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Tutorial - Common Digital Painting Mistakes by natasha2808 Tutorial - Common Digital Painting Mistakes by natasha2808
A guide to common digital painting mistakes that I've either seen or done myself...hopefully it helps :)


If you have questions please visit my journal for a list of FAQ first, you might find them answered there.


Otherwise, ask away!
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Daily Deviation

Given 2012-06-22
Also suggested by *FrozenTempest , =Rooncakes and several other deviants; Tutorial - Common Digital Painting Mistakes by ~natasha2808 covers a wealth of tips for beginner and intermediate digital artists. ( Suggested by Lulie and Featured by Elandria )
Blackheart7x Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you so much for this guide! It's very helpful and I can't wait to try everything!
SporeDiatrymisss Featured By Owner 6 days ago  Hobbyist General Artist
I love this tutorial! :D There's just one thing I'd like to add...
One common mistake i see sometimes is soft shading with black color or with just a simply darker shad of the original color, which makes the piece look dirty.
Djeroon Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That is a wonderful list of things to avoid! I wish I had found this 5 years ago ;) It should be in every digital coloring tutorial/book.  And in a photoshop manual. I've been doing digital coloring for years and still do some of these things >.<
greatyu Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is very enlightening- thank you so much!
dcomeback Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2014  Student Digital Artist
thanks for the tips! ^^
Drixtina Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is very helpful!
Artich0ker Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
damn it, I do all those mistakes XD
Fyo-chan Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thumbs up, this one will help me a lot, as I just started with digital painting and don't want to stay with flat colors/looks :D
ToriNatsu Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Super helpful :D
BleedingThorn95 Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2014
Thanks for the tips!
Markuma Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2014
Extremely helpful, Thank you! :D
passion-aesthete Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
very instructive, thank you :heart:
NovaMarek17 Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014
This is helpful for people like me who can't seem to paint worth squat. Thank you for doing this for us and for people like me, we appreciate it.
Rozairo Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
thank you very much!
Piratezombi3 Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Yay... the most useful "tutorial" I've come across so far.
JPMNeg Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2014

Guilty of most, stopped using dodge/burn almost altogether now.

Being color blind I didn't realize how it changed color until someone told me.

Thank you for posting this

ytegg99 Featured By Owner May 29, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
very helpful.
i made all the fatal mistake you listed in here, time to fix from top to toe
Onyxoasis Featured By Owner May 28, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very helpful!
Ferdrimmler Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2014
I've regularly done 6 of these. :|
Stay-Crunchy Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014   Digital Artist
Woow ! Thank you so much ! :) (Smile) 
Rad-Puppeteer Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Very helpful! I've made several of these mistakes!
babi00xd Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
very helpful ! it's like a check list of what not to do while doing a digital painting :DDD
Ikaax Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you <3
Nina-Frost Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2014  Student Digital Artist
thank you so much!!!
Contles Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2014
This is excellent, thank you.
Paleclaw Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2014  Student General Artist
Though the comment about smudging is completely right with the default settings on an average digital art style, it's a very important tool in digital watercolor if you edit it to become a blender tool rather than smudge. Gives very nice watery looks and some texture, so long as you use the right settings and brush.
retrofuturist Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014
Smudge tool with default presets gives horrifying results, that's true. But I use a custom brush shape with a custom setting and it creates lovely gradients with a grainy texture! Sometimes it's too smooth though.
SapphireEAngel Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
hmm see it remember most of these when i do traditional. for some reason when its digital it goes out the window. i think i need some practice from still life's and some real life photos for more practice. hmm thanks for the reminder. hopefully it will stick next time i go to paint digitally
valeriemary309 Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you, this was very helpful!
Blanbahn Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I want to ask, Should i turn on the Color Dynamics for every painting or just specific? IF specific can you give me an example of it?

Pardon me if i asking thins
ShayGar Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2013  Student
Good to know stuff right here.  Thank you! :)
LWSkybones Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I somehow managed to teach myself smooth blending by murdering using the eye dropper + opacity. :D
I actually hated the effect of the smudge tool and gave up on it in one day xD (it was only used to "blend"my old MS Paint drawings and it made it look meh.)
I personally found it hard to use other brushes, so I'm sticking to default for now.

Most of the other things such as contrast and palette selection, I gathered from other extremely helpful tutorials on deviantART. Art at school helped as well :thumbsup:

This tutorial really clarified things for me. Thank you very much!
Frodofox Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Who this is going to help me a lot! I just got my tablet and now I figured how to draw with it, I couldn't figure how to color with it. I just learned the basics of how artists do 'palette brush' looking paints like this…
Foolhed Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2013   Traditional Artist
Thanks! :)
sheldonsquirrel Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2013
This is awesome. Especially considering I just watched a video where someone used all sorts of shape brushes to paint elements. :)
FrancisDeb Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2013
This. As a fresh starting digital painter, this is what I needed. Superb!
Karrarasim Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2013
Very helpful....thanx.
realwolf12 Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Big Thanks!!! :D
Aelini Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2013  Student General Artist
amazing tutorial helped me a lot, thank you
Feyborg Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
IlustrandoDesignBR Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Husniarsyah Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
My Opinion..

People have different perspective,
for me, there a lot things that mostly important not just only how to mix color, lights, and also effects.
i seen few artist they can mix color ferfectly, but they ignored proportion and visual angel, that makes some problems.

And again.., coloring methodes was very different for each artist, you can tel them `style`, even they make different perception or maybe wrong about colours, and the arts not only percepted by simple things.

Yes, there is no such a sortcut to mastered digital-art, and creating great piece. 
you need process, a loot of practicing, seriously, dedicated, working hard, and take years for it. :)

I hope there is no miss-understanding about my words :)

WizardFromHeaven Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2013
ponchopea Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2013
thank you, this is extremely helpful!
CynicalCoyote Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2013  Student Digital Artist
this is the best tutorial I ever saw for fixing mistakes, thank you so much for sharing ^^
MariStar1-KHR Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank You! :aww: This was very helpful! :iconsmilieplz: :heart:
AaronRhyneHendren Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013
Thank you! :la:
Kohana12 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2013  Professional General Artist
Literally just got my Wacom in the mail today, and I've been painting for 5 hours. Figured out after a few tries that the blending tool was super NOT effective in creating a nice look. But I'm glad I stumbled upon this during my break b/c it they are very helpful tips!
niieani Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013
Make Money Doing What You Love with Your Own Home Business
NruFrx Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Do you have any tips on blending? I've been using the smudge tool because I don't know any other ways to blend.
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Submitted on
June 6, 2012
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