What is Digital Illustration?


Drawing has evolved in many ways over the years with the fusion of traditional art blending and blurring into digital art. Digital illustration is essentially the use of digital tools, such as a mouse or tablet, in combination with drawing software, such as Corel Painter, to create an illustration. With the universal appeal of digital illustration, an artist can now look at a blank canvas in a whole new light.

Stock your toolbox for digital illustration

With digital illustration, there are many tools of the trade to consider. To get a complete digital painting experience, you will need a combination of both hardware and software components:

  • Computer – desktop or laptop, Mac or PC
  • Graphics tablet and stylus
  • Illustration software (Not your run of the mill paint software) – Corel Painter is available for both PC and Mac
  • Digital paint brushes

A computer is not typically used alone in digital illustration and is most often used in tandem with some form of drawing tablet and pen, or stylus.

Android Jones

Artist: Android Jones

How to use a drawing tablet and pen

In creating your digital illustration, you must find a good match between your digital art software and your graphics tablet. One such perfect union is Corel Painter and the Wacom tablet.

A tablet adds an additional level of detail, control and precision to any illustration and provides the expressive brushstrokes you need to bring any canvas to life. It also provides pressure sensitivity so the pen or stylus actually mimics the look and feel of a real brush.

Best of all, a quality tablet saves you valuable design time by maximizing both workflow and efficiency. Take a look at the power of Corel Painter when paired with a drawing tablet like Wacom (video is sped up to show the entire painting process):

And here’s another great video showing the winning combination of a Wacom tablet and Corel Painter. In this beautiful speed painting David Harrington displays his immense skill with Corel Painter. David demonstrates how he gets a wide range of marks from each brush. Watch the video.

Additional brushes at your fingertips

One you’ve found your groove in the world of digital illustration, you can expand your tools of the trade by experiencing an endless array of brush possibilities. Each one provides a unique painting experience from thick bold strokes, to special effects and textures. All illustration software comes with a standard library of built-in brushes, but you can often expand upon those by creating your own custom brushes or searching for new ones that will mimic the exact look and feel you need.

Here are a few of the many awe-inspiring brush packs that are available through Corel Painter that provide all types of outrageously creative brushes:

  • Atmosphere Brush Pack

    Atmosphere Brush Pack

  • Flame Brush Pack

    Flame Brush Pack

  • Fantasy Brush Pack

    Fantasy Brush Pack

Painter has also released a set of amazing Photoshop brushes in ParticleShop, a plugin for other popular photo editing and illustration software packages.

Learn more from the Masters of Digital Art & Illustration

Within the competitive world of digital illustration, there are often visual leaders that rise to the top with their stunning and awe-inspiring work from across the globe. Within the world of Corel Painter, there is a special league for such distinguished artists. They are honored with the title of Painter Master Elite and have years of experience and dedication. Their artwork is unreal. See for yourself.

  • Aaron Rutten

    Artist: Aaron Rutten

  • Brian Pollett

    Artist: Brian Pollett

  • Greg Banning

    Artist: Greg Banning

  • Cliff Cramp

    Artist: Cliff Cramp



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