How big do you draw digitally?



  • I paint digitally most of the time. I always find myself thinking about how big I should paint and what dimension should I do every time I started a new personal piece. I wonder how other people making this decision when there is no client to tell you how big they need.

    An example will be when you start a piece for SVS monthly contest, what size and dimension do you choose, and why?


  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @xin-li I start with 6in by 6in at 300dpi for my rough sketches. I stay about 60% zoomed out. Once I am happy with the rough, I will blow it up to at least 20in at its smallest side. Example if 25in width by 20in height or 18in width by 20in height. Then I will clean up the sketch and ink/paint at 100% zoom. I try not to ever zoom in since those details are usually lost when you zoom out.


  • SVS OG

    @xin-li great question. I’ve wondered this as well, even with just working traditionally, what dpi will I scan the work? What’s best? Am I putting work in on places that won’t be seen when printed (despite having guide lines)?



  • @Chip-Valecek thank you for sharing. Wow, your final artwork is big. Is there a particular reason for your choice of size?


  • SVS Team SVS OG

    @xin-li If I ever want to print it large, it is better to have it big. Otherwise you will be blowing up something that will then lose all of its quality. Bigger is Better 🙂



  • I normally draw maxed out on the ipad at 8192 pixels on the long side (300 DPI). I find it better to have large files for printing. I sketch on paper and then transfer to digital.


  • Moderator

    I think the size of your image has to do with what you intend it to be in the end...

    If you're anticipating that it could be printed at any point in the future, it's always a good idea to start big. Even some of the storefront sites that create various products (like beach towels) with one's image on it require large image sizes.

    It's always easier to scale down than to scale up, I think. So a lot of artists start intentionally bigger than they need knowing they have more options that way.

    At least that's what I've heard...



  • @xin-li It depends on what I use it for. I sell my art on Society6 and the 'lowest size' they suggest is 6500 pixels 300dpi. Since I also post my work on Instagram I usually make it a square.

    If I were to enter a contest I might start with the square and change it to landscape or portrait, but the shortest size will never be lower than 6500 pixels. In case I do want to upload it to Society 6 it's still valid.


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