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bullyluvver
03-17-2006, 04:45 AM
Hi all,

Apologies for asking what you must've been asked a thousand times already, but I'm new to digital art and would like to know how to get started ie: which programme's are suitable for a beginner etc? I draw and paint in different styles on canvas, paper etc, and would really like to learn digital art too. I know some can use the mouse to draw but I find it awkward so would need something more pencil like. I've heard of Wacom but that's about it, I don't know anything else about it and I've never seen one. I've also heard that a mac is better for these programmes but I don't have one of those! Any help would be greatly appreciated. :)

Gail

fugitive
03-17-2006, 05:35 AM
A mac was better, yrs ago, now................
Psp is a good starter and senior one too, god knows I'm senior. For pads a wacom Graphire III is good, but at $80 a bit. There are cheaper ways to go, just search Google. Also ebay, as I got a Wacom Artz cheap and it's also good for any programs you want. I but everything on ebay, my digi cam and camera, my monitor, two Wacoms...........................

Yako
03-17-2006, 07:43 AM
Here's a link you would like to see. It ha squestionnaire which will help you choose which tablet best suits your needs: www.wacom.com.Good luck!

Skinny
03-17-2006, 08:06 AM
Welcome!

PSP, Painter and Photoshop are all great programs...any one of them will give you the tools to paint digitally.

I couldn't function without a graphics tablet! If price is an object, so with a less expensive wacom.

SabZero
03-17-2006, 11:36 AM
Note that a Wacom tablet comes with a version of Painter - sometimes you can even get a good deal on a bundle (tablet + full version of Painter).

If you want something like Photoshop, but don't want to spend money, try out The Gimp (http://www.gimp.org) - it's free (the interface is a bit different, but the functionality is close)!

Also, I would urge you to try out OpenCanvas (http://www.portalgraphics.net/en/) - it has only a few tools but the watercolour brush is just really nice (in my opinion) ;) Oh, I didn't try out version 4, I think it has more tools and brushes! Try out for 30 days, then only about 80USD (download only).

I think you'll enjoy working with a tablet. Good luck!

nadinbrzezinski
03-17-2006, 01:59 PM
Tablet, that is a definite

Now after that you can also find 30 day trials of programs at some mags, this month one has Painter IX and Dog Waffle two of my favorites, good luck (oh and GIMP, you cannot go wrong with GIMP)

bullyluvver
03-17-2006, 03:22 PM
Thanks guys for all that information! I have PS so no problem there. I should mention that I did try using PS with a scanned in image (my own) and tried the various brushes etc for the colour effects, but the mouse made it too difficult and I gave up. I definitely would like a tablet to try out, I'm sure I could do something worthwhile with practice? Can I ask, do any of you use the tablet and start a picture from scratch or do you draw the basics, scan in and then finish off with the wacom?

Greg...I don't mind buying on e-bay but what do I need to look for exactly? I just had a quick look and some are selling quite cheap without the stylus - is that a good way to go or would I be better off buying a full package?

Thanks again everyone
Gail

Splatt!
03-18-2006, 03:45 AM
Gail,

If you want to try out a tablet, Trust do an A5 one for about 30. I've seen them in Tesco and Argos. I actually started with one of their tablets, until I knew I could work with it. I then bought an A5 Wacom Intuos 2 off Ebay.
Also have a look at ArtRage as an introductory app. It is free and there have been some amazing paintings posted in this forum that were done on that package.

bullyluvver
03-18-2006, 05:37 AM
Thanks very much for that Steve - I never knew Tesco's were into that stuff? I have done miniatures so A5 shouldn't be a problem. I really appreciate the info everyone has given me.

Gail

Einion
03-18-2006, 07:50 AM
Apologies for asking what you must've been asked a thousand times already, but I'm new to digital art and would like to know how to get started ie: which programme's are suitable for a beginner etc? I draw and paint in different styles on canvas, paper etc, and would really like to learn digital art too.
I would have to recommend Painter simply because it's so very good at what it does but for a less painterly way of working Photoshop is great too. They're both expensive, Photoshop especially, so there are some freeware (shareware?) programs you might like to try if you're not sure.

I know some can use the mouse to draw but I find it awkward so would need something more pencil like. I've heard of Wacom but that's about it, I don't know anything else about it and I've never seen one.
Then I would unhesitatingly recommend a tablet and stylus. Wacoms are the market leader for a reason and IMO a smaller good-quality one is a better investment than a larger one that's not quite as sensitive.

There are a couple of past threads from the last three or four months about tablets with many more opinions if you're curious.

I've also heard that a mac is better for these programmes but I don't have one of those!
Then don't worry about it :)

Yako
03-18-2006, 08:12 AM
... I definitely would like a tablet to try out, I'm sure I could do something worthwhile with practice? Can I ask, do any of you use the tablet and start a picture from scratch or do you draw the basics, scan in and then finish off with the wacom? ...


