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Learning to paint digitally

Digital painting is new to me and I’m loving it.

digital illustration, photoshop art, the magical path, mushrooms, toadstools, fantasy art, fantasy illustration, lesley smitheringale, lesley smitheringale studio, art licensing

Why I now work digitally

I’m used to working with traditional media but find myself leaning more and more towards digital art for a few important reasons.

  • save money by not having to buy expensive art materials
  • don’t have to scan my artwork as it’s already a digital file on my computer
  • I can have large artworks
  • If I work in vector I can scale my illustrations up to huge sizes
  • I can easily make prints of my digital artworks
  • I can have multiple copies and not just a one off original piece
  • I can work in layers and separate each element of my art work if I wish to make clip art or use the elements in other projects
  • I can easily change the colours in my artworks
digital illustration, photoshop art, the magical path, mushrooms, toadstools, fantasy art, fantasy illustration, lesley smitheringale, lesley smitheringale studio, art licensing, lenovo yoga

What I use

I recently had to buy a new computer as I was using a very old PC with Windows Vista on it (eek!). I did heaps of research before deciding what to buy and decided that I wanted a more portable set up where I could work in different rooms.

I agonised over whether to go with an Ipad Pro and Apple pencil or a Windows based tablet and stylus. In the end I decided that I needed to use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator so purchased a Lenovo Yoga 730 laptop which is a touchpad and can be flipped over to digitally draw or paint with Lenovo’s own stylus.

Like all new things, I resisted drawing and painting digitally for ages and it takes practice to fine tune new skills. I watched a lot of YouTube videos and took a few Skillshare classes to learn about using brushes and creating a digital style I liked. I’m still learning and will continue to learn as I go. Do I like my Lenovo Yoga 730? Yes! Very pleased with it and have had no problems with it at all. The stylus behaves well and is pressure sensitive with is essential. I would recommend this brand as it suited my budget.

digital illustration, photoshop art, the magical path, mushrooms, toadstools, fantasy art, fantasy illustration, lesley smitheringale, lesley smitheringale studio, art licensing
The Magical Path

The Magical Path (above) is my most recent digital painting and took me several hours to complete due to the detail. The line work was done in Adobe Illustrator and then I do all of my painting in Adobe Photoshop. I used three brushes for the entire drawing – a chalk brush and dry brush from the legacy brushes that come with Photoshop and one of Kyle’s brushes from his fantastic collection: eraser with natural edge to draw fine white details on some of my mushrooms. I got rid of the outline when everything was coloured to take away that hard-edged cartoon look. I’m thrilled with the drawing and it’s boosted my confidence to tackle more and keep experimenting with different brushes, styles and effects. I also love vector art so will do more of that too.

digital illustration, photoshop art, the magical path, mushrooms, toadstools, fantasy art, fantasy illustration, lesley smitheringale, lesley smitheringale studio, art licensing
A work in progress of the Magical Path where I used the outline drawing as a separate layer help me place the individual elements of the illustration.

Every year the rabbits and hares of Bramble Brook Woods have a sledding competition on the Wintry slopes to pass the time until the arrival of Spring and warmer days. Many of the creatures have just ventured out into the cold after hibernating for months and are rugged up in their Winter woolens. Chaffinch and Otter keenly watch the race, eager to see who will win the Event this year.

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Lesley Smitheringale
Artist, Illustrator and Educator
I'm an Australian artist who emigrated from Scotland where I studied printed textiles. I'm currently offering a range of designs onto apparel, stationery and giftware in my online Shop. I also offer free-lance illustration and art licensing.

Want to work with me or license my art? Please get in touch with me. I'd love to collaborate with you. You can send me an e-mail by clicking the @ sign above.

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