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The Digital Artist’s Physical Equipment: Essential Tools of the Trade

by Jessica Amey

The term digital artist may make it sound like everything is virtual, but the truth is far from it. The creations themselves might be digital or virtual in nature, but we are not! This is to say that digital artists need physical tools to interact with and create within the digital world. You need tools that connect the real with the virtual, and the following are going to prove themselves essential for that.

The Canvas
The canvas here is going to be an electronic screen, but there are several ways to go about it. You can choose between the following:

– The most comprehensive choice would be a touchscreen laptop or tablet PC with support for pressure sensitive pens.
– A dedicated drawing monitor/tablet will provide you with greater control and a better feel while drawing.
– An electronic drawing pad is most economic option but having to look at two separate displays simultaneously can be off-putting.

The Computer
Digital art was originally called computer art and it is still synonymous today for good reason. Before anything else, you need a computer to get started. In fact, if you choose the right touchscreen PC, you may not even need to invest in a separate digital canvas. Laptops/2-in1 tablets are recommended for their mobility, ease-of-use, versatility, and cost-efficiency.

For a digital artist who is starting out, a touchscreen laptop with a powerful APU comes well recommended. For example, the Lenovo Intel Arc Graphics architecture we see in the new ThinkPad series is more than adequate to help digital artists create, edit, and render images in super high resolutions without a hitch. Desktop PC monitors allow for a bigger screen, but unless it’s a drawing monitor, taking your eyes on and off a drawing pad and the monitor can be very distracting.

The Digital Pen
Modern technology has come a long way and you can find digitizers for all touchscreen devices these days, but very few of them are suited for drawing. That is especially true if we are talking about professional work of course, so you don’t just need a random digitizer or stylus, you need a professional digital artist’s drawing pen. This is important because companies may ship their products with a digitizer in the box. Some of these are pretty good and come with pressure sensitivity as well, but do not feel like you need to be restricted by it.

Give it a try and see if it suits your grip because that’s the most important thing for any artist. In case, the stylus feels like a poor fit, rest assured that you have a wide range of options to choose from. Just like with brushes and pencils of different thickness, artists often own more than just one digital pen. Huion and Wacom are the premier names in digital art equipment, and they both have a wide range of options that work on multiple devices. However, you should always check for
compatibility before buying.

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