Digital Painting 101

In our first proper video tutorial/demonstration, we go over the very basics of digital painting. From a loose digital sketch to finishing touches, this hour and ten minute lesson should get you ready to just dive in and paint your own Monster Cuties. Oh, and please excuse the farting. I must have had some beans with dinner.

This was captured in real time in HD so it looks great fullscreen.  Enjoy.

PS – Oh, I totally forgot his little hair tuft! Ah well. Next time I’ll do a hairy monster or something.

  • gogo

    whenI am done with the gray body and I want to start coloring some colors don’t appear in the coloring layer ! I think it’s because the layer mode is color . what should I set the layer to ?

  • Jamie Noguchi

    Give multiply a try.

  • Wennary Khuon

    my pen/tablet isn’t working anything like yours!! though my pen is set up just like yours and the calibrations and pen settings are ok, it’s not sketching like yours. the size is the same, and opacity, and flow, but mines is painting bigger and bolder lines. yours gets lighter and darker and thinner and thicker with the pressure, and mines doesn’t. it is “SLIGHTLY” a little thin at the beginning but nothing barely happens. i feel like its the same as if im using a mouse. its really getting me frustrated, what am i doing wrong??

  • Jamie Noguchi

    I’m not sure. Check the Wacom site to see if you have the most recent drivers for your tablet. Sometimes, I have to restart my computer. There should also be a program that lets you calibrate the tablet. On a mac, it’s in the System Preferences. Not sure on a PC. Also, make sure pressure sensitivity is set in the brushes that you are using. Sometimes it’s on, sometimes it’s off. Give those a try. Other than that, I’m not entirely certain what you can do.

  • The Avatar

    Amazing tut, mate. Very helpful. I’ll try it some time and I’ll show my results to you! You didn’t bore me. You’re a great speaker. Keep it up xx

  • Narendra Keshkar

    I can not see the tutorial video. Anything wrong with it?

  • Jamie Noguchi

    seems to be working okay. may take a while to buffer since it’s so long.

  • ulfa

    okay this is like 5 years ago but i just found this aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand I love you!

  • Jake

    What brush would you use in place of, the brush you use for value in the beginning, in sketchbook pro?

  • Brian van Hunsel

    Thanks for this great tutorial. I’ve looking for something to get me started for ages.
    It’s been great fun to do, and the end result is better than I dared hope for (even though, now I’ve uploaded it to DA, I can see all sorts of things that bother me).


    Here a link to my Cutie:

  • Blob

    That was very helpful, thanks!

  • emy

    i do not seem to have the other dynamics option only colour dynamics, does it really matter?….

  • Jamie Noguchi

    I don’t think so. This is just the way I do things. If you find something works better for you, that’s awesome!

  • emy

    and also for the shading have you set you opacity to be lower?…..cause that’s what it looks like….

  • Jamie Noguchi

    If I remember correctly, the brush opacity is set to pressure which means the harder I press on my stylus, the darker it shades. It’s been a while since I recorded this but that’s usually how I digitally paint.

  • António

    is it possible for you to upload the video on a downloadable media?? cause i like watching videos to learn while i travel but without internet its impossible :( ..and your tutorial videos seem so good 😀

  • Lucía Elisa

    I’m so original… Thank you for the tutorial, is the very best I have seen!

  • Cameron

    The video won’t load! :(

  • Jamie Noguchi

    I’m gonna try to download all of these eps and upload them to YouTube so it’ll stick around a little more.

  • Jamie Noguchi

    Updated to YouTubes so it should load properly now.

  • cbsowl

    hi,, it’s really awesome tutorial. i watched with my friends and we stay in awe.. seriously it does help us like a lot. anyway i want to ask you.. since i use adobe photoshop cs6. i find it hard to setting my brush ? can you help? thank you. it means a lot.

  • Angie

    Wonderful tutorial, I quite enjoyed it! Thanks for teaching me how to digital paint. 😀

  • guy

    GREAT TUT!!!
    question- instead of working hard, masking the shadow, why not just move the shadow layer down?
    again-very nice tutorial.thankyou!

  • Jamie Noguchi

    Sadly, I’m using a really old version of Photoshop. CS3. The brushes should be easier to use in CS6 from what I understand. They redid the brush engine to make it respond better to tablets and such.

    What specifically are you having problems with?

  • Jamie Noguchi

    That will work, too! The tutorial is really to give you some ideas on how to start with digital painting. Eventually, you’ll develop your own workflow that works for you.

  • Daniel

    Well, it was fun experimenting with Photoshop, thank you so much for this very detailed tutorial!

    Using a drawing tablet for the first time is indeed pretty weird x.x

    Also used only one brush for the whole painting…I loved how it worked, but guess I should be using others, at least to try them.

    Thanks again for sharing this info with us!


  • JM

    This tutorial is Great, Thank you very much for everything, including the farts LOL. Here’s my end result:

  • Pingback: The Angry Blue Monster | 365 Days of Fantasy Art()

  • Julia

    Haha i remember my first try. Lol

  • Joshua

    totally loved the way he went thru the process way to go man. fart humor lol

  • Aisha Aguado

    Thank you for the amazing tutorial Mr. Jamie Noguchi! Here’s the result of my work. It’s actually my first time in doing digital painting. Thank you again! :)

  • goverlie

    Had a lot of fun and learned a lot – thanks :-) Interesting to start with browns as a base and not greys. Works a lot better for the shading and creates some nice shapes.

  • Drikanyx

    Oh my god thankyou for this tutorial. While I’m not new to the industry, painting digitally was where I fell down. I’d come across so many tutorials like that picture floating around of “how to draw an owl” and remain stumped on how to create nice looking things without lines.

    Now I feel a little more confident to do more stuff like this 😀

  • pat bowne

    This was great and so helpful! Thank you for posting it.

  • Kat

    This is mine, thank you for the tutorial (: I hope keep learning from your videos.

  • Kat

    sorry, I forgot to add the pic in the last comment XD

  • Kat

    Damn I can’t post it :c

  • BriefAeon

    Here is mine ! It’s my first real project and I enjoyed each seconds it took (I’ve been 3 times slower than you… About 3h30 to do it.) But I’m quite happy with the result

  • Jamie Noguchi

    Looks great!!!