In the ever-growing and competitive creative industry, being a digital artist isn’t easy - or cheap. But whether you’re a professional or new to the world of digital art, there’s certain tools every artist should have in their toolkit. And it may surprise you to know they’re not as pricey - or certainly don’t have to be - as you might think.
The key is working out where best to spend your hard earned cash and where you can afford to hold back a little. Here, we’ve listed four essential tools for digital artists, the majority of which won’t leave a gaping hole in your wallet.
Pencil and paper
The cheapest toolset imaginable is a pencil and paper. Yes, even if you’re working as a digital artist, a good supply of pens and paper is invaluable.
Building up a solid art foundation is key to creating original digital artwork as it means not simply relying on the capabilities of the software alone. By using these traditional but timeless tools, you can not only hone your artistic skills, you can also ensure all your creative ideas are captured with a quick sketch without the worry of technical limitations. Not only is a pen and paper much more reliable than a digital device, it’s often easier - not to mention safer - to carry around.
A good artist, whatever the chosen medium, should always carry a pen and some paper.
Working as a digital artist, the one thing you can’t scrimp on is a decent monitor. After all, how else are you going to really see how great your artwork is? Designed for designers, BenQ has a seriously impressive line-up of monitors in its PD range, all of which deliver absolute colour precision and ultra-high resolution to help designers fulfil their creative potential.
Empowered by BenQ’s exclusive AQCOLOUR technology and 4K UHD resolution, each monitor in the PD range equips designers with extraordinary clarity of fine details and depth of subtle textures optimised for visually intensive work in animation, visual effects, graphic and photography. It’s hard to believe the BenQ PD range starts at just £255. Incredible quality without the hefty price tag - what more could you possibly want?
This may seem like a no-brainer, but with so much creative software available, how do you choose which is right for you? First thing to do is work out your budget and intended use.
If you’re new to digital art or a hobbyist, using free digital art software like Krita or Gimp might be the best option. However if you’re a pro or aspiring to be, a more powerful, comprehensive application like Adobe Photoshop or Affinity Designer might suit you better, with both of these professional creative apps offering all the power and tools you could ever possibly need.
Drawing tablets have come a long way since the only option in town being a Wacom Intuos. Today there are options to suit all budgets – from powerful, feature-packed pen displays with high-resolution touchscreens, to mid-range and cheap drawing tablets that balance price with power. There are also three different options to suit workflow choice:
- Graphics tablet, which you draw directly onto with a stylus
- Pressure-sensitive pen displays, which are hooked up to a monitor
- Tablet computers, which can be adapted for drawing with an app
Make sure to check our best drawing tablet buying guide to help decide which product is best suited to your needs and bank balance.
Lead image courtesy of BenQ