In this article you’ll be informed about the main things you need to think of if you want to get started with digital illustration!

We are going to touch some fundamental points:

  1. Devices you’ll need
  2. Softwares
  3. Pen tablets (+ two recommended models!)
  4. Monitors
  5. Price and some budget examples.

Let’s start with the basics!

1. DEVICE

Of course, you can’t digitally draw your illustrations without a device! You can use whatever makes you feel comfortable and works better for you. For example some people prefer drawing on their smartphones, someone prefer working on their computers or their laptops as well.

We are going to explain to you how to digitally illustrate with a computer and a pen tablet!

I advise you to pay attention to the RAM memory of your device: you can draw even with a 4 GB RAM memory, but i recommend going with 8 GB or more. If you already have your device but it lags or freezes a lot, add more memory or simply replace it!

Yes, you can also use your smartphone or tablet, but they tend to be limited and may make you work a little bit inconveniently.

The choice is really up to you; take note of your needs and how seriously you want to draw!

2. SOFTWARE

You’ll need a drawing program to be able to realise your digital illustrations. 

There are a lot of paid softwares, but don’t think the most expensive one is the best for you or that it’s the easier to use!

Most of these softwares have a free trial, so you can try them and then decide. Consider your budget.

Softwares are an essential tool for drawing, so you should consider what you want to draw before choosing it, (whether illustrations, mangas, landscapes..), to find the one that works better for you. 

The most known softwares online

Adobe Photoshop 

It’s the most famous and used software in history. It has advanced features and tools, for a complete work experience. It’s often used by many professional designers.

Clip Studio Paint 

It’s a professional software mostly known for comics and illustration. 

Paint Tool SAI

The most simple and intuitive software. It has less features but it’s a great way to start!

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3. PEN TABLETS

This tool needs to be connected to your computer so you can draw. It allows you to draw smoothly using a pen. 

There are many companies that sell pen tablets: Wacom is the most popular one.

This company sells a huge range of tablets in different sizes, and if you are a beginner i recommend you two of them: 

Wacom Intuos S

Perfect if you have a limited budget; it costs less than 100 dollars! It only comes in a small size of 200×160 mm, so it’s very comfortable to bring with you!

Wacom Intuos with Bluetooth 

It’s slightly more expensive than the Intuos S, but it comes both in a small and a medium size (264×200 mm). This product comes with a two-year Clip Studio Paint licence, perfect if you don’t have any softwares already!

4. MONITOR

The monitor choice is totally up to you. You don’t necessarily need to buy a new monitor, if the one you already got feels good to you.

If you are thinking of buying a new monitor instead, look for a large one, to reduce tiredness! 20 inches or more is good.

Okay but.. how much will all of this cost??

Well.. the start-up costs can be very different, depending on what you choose to buy. Here’s an example list: 

Computer: from 450$ to 2.800$ or more.

Pen tablet: from 100$ to 2.000$ or more.

Software: from free to 300$ or more.

Everything depends on your needs and your budget, of course.


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