I want to start doing digital art as a hobby. Can anyone recommend any suitable devices and apps to use? Without racking a big cost. I heard Apple Ipad is good but it is too expensive, and my parents would never buy it for me even at my death bed. Any tips and courses I should do before I start?
The recommended platforms on a budget to learn from are: Skillshare and Udemy. With Udemy, I would always try to follow people who I am interested in, and try to buy when they're promoting courses at £10-15. Skillshare will set you back £10 a month.
Waicom is probably my favourite tool to look into, but a top end Waicom board will cost £2k. The top end iPad will cost roughly £1k.
I don't think you will need more than a standard tablet, but it will be slow and it won't be as good - the cheaper ones will cost £80 or so, but get a second opinion on this. Having said that, a second hand tablet is just as good, so long it's relatively recent.
I haven't really looked into the apps yet, but then again they always change. Adobe will be popular, but costs a bit. Blender, they say is not recommended. For the free ones, you might need to hunt around for them. I'd use the ones mentioned in the courses that you will buy.
As the above commenter mentioned, Wacom is the most popular brand of computer-connected graphics tablet out there, and while their highest-end and even mid-quality products are unfortunately scathingly expensive, they are incredibly reliable and my first Wacom (cost me ~£100, Intuos Draw range) managed to last me at least five years running. Other good brands that sell much cheaper tablets include Huion and XP-Pen, both of which I've bought from in the past and while the quality and durability of their cheaper products are barely comparable to a good sturdy Wacom, they definitely do the job and will last longer if you take good care of them. Pro tip, always remove the cable from your tablet when you're not using it and try not to disturb the inner ports too much if you've got a cheap one! I've had mine be rendered completely unusable because the ports literally fell apart from the inside. Only using your tablet at a desk also may help.
Cost also depends on whether you're fussy about having a working screen on your tablet or not. A display tablet, which works a bit like an iPad in that you connect it to your PC via HDMI and can show your work directly under your pen as you draw, will set you back much more money-wise than a standard graphics tablet and are naturally more fragile but if you can afford to invest I would highly recommend it. My current tablet is an XP-Pen Artist 12 with display (~£200, the cheapest i found!), after having spent years drawing without one, and at this point I wouldn't go back.
There's no drawbacks to using a non-display tablet, though, not at all - it just may take a while to get used to, looking up at a screen instead of down at your hands when you draw. All I can really say is persevere and don't worry if your artwork looks wonky or the drawing itself is hard to get a hang of for a little while. That's normal and after enough practice you'll be drawing with a tablet just as well as you would on paper, or thereabouts! One tip I picked up back when I was first learning to use mine was that if you make your sketch/initial drawing on paper, you can overlay that paper on top of your tablet and trace over it with your tablet pen. Then you can tidy up the traced drawing as you please.
As for software, the two main ones that I swear by are entirely free- FireAlpaca/Medibang Paint (functionally almost exactly the same, thus why i'm lumping them together) and Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, but it depends what you're after style-wise. Sketchbook Pro used to be really expensive software before the developers made it open-source in the past few years or so, which should be indication enough that it's a quality program! There's hundreds of free brushes available and you can achieve a style very close to traditional art through it compared to a lot of other programs, though learning the shortcuts and everything does take a little while. FireAlpaca/Medibang on the other hand is more of a "typical" drawing program that you might have seen others using, and in my opinion and that of many others they are The best alternative to more costly programs such as Paint Tool SAI or Clip Studio Paint. Very few features are available in the paid software that isn't in FA/Medibang, and those that are I don't really tend to miss. They can also double as somewhat of a photo/drawing editing tool with multiple options to apply colour or blur filters if you know what you're doing (though not as many or as technical as actual editing software, mind). The art you make in there is less similar to paint-and-paper traditional work but it's easy to pick up and easy to navigate, and there's also a really handy 'Correction' option for pens that smoothes lines and helps immensely with shaky or unpracticed hands. The only marked difference I can think of between the two softwares is that FireAlpaca allows an option to use "onion skin mode" for animation purposes, and Medibang has a cloud-based save service and a darker interface. That's really about it, though I'd recommend Medibang if you're not fussy about animation.
I hope this helped a bit despite its length! Digital art is one of the biggest things I'm passionate about;; if you have any questions I can try to answer them too!
im working with Adobe, as they're launching a new award recognising the best academic work that has creativity in its heart.
One lucky winner will earn a year's free tuition fees!!
We are looking for students to feature in the marketing to promote the awards. We want to celebrate their coursework, pay them for their involvement and they'll get great experience working with Adobe directly.
Whether you edited a graphic or video, built a wireframe or an app or even made a website or podcast we'd love to see the best work across the country and celebrate it!
if you’re interested, the link is below and if you could select ‘El’ when it asks who referred you that would b amazing!!