Getting Started with Digital Illustration – Suggested Resources

Digital Illustration, Ipad, Photoshop, Tutorials

A couple of years ago I wanted to add digital illustration to my portfolio. I was working in mostly watercolor and ink, and using Photoshop to edit my work. I could navigate Photoshop well enough to do what I didn’t to, but it seems overwhelming.

I took a chance and purchased a cheap drawing tablet with stylus ($55) and began the long process of learning not only Photoshop but what my style of digital art would look like.

I would sketch everything with paper and pencil, scan it in and then use the drawing tablet to trace the lines of my sketch. There wasn’t much life to my drawings at that point, but I was still learning the whole “hand-eye coordination” thing.

I started reading books on Photoshop and watching tons of YouTube videos. I was totally overwhelmed and feared my digital art would never be as good as these amazing artists. But I never gave up!

Now, I work mostly digital and rarely bring out my paints and brushes. I have two setups now. My laptop has a “new” drawing tablet and stylus whebore I use Photoshop and Illustrator. On my Ipad Pro I use mostly Procreate, but I also am known to use Adobe Draw and Adobe Sketch.

If you are an Ipad user, I encourage you to get the Procreate App. It’s extremely user friendly and way less intimidating then Photoshop. But Photoshop is the big daddy software that I couldn’t live without. Both are amazing!!

If you are just getting started here are my suggestions for classes, books, magazines.

Resource Suggestions

Skillshare – has the best classes and for a very affordable monthly rate you can watch all the classes you want. The classes are short and teach some amazing tried and true techniques.

ImagineFX – is an amazing art magazine. It focuses mainly on digital art (for many softwares, not just Photoshop), although there are occasionally articles on painting and drawing techniques. This is my all time favorite!!

Digital Art Technique Manual for Illustrators and Artists – book

Any book by 3dTotalPublishing. I particularly like their Digital Painting Technique Volumes. They put one out each year and they are amazing. I also really like their Beginner’s Guide to Digital Painting: Characters.

YouTube – this is a no-brainer! It’s truly unlimited access, so watch as many as you can. Watch videos by artists you wouldn’t normally follow. Watch videos painting things you would never want to paint yourself. If you are a sci-fi artist, watch children’s illustration videos. If you are a children’s illustrator, watch videos about portrait painting. Watch basic Photoshop tutorials. Seriously, you’ll have a full education if you just take the time to watch all that’s been put up there.

Last piece of advice…Enjoy yourself!!

Weekly Doodle Challenge – Tea Bag Template

Doodle Art, Tutorials

Join the weekly doodle fun!

Weekly Doodle Challenge -Tea Bag Template


Download and print the weekly template and doodle along with me.

Weekly Doodle Challenge – Tea Bag Template

Fall has finally arrived here in Phoenix, so it’s all about sweaters, jeans and warm cups of tea.


I’d love to see your completed doodles…use #doodlewithHiHi to share!


Join the Weekly Doodle Club

Blending Stubs

6 Must Have Supplies You Need to Create Doodle Art

Sketchbook, Tutorials

Zentangle / Doodle art is all the rage, but what supplies do you really need to turn simple doodles into beautiful works of art?

Here are my 6 must have supplies…

  1. Mechanical Pencils – Because I’m drawing people, faces, and clothing, it’s not easy to get it right the first time, so I always start with a light pencil sketch. I prefer lead sizes 0.5 and 0.3
    Mechanical Pencils
  2. Black Permanent Pens – I use both Micron and Faber-Castell and have collected all different size tips. If you are just starting out, I’d recommend purchasing .01 and .03 pens.Micron & Faber-Castell Pens
  3. Erasers – Kneaded and white erasers are the only erasers I ever recommend using. Colored erasers can leave marks on your paper.
    Best erasers for doodle art
  4. Paper that can handle pens – Sketch, marker, bristol, and printer paper are all good choices. I typically use Bristol paper.
    Favorite paper for doodle art
  5. Ruler/Stencils/Compass – These are just options if you like to have really straight lines or consistent shapes like circles or squares.
    Rulers, stencils and compass
  6. Blending Stubs –
    Blending Stubs



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Pink Pastel Doodle Tutu-How to

How to draw a pink pastel doodle tutu


Pink Pastel Doodle Tutu-How to

Working with Chalk Pastels can be fun, messy and totally frustrating all at the same time. I’ve found that I like working with chalk pastels in my art journal the best. I always start with a layer of Gesso. How thick of a layer will depend on what medium I’m working with. Since I’m using chalk pastels for this piece my Gesso layer is thin because I’ll be covering the entire page with color.Pink Pastel Doodle Tutu-How to

First thing you’ll need to do, is to sketch in pencil your figure. Since it was #nationalballetday yesterday I chose to sketch a ballerina figure. I saw a photograph on pinterest that inspired this drawing.

Pink Pastel Doodle Tutu-How to

With chalk pastels, color in your ballerina. Blending and layering until she’s complete.

Pink Pastel Doodle Tutu-How to

Add a background color. Then spray entire page with a fixative. Hair spray will also work. The fixative will darken the colors.

Pink Pastel Doodle Tutu-How to

Once the fixative dries you can now add doodles. Pens will not work over the chalk pastels until it’s been sprayed.

Pink Pastel Doodle Tutu-How to

Add a quote to the page if you like. I chose a quote by Susannah Conway. “Always wear your invisible crown.”