Do you feel like you’re pretty okay at drawing? Have the tools and creative skillset, and interested in marketing your work? We accept artwork of all genres at 123RF, be it watercolor or abstract styles. Even if you’re just a beginner, practice makes perfect! Here’s our comprehensive guide on becoming a digital artist and earning money online.

Depending on the type of illustrations you can draw, using the right tools that fit your art style can determine the outcome of your art. Beautiful, dynamic lines are created with a delicate motion that a mouse isn’t capable of transferring. You can’t use a lighter or stronger pressure with this tool—you can either click (draw) or not click (not draw). The traditional pencil will let you draw a better line than even the most expensive mouse. To draw on your computer as you would on paper, you need a special tool—a graphics tablet.

To sum it up, you’ll need a tablet and some software to begin digital art. Expensive, advanced tools you see most professionals use are not necessarily better, just more convenient. You can get a bigger workspace, a screen under your stylus, more pressure sensitivity levels (that you won’t even notice), various bells and whistles, but in the end, 95% of the artwork is still produced with your drawing skill. Do some research and explore tips on becoming a successful digital artist.

Working with Colors

If it’s your first time experimenting with colors, there are plenty of guides that you can follow available online. There’s one fact that you need to keep in mind all the time when picking colors. Colors aren’t real, in a sense that they are produced by our brain as an interpretation of certain signals. Because of this, we can recognize the color of an object even when the light conditions change.

Check this out: All these cherries are seen as red, even though the color picker doesn’t agree with it.

Guide To Becoming A Digital Artist And Earning Money Online - 123RF Blog

This means that colors are relative—we don’t see them separately, but as a whole. A shade appears red when it’s “redder” than its neighbor, and bright when it’s brighter than its neighbor. For more tips on using color in your artwork, check out this handy guide to mastering color theory.

Doing Digital Shading

As a beginner, there will come a time when you progress to a level where you want to add dimension and depth to your artwork. Whether you’re planning on doing blending, hatching, or stippling, shading digitally can be pretty therapeutic.

Check out our guide on digital shading for beginners, where we walk you through the fundamental steps of digital shading with the illustration of a ribbon. Why a ribbon, you ask? Once you master the ribbon, you’ll be set up to tackle more difficult textures and shapes. Understanding the basics of ribbon shading will go a long way in your practice.

Guide To Becoming A Digital Artist And Earning Money Online - 123RF Blog

Painting In Greyscale

Now, what if you’re working with greyscale, or limited colors? In this digital painting tutorial, we’ll guide you on how to quickly render your own digital portraits in monochrome using fairly easy to learn techniques. Basically, you’ll start by working with layers, building up tone, highlights and textures to create depth and detail for illustrating eyes, hair, face, and skin.

Guide To Becoming A Digital Artist And Earning Money Online - 123RF Blog

Today, working as an artist is no longer a mystical job for the elite. If you can craft something perfectly, the money will come. Keep in mind that the tools don’t make the artist, and honing your artistic skills to improve yourself is always key.

There are various styles of artwork out there on the market. You don’t have to limit yourself to realism, portraits, or the like if you specialize in watercolor, for example. Our platform accepts a broad range of art styles, including sketches and doodles!

What if you’re just starting out with building your creative brand? Simply sign up as a 123RF contributor to start selling your artwork. How you promote your own creative portfolio is entirely up to you – take it to all of your social media accounts, your favorite art forums, or join online creative communities. Our contributor platform also offers a smooth, functional dashboard that allows you to see and track your monthly or total earnings and analytics like downloads, content upload summary, and more. Here’s a quick guide on how to get started after you join our platform.