Are you an aspiring digital artist? Whether you’re just starting out or have been creating art for years, having a resource to turn to can be incredibly helpful. Luckily, there are many books that can give insight into the tools, techniques and theories of successful digital art creation. Here are 29 of the best books about digital art available that will help unlock your creative potential.
From learning how to use photoshop and 3D animation software to exploring color theory and design elements – these books provide comprehensive resources for any level of experience. Keep reading to discover all the interesting ways you can learn more about creating digital art with technology in 2023.
My Top 10 Best Digital Art Books
**This page may contain affiliate links to products I have used or recommend. If you purchase something from this page, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.**
“The Art of Spirited Away” by Hayao Miyazaki
Best for: Best for fans of Miyazaki’s work, animation students, and those interested in the art of storytelling through animation.
This book is a beautiful collection of artwork from the beloved Studio Ghibli film Spirited Away, and is a great source of inspiration for anyone interested in digital art and animation. As a big fan of Studio Ghibli, I find myself constantly flipping through the pages of this book for inspiration.
“Digital Painting Techniques: Practical Techniques of Digital Art Masters” edited by 3DTotal
Best for: Best for artists who want to learn various digital painting techniques from top industry professionals.
This book is an excellent resource for anyone looking to improve their digital painting skills and explore further digital art techniques. If you are looking to move into the world of speed painting then this book is perfect.
I found the step-by-step tutorials and in-depth breakdowns of different painting techniques to be very helpful in improving my own digital art skills.
“Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter” by James Gurney
Best for: Best for artists who want to learn how to use color and light effects in their digital paintings.
While this book is geared towards traditional painters, it contains a wealth of information about art fundamentals that are just as applicable to digital artists. The section on color theory, in particular, was incredibly helpful to me in understanding how to use color effectively in my digital art.
“The Animator’s Survival Kit” by Richard Williams
Best for: Aspiring animators, animation students, and professionals in the animation industry who want to improve their skills and knowledge.
This classic book is a must-read for anyone interested in animation, whether traditional or digital. The step-by-step breakdowns of different animation techniques and principles are incredibly informative and easy to follow, and I found myself referring back to this book frequently as I worked on my own animation projects.
“Framed Ink: Drawing and Composition for Visual Storytellers” by Marcos Mateu-Mestre
Best for: Artists and illustrators who want to improve their composition and storytelling skills and those interested in the film and animation industries.
This book is an excellent resource for anyone interested in visual storytelling, whether in animation, comics, or film. The focus on composition and layout was incredibly helpful to me in creating more dynamic and interesting compositions in my digital art.
“Beginner’s Guide to Digital Painting in Procreate” by 3DTotal Publishing
Best for: Beginner artists and intermediate digital artists who want to learn how to use Procreate for digital painting and illustration.
This book is a great resource for anyone just starting out with the popular digital art app Procreate. The step-by-step tutorials and clear explanations of different tools and techniques make it easy to follow along and improve your skills.
“The Skillful Huntsman: Visual Development of a Grimm Tale at Art Center College of Design” by Scott Robertson, Khang Le, and Mike Yamada
Best for: Concept artists, illustrators, and students interested in visual development, world-building, and creating narrative art.
This book is a fascinating look at the visual development process behind a single project and is an excellent resource for anyone interested in concept art or visual development. I found the detailed breakdowns of the different stages of the project to be incredibly informative and inspiring.
“Creating Stylized Characters” by 3DTotal Publishing
Best for: Artists who want to develop their digital character drawing and explore stylized character design in different genres, such as fantasy, sci-fi, and manga.
This book is a great resource for anyone interested in creating more stylized and cartoony characters in their digital art. The step-by-step tutorials and breakdowns of different techniques were incredibly helpful to me in developing my own style and improving my character design skills
“The Natural Way to Draw” by Kimon Nicolaides
Best for: Artists of all levels who want to improve their drawing skills through a structured and disciplined approach and those interested in classical drawing techniques.