It passes little time to get used to the tablet...quickly becomes second nature...and the same as drawing with natural media...:)

I nearly always draw from scratch using my wacom and imagination.....sometimes, and very rarely ( i think have done it about three times) i get the outline using some feature of software from an image and paint it.

bullyluvver
03-18-2006, 11:21 AM
Einion...Thanks for replying. Could you elaborate a little on Painter please? I always thought PS to be a better programme, but I've never tried painter so there's no reasoning behind that assumption.

Kareen...I've never even picked up a graphics tablet before, (unless you can count etch-a-sketch :D ) so I'm nervous and excited about trying one out! Thanks for the reply!

To everyone else, what size tablet do you work with, and which size would you prefer or like to work with?

Gail

justjean
03-18-2006, 11:46 AM
Gail I use a Wacom Intous 3 size 4 x 5 and I love it , it's plenty big enough for me , as for how I start ... just by painting, sometimes sketching and sometimes tracing :)

del m
03-18-2006, 12:02 PM
I have just started in DA and find it very interesting. No clean up (LOL).I have a mac and use a tab (Wacom) surface area is 4x6 ) I have started a picture (3 ladies)(posted here in this site) did it in paint (in mac) then moved it to artrage(free download). Artrage has neat feature called trace. After I did my free hand in paint I saved it then used it as a trace in AR and added color to it.As I said this is all new to me, a challange, but here ,with the help you can get, it makes things a bit easier. Greg- ebay is cheap, yes, for US citizens. But here in CN. shipping and duty is a killer.

gigih
03-18-2006, 01:25 PM
gail, no doubt, you're gonna like digital art. I started out doing oils and watercolors and now i'm positively hooked on digital.for starters, don't spend money yet. go to www.freeware.com and download either gimp or project dogwaffle. I know dogwaffle has free how to's and tutorials.Explore one of these first to see how you like digital. I personally recommend either painter or psp. (I simply don't know enough about photoshop) Psp to me is simply a cheaper version of painter (minus a few bells and whistles).AS far as a tablet goes, definitely recommended, but not required for starters. You can check out my digital website,all images were done with only a mouse. (I 'm planning on asking santa for a wacom this year).Also some great tutorials right here by roger elliott.

digistyle
03-18-2006, 02:17 PM
Here's a mini care package of free software programs for you.
Project Dogwaffle Freeware Version (http://www.squirreldome.com/cyberop.htm)
Pixia (http://park18.wakwak.com/~pixia/)
Artrage (http://www.ambientdesign.com/artrage.html)

While you're trying to decide on a tablet, I've found that its easier to paint with a mouse than to draw with one. So, you may want to scan some linework onto the computer and tryout the tools on the scan. That should be easier on your wrist.

digistyle

cpart
03-18-2006, 02:18 PM
Gail - Like you I've been tempted to have a go at digital art. So I've now got a Wacom Intuos3 A6 tablet. Its the smallest one in the range, but that is not a problem. I've been using it for a good few hours today and don't find the work area size a problem. It came with Corel Painter 2 Essentials, which I think is a cut down version of Painter. So far I have been pleased with what I have managed to do with it. I have loads to learn, but have a feeling I'm going to be hooked on did art :D Oh yeah I use a PC with Windows XP installed.

Another good thing about DA is its easy to erase a mistake, even in colour!!!

bullyluvver
03-18-2006, 03:52 PM
Justjean & del-m...is that the overall size of the tablet or just the usable workspace? I have to say it doesn't sound very big - how do you manage to do a large picture on such a small workspace?

Gigi...I don't have any experience with psp, and PS came free :thumbsup: so I can't grumble, lol!

cpart....erasing - yuk! I seem to be spending more and more time in front of the computer these days so I thought I might as well go the whole hog and try DA. I've been really wanting to have a go for a couple of years now, but never had anyone to go to for advice. Thank goodness for WC!

digistyle...thanks for the links!

Gail

beautifulfreak
03-18-2006, 08:29 PM
I'd thought i'd put my 2 in about the difference between painter and photoshop. Now I have an older version of painter so the newer versions of painter could work different. Photoshop as the name would suggest would be first and foremost a photo manipulation program, i'll even venture to say it is the best in the business of photo manip. programs. Photoshop is expensive , Photoshop Elements is the downsized version and is under $100 and works great. Painter as the name would suggest an image creation program that makes images appear to have been created with traditional media such as paint, I like it, I does more than I have ever yet been able to try. That said you can use photoshop to create images from scratch(and i often do) and Painter can be used to manip. photos(tho I never have). I think both are essential to the work I now produce. My advice get both.

As for the tablet, I love my wacom but I can and do draw with my mouse so i wacom is not as essential as the right programs for me.

