Digital Art Tips (Paint Tool SAI)

digital art tips

Digital art can be a hit or miss.

People either choose to be a digital artist or a traditional artist. The difference is that traditional art uses the original drawing tools, such as pencils and paints. With our new technology, we have access to computers, which gives us more opportunities, and it is no doubt the same for art.

This article is going to give you tips about digital art. Because the only digital program I stick with is Paint Tool SAI, I will be giving tips relating to that. However, some of these tips will be universal, and will be able to be used for any program.

First off, pricing. Paint Tool SAI is expensive, but if you’re a desperate person like me, it shouldn’t take long to find a free version if you devote yourself to it. I found a way to get PTS for free, and I have no regrets.

Universal Tips

These tips will cover any and, most likely, all digital art programs.

First off, the easiest way to get used to any program is to experiment. Draw a few things and play around with the features. It doesn’t take long if you just sit down and practice with each and every tool a few times.

After you get used to practicing with the tools and features of your program, practiceย drawingย now.

There are two ways to do this. The more popular way is to get a drawing tablet, which Iย don’t use. The other way is to draw with a mouse. Using your mouse can be a disaster, but people like me with good grips can do it easily.

Good for you if you use a mouse.


Paint Tool SAI Tips

You can stop reading now if…

  • You don’t own Paint Tool SAI and are not interested in getting it
  • You were just here for universal tips (If so then well dang. I’ll have an extended article about that stuff if that’s what people want).

So for PTS, there are a few useful tools that other programs might not have. I have been using Paint Tool SAI for at least a year, so you can trust me.


Something that a lot of art programs have, but some don’t have:


Layers areย extremelyย useful. If you manage to make aย PIECE OF ARTย withย ONEย layer, then you are majestic.

Layers have several options such as changing the opacity (how transparent or visible something is), ย locking layers, and much more. Opacity is useful for shading as well.

How I shade is first, I choose a dark color that isย extremelyย close to black and color around in the places I want shading in in a seperate layer. Then, I turn the opacity down and then it looks really cool.

Layer placement is key too. Certain things won’t show up if you place them in a certain spot.

There is also an option for each tool (pencil, brush, etc.) to set a special name for them and a quick-access key. Basically, a quick-access key is a key on your keyboard that you press and it selects the tool automatically for you. You can make tools have special effects like tool opacity, size, etc.


Stay tuned for more! Check my social media for updates and more!


Paper V Computers

People like to do their art in different ways. The most common way is using paper and pencils, pens, and other materials. However, this is the 21st century, and we have the internet and electronic devices, such as computers.

Computers added a lot to people’s lives. It gives them a new way to communicate and make new friends. Computers have also gave artists new ways to make art. Some people download art programs such as Paint Tool SAI or Photoshop, but most computers come with a cheap program known as MS Paint.

Sure, if you know how to operate it, you can make masterpieces in MS Paint.

But there areย way moreย advanced programs that have things such as layers and other tools.

But what’s the real difference? Which is easier?ย Iย personally am fine with using both.

First, computers.ย Most people dread drawing with a mouse because the lines end up shaky and uneven. I draw with a mouse and my works come out okay, but there are tablets you can hook up to your computer that you can use to draw for your computer. You can also try finding some app that lets you draw on your phone, tablet or any portable device.

However, the cons of using a computer is that they areย expensive.ย Not everyone has access to one, and heck, even stuff like phones and tablets are expensive too.

Another con is that it can take a long time to get used to a program on your device. Unless you areย so smart and can teach yourself (me sometimes), you would have to constantly look up tutorial videos on YouTube. And most likely they don’t even come with instructions. For me, and hopefully a lot of people too, I just experiment with all the features and functions to see what they all do. I use Paint Tool SAI to draw on my computer, and for most of the time I just played around and since I’m so used to it, I’m not that willing to switch to another program.

So just play around with features until you get the hang of it.

Now, paper and pencils are more convenient and way less expensive to get. You can find paper and pencils if you just look around any drawing aisle at a store.

Forย me, drawing on paper is easier and, like I said earlier, way more convenient. If I am doing something else on my computer or just don’t want to draw on my computer at the time, I would just grab a journal or a plain piece of paper and a pencil and draw.