While this book is geared toward traditional artists, it contains a wealth of information that is just as applicable to digital artists. The focus on developing a strong foundation in drawing is essential to creating effective and appealing digital art, and I found the exercises and techniques outlined in this book to be incredibly helpful.
“Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative” by Austin Kleon
Best for: Creatives of all kinds who want to learn about the creative process, find inspiration, and develop their own unique style.
While not strictly a book about digital art, this short and inspiring read is a must-read for any aspiring artist. The focus on creativity, inspiration and the importance of developing a unique artistic voice was incredibly helpful to me in developing my own digital art skills and style.
Other good books for information on digital art…
“The Adobe Photoshop Book for Digital Photographers” by Scott Kelby (2017)
This book is great for digital photographers looking to learn how to use Photoshop to enhance and retouch their photos.
“Drawing Basics and Video Game Art” by Chris Solarski (2012)
This book is a great resource for aspiring video game artists and covers topics like anatomy, composition, and digital painting.
“The CG Tutorial: The Definitive Guide to Programmable Real-Time Graphics” by Randima Fernando and Mark J. Kilgard (2002)
This book is a great resource for aspiring 3D artists and covers topics like lighting, texturing, and animation.
“Digital Painting in Photoshop” by Susan Ruddick Bloom (2009)
This book is a great resource for aspiring digital painters and includes step-by-step tutorials for creating digital paintings in Photoshop.
“How to Draw and Paint Fantasy Architecture” by Rob Alexander (2010)
This book is a great resource for aspiring fantasy artists and includes tutorials on drawing and painting fantasy architecture. This is great for advanced artists who want to expand their skills.
“Digital Character Design and Painting” by Don Seegmiller (2004)
This book is a great resource for aspiring character artists and includes tutorials on character design and digital painting.
“Drawing and Painting Fantasy Landscapes and Cityscapes” by Rob Alexander (2011)
This book is a great resource for aspiring fantasy artists and includes tutorials on drawing and painting fantasy landscapes and cityscapes.
“Digital Art Revolution: Creating Fine Art with Photoshop” by Scott Ligon (2010)
This book is a great resource for artists interested in creating fine art using digital tools and includes tutorials on painting, compositing, and other techniques.
“Manga for the Beginner: Everything You Need to Start Drawing Right Away!” by Christopher Hart (2008)
This book is a great resource for aspiring manga artists and covers topics like anatomy, perspective, and character design.
“Digital Lighting and Rendering” by Jeremy Birn (2013)
This book is a great resource for aspiring 3D artists and covers topics like lighting, texturing, and rendering.
“The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses” by Jesse Schell (2014)
This book is a great resource for aspiring game designers and covers topics like player psychology, game mechanics, and storytelling.
“Digital Painting Techniques: Volume 4” by 3DTotal Publishing (2012)
This book is a great resource for aspiring digital artists and includes tutorials on a wide range of digital painting techniques.
“Game Development Essentials: An Introduction” by Jeannie Novak (2015)
This book is a great resource for aspiring game developers and covers topics like game design, and programming.
“3D Game Environments: Create Professional 3D Game Worlds” by Luke Ahearn (2008)
This book is a comprehensive guide to creating 3D game environments, covering everything from planning and design to modeling and texturing. It is a must-read for game developers and 3D artists who want to create immersive, realistic game environments.
“Photoshop Compositing Secrets: Unlocking the Key to Perfect Selections and Amazing Photoshop Effects for Totally Realistic Composites” by Matt Kloskowski (2011)
This book is a great resource for anyone interested in Photoshop compositing. It covers everything from basic selection techniques to advanced compositing and special effects, and provides step-by-step instructions and sample files to help readers master the techniques.
“Mastering Blender” by Tony Mullen (2016)
This book is a great resource for anyone interested in using Blender, a popular open-source 3D modeling and animation software. It covers everything from the basics of modeling to advanced topics like character animation and visual effects, and provides step-by-step tutorials and exercises to help readers master the software.
