Top Tools for Creating Stunning Digital Art 

Creating digital art is a great way to express yourself and also offers a degree of versatility not found in traditional artwork. The final product can be saved as a JPEG file and stored on your computer or uploaded to social media sites such as Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram. Whether you’re looking for a creative outlet or trying to build up your portfolio, creating digital art is an excellent idea. There are several different types of software and tools that make it easy for anyone to create digital art from anywhere. I’ve experiment with a variety of digital art tools over the years and it took me awhile to finally settle on ones that fit my creative needs. Here are my current favorite tools and why you should try them.

IPad

Check out the IPad Pro here: https://amzn.to/3l2VG2X

Before I purchased my IPad Pro, I used a Microsoft Surface Pro. A Surface is more of a laptop in the shape of a tablet and runs a full operating system. While I still use it for business work, I don’t use it for digital drawing. I found the touch screen to be a little small, overly sensitive, not as good of a display, and it actually cracked after owning it only a few months and no misuse. Long story short, I was rather disappointed and began my search for a different drawing tablet. I kept hearing all these great things about using an IPad, so I finally took the plunge and decided to try it for myself. 

To say I was blown away is an understatement. I purchased the IPad Pro 12.9inch model and found the screen to be stunning. The size is perfect for all types of digital art and the color/display out does anything I’ve seen. This model comes with the new M1 chip which offers smooth and speedy performance. I’ve never had trouble with any lag while drawing like I had with the Surface. I opted for the largest storage size of 2TB since I planned to use it for large programs and graphics and I’ve yet to use even half of the space.

Another great feature is that there are so many compatible apps available for the IPad Pro now that you’ll likely find everything you need wether it’s for creating digital art, connecting on social media, business, or leisure. Overall, the IPad Pro is a great user-friendly choice for digital artists of any level. 

Apple Pencil

Check out the Apple Pencil here: https://amzn.to/3NbGLQ1

If you do get an IPad, I highly recommend also getting the Apple Pencil. This stylus is incredibly sleek and easy to hold. The Surface stylus I had prior never really did feel natural to me and had extra buttons on the sides which I always accidentally clicked while trying to draw. The Apple Pencil on the other hand simply just works as it should. The pressure sensitivity is highly impressive along with the tilt functionality which allows the creation of some truly realistic artwork.

One of my favorite features is that it is magnetic and attaches to the side (or top if you have your tablet landscape) of the IPad which doesn’t only keep all your tools together, but automatically charges the pencil. 

Magic Keyboard

Check out the Magic Keyboard Here: https://amzn.to/3swgRhW

The magic keyboard truly is magical. It acts as both a keyboard and tablet cover. My previous Microsoft Surface tablet also had the option of adding a keyboard. However, it attached at the bottom of the tablet and felt rather cheaply made for the cost. It would discontent frequently and didn’t hold up to frequent typing. 

The Magic keyboard, on the other hand, is cleaverly designed. The tablet locks in magnetically on the back and stays in place. It’s easy to tilt your tablet to any angle that fits your needs. The typing experience is easy and feels so much more solid and smooth compared to the Surface keyboard. In fact, I’m using it right now to type this article. 

I also really love the fact that the charger can plug directly into the keyboard powering the keyboard, tablet, and Apple Pencil all at once. Apple clearly listened to creative users of the IPad and designed these accessories in a way that work best for us. While a keyboard isn’t fully necessary for a digital drawing experience, it is rather handy to use for other applications, web surfing, and of course if you work with typography. I usually have my tablet connected to my magic keyboard when I draw as well simply because having it at an angle works better for me. 

USB adaptor

Check out the USB-C to USB Adaptor here: https://amzn.to/3Md44sL

While this tool may not be something you need, I found it handy especially since I come from a Windows background. I’m very used to using USBs and a lot of my external devices have USB connectors. One thing the IPad Pro lacks is a full USB port. Instead, they have a mini USB-C. In order to use a USB connector, you’ll need an adaptor like this one. I’ve used it several times especially when needing to transfer videos or images to someone else’s thumb drive. 

Drawing Glove

Check out the drawing glove here: https://amzn.to/3L99WBO

I actually purchased this drawing glove back when I used the Microsoft Surface tablet. This tablet was super sensitive to touch and couldn’t tell the difference very well between the stylus and the side of your hand touching the screen. The Apple IPad Pro does such a fabulous job detecting the difference that a glove isn’t essential. I have had a few times when placing my hand on the screen caused some unintended paint marks, but it is far less than what I experienced with the Surface. I’d still recommend getting a drawing glove as it will prevent accidental marks and also simply help keep your tablet more clean from skin oils. 

Procreate

Check out the Procreate app here: https://procreate.art/
Last but not least of my favorite tools is Procreate. If you’ve thought about getting into digital art, then I’m sure you’ve stumbled across the mention of Procreate and it truly does live up to the hype. The Procreate app is only available on an IPad since it was designed to use the full power of the IPad and Apple Pencil. 
I love the simple interface design for this app that allows you to keep focused on your creation. However, don’t let the lack of obvious buttons and tools fool you. Procreate is filled with top-end features that you’d find in Photoshop and more. Some of my favorite features include realistic brushes, customizable brushes, drawing assist options, layer functionality, easy undo, quick shape creation, quick color fill, the ability to export a time-lapse of your drawing, and more. I could probably write a book on all of the ways Procreate makes digital drawing user friendly. For me, it really helps being able to zoom in close to the artwork and have brush stabilization since I’m dyspraxic and have had trouble with writing and holding a pencil/pen my whole life. 
Procreate doesn’t just stop at digital drawing features. They also have animation and 3D painting abilities in their latest release. The possibilities are truly endless. If you’d like to learn more about using Procreate, go join our group here on DIYvinci Studio: https://www.diyvinci.studio/share/INqkCQO5Lt4xTod2?utm_source=manual 


Note: This article contains affiliate links. This simply means that I’ll earn a small percentage if you decide to purchase after you click on one of the links. I only promote items that I personally use, have tried, and love. 

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