Digital art isn’t just about creating something that looks cool. It’s also about making realistic-looking artwork. If you’re not sure how to make your digital art look real, especially with a Procreate brush, then read on for some helpful tips!
1. Get The Right Tools
There are many digital art programs available, each with its own range of capabilities. Which program you choose is about personal preference and what you’ll be using it for. The most commonly used software packages are Adobe Photoshop, Corel Painter, Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, ArtRage, Artweaver and Krita.
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2. Use A Graphics Tablet
Graphics tablets, such as Wacom’s Intuos range, are an essential accessory for creating digital art. They allow you to draw or apply the Procreate star brush directly onto the screen with a stylus or pen rather than using a mouse, which gives much finer control and allows for greater creativity when it comes to creating digital art. The latest models are also pressure-sensitive, enabling you to vary the thickness of lines just by changing the amount of pressure on the stylus.
3. Create At A Large Resolution
Creating at a high resolution gives you more detail and means you can print your work much larger than if it was created at a low resolution. It also gives you more flexibility when you’re creating art because you can zoom in and out of your work to see it at different levels of magnification, which enables you to see the detail that needs emphasising or removing.
4. Make A Habit Of Saving A Set Amount Each Time
When working on a digital painting or drawing, make sure you save your work regularly to avoid losing the file. Set aside a specific amount of time each day for working on your digital art and try to stick to this, so you get used to saving at regular intervals.
5. Make Sure You Have An Eraser When Creating Line Drawings
Digital artists tend not to use pencils in the traditional sense of the word, but instead adopt a technique of drawing with a ‘pencil’ tool. You can draw freehand by holding down the mouse button and dragging your stylus over the screen to create lines. However, this often results in jagged edges on curves which can be smoothed out if you have an eraser tool too, that will let you soften the lines and create a feathered effect for soft, fuzzy areas of your art.
6. Use Reference Material
References can include photographs or images from magazines and newspapers, even textures and patterns that may be useful when adding realism to your art. They also allow you see how light affects objects and can help with referencing materials such as fur, feathers and metallic finishes.
7. Create A Reference Library
It’s useful to create a ‘library’ of images that you may want to use when creating realistic digital art and choosing a free Procreate brush in the future. These might include textures, photographic references or even just interesting shapes that can be incorporated into your work to add subtle touches of realism without having to search the internet for the exact image you want.
8. Don’t Rely On Filters And Effects
Although they can be useful, you should think of image effects and filters as a bonus rather than an essential tool in creating realistic digital art. They’re great for adding special effects such as the glint of light on water or the texture of sand, but if you rely on them too heavily then you run the risk of creating art that looks overproduced, and less realistic.
9. Think About The Background Objects Behind Your Subject
The foreground and middle ground can be as important as your main focus in a scene when it comes to creating realistic digital art and selecting which star brush Procreate has. It’s easy to forget that there are likely to be other elements such as furniture or trees that you should consider when creating your artwork.
10. Add Depth To Your Work With Layers
Using layers is a good way of separating elements within your digital art so they can be worked on individually. For example, you might have one layer for the background landscape or scenery, another for the main focus of your scene and other layers which may include figures or an element of the foreground.
11. Scan Your Finished Drawings
Although digital art allows you to be more flexible than traditional pencil and paper, it can still be useful to scan the finished illustration into the computer. For example, if you’ve caricature-style artwork it would be easy enough to resize certain elements of your work using image editing software, but scanning your illustration means you can also play around with the levels for extra effect.
12. Make Sure Your Work Is Fun!
You don’t need to make realistic digital art all the time. Try different styles and techniques to keep yourself motivated, whether that’s pencil drawings or using photo-editing software to create mixes of traditional and digital imagery.
Digital art can range from photorealistic renderings of photographs to hyper-stylized cartoons and anime characters. However, one thing remains the same: it’s definitely not easy. So hopefully, these tips managed to make such an undertaking a little bit easier.