This digital stuff is so confusing!



  • I have downloaded demos for rebelle, art rage, clip studio, I have GIMP. I understand how to pick a color and a pen and change sizes, etc. but I do not understand a whole lot of other things! For one, why did my pen stop writing on the tablet? No color. Did I hit some button that makes it invisible? Suggestions on how to learn this with assignments or something? I watch some videos but I don't really know what they're talking about half the time. I've been looking at the beginning photoshop class but, of course, I don't have photoshop but, GIMP. I have a feeling this is going to be very time consuming.......Still have trouble with bits and gigabytes, pixels and all the other lingo that goes with this kind of thing...I'm not very patient. Help!



  • Awwww....Marsha, I feel your pain.
    And just like it took time to develop your skills at traditional media, it will take time to get the hang of digital.

    Even though I started life out as a software, systems engineer (a bazillion years ago), I even find some image editing software, with their zippy-doo features confusing and awkward. It's not you. It just takes time to learn a particular app. Software designers are not always "human friendly". Though as the craft matures, it does seem to be getting better.

    I use Photoshop, and Painter and have an Intuous pro? tablet on windows 7. But, I am not familiar with using the software you described. I suspect there is some commonality among them, but each will have it's own funnies. Just like oil, watercolor, pastels, etc each have their funnies.

    I notice that you are in San Jose (from your web site). I live in Cupertino. So if you would like to get together, or come over some day, I would be happy to see if there is some way I could ease your stress, and perhaps answer some "digitally" type questions.

    And yes. Unfortunately, patience is a requirement to this digital stuff...

    nancy at intercad-inc dot com



  • Marsha.

    Switching to digital is going to be just as steep a learning curve as learning traditional painting techniques. I have a BFA in oil painting (it took several years to get comfortable with that) then I decided to add digital and it's been a long haul. I took a term of Digital Media (Photoshop, Flash MX and Dreamweaver) at the Art institute and have been learning on my own for over 10 years.

    I searched on google by typing in Rebelle tutorial videos and a whole screen of youtube videos popped up. (It looks interesting - definitely draws me in with the temptation of dripping watercolor - but not sure how much I'd use that in the long run.) I'd suggest starting there as well as seeing what the Rebelle company offers as far as lessons to follow. If you are serious about 'going digital' then you are going to have to put in the time to learn your software. Sorry there's no sweet talking that. I use Photoshop CC and I've put years into learning it and to be honest I still don't know everything. If I was to learn another digital media it would be Adobe Illustrator.

    Best of luck and hang in there!



  • @Nancy-Gormezano Thank you! I'm glad to know it isn't just me :-) My husband is a software developer but I can't ask him anything or there will be grief for us both ;-) He's also not an artist. I appreciate your offer of sitting down with me. I might take you up on it someday! First, though, I better find out exactly what I am asking questions about :-) I will keep looking at videos and telling myself to be patient. Time, time, time. Maybe I can just start by using it to fix my traditional art without having to redo the whole thing, that might be where to start. It's nice to know there is someone nearby :-) Are you a member of scbwi?



  • @Katrina-Fowler Thank you! Thanks for not sweet talking it. I have the tablet (a cheap one) and I am going to just learn what I can and try to be patient. That's hard for me :-) I want to get it all at once...oh well. This will be character building if nothing else :-) Thanks again!!!



  • The first steps are really time consuming. I gave up so many times, before I decided and dedicated the time to actually learn it to some level. Some basics are necessary. yeah, but after that I recommend you to find a process of some other artists, and try to mimic them. And they usually give some technical tips too along the way. There are some videos on youtube, and Will Terry shows his process in a 10 steps course. Try to paint few pieces with this process and if it doesnt suit you try to find a different one. Eventually you will get comfortable with some process. And you wont even have to know everything there is about gimp or photoshop or whatever are you using.

    Btw. choosing the best software is another story :)

    And dont be discouraged that 90% of tutorials out there are in photoshop, 90% of features are in all painting programs, you might need to google where this particalar feature is in this program, but usually it will be there, somewhere and usually very similiar.

    Personally I ended up using Clip Studio Paint. But I started on Sketchbook Pro, and I recommend it to any beginner, its cheap, its simple and I think you can learn to use it really quickly. Gimp on the other hand... I hate it and it feels to me that it hates me too, never does what I want :)



  • I agree with the other comments that it really does take a lot of time to learn digital, just like watercolour, oil or other traditional mediums so don’t be hard on yourself for that.

    Your idea to get started by altering your existing work digitally is a great one, IMO. It’s a really useful skill to be able to alter traditional work if there’s a mistake or an ink blob or you just want to change a colour - so many advantages of just learning these things. By doing this you’ll learn the basic tools of your chosen software and you’ll be able to progress without getting the frustration of not being able to create a beautiful finished piece from scratch, straight away.

    Also, what I like about starting traditionally and finishing digitally - this is my current preferred method of making art - is that you keep the traditional feel, and the style that is already ‘you’ from all the hours of traditional practice - but you can build on it in the final stages and make it better without the risk of messing it all up.

    Even if I’m doing a piece entirely digitally, I can’t actually draw very well using my tablet, so I always draw in pencil before scanning in for the digital stage. So that’s another way to consider. But everyone is different and you’ll find a way of working that will suit you. Good luck, will be good to see your progress :-)



  • Go to ctrlpaint.com Intro to Digital Painting lessons plus try rotating the image or canvas when drawing or painting digitally.



  • @Jiří-Kůs thanks for your encouraging word.



  • @Marsha-Kay-Ottum-Owen I feel your pain!



  • It takes ages to learn software, I would advise you read the manual first and get a good idea of the interface and what the different buttons and tools do first. Concentrate on one software at a time, if you switch fro one to the other all the tie it will be really confusing for you because the interfaces are all slightly different.
    I also agree that ctrlpaint.com is an excellent (and free) resource for beginners in digital painting, I wish I had it 10 years ago.



  • @Durrell-Odom Definitely looks like I will be using ctrlpaint.com. Thank you so much!



  • @Christine-Garner I hope to choose just one :-) I am definitely going to try cntrlpaint! It looks like just what I need!


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