Best program for digital art

Hi guys, I am new here and after looking around at some of the fantastic artwork, I wondered, what is the best software for a newbie? lol . It may shock many of you, but I still draw using a pencil, pens and coloured pencils !! so any help would be great thanks


Gimp is a free digital art program.  May take a bit to get used to but it's what some of the artists use.

But I believe if I'm not wrong, most of our artists here actually still use pencil/pens for their line drawings... then scan them into gimp and then color and shade them in the digital media.

I know we have some that use pure digital as well..  So it really depends on you what you want to do.


I would love to draw on paper first. It allows so much control with how you can work on it. My scanner is dead so I do everything through Photoshop CS4. Though I never take the time to figure out what it is capable of entirely. 

Hablyonus Pense

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Thanks guys, a few good options there to look into. As I have said, the digital side is all very new to me. I will definatley look into these options tho, thank you



Hablyonus Pense

Chillax. I've been drawing regularly for years, and even though I have a digital tablet, I still prefer to use pencils and markers. Sometimes I do the line work on paper, then scan it and ink/color it using Autodesk Sketchbook Express. (Amusingly enough, the little thumbnail for the program abbreviates it S-E-X.)


'Best' is such a relative term, haha! I wouldn't say I know art programs very well at all- I used Painter almost exclusively for a long while, then got my hands on Photoshop, which took a bit of adjusting but now I prefer vastly - and I think a lot of that comes down to lucking out with finding a set of brushes that I absolutely adore, as well as just preferring the way it scales my art while I'm working on it.

I know some people who swear by SAI, which I think has a free version? Never used it myself, but have seen some pretty results come out of it.

I love colouring digitally... I mean, I love traditional media to, but my life being what it is, digital is just easier to deal with. I work in fits and spurts, and that makes it tough leaving pencils and half finished paintings around the house. And, uh, my house is not a safe house for that sort of thing. Cats care little for half finished art! So just for the sake of being able to stop and start without having to pack up and set up and/or leave large tracts of desk and table space untouchable until I FINISH a thing, I love digital... but I still can't compete with hand drawn lines. The vast majority of what I do is linework (be it ink or pencil) in a sketchbook, then scanned and finished in photoshop.