Is Digital Art Hard To Learn?

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Written by Juha

Previously, most artists used paint and brush to make art. From time immemorial, artists have always sorted out new forms and formats to express their artistic principles.

But to answer the question of is digital art hard to learn:

You might find it hard to learn at the start since you need to master the art software. Still, don’t expect it to be easier or harder than traditional art. You have to invest enough time to learn how to draw and paint digitally. Once you get used to the digital techniques, the drawing will feel more natural and manageable. Note that most things that you can draw on paper, you can also draw on the computer.

This digital art drawing was made with Adobe Photoshop

Today the invention of digital technology has introduced modern means of exploring creativity. You can now make images from a computer using art software.

Technology enables you to create some immersive and highly engaging art pieces to reach a new audience group beyond the conventional boundaries.

Whether digital art is hard or easy to learn depends on where you are with your artistic skills.

As a beginner, you might think that digital art will be more effortless since you only need to make a sketch, and despite how ugly it appears, you can adjust it over the computer.

Even better, you can easily make corrections. However, having experience in traditional digital art will help you learn quickly.

Coming up with art that people will acknowledge and love may be a bit challenging. Talent will help to some extent, but you also need to master the skills.

It’s worth noting that there are different digital art skills, making it easy for some people and hard for others. For instance, one can be excellent in sculpting but imperfect in painting.

Remember that equipment doesn’t make an artist. So if you struggle to draw traditionally, you shouldn’t expect that the digital software will make it easier.

A good artist should work with any material and only rely on advanced tools to improve their skills. Read on to gain more insights.


Is It Easier To Draw Digitally Than Traditionally?

As opposed to the traditional method, the digital art software makes it very easy to draw. With the undo button, CTRL+Z, you can easily remove any wrong stroke or correct your mistakes.

Hence, it helps improve efficiency and confidence in your skills, especially for beginners. On the other hand, you can easily choose and apply different colors to your drawing with a swing of a stylus.

Further, in the digital realm, you can easily mix various mediums to develop unique creations. The Corel Painter software mimics the traditional methods allowing you to combine several effects on a single painting.

Still, you don’t have to wait for the pigments to dry so you can continue working on your art.

By using brush customization, you will save more time and, at the same time, create unique paintings. You can use various brushes to paint different environments in your work. For example:

  • Rock brushes
  • Shape brushes
  • Building structure brushes
This digital art drawing was made with Adobe Photoshop

While using the traditional way, you need to purchase various items like ink, paper, paints, fixers, pencils, and erasers.

These consumer goods may get depleted in the middle of your project, and you will have to buy them from time to time.

There is no shortage of paper for digital art, and you don’t have to replace the materials, which helps minimize inconveniences.

You also have to prepare your tools in the traditional method. You have to gather your paints and bucket before you start drawing.

For digital art, you can begin to paint instantly. You only need to turn on your computer and run your software.

Additionally, you can process the art to make the image more attractive. 

The digital process allows you to adjust lighting and add skin tone to create unique characters. You can therefore draw quickly, especially if you aren’t well versed with developing backgrounds.

How Long Does It Take To Learn Digital Art

The time taken to master digital art drawing technique varies from one person to another. While one person may take a year, others may need three to five years to learn the ins and outs of digital art.

Some learners can decide to pursue a formal degree before venturing into the digital art industry. It may take about four years.

On the other hand, you can opt for non-formal education. It involves learning online from YouTube tutorials, enrolling in a coaching institute, or practicing with other online materials.

As a self-taught individual who regularly practices on their gadgets, you can take a minimum of 1000 hours to master digital art concepts.

You will learn a few basics within a few hours, but to get reasonably proficient in creating digital art, you may take up to 10,000 hours.

Whatever method you choose, you must comprehend the basics, concepts, and principles of digital art. Your natural abilities and dedication level will influence your learning.

If you moderately understand the traditional ways and take about an hour daily to practice, you can take roughly three years to master the skill entirely.

Yet, if you are a professional in the traditional method and dedicate up to three hours daily, you can spend around a year perfecting your skills.

The more you practice and dedicate more time towards your goal, the faster you will learn. Art is a skill that we learn more about year after year. I feel like I might not be a master in digital art in a long time. But that’s ok. That’s the thing I like the most anyway, exploring new ways to produce art digitally with every new drawing.

Don’t feel discouraged if you take a bit longer to learn. It only means that you need to work extra to get to your desired level.

Expose your work to digital art experts to receive critiques and corrections.

Remember that irrespective of how constantly you practice, you still need guidance. With enough exposure, you should begin to note a difference with time.

Can You Learn To Draw Digitally?

You can quickly learn how to draw digitally provided that you have a suitable drawing tablet, an art software, and a passion for drawing. Although you can work with a monitor and a mouse, using a drawing tablet with a stylus helps you mimic the traditional methods to improve digital art.


Next, download suitable software. Some of the software that you can try out include;

Ensure that you learn how to adjust the brush settings, know brush hardness, and understand the layers and modes.

Know the keyboard shortcuts and other art fundamentals like composition, lighting, and color theory, and you are already far ahead of learning digital art.

If you don’t have too much experience in drawing, start by practicing basic shapes. Begin with squares, circles, and proceed to spheres and cones. Next, shade them and add cast shadows.

Move from sketch and begin digital painting. Practice drawing people and other objects from direct observations, and play around with colors.

Additionally, try to emulate the work of accomplished digital artists to improve your drawing skills.

Besides, look out for sites that provide comprehensive information about digital art before paying for online classes. Some of these resources are;

Is Traditional Art Harder Than Digital?

The short answer is no! Most digital artists have hands-on experience in traditional painting and sketching. Note that the techniques used in conventional art are very similar to those in digital art. There isn’t much difference between drawing a line on paper or using a stylus pen. Although you have a set of tools, the technique highly depends on you.

Some people will find digital art hard to master, while others struggle with the traditional method.

It also comes down to the nature of the art you want to make. For instance, when drawing faces, the conventional method gives you greater control, while the digital tools may feel somewhat shaky.

Still, coloring works better digitally since you can paint quickly and erase anything if you go wrong.


Traditional art is relatively challenging since you need to be cautious not to mess up by making the color too thick or too light, which can ruin the drawing.

The style of art will also differ in both methods. For instance, it feels more comfortable to use traditional art for abstract expressionism, while the digital one works well with anime and fractals.

Digital art has various tools that make work more manageable, but it also has some technicalities.

Alternatively, you need to be very precise in traditional art since it requires high knowledge and concentration to avoid mistakes.

Both styles require constant practice, patience, and dedication, and you must be ready to review your techniques continually.


Ultimately, digital art appears easy to do but hard to master, while the traditional methods are easy to master but hard to do.

The principles in both ways are similar; only the tools are different, and it doesn’t make either method more challenging or more manageable than the other.

The time you take on the methods and the level of practice will determine the ease of use. Remember that each technique has functionalities that they are better suited for, and it would be best to master both methods.

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