive support.

1. Picking the Right Tools

  • Digital Tablets: Start with something user-friendly. A brand like Wacom offers great entry-level tablets but today we mostly use the Apple iPad because it has the Apple Pencil which acts very much like a pencil and, last but not least, it has Procreate which is perfect for digital drawing. However, you don't need an iPad Pro to start out.
  • Software Choices: Adobe Photoshop and Procreate are popular choices for pixel-based work. If you prefer vector creation you might want to dig into Affinity Designer or Adobe Illustrator.

Quick Tip: Don’t splurge on the most expensive tools right away. Start small and upgrade as you become more proficient.

2. Understanding the Digital Canvas

  • Resolution Matters: Higher resolution canvases are better for detailed work but require more memory.
  • Layers: One of the biggest advantages of digital art. They allow you to work on different parts of your artwork separately.
  • Undo and Redo: Your new best friends. Mistakes are easier to rectify in the digital realm.

If you want to purchase a new iPad keep the first two things in mind: The less memory you have the less layers and the less resolution your canvas can have. Therefore you need to figure first what you actually want to create and what you need your iPad for. 

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3. Brush Up on Digital Brushes

  • Experiment: Software like Procreate offers a variety of brushes. Spend time understanding their effects.
  • Custom Brushes: As you advance, you can create or download custom brushes tailored to your style, that's one of the great things about Procreate and other digital art software!

Remember: A digital brush is an extension of your hand, just like your pencil or paintbrush. Get comfortable with it.

4. Colors and Palettes

  • Understanding Digital Color: RGB (Red, Green, Blue) is the color model used for digital screens while you might want to use CMYK if you send your work to an online printer. However, in each project we create together in the Safari Lounge we also create a canvas together so you know which one is perfect for your project.
  • Creating Palettes: Any software mentioned above allows you to create custom color palettes. It’s beneficial to maintain consistency in your artwork.

5. Practice and Patience

  • Replicate Traditional Techniques: Try recreating your traditional artwork digitally. It's a great way to understand the differences and similarities.
  • Regular Practice: Allocate dedicated time daily or weekly for digital art. It’s a new medium, and consistency will boost your confidence. Don't worry if your first painting doesn't look as good as it would on paper, that's part of the game! You need to get used to the new medium but it's worth the time and effort because you can easily take your entire studio with you!
  • Join Communities: Engaging with fellow digital artists can be enlightening. Share, learn, and grow together. You can do that on Instagram (with Hashtags), you can find Facebook Groups with like-minded people or, of course, you can join the community of the Safari Lounge!

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6. Dive Deeper with Safari Lounge Designer Classes

If you're looking for a structured way to master digital art, the Safari Lounge Designer Classes offers comprehensive courses tailored for artists transitioning to the digital platform.

  • Structured Learning: From basics to advanced techniques.
  • Community Support: Engage with fellow learners and experienced artists.
  • Exclusive Tips and Tricks: Get insights that aren’t commonly available.

Transitioning from paper to pixel is a rewarding journey. While it may seem daunting initially, with the right approach, tools, and mindset, you'll soon be creating digital masterpieces with ease. Remember, every digital artist started where you are now. Embrace the learning curve and consider joining our Safari Lounge Designer Classes for an enriched learning experience.

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