Digital Drawing or Traditional Drawing or both?

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    I have a drawing tablet but I also want to draw with my hand. I am much better with my hand. Can you guys give me advice, I would love to be good with both. How much should practice each every day? Should I just stick to one?

    Sorry if somebody else asked this already.


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    Hi Orzen,

    The easy answer is to recomend practicing both, either splitting your practice sessions into two (drawing tradittionally for the first half, then digitally for the second half) or alternating between the two every other practice session. Using a drawing tablet is it’s own skill and as you might have experienced, being able to draw well on paper doesn’t translate perfectly to the digital world.

    However, I think the best way to decide how to practice would be to figure out what your artistic goals are. What kind of work inspires you? Is it traditionally rendered or is it digitally made? Do your goals include branching out to other mediums like painting, animation or comics? Basically if you have an idea of the kind of work(s) you want to create going forward, it’ll be easier to decide how important working digitally is.

    Also, in terms of how much time to practice, it sort of depends on how much time and stamina you have in a day. Honestly it’s better to draw consistently, even for just 30mins a day then have long but irregular sessions. How much do you draw currently?


    First of all, thank you a lot for this reply.

    This is some of the work that inspires me design wise, most of it looks digital too me.

    I also very fond of Anthony Jons, Chat Zar, Alex Gray.

    I am would like to achieve the level of these anatomy studies I think it is necessary.

    I am interested in character design, anatomy, comic book illustration, probably a comic book somewhere in the future.

    I would like to imagine my own characters, design them with relativly realistic detail and then 3d model them, print them and then paint them. (for now this is my end goal).

    At the moment I am able to give 30 minutes-1hour a day of work(it depends on the day).

    When I think about the end goal, I don't have a specific date at mind when I want to be at that level. But I am here asking for advice because I do want to be there as fast as possible.




    Definitely looks like you’re headed in a digital direction! There’s nothing to say you can’t combine hand drawing and digital workflows either, such as doing the base sketch by hand, scanning it (or snapping a pic), importing it and then doing a digital painting overtop. In the case of comics, you could sketch by hand then ink and colour digitally.

    I think I would suggest alternating the use of the tablet every other drawing session. As a suggestion, you could draw by hand when doing anatomy studies, which would allow you to focus on the study and draw accurately without having to fight to get the lines right as you might with the tablet. On alternating days, you could focus on rendering by following along with some digital painting tutorials on YouTube to continue improving those skills. That way you can focus on separate, but complementary skills, without having to choose between one form of drawing or the other.

    Hope that’s of some help to you!

    • Flarebrush edited this post on January 31, 2019 7:26pm. Reason: spelling

    I have tried my hand at digital and I just do not like it. It loses the tactile reaction that I need.
    But that is me.

    My mediums are oil, pen and ink, and graphite.

    And I practice in different ways.

    I do life drawing in Graphite weekly.

    I do 10 minute daily practice in pen and ink.

    I go to oil when I really want to just dig in and work on something long.

    And then when I feel inspired to do a longer image I feel out what is right for me.

    So I would reccomend set up consistent rhythms around practicing in your preferred mediums. And if one medium leads you toward one style and the other medium another style. Follow it.

    Maybe do a morning practice session as part of your daily routine. And if digital is what gets you moving because the minimal set up, do that. Or if setting up the computer and getting the tools together slows you down, but a sketchbook and pen or pencil gets you started. Follow that.

    But I strongly reccomend that you create a pattern of practice that works for you.

    If you want to see how that worked for me you can see my work on Instagram on Hornet.c.a or FB under Hornet Of Justice Art.
    My insta feed shows you how I move through the mediums focusing on each for a time.


    As some who's learning to draw basically exclusively on a tablet, I think it's also worth considering what programs you want to practice on for the digital stuff. Things like PhotoShop and Krita can handle more painterly styles, while other programs are more suited to lineart. Also, you'll save a lot of storage space if you practice at lower resolutions than you'd use for a finished piece.


    Both. Both is good.

    The Pinterest board up thread looks fairly digital, but it’s also quite similar to the kind of art Wizards of the Coast commissions for Magic the Gathering, or that SFF houses like for book covers. And practically speaking, that means even if the exact pieces on the board are all digital, the artists were inspired by artists working with physical art materials. Most magic cards have an actual physical painting for the card art. (Seriously, Magic cards or Pokémon or Yugio or whatever cards are an art education ok?) There’s some book covers that are photos or all digital, but the average still is a physical painting.

    Comics and manga usually start out on paper, with pencil. You can (and many webcomic artists do) work digital for the sketch/pencil stage, but stuff that gets published by a big imprint probably started on paper. The covers are usually physical paintings. The color inside is probably digital. The ink might be digital or physical.

    The way you mentally take a picture apart to try to imitate it is the same no matter how the artist worked. It works just as well on Dürer ink drawings and Studio Ghibli watercolor concept sketches as on Loish all digital stuff.


    I've been drawing/painting with Photoshop and Corel Painter for decades.... However hubby just bought me an Ipad for easy transport - Not used to Procreate yet but I'm sure I will get the hang on of it.. I just wanted it to practice sketching... and then transfer it to the big daddy computer and finish it off..

    I also draw traditonally but I've been a digital artist for so long it's just easier for me to work on clients pieces and it allows me to be more
    creative without fear of having to start over...