Splatt!
03-19-2006, 04:24 AM
Gail,

The size of the tablet (A5, A6) refers to the size of the usable area. I have an A5 Wacom, which has a usable are of 8" x 6". The overall size of the tablet itself is 13" x 10". The usable area maps to your computer screen, so touching the pen in the top left corner of the tablet would position your cursor in the top left corner of the screen. Placing the pen over the bottom right corner positions the cursor in that position on the screen. It's different than with a mouse, as with a mouse, unless you have a very big mouse mat, you will have to lift your mouse back onto the center of your mouse mat to scroll from one side to the other.

SabZero
03-19-2006, 08:33 AM
I think your screen resolution also plays into how big a tablet you need. If your resolution is 1024x7 (something), then I think you don't need the biggest (A3) out there.

Also consider where you will have your keyboard, as you are likely to use it at the same time (although recent tablets have programmable buttons)...

bullyluvver
03-19-2006, 09:23 AM
BF....I didn't know the difference between PSP & PS so thanks for the info! I had a go at drawing with the rodent - no chance! Carpel tunnel problems don't help either.

Steve...thanks again - you explain things very well. I don't think I'd be able to manage with anything less than an A5 somehow? I'd need a bigger desk to accomodate a bigger mousemat, lol!

SZ...All things are being taken into consideration - thanks for the advice!

Gail

fugitive
03-19-2006, 11:39 PM
Thanks guys for all that information! I have PS so no problem there. I should mention that I did try using PS with a scanned in image (my own) and tried the various brushes etc for the colour effects, but the mouse made it too difficult and I gave up. I definitely would like a tablet to try out, I'm sure I could do something worthwhile with practice? Can I ask, do any of you use the tablet and start a picture from scratch or do you draw the basics, scan in and then finish off with the wacom?

Greg...I don't mind buying on e-bay but what do I need to look for exactly? I just had a quick look and some are selling quite cheap without the stylus - is that a good way to go or would I be better off buying a full package?

Thanks again everyone
Gail
You came to the right person, as I did tonns of research and even became friends with a lady in Wacom. The new pens are $30, so that's a lot, as I bought 2 Arts Tablets for $56, one with a pen, and one with a transform, both, hardly used, as peeps who sell them, are ones who didn't get it, and spent very little time using it, this was the Intuos of a few yrs ago, and is better than any Graphire or other brand, I researched. BTW, Mine are 6x8" which is a great size for me, lotsa room.

bullyluvver
03-20-2006, 03:22 AM
Greg,

I think I've narrowed down my choice to Intuos 3 size 6 x 8" purely through the great help I've received here and researching the forum. There are always some on e-bay and I'm watching a few now but price will be a big factor, size too - I doubt my desk would accomodate a bigger one!

Gail - love your work BTW.

Einion
03-20-2006, 03:25 AM
Einion...Thanks for replying. Could you elaborate a little on Painter please? I always thought PS to be a better programme, but I've never tried painter so there's no reasoning behind that assumption.
A few years into learning to use Photoshop I used to joke that if it could make coffee I'd marry it but Photoshop does one thing and Painter does another - they're both the market leaders in their respective fields.

Photoshop is much better at photo-editing, colour correction and other jobs like that, from the basic to the very advanced. You can use it to paint in certainly but the look tends to be smoother and less 'organic'.

Painter is made for simulating natural media and I don't think anything can touch it in this area. It is very flexible and powerful and most users seem to barely scratch the surface of what it can do (myself included).

By the way for more on the difference between the two types of tablets it's best to go directly to the source: Intuos (http://www.wacom.com/productinfo/intuos.cfm), Graphire (http://www.wacom.com/graphire/index.cfm).

Einion

AndieW
03-20-2006, 04:29 AM
My 2p's worth!

I use a Wacom Intuos 3 A5 size and find it excellent. I guess the larger the better but this size suits me as I use a laptop and it fits in the same bag too which is a bonus. I haven't found the size restrictive at all up to now.

As for software my tablet came with a copy of Painter Essentials ( a cut down version of the big app ) which is an excellent program and certainly more than enough to get started.

I think there is little doubt that Painter 9 is 'probably the best' but is also 'probably the most expensive' too !! ( about 300 I think ) I personally decided I would be paying for a lot of flexibility I didn't really need.

I found that Artrage had the best feel coming from painting in oils but it is really a personal thing. I suggest trying all the free to download ones and take your pick! Note that the free version of Artrage doesn't have 'layers' though ( something I consider essential ) so is a bit restrictive, but the full version is around $20 so isn't going to break the bank if you decide you like it!

Good luck and have fun!