“The Digital Matte Painting Handbook” by David B. Mattingly (2011)
This book is a comprehensive guide to the art of digital matte painting. It covers everything from the basics of composition and color theory to advanced techniques like photo manipulation and projection mapping, and provides step-by-step instructions and sample files to help readers master the techniques.
“Digital Lighting and Rendering” by Jeremy Birn (2013)
This book is a great resource for anyone interested in digital lighting and rendering. It covers the basics of lighting and color theory, as well as advanced techniques like global illumination and ray tracing, and provides step-by-step tutorials and sample files to help readers master the techniques.
“Designing Interfaces: Patterns for Effective Interaction Design” by Jenifer Tidwell (2010)
This book is a great resource for anyone interested in interaction design. It covers a wide range of topics, including user interface design, web design, and mobile app design, and provides a wealth of practical advice and design patterns to help readers create effective and user-friendly interfaces.
Frequently Asked Questions about digital art books:
Who are the 4 famous digital artists?
Some of the most famous digital artists are Beeple, Gink, Pi – Slicing, Kidmographs, Randy Bishop, Alex Heywood, and Minni Sundberg.
What should I study to become a digital artist?
To become a digital artist, it is recommended to study digital art and design, computer graphics, multimedia, or any other related field.
What are the 3 basic categories of digital art?
The three basic categories of digital art are vector graphics, digital painting, and photo manipulation.
Is digital art a good career?
Yes, digital art can be a good career choice for those who have a passion for art and technology. There are many job opportunities in the fields of animation, game design, advertising, and more.
Is digital painting profitable?
Yes, digital painting can be profitable, especially for freelance artists who can sell their artwork online or through various platforms.
What is the best digital painting?
The “best” digital painting is subjective and varies from person to person. However, some popular digital painting software includes Adobe Photoshop, Procreate, Corel Painter, and Clip Studio Paint.
Is digital art legal?
Yes, digital art is legal as long as the artist has the proper licensing or permission for any copyrighted material used in their artwork.
Can a beginner start with digital art?
Yes, beginners can start with digital art, but it takes time and practice to become skilled in this art form.
How do I start learning digital art?
You can start learning digital art by enrolling in a course, attending workshops, or watching online tutorials.
Where should I start with digital art?
You can start with digital art by learning the basic techniques and tools of digital painting software, practicing different styles, and experimenting with various digital art mediums.
Can I directly learn digital art?
Yes, you can directly learn digital art if you have a basic understanding of art principles and are familiar with digital painting software.
How much do digital painters make?
Digital painters’ salaries vary depending on their experience, skill level, and the industry they work in. However, freelance digital painters can make a decent income by selling their artwork online or working on commission-based projects.
Who is the most famous digital painter?
The most famous digital painter is subjective and can vary based on personal preferences. However, some of the most famous digital painters are David Revoy, Craig Mullins, and Bobby Chiu.
How do you draw a digital book?
To draw a digital book, you can use digital painting software and create your illustrations, save them as high-quality image files, and compile them into a digital book format using an e-book publishing platform.
What is the best digital drawing platform?
The best digital drawing platform varies based on personal preferences. However, some popular platforms include iPad Pro with Apple Pencil, Wacom tablets, and Microsoft Surface.
What are the techniques in digital painting?
Some of the techniques in digital painting include layering, blending, color theory, brushwork, and composition.
What are the 5 steps in digital painting?
The five steps in digital painting include sketching, blocking in colors, refining the details, adding highlights and shadows, and finalizing the artwork.
If you’re an aspiring digital artist, don’t forget that there are plenty of wonderful books about digital art out there to build upon your skills and knowledge! Above are 29 of the best picks when it comes to finding comprehensive resources for mastering digital art. Depending on your experience level and interests, certain books will be better suited than others – so take some time to find the one that speaks to you. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new concepts either – even if an idea doesn’t work in practice, at least something new was learned!
Being a digital artist is about being fearless, creative, and open-minded. Don’t let any obstacles bring you down; use these art books as a means of expanding your knowledge and creating beautiful pieces with technology.
Here’s to staying curious, pushing limits, and appreciating the endless possibilities within digital art.
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