Hi Gail and thank you!
There are many ways of producing digital art but speaking for myself only, I paint digital pictures pretty much the same way as I would as if I were using real oil, or acrylic etc, on a traditional canvas. I use a wacom tablet and stylus for my brush. I do not use any filters, effects or digital tricks when I paint. In my opinion digital art is very easy to learn. The toughest part is learning how to use the programs. And thats not all that hard, at least for me because I only use the painting tools.
Digital painting gives you the option of simulating oils, acrylics, watercolors or almost any medium you can think of. It's also an excellent tool to work out a traditional painting before starting on the real thing.
There are advantages to it that you don't have in traditional painting such as an undo button. If you make a stroke you don't like you just click undo. Makes fixing errors pretty easy. You can also use layers and that has me kind of spoiled now as I really miss them when I am doing a traditional painting. YOu also have a color picker that will sample the colors if you have a reference picture to work with so you don't have to mix your own. lol
Having said all that I would highly recommend any artist give digital art a try. It's just another medium and enhances the traditional ones.