Updated: Aug 26, 2022
When we talk about drawing, we not only think of sketches or paintings but we also use a new modern term called Digital Art. Digital art is just as same as a regular art but the only thing that makes it different from others is that it's being made using Digital tools and Editing software. On the other hand, digital paintings or computer painting are also comes under the impression of digital art style and is one of the most famous art style, but have some different and complex technique to achieve.
Digital art is a modern approach to unleash your creativity without even touching an actual paper or color. Drawing something digitally is also not as easy as some might think as it not only takes proper knowledge of sketching and shading, but also requires software and computer skills. Even things that are not possible or difficult to achieve with paint are easily accomplished when you know how to use a digital program and a drawing device.
On the other hand, Digital Portrait is a type of artwork which could be a painting, illustration, photograph, sculpture, or other artistic representation of a person and is made using digital instrument. Portrait art solely focuses on making artwork based on a person or a character.
Digital art in 2022 is a growing industry and can provide good income, which varies from individual's skills to experience. There are many digital art portrait styles that trends as each year passes. Designers do earn very well while not just working in a company, but also by selling and making such arts as a freelancer. Even people are willing to pay a handsome amount of money for just a single piece of an artwork.
What Software to use for Making a Digital Artwork?
There are many industry level software available to use in order to paint digitally. Fun fact is designers even started to make digital drawings in mobile and tablets. It is also possible to make digital drawings in Graphic editing software. These Software varies from operating system, tools and functionality.
Some of the major tools to create Digital Art and Digital Paintings are:
Photoshop CC (Windows/macOS)
Paint Tool SAI (Windows)
Adobe Fresco (iPad/Windows)
Clip Studio Paint (Windows/macOS/iPad/iPhone/Android)
Corel Painter 2021 (Windows/macOS)
MediBang Paint Pro (Windows/macOS/iPad/iPhone/Android)
List of such software is so long but these are some of the major software that one can choose to go with. We're not going to discuss about the pricing of these software as only a number of these software are free and the rest of them have monthly or annually based subscription fee.
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This article contains digital art style techniques of digital paintings, illustrations, vector designs and 3D generated artworks.
If you are confused on which digital art style should you learn first then this article is for you. It mainly going to focus on digital art styles and digital painting in portrait orientation. Each and every art style listed in this article requires different method and tools to achieve. Let's discuss about the types of digital art style which a beginner can choose from.
NOTE: Updated with few additions (Original title- 7 Digital art styles)
1. 2D Digital Painting
Artwork Source: Conluoi
What is a 2D Digital Painting?
Digital portrait painting is an art form in which traditional painting techniques are applied using digital tools to create an artwork. In 2D Digital Painting, an artwork is created with painting tools of an editing program using two-dimensional models.
2D illustrations is beneficial for a company's marketing process and can become a key role in company's success in a long run. Many artists turn to digital painting since it's cheaper and also 2D arts are more reliable over hand drawings as it gives an advantage to make changes in layers just by using it's source file.
2. Raster Painting
Artwork Source: Vincent Van Gogh
What is a Raster Painting?
Raster Painting is a type of digital art which gives a pixels like feel to an artwork and a resemblance to that of a real hand painting. Raster artworks uses pixels and when enlarged, the image quality diminishes and gets pixelated significantly but that also gives them an authentic hand drawn painting vibe.
Making a raster artwork requires the same skills as of a traditional painting and there are some apps available online to convert traditional art into digital one. There are also brushes specially designed for art online which you can use to make your own painting.
3. Vector Art
Artwork Source: Ankit Garg
What is a Vector Art?
Vector Art or Vector illustration is a form of artwork uses vector as a method of designing and coloring which doesn't get pixelated when enlarging the image. Vector artwork are easy to make and one can simply create them from basic shapes using pen tool and base, shadows and highlights of a respective color.
Vector arts are basically made using vector illustration software like CorelDraw, Adobe Illustrator, Affinity Designer or Inkscape. Such vector graphics involves points, lines, curves and shapes that are based on mathematical formulas.
4. Hybrid Art
Artwork Source: Jefferson Muncy
What is a Hybrid Art?
Hybrid art forms are basically two or more different art forms combined together to make a new art form. It is a contemporary art movement which breaks down tradition boundaries between 2D and 3D in which artists work with frontier areas of science and emerging technologies.
This art form integrates a range of modes of image, space, environment and expression. Hybrid painting is the outcome of using more than one form of media or even multiple software on the same artwork to achieve something extraordinary.
5. 3D Digital Painting
Artwork Source: Maniacarta
What is a 3D Digital Painting?
3D Digital Painting is a more advanced version of 2D digital painting and an emerging art form in which traditional painting techniques are being used. This style of art involves painting a texture straight onto a 3D sculpture or model.
3D modeling and shading is far advanced than any other art form because of their superior tools. It can provide realistic specular, shadows, highlights and textures which gives final renders not only semi realistic feel, but also a top notch output which might confuse one from identifying it as a real image and not a digitally generated.
6. Anime Art
Artwork Source: Ladowska
What is an Anime Art?
