40+ Digital Painting Tutorials You Should Study

Tutorials September 8, 2010

Painting is one masterly form of art that technology has helped elevate. Not only are effects more easily and better achieved, but design software has also made this art form even more accessible to a designer with a computer, an eye for detail and a genuine desire to learn. If you’re one of those designers who aspire to create digitally painted artwork like these, we think you’d learn more than a thing or two in this collection of tutorials. Read through them, study the variety of techniques they employ, and come out an accomplished digital painter in your own right!


Painting Wavy Hair

wavy hair

Learn how to paint wavy hair digitally. Get all sorts of helpful advice, from which brushes to use to what steps to take to make the hair shine.


Spacecraft Prototyping

spacecraft prototyping

This tutorial will show you how to make this prototype from start to finish. It also contains pro advice on how to create that texture from scratch.


Advanced Tutorial: Creating Broken Link

broken link

Learn how to create the highlights and shadows on this mutated version of Link, from the Legend of Zelda. You will also learn how to make all those textures.


Suberb Tutorial of Digital Painting President Obama

digital painting

Learn how to create a digital painting of President Obama using Photoshop and a graphic tablet. This tutorial also includes a video of the painting in progress.


Equilibrium

equilibrium

Learn how to paint a realistic female digitally starting from grayscale! Work your way from there to creating these realistic colors.


Paint Realistic Looking Lips

realistic looking lips

Learn how to paint lips that are sensually life-like. Get expert tips on how to achieve those highlights to make painted lips look more realistic.


Making of Spanish Girl

spanish girl

Attempt painting a realistic portrait and see the progression from conceptual drafts to the final artwork with this tutorial.


Making of Cold Sky

cold sky

The tutorial will demonstrate how to create an image using ten color palettes and standard Painter brushes.


The Custom Brush Guide: Fabric and Costume

fabric and costume

There are ways to make painting fabric easier. In this guide, learn what brushes could be used to simulate the texture of which fabric.


Christian Grajewski Scene Rendering

scene render

Here you will learn how to apply basic painting techniques on Photoshop with the help of a graphic tablet.


The Abstract Dragon

abstract dragon

This tutorial will help you create an abstract dragon using different textures that you can find anywhere in the web or from your personal files.


Feathers and Angel Wings

feathers angel wings

With the help of this tutorial, you will be able to construct feathers and angel wings that aren’t necessarily very angelic.


Spider Harp

spider harp

Learn how to paint intricate details, from highlights to cobwebs.


The Taming of Naas

taming of naas
See how a traditional painter works on this dragon using Photoshop.


Making a Naughty Robot

naughty robot

Hours of painting have gone into this piece, complete with all the details. Learn the processes that have gone into this painting through this tutorial.


Children’s Book Illustration

childrens book

This tutorial will show you how to create a fantasy image to accompany a story aimed at a younger audience.


Photoshop Tutorial: Bioshock Videogame Digital Painting

bioshock videogame

With this tutorial, you will be able to make a digital painting inspired by the video game Bioshock. You will also learn how you could add invaluable textures to your illustrations.


Making of Bronze Dragon

bronze dragon

It’s impossible to make a good painting without a good sketch. Check out how this bronze dragon progressed from an intricate line drawing to this fierce finished design.


Old Style Pin Up Art… the New Way

pin up art

Learn how to create old-fashioned pin-up artwork digitally.


Fire Energy

fire energy

This painting has a nice, fluid oil feel to it. Learn how to simulate the warmth and energy that seems to exude from this piece in Photoshop.


Making of Deathblow

death blow

This tutorial will show you how to simulate action and movement in a digital painting. You will also see how to construct tension and drama in a scene so that it feels like you are looking at a movie still.

Digital Painting Tutorial

digital painting

If you are new to digital painting, this one is a must read!  Learn the basic know-hows, as well as the slightly advanced techniques, in how to simulate skin, cloth and hair textures, as well as how the play of light can give more life to your piece.


Dark Elf Mage

dark elf mage

Artists need to make sure that all the details in their digital paintings work harmoniously together in accordance to the intended mood. Learn how to do just that with the help of this tutorial.


Painting Fantasy Eyes

fantasy eyes

Get expert advice on how to create eyes that show character, mood and beauty.


