Tips and Tricks and new work

Up till now when painting digitally I’ve used freehand or scanned my own hand drawn/painted images and drawn them in ArtRage from scratch. It’s a confidence builder to be able to redraw an image making adjustments and correcting flaws. I use AR for drawing as I find it by far the easiest and most like drawing on paper (I use an Intuos tablet and graphire pen).

However, I finally decided it was past time to make the pen tool in PS my friend. After some jerky beginnings I came across some very helpful tips, tricks and exercises which I will share below.

But first a look at both – hand drawn and pen tool.


The angel, princess (unicorn and bird), and the stylised couple in Lean on Me were hand drawn. The rest are the result of perseverance with the pen tool and very glad I am I didn’t give up.

I found a lot of help in getting the hang of the pen tool with these:

A very handy tip here – rubber band

Very wordy but informative

Fantastic exercises here from Robin Wood scroll down till you come to the 3 options (modes, options, exercises). Those exercises did it for me 🙂 Thank you Robin!

And a visual from YouTube

ArtRage : The best thing I did after purchasing ArtRage (LOVE this program) was to sign up for the forums. Once signed in (free!) there is help, support and sharing aplenty, and lots of tutorials. Some very generous artists contribute all sorts of helpful goodies, tips and tricks. The best community support I have found anywhere thus far for a software program.

Painter : I have Painter 12 and won’t be rushing to upgrade. Support from Corel is, as far as I’m concerned, non-existent. There are however, some generous individuals out there who do offer tips/tricks/and encouragement. If you want to get really serious about it, try VTC

Photoshop : When I wanted to learn PS and really come to grips with what it was capable of, was recommended to me by Robin Wood (of the above tutorial). I’m a fan of tutorials. Loads of informative videos showing you ‘how to’ and giving details and valuable instruction. Being very visual, this suited me perfectly.

A year of getting back to hands on (ie paint covered) drawing and painting on  paper and canvas was a great way to push my skills and remember what I liked (and didn’t) about both traditional and digital art.

We all need a little inspiration and push at times and I found lots of both on Watch the previews to see if the artist offers what you are drawn to, even if it’s not something you would usually do. It’s always good to push past our limits. It’s subscription based and offers a host of artists showing how they did what they did 🙂

NB: I am not affiliated with any of the above. I don’t get freebies and I’m not paid to advertise/support any of them. (Sadly lol) I’m impressed by those who can make learning on-line accessible and clear and I’m always on the lookout for those who can.

Feel free to let me know of any you are aware of and found helpful. You may help someone who is stuck and feeling frustrated.

Till next time, happy creating.



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