Marta Dahlig's Digital Art Myth Busting
Art principles

No matter what we do in our lives, every aspect of our world is filled with principles – sets of truths or guidelines that define its function. These rules, the ones that we’ve been brought up with, affect our behaviour, expectations and opinions, and as we’re used to them, we often obey them without questioning their value, meaning or purpose.

Not surprisingly, digital painting isn’t free from principles that we feel we should follow – the rules that constitute the perceived dos and don’ts of our craft.

Question your assumptions

Having a set of rules to follow might seem quite comfortable, but it’s not that simple. Some of those principles are truly valuable, while the others act only as boundaries limiting our creativity. It’s therefore extremely important to distinguish the valuable from the worthless, and judge what to take into consideration and what to avoid.

10 rules to avoid

In this tutorial, I’ll review 10 of the most commonly held beliefs within our industry, ones that I personally judge to be wrong – or at the very least not compulsory to follow. I’ve chosen a variety of principles, ranging from software and brush usage to theoretical approach. The purpose of this workshop isn’t to teach processes, but to potentially expand your views on aspects of digital painting, and to make it easier to think outside of the box, both in terms of adapting your personal workflow, and composing artworks.

Any software

The final image for this tutorial was prepared in Painter 7. However, the workshop itself isn’t related to any specific software, so you will find the tips valid regardless of your program of preference.