Andie

cpart
03-20-2006, 10:13 AM
Gail - I have the A6 size, which has a work area about 5 x 4, which sounds small. The size isn't a problem, because you are looking at the cursor on your monitor, so you soon get used to moving the pen in relation to the position of the cursor. The only thing I have found with it, is hitting the buttons on the pen by accident!! menus suddenly pop up!!

digitalken
03-20-2006, 12:11 PM
Hi all,

Apologies for asking what you must've been asked a thousand times already, but I'm new to digital art and would like to know how to get started ie: which programme's are suitable for a beginner etc? I draw and paint in different styles on canvas, paper etc, and would really like to learn digital art too. I know some can use the mouse to draw but I find it awkward so would need something more pencil like. I've heard of Wacom but that's about it, I don't know anything else about it and I've never seen one. I've also heard that a mac is better for these programmes but I don't have one of those! Any help would be greatly appreciated. :)

Gail
Most importantly, don't be afraid to try stuff and make mistakes... The computer won't blow up if you play with a program! Making creative decisions faster as opposed to repainting or erasing on canvas or paper... that's what keeps me hooked.

Scan in a few photographs and then punch them around to get a feel for 'effects'... Good luck and a big welcome to the digital world.

Ken

bullyluvver
03-20-2006, 03:18 PM
Einion...thanks for elaborating on PSP - it really helps.

Andie....Thank you for your input. :)

Stu...lol, I really hadn't thought about it like that - thanks for pointing it out!

Ken...yes I'm afraid I do expect the computer to blow up at times. I must look incredibly silly sitting there with my eyes shut waiting for it to happen. And why I cover my ears, I'll never know! :D

Gail

Elvira
03-21-2006, 10:25 AM
bullyluvver, Einion was talking about PhotoShop not PSP which is Paintshop Pro now owned by Corel, it is my image editor of choice it is a whole lot cheaper than PS or Photoshop and will do most things tha PS will, so if you are just starting out PSP is likely the best bang for your buck as and image, photo editor/manipulator, Fugitive uses it for many of his paintings as well.
Edie

justjean
03-21-2006, 10:38 AM
Edie's right PaintShopPro is a great program :) it's now up to PSP10 but I still use PSP7 as the newer versions seem to be geared more to manips and such

bullyluvver
03-21-2006, 12:51 PM
Thanks Edie - seems I got a bit muddled there?

Thank you too Jean!

Gail

TxAggieDarlin
03-21-2006, 12:58 PM
I think if you go to Corel.com, you can try Painter for free......it is a wonderful program

dk_art
03-21-2006, 01:22 PM
If you want to spend some money get a wacom graphire tablet.

http://www.wacom.com/graphire/index.cfm

You will not only get a pressure sensitive pen and tablet but also Photoshop Elements and Painter Essentials. I think that is a great way to start off

http://www.corel.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=Corel3/Products/Display&pfid=1047024307407&pid=1047025757941

http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshopelwin/main.html


"Graphire4 Software Bundle - Adobe Photoshop Elements 3, Corel Painter Essentials 2, nik Color Efex Pro 2 GE, Evernote Plus, and JustWrite Office 4"

Click to watch the informative movie on Painter Essentials 3 (keep in mind the graphire tablet comes with Painter Essentials version2)


I personally think this would be the best deal if you want to spend a bit of money.

bullyluvver
03-21-2006, 03:15 PM
Thanks for the links TAD - I'm going to have a bash and see how I like it!

David...Thanks for that very informative link - it's made me all the more determined to get a tablet now!

Gail

fugitive
03-21-2006, 06:34 PM
If you want to be a real painter, and Artz is still better, without any addons and no book or anything.

gigih
03-21-2006, 10:30 PM
reading everything here made me want to try one of the free downloads mentioned. this is am image i created after trying the project dogwaffle. I highly recommend this program, especially if you just want to check digital art out. This was done using a mouse. (my wacom is in the mail).The program has very "real" feeling brushes and paint that represent oils, watercolors, patels etc. Definitely worth exploring.http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Mar-2006/71803-dogwaffle-pain.jpg "Pain"
I think I'll try a more restrained landscape next and let you know how it works out.

Tatiana.M
03-22-2006, 02:54 AM
Hi Gail...your going to just love going digital!!! No clean up! I got a Intuos 3, 6x8 tablet and I LOVE it! I love playing and trying different things with the programs as well. I use Painter9, PS CS2, and have just discovered Deep Paint, which is a free program as well (from what I understand up until fairly recently it was used by grafic designers and was quite expensive).

Also there are some wonderful people in here that are very talented and love to share their knowledge of digital art! I have learned so much, and always come back to look and learn some more.

To everyone else...Gail is wonderful artist...you must check out her site! Of course we have a lot in common....like bull terriers...lol.

Tat

bullyluvver
03-22-2006, 03:49 AM
Thanks again Gigi & Greg! Cool picture Gigi!

Tat, thanks for the compliment and DITTO! I find your art (along with everyone else's digital art) facinating. And yes...we do share common ground with our beautiful bullies, lol!

Gail