    Lately I have been very facinated with Watercolor both digitally and traditionally... I love oils as well :)

    I plan on practicing 7 days a week. I look at it as a lifestyle not a goal. I've been drawing since before I could walk ..

    Have a great day everyone!!


    • Tara edited this post on April 2, 2019 5:57pm.

    Hello everyone,

    I think that digital creation should not replace traditional creation. It's just another medium.
    I use my ipad with Procreate or Adobe Sketch but my approach is similar to the traditional.
    I finally only use 2, 3 brushes and these brushes look very much like the traditional look.

    The good thing with an ipad (for example) is to move where you want without having to take out all the material.
    There is only the problem of the battery...

    It is convenient but it will never replace the traditional.
    I am convinced!


    In a way, comparing digital drawing with traditional drawing is the same as comparing oil painting to watercolors; it's just different mediums.

    The basics are the same, and someone who draws well with a pencil can draw well with a stylus, but like learning oil painting, there's some technical adaptation, some things you have to learn and others that you have to get used to.

    The answer is up to what you wanna become in the future; do you want to be a digital artist? Then yeah, practice it!


    I prefer traditional art.

    This is why: (I have not read all past post, sorry if something was already said. I will focus on my own opinion so if you love digital art stop reading. This is only my opinion)

    1) Because i dont like technology. I understand it but I dont like it. I think to pass hours and hours looking at bright screen is harmful for my eyes. And belive me, is you do this profesionally you will pass all freaking day drawing or painting.

    2) I dont know in the future, but nowadays digital art is only for digital viewers. If you print your painting and put it beside any traditional painting... idk. I dont like it. I think the result is so poor. There is no texture and if u dont print it extremly well you will see a lot of those little pixels in your lines.

    3) You can draw extremly profesional only with 15 pounds. Spend 10 in good pencils and 5 in good paper. How many euros do I have to spend in a good tablet to make the feeling of drawing become real? And the Computer. The programs, the electricity... idk. I love to travel and is impossible for me to do this in that way.

    4) Drawing from life and paint what I see is essential in my work. I just cant do it with a PC and a Tablet.

    5) One big point about be professional at painting is to do big paintings and understand the paint, the color, the light. You cant understand all that in a PC because the color theory is not working on a screen. To make darker a color you click that color near the black point. In real life theres no pure black (despite some portraits) if you paint with black your painting will probably look dirty. Also, I can not painting in a screen more than 40x40cm (more or less?) And i saw in the past that to draw and paint in surfaces bigger than 50x50cm is something totally different. You see the proportions in a different way.

    Hummm... i think thats all xdd sorry for the long text. Is something that i though so much and I'd like to participate

    • Prunna edited this post on September 5, 2019 11:09am.
    • Prunna edited this post on September 5, 2019 11:13am.

    I am an advocate for practicing in both mediums.

    On the digital side, there is a lot to consider. Many aspects of digital painting come down to program and use of the tools. Corel Painter, for instance, will give an extreme painterly feel. Photoshop can go from manga to painterly and every syle in between. Programs like SAI, Krita, and GIMP, while free, are also limited in how their palettes appear and how accurate they are.

    The only program I despise is the new program for the iPad. It essentially takes away the learning process of drawing, allowing anyone to automatically fill colors, make symetrical lines, and bring a specific clean aesthetic to the table. I caution anyone who wants to start that route.

    Once you find a program that fits your needs (or a couple), it's time to start test sketching with brushes. Start with the normal settings until you're comfortable with adjusting the texture, pressure, etc (depending upon the program there will be different settings.) A suggestion I love and was happy to see a professional artist repeat is: always try new brushes. It doesn't hurt to download another artist's style brushes and use them in your work. Even practice work.

    One caveat to digital: learn the difference between the filters, the stamped brushes, and use of the shape tools. Master recognizing these tools in art as it will help you build your style.

    On the traditional side, I keep to mixed media pads. I use graphite (mechanical, pencil, and solid graphite), acrylic paint (apple barrel, Daler Rowney ), charcoal (vine), markers (Ohuhu, Tombow) and every type of watercolor thing I can find. Watercolor paint, markers, and pencils of varying brands.

    As you mentioned using your hands, I recommend charcoal and acrylic paints, some watercolor paints would suit too although I must admit I have never tried painting by hand with my watercolors.

    I am the worst person to throw any suggestion about practicing or managing practice time. I try to practice 30 minutes as my health allows twice weekly. If I draw or experiement for longer or more days, so be it. If I have a dry spell, it happens. I'm still learning to forgive mistakes that I feel I shouldn't be making or forcing myself to draw lineart when, well, it's not really my thing.

    I wish you the best in your journey. :)


    How do you draw on tablet if not with hands? (^^ゞ


    Digital drawing and painting are considered similar activities. Still, I believe that these types of the picture are very different from each other. I am more attracted to photography, so I can fully express my ideas and images in life. I like to draw very much, but I did not study in specialized schools, so some of the works are not beautiful. I spend a lot of time drawing, and I get better every day. Recently my friend showed me, where I can paint by numbers. This is an excellent idea for those who want to learn how to paint beautifully.

    • Araliane edited this post on October 17, 2021 7:36am.

    I prefer digital drawing, it is much easier to experiment with it (adding brushes, 3D effects) and the quality of such a drawing is always at its best. And of course it is more convenient for transferring work. Now I am engaged in providing website designing service with Digital technologies allow me to do my work with high quality and on time.

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