The anime art form originated in Japan in the early 1900s, is a uniquely stylized form of 2D and 3D illustration. In Japanese, the term anime is used to refer to all animated works, regardless of style or origin. Anime art is characterized by colorful graphics depicting vibrant characters and speed lines in futuristic themes.
This form of art is famous for it's characters having big glittery eyes and the main reason behind this is to convey emotions easier. Anime artworks doesn't always have to be super detailed as one may recognize this digital art style even in just simple base colors.
7. Mascot Art
Artwork Source: Dgn Punk
What is a Mascot Art?
It is the most simple form of digital art which is actually a Vector art but with a slightly different approach. Mascot design involves turning a character or object into a stylized form using geometric shapes, Strokes and Shadows & Highlights. Mascot designs can be used to make a simple cartoon vector and use it as an eye catchy avatar on various social media platforms.
It is easy to make when you know the basics of vector designing and mainly used in both illustration and logo. This designing style is being used by various YouTubers, gamers profile and streaming channels.
Artwork Source: Mahesh Nambiar
What is a Caricature?
Caricatures are the fun way to represent characters in an exaggerated way by distortion of eyes and body parts to create humor. This art form is both famous and controversial due to its previous history in making funny artworks of politicians and some sensitive infamous peoples. You can find so many hilarious caricature artworks to find inspiration for your next design.
Caricatures are easy to make depends on how you want your final out to look like. Some even make caricatures first and give it some cartoon effect to make it look more authentic and funny. To make caricature artworks, you don't need advance tools. A Liquify tool in Adobe Photoshop is enough to make caricature artworks easily for you.
9. Cartoon Art
Artwork Source: Lera Kiryakova
What is a Cartoon Art?
Cartoon art is a drawing style which comes under the category of both traditional and digital art. Just like drawing a caricature, a cartoon portrait art also involves things like turning the image to give it an actual cartoonic vibe. This digital art style can be achieved by using a filter or an app but most artists prefer manual drawing as it gives the final artwork a much authentic feel.
Cartoon artwork works best in many case scenarios and brings wide recognition to the respective artist. Cartoon art style is in high demand these days and learning this art form is a win-win situation. You don't always need to learn digital form of this art style as it also works great in the traditional art form.
10. Smudge Painting
Artwork Source: Woweditz
What is a Smudge Painting?
A Smudge painting is a digital art which is made when an artist paints over a photo and smudges out some parts of the subject to give it a completely different painted look. This art form doesn't need to be high detailed and works best if smoothing artifacts and vibrant coloring is used.
Smudge painting requires learning of complex digital tools and techniques but once you learn the basic concept of it, it's a lot more fun. There are a lot of respective smudge painting artists you can find on pinterest and deviantart to get motivation.
11. Vexel Art
Artwork Source: RaymondhChannel
What is a Vexel Art?
Vexel art is a digital art which gives a combine look of both pixel and vector art. This digital art style is used to give the artwork a semi-realistic and digital look at the same time and can be made using pixel or vector design method. “Vexel” is a mixture of two words 'Vector' and 'Pixel'.
Learning vexel art is difficult than learning typical vector digital art form, but is actually benefit in the long run. Making vexel art can easily increase popularity of an artist and can generate good monthly income by selling its services on marketplaces like fiverr and etsy.
12. Line Art
Artwork Source: Chanuka W. Hemachandra
What is a Line Art?
Line art, also known as line drawing, is an art style that is made using lines and curves in a white or transparent background. When, made using smooth-thick strokes, gives a whole new artwork. Line arts can either be used as a simple line art or can later be used to make a colorful artwork by adding base colors on each shape individually.
Line arts are simple and is always best for beginners to get into the field of drawing. Even the line art has its own range of styles that you can find online. If you think this digital art style suits your drawing method, then you can learn and sell such artworks on fiverr, shutterstock, freepik, adobe stock and istock.
13. WPAP Art
Artwork Source: Fauzan Adiima
What is a WPAP Art?
Wedha’s Pop Art Portrait, also known as WPAP is an art style made using colorful cube and shapes to make a combine geometric pop art. Popularized in the late 1990 by Indonesian artist Wedha Abdul, this art style has been lurking around the internet for quite a while. WPAP artworks are easily recognizable by their sharp, vibrant color schemes.
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WPAP artworks doesn't require professional level skills and can be made using straight lines and colorful fills. To make WPAP art, all you need is a clear vision, a reference image, a vibrant color palette and a good graphic/designing software.
14. Minimalist Art
Artwork Source: Vella Dwi Sukma
What is a Minimalist Art?
Minimalist artworks are simple looking and mainly consists of shapes with base color layer. This art form focuses more on obtaining the final artwork in least step-process and is easy to make in both vector and raster form.
Beginner artists can sell such minimalist artworks or take on-demand orders on sites like Freepik, Fiverr and Etsy.
15. Avatar Design
Artwork Source: Ingenious Artist
What is Avatar in Graphic Design?
An Avatar in graphic design is a character that represents the user's identity on screen. They are the most common UI elements and simply eye catchy which are easy to remember. In simple words they are a trimmed down version and combination of vector, vexel, mascot and minimalist artworks with added strokes to give it a cartoony look.
Avatar art designs are good for YouTube and streaming channel profile. Thus, provides a completely different identity to users on their social media profile.