Photoshop or Illustrator?

  • HI!

    I own both Photoshop and Illustrator. I want to learn how to paint digitally, but what would be the preferred for a beginner? One day hopefully I can design a t-shirt or stickers, and finally bring illustrations to life on pages of books.

  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @Djmittenzz I mainly use Photoshop for painting. I will use illustrator when designing vector logos for clients. I will also use Illustrator if I am doing a piece where I want to keep the line work. Illustrator brush tool has a nice smoothing effect that photoshop doesn't. So pulling a nice smooth line in Illustrator is awesome vs photoshop.

  • Pro SVS OG

    It depends on your style of work. Illustrator makes super clean lines and shapes. It is good for line-dominated work where you want to line to be technically perfect (without all the quirks of hand-drawn line) or if you work mainly with colored or textured shapes - a good example is the art of the studio MeoMi. Photoshop can also do that, but Illustrator makes it a lot easier. Photoshop is good for practically anything and is my preferred tool. Another alternative you may want to consider is Corel Painter. If your style is very painterly, and you want a tool that mimics the way traditional tools behave, then Corel may be best suited.

  • Photoshop for raster images, Illustrator for vectors 🙂

  • Hi Djmittenzz! I have to agree with smceccarelli it does depend on style. If you are looking to illustrate for t-shirts Illustrator is the way to go as it is the industry standard. Unless you plan on digitally printing the designs on the shirts/items. With digital printing you would be able to take your painted Photoshop illustrations and print those on the shirts but again it depends on the printing method digital vs screen-printing. If your are looking to do more painterly illustrations Photoshop is where you want to be (or a similar program). I'm not sure how far you can really get in illustrator to really get a good painted look, a lot of the time people use illustrator for clean flat shapes and lines using limited tones and gradients. But you can absolutely get lots of detail and textures in illustrator but for t-shirts you have to pay attention to layering and also the amount of colors play a big factor in your illustrations, sometimes you have to pay by the color b/c of the amount of screens a printer might have to use to transfer your design to a shirt. But this also depends on the print shop. Brandon Green has a couple of great videos on using Photoshop vs. Illustrator and the kinds of looks you can get with each program.
    Character in Adobe Illustrator :

    Style explorations with some gator sketches:

    I hope this helped! 🙂

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