So I have this friend on Instagram who posts digital art (her Instagram is maegandawnsyiem, it's the first link that you see on Google), and I am so in love and fascinated by it. I really want to learn how to make similar works. I tried contacting her, but she is quite busy. I really like her type of artwork, and was wondering how do I get started with it? What types of tools she uses etc. Any tips are greatly appreciated. Additionally, if you can point me to courses on edX or Coursera etc., that would be great!

Thanks for the help! Cheers! :)

Edit: Her art - https://i.sstatic.net/8lvxc.jpg

  • 7
    Years of practice and familiarity with software.. No simple "course" is going to teach you enough.
    – Scott
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 18:08

3 Answers 3


Just as Scott mentioned in his comment, this takes years of practice. Many people seem to think everything art related is pure talent - or a great part of it. The most frustrating thing for people who try to learn how to draw or paint is that their results don't look like they imagined, or like the reference they had. That leads to them quiting relatively quickly, thinking "I don't have the talent that is needed for this.", which is not the case. Drawing is a learnable skill, that consumes alot of time.

Here are some basic tips that do not only apply to drawing:

Break it up

Break your Problems up into solvable pieces. A finished illustration is very rarely just started by picking up a pencil and drawing it in one go. You will nearly always have several rough sketches a refined one , an underpainting and then a rendered illustration. The more you practice the more of these steps may be skippable.

Use reference

Don't try to draw a hand position from memory if you are not familiar with anatomy, use some reference - from life is prefered, photos will be perfect too, it's not cheating, its necessary. The more you draw the less reference you will need.

Learn the fundamentals

This is the most time consuming but the most significant point. To draw convincingly you will need to learn about:

  • anatomy
  • perspective
  • colour
  • light
  • ...

Start with simple shapes, put these shapes into perspective, combine shapes to complex forms ...

The medium is secondary

You will of course need to practive with a new medium and the same as before applies here - the more you do the better you get, but every single point above is more important than the medium. Digital has the advantage that you can do a lot of practive without consuming the medium. But you also tend to undo your mistakes which - in my opinion leads to a worse learning curve.

Draw regularly

As most other skills, your drawing skill will get rusty if you don't draw regularly. Try to draw everyday even if you dont feel like it. Carry a sketchbook and a pencil with you at all times. The better you are the less significant this gets. Draw something that is fun every now and then.

A certain style is just the icing on the cake and always has its foundation in the fundamentals.

  • Talent may not exist, all of what you can do may be result of training.
    – joojaa
    Commented Jul 13, 2020 at 11:42
  • I agree, sounds like a fortune cookie though ;)
    – Lapskaus
    Commented Jul 13, 2020 at 12:00
  • "Many people seem to think everything art related is pure talent" has been replaced with "what photoshop filter will change my mediocre photo to something like this unique, hand drawn piece of art?"
    – Jongware
    Commented Jul 13, 2020 at 14:49
  • Although this is something you encounter alot, its more true for people who dont even bother to try to learn the skills needed. People who try and fail - which everyone will in the beginning - use the talent thing still
    – Lapskaus
    Commented Jul 14, 2020 at 7:31

Take away the digital part there. A computer is just the medium, and while you would need to learn the technique in the end to produce this type of art with digital tools, the primary skills you need are those that apply to all types of visual art/painting. Namely, you need to learn to observe shape, light, color, texture, and then, by whatever means, capture that on a surface

Something like this Udemy Course might be a good starting point.


You will find some content related to her work by searching for Raster Painting.

Keep in mind that that is they beauty of art, she is using all her knowledge and inspiration to create this artwork. It is not as easy to recreate.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.