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, practice drawing now.

There are two ways to do this. The more popular way is to get a drawing tablet, which I 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 are extremely useful. If you manage to make a PIECE OF ART with ONE layer, then you are majestic.

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

How I shade is first, I choose a dark color that is extremely 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!



13 Reasons Why Art is a Good Thing

We see art just about every day in our lives, unless you live in a place with no color. Art is important to the world, and here are 13 reasons why art is important.

  1. Art makes the world more colorful. It adds variety to the everyday world around us, and makes the Earth more enjoyable to look at.
  2. Art gives you a chance to express yourself. Some people may not know a lot about you. Drawing can define your personality if you put your heart and soul into it. In fact, most people’s art revolves around feelings. If you’re feeling angry, there will be lots of red and an angry mood in the art.
  3. You can make new friends. If you focus on drawing things that other people like, you can talk about it together.
  4. Art improves your creative skills and thinking. If you are a creative type of person, doing art can make you even better.
  5. It gives you confidence. If you can express things in art and become more open to the world that way.
  6. It gives you teamwork skills. Collaboration is a huge part in society, and we do it a lot. Working together for big projects and such will make you better at your teamwork skills.
  7. Art can give you a better chance at a career, and can prepare you. Most jobs nowadays require creative and open minded people. Doing art will make things easier for you.
  8. It can make us calmer. If you are angry at something, just sit down and draw for a bit. Trust me, it helps.
  9. You can tell stories your own way. If you’re not good at writing, art is another very similar way to tell stories. You can either make comics, or just draw anything that can tell a story.
  10. It allows you to explore new opportunities. Art is a way to find what you’re good at.
  11. It can make you realize what you want to do. If you like drawing, you can make lots of money by selling paintings and stuff.
  12. It can make you a smarter person. There are some things that art can teach you, such as patience.
  13. Art can have a huge impact on lives, and change the world if possible. Some art pieces have had a large impact on lives and affected lots of people.

So maybe, your art can be important too.

If you try hard.

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 are way more advanced programs that have things such as layers and other tools.

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

First, computers. 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 are expensive. 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 are 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.

For 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.

Animal Drawings

Animal Drawings

Some people are good at drawing certain things. Some people can only draw plants, while others can probably only draw people. I can draw lots of things, but I can draw animals the best.

There are a lot of different animals to try and draw. Some include birds, dogs, and cats. There are a lot of parts to animals, some are easy to draw and others are hard.

Perspectives are a hard thing to do, especially on drawing animals. For example, I think that side-views are much easier to draw than front-views. Some side views can look 2d, while others can be at an angle and look 3d.

You need to practice. Like landscapes, you will need a reference picture for the first few drawings you do. Once you get better, you don’t have to use it anymore. Try drawing your pet if you have one.

Use guidelines.  Like landscapes, guidelines are important, but they are more important here. Use guidelines to mark where things, such as the eyes, will be. You can go over it for your final copy, but make sure you get rid of your guidelines.