If you’re asking this question, chances that you’re new to digital art, or that you use another drawing & painting program, and you wonder if Photoshop can be used for digital art. The short answer is yes, you can use it for that. There are other aspect you may want to know regarding that.
While Photoshop is not made just for the sake of creating artworks, it has all the capabilities for that, as well as the capabilities for photo-editing, restoration, graphics design & more. That can make Photoshop a bit less intuitive for the sake of drawing & painting, but after climbing the learning curve, and once you get there, you will have an extremely powerful tool for that (and for other things). Knowing the basics of brushes & the like is more than enough for a starter.
For that same reason, some artists may prefer another programs like Paint Tool Sai. Despite its limited features, it’s made to do one thing very well, and that thing is drawing & painting. Some artists use both, some use a 3rd program for that. The best way to know what you prefer is to try them. The good thing about software is that you can try them to your heart content for free (with trial versions for commercial software). Once you have tried few programs, there’s a chance you may not like how Photoshop do certain tasks, some artists don’t like how drawing in Photoshop is, some don’t like the way it blends colors, for example.
Since Photoshop is the application I used the most for drawing, and the only one I use Photo-Editing software I ever use (unless MS Paint counts), I can give you an idea how good or bad it is for digital art.
Quickly go to:-
- You could use it for photo-editing, photo-restoration & other things as well.
- By using it, you get to learn an industry standard, one that’s used by many studios.
- Doesn’t have a smoothing feature out of the box.
- Has a steeper learning curve.
- Is quite expensive compared to the previous versions. Specially that the latest versions are subscription based.
Well, as you know by now, Photoshop is not made for digital painting. Unlike other applications like Paint Tool Sai or Manga Studio, which are made to do that quite well. You could create all sorts of wonderful artworks with Photoshop, from cartoony to realistic ones once you know how to use it well. It can be less straightforward for new artists compared to these other software. For one, unlike the other applications. Photoshop has no build-in line smoothing, but you can have that feature by using Lazy Nezumi add-on.
If you looked around the web & artists communities like Deviant Art, you will see many artists already using Photoshop, and they are doing good job at it. For a practical example, all the characters artworks for my Lolita Caramel visual novel are drawn using Photoshop.
Because of its vast capabilities, Photoshop can be an overkill for some people, unless you want a photo-editor along with a program to create artworks too, and that you don’t mind the price. And unless you already know how to use it, or totally willing to spend the time to learn it. You are better off starting with some other program, then consider trying Photoshop later.
Pricing is probably the biggest drawback of Photoshop. It’s more expensive than the majority of the common digital art programs (unless you’re a student or teacher, you could get a nice discount for it). The last few version of Photoshop are subscription-based, which can be piled up in the long-term. The advantage here is that you always have the latest version.
When it comes to the hardware needed, Photoshop is a heavier program than others. If you have an older computer, you may not be able to get the same performance in case you used another program. In most situations, the most two aspects are the Ram of your computer, then the speed of your hard drive. Most computers allows you to upgrade the Ram of your computer, enough to run Photoshop smoothly. By 2018 standards, I recommend at least 4GB of ram for most cases, but 8gb is good too. If you have a bit of money, replacing your HDD with a SSD can make a huge difference too. If you’re not willing to do the upgrade, then Photoshop may not work the best for you, and so may not be usable for digital art (working on sketches only & on small resolution can be a solution here, but it’s not something I tend to recommend).
Kindly find the system requirements for Photoshop CC 2018
|Windows||MacOS / Mac OSX|
Intel® Core 2 or AMD Athlon® 64 processor; 2 GHz or faster processor
|Multicore Intel processor with 64-bit support|
|Operating Systems Versions:-||Microsoft Windows 7 with Service Pack 1, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 (version 1607 or later)
The 19.0 and 19.0.1 releases of Photoshop CC support Windows 10 1511 and later versions, but not versions 1507 and earlier.
Photoshop CC release 19.1 (and later) supports Windows 10 1607 and later versions, but not versions 1511 or earlier.
|macOS version 10.13 (High Sierra), macOS version 10.12 (Sierra), or Mac OS X version 10.11 (El Capitan)|
2 GB or more of RAM (8 GB recommended)
|2 GB or more of RAM (8 GB recommended)|
|HDD Space:-||2.6 GB or more of available hard-disk space for 32-bit installation; 3.1 GB or more of available hard-disk space for 64-bit installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on a volume that uses a case-sensitive file system)||4 GB or more of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on a volume that uses a case-sensitive file system)|
|Screen Resolution:-||1024 x 768 display (1280×800 recommended) with 16-bit color and 512 MB or more of dedicated VRAM; 2 GB is recommended*||1024 x 768 display (1280×800 recommended) with 16-bit color and 512 MB or more of dedicated VRAM; 2 GB is recommended*|
|OpenGL:-||OpenGL 2.0-capable system||OpenGL 2.0-capable system|
|Other:-||Internet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, validation of subscriptions, and access to online services.**||Internet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, membership validation, and access to online services.**|
|Notes:-||3D features are disabled on 32-bit platforms and on computers having less than 512MB of VRAM. Oil Paint filter and video features are not supported on 32-bit Windows systems.
Photoshop is an industry-standard, many studios uses it for their everyday work, so the more you are able to use it, the better you will have the choice to get hired. While Photoshop itself can be used with mouse. Digital art is different, it requires you to draw & all. While you certainly can use a mouse for that, it’s not healthy or productive. I talked about whether mouse or graphics tablet should be used for digital art in this post.