What is digital illustration and how is it different from digital painting?

What is Digital Illustration and how is it different from Digital Painting?

The digital illustration refers to a non-traditional method of creating an image that offers a narrative. You can make this narrative tell a story, express a concept, convey a mood, or even sell a product. Let’s take a detailed look into the world of digital illustrations.

What Is Digital Illustration?

Digital illustration is part of the broad spectrum of new media art. In this art form, you create various elements, such as a character, prop, or environment, and use them to engineer an illustrative image. This image is created using digital tools, such as a tablet and a stylus, combined with illustration software and digital paintbrushes.

Digital illustration is not the same as computer-generated art or digital manipulation of photographs. Instead, it is an original work of art that you create from scratch.       

How Is Digital Illustration Different From Digital Painting?

Digital illustration and digital painting share specific common characteristics and experience some overlap. It is no surprise, however, that they have some differences as well. So let’s take a look at what sets these two art forms apart:

  • Digital illustration is an art that illustrates or explains a concept or an idea. Digital painting is a technique that helps to create art.
  • Digital illustration is not confined to painting alone. The illustrations can include digital drawings, vector art, collage, etc. Digital painting relates to an artwork created digitally using a tablet and software.
  • Digital illustration can be a stand-alone piece (such as a collage) or part of a larger work (such as a book with illustrated images). Digital painting is more often only a stand-alone piece.

Advantages of Digital Illustrations

There are several advantages of opting for digital illustrations. Some of the top benefits are as follows:

  • Digital illustrations provide endless possibilities to experiment with your work.
  • It is easy to fix mistakes in digital illustrations.
  • It is a fast and reliable way to create stunning artwork.
  • You need just a hardware component and software to get started.
  • It is a lot less messy to work on the digital platform than in the traditional mediums.

Types Of Digital Illustrations

Digital illustrations are of two major kinds: freehand digital illustrations and vector graphics.

Freehand Digital Illustrations

Freehand digital illustration shares many similarities with traditional illustrations created on canvas, paper, or other such mediums. The main difference lies in the procedure in which the illustrations are created. This type of illustration is done digitally.  

Freehand digital illustrations use various digital colours, tools, and brush presets to come up with stunning illustrations effectively. Different types of effects can be achieved using this method of illustration. It allows for a very smooth transition of light and shadows. Since it is a digital medium, it is easy to undo mistakes or edit your illustrations.

Freehand digital illustrations illustrate books, storyboarding, recreational art, various design processes, animation, etc.

Vector Graphics

Vector graphics refer to computer graphic images expressed using two-dimensional points and connected with the help of curves or lines to make various shapes. This category of digital illustration is typically stored in PDF, EPS, or SVG formats.

Vector graphics are characterized by their shape, definition, and clear outlines. However, it is not easy to make smooth transitions using this category of digital illustration. Vectors are used primarily to create illustrations for the web, including logos, posters, etc. You can rotate, stretch, and skew these illustrations to come up with different results.

Tools Used For Digital Illustrations

True to its name, a digital illustration is created using digital tools. The essential tools required for digital illustrations include a hardware component and software supplies.

1. Hardware

You need the hardware component to bring alive your digital illustrations. A tablet serves as an ideal gadget for this purpose. You can select from three main categories of tablets to use for this purpose:

  • Graphic Pads Or Digitizer Pen Tablets

They are the most basic form of graphic tablets. To create illustrations on this graphic tablet, you will have to draw over a touchpad using a stylus. In addition, this tablet has to be connected to a computer or laptop that acts as the tablet’s screen. This means you will have to look at the computer screen while drawing on the tablet to see the results.

It is an affordable tablet that needs very little maintenance.

  • Monitor Tablets Or Display Tablets

Monitor tablets come with an integrated screen. While this tablet allows you to see what you are drawing on the screen, you still have to connect it to a computer. This category of a tablet is more expensive when compared to graphic tablets, but it helps you get better control over your drawings.

  • All-In-One Tablets Or Standalone Tablets

All-in-one tablets are the most advanced category of tablets that you can use for your digital illustrations. These tablets come equipped with several essential features, such as a wide range of pressure limits, exceptional responsiveness, and palm rejection. In addition, you don’t have to connect this tablet to a computer screen as it can function on its own.

While it is the most expensive of the three varieties of tablets, it also offers many desirable features.   

2. Software

Another critical aspect of digital illustration is the software. There is a wide variety of software available that enables you to unleash your creativity. Some of the popular software used in digital illustrations are as follows:

  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Procreate
  • Corel Painter
  • Adobe Fresco
  • Affinity Designer
  • Adobe photoshop
  • Autodesk Sketchbook
  • Krita
  • Clip Studio Paint Pro
  • Gimp

In Conclusion

Digital illustrations and digital paintings are both excellent means to produce stunning images with the help of digital tools. The live interactive workshops on GoSocial can help you learn more about these art forms and improve your skills as a digital artist. The best part is that you can exchange ideas with fellow learners and learn from your favourite creators on the platform.

Why wait any longer? Join this enthusiastic community of artists and creators to fulfil your artistic aspirations.