Making of Super Bad

super bad

This digital painting was started in Adobe Photoshop and finished in Corel Painter.


Making of Three Lines

three lines

The title of this tutorial comes from the three extruding lines on the wall in the background. Learn how to do grayscale shading, create rough colors and then render them in this beautiful tutorial by Henning Ludvigsen.


Making of Funfair

fun fair

Inspired by a friend whose ice cream suddenly acquired a small insect, Daniela Uhlig has fun creating this strange situation depicted in this graphic, completed in this very painterly 3D tutorial.


Paint a Sexy Siren

sexy siren

This tutorial combines dark humor with irony in this digital painting of a mermaid and a group of painterly pirates. See how it started from a small doodle on Photoshop and ended up as what it is now.


Making of “My Prince”

my prince

Learn how to create all that texture, illumination and drama by enhancing light and shadows in this tutorial.


Revising Golongria’s Picture

golongrias

This article will help you understand basic concepts in painting that can be applied in digital art.


Making of Hecate

hecate

This tutorial will show you how to create Hecate, the Greek goddess of the crossroads.


Portrait Speed Painting

speed painting

Paint a realistic portrait in less than half the usual time using a combination of oil and acrylic techniques and digital painting.


Painting Realistic Hands

realistic hands

Learn the basic anatomy rules and discover techniques that will make painting hands easier than ever.


Picturebook: Painting Human Lips

human lips

This tutorial has no text, but shows you a step by step guide on how to create those puckering lips.


Making of Yuka

lukx

Yes, that’s actually a painting and not a picture. Learn how to create this from a sketch, to an underpainting, and finally to the finished product.


Painting a Faerie Scene

faerie scene

Create an enchantingly beautiful faerie scene with this tutorial, starting with some simple sketching on paper.

Illustration Workflow with Nick Harris

illustration workflow

Light gives life to what we see. Here, you will see how drama has been achieved by simulating light.


Making of Lida

lida

This tutorial attempts to catch the feel of traditional Chinese paintings and poems in a very modern digital painting.


How to Draw a Portrait in Photoshop

portrait

Get the step-by-step procedure on how to paint this face from a scanned sketch using Photoshop.


Photoshop Tutorial Wonder Woman Pin Up Digital Painting

wonder woman

Create a detailed pin-up of Wonder Woman using helpful insights in this tutorial. The concept of chiaroscuro helped make this pin-up work.


SciFi Environment Concept

sci fi environment

Learn how to use perspective in your digital paintings.

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Ronald is the founder of NaldzGraphics.net. He’s a graphic designer and loves everything related to design. His site started as a portfolio, and has turned into an amazing design blog to share his experiences with and help provide useful resources.

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  • http://www.herbugstudio.com HerbugStudio

    They seem so real it’s just amazing

  • http://www.cruzine.com oliver

    Thanks for this great tutorials. Inspiration for all illustrators and designers.

    People Illustrations – Funny, Scary, Serious, Fantastic, and Everybody Else – http://www.cruzine.com/2010/09/02/people-illustrations/

  • http://www.dominiocolectivo.com/ Jim

    Me parece interesante este blog sobre diseño web y realmente las aplicaciones son las mejores.

  • http://www.macrored.com.ar Diseño Web

    Thanks a lot, just what i needed for my poster!

  • http://www.cambiatusresultados.com.ar/ carol – ley de atraccion

    thanks for the contributions the tutorials are amazing!

  • http://webdesignscoop.com Mozzaey

    Dreamy. They would be really helpful for interior decoration if blown up.

  • http://www.mp-webdesign.co.uk Kelly

    Before this blog I had no knowledge of how such images were created. These tutorials are extremely useful to help pull everything together and begin understanding the complexity of how to create digital art work. I chose to look at Spider Harp – an excellent piece of digital art work, as are all the rest. The tutorials give access to information that many will appreciate.

  • http://stuffbystina.blogspot.com Christina

    Awesome tutorials. I’m going have to read through some of these. I’ve only made three digital paintings, and really want to continue to try more.

    This was my first attempt at a still life:
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_vwa5JpBB86U/SsU0AcOoXFI/AAAAAAAAAvE/G0xJzFQS9mc/s1600-h/finishedstilllife.jpg