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19 Types Of Digital Art And Digital Artists (With Examples)

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In this article, we’ll go into the diverse types of digital art and explore the various types of digital artists who bring these masterpieces to life.

Digital art, often referred to as the art of the digital age, encompasses a wide range of techniques and mediums that push the boundaries of traditional art.

From the intricate brush strokes of 2D digital painting to the lifelike sculptures of 3D digital painting, artists use the power of technology to create stunning and realistic pieces.

But digital art doesn’t stop there.

Explore the abstract beauty of data-moshing, the charm of pixel art, and the mesmerizing patterns of algorithmic and fractal art.

Not only that, but there are specialized digital artists for each of these fields!

So if you’re just curious or want to see what possible digital art career you can find, you’ll find everything you need in this article.

Let’s go.

19 Types Of Digital Art

In this section, we will explore various types of digital art.

 These include photo painting, digital photography, 2D digital painting, and much more.

So let’s go over each one in more detail, with examples.

Photo Painting

01_Digital Photo Painting by Alex Contreras
by Alex Contreras

When it comes to digital art, photo painting is like taking a photograph and giving it a painterly touch.

It combines the precision of digital photography with the creativity of painting.

Using art software, digital artists can manipulate and enhance their photos, adding brush strokes and textures to create a unique and artistic effect.

Photo painting falls under the category of raster painting, which works with pixels to create organic textures and blend colors.

We’ll talk more about raster painting further in this article!

Some popular software for Photo Painting are:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Core Painter
  • Procreate

You’ll optionally need a decent digital camera or smartphone (unless you use free portrait photos, for example).

Digital Photography

Digital Photography by Iurie Belegurschi
by Iurie Belegurschi

With the rise of modern technology, snapping photos has become as easy as pie, allowing photographers to capture moments with a click of a button.

Nowadays, many digital photography artists even use their phones since they have high-quality cameras.

Digital photography is a VERY popular art form in the digital art industry. 

It involves using a digital camera (or smartphone) and editing software to create stunning and visually appealing images.

Digital photographers have the advantage of easily capturing and editing their photos, making it a versatile and innovative art form.

For Digital Photography, you’ll need photo editing software such as:

  • Adobe Lightroom
  • Affinity Photo
  • DxO PhotoLab 6

And a digital camera or smartphone.

2D Digital Painting

Digital Painting, Wave by Loish
Wave by Loish

Digital painting is often seen as a form of digital art that combines traditional painting techniques with modern technology using drawing tablets of different sizes and software.

One of the best parts of 2D Digital Painting versus traditional creation is that it allows you to undo and redo actions easily. 

This is also true for many of these digital mediums in this article!

It can also be pretty cheap to create digital art since you don’t need to spend a lot of money on art supplies. (even though it’s great having them!)

Through the use of layers, blending modes, and digital editing capabilities, artists can achieve intricate details, vibrant colors, and seamless compositions in their pieces of art.

For Digital Painting you’ll need a drawing software such as:

  • Krita
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Procreate

You’ll also need a drawing tablet, as we’ve mentioned before (screened or screenless), and a stylus.

3D Digital Painting And Sculpting

With 3D Digital Painting and Sculpting, artists can create amazing art pieces using 3D Models.

Not only that, but you can more easily manipulate and pose those digital figures.

This somewhat includes 3D animation as well, but we’ll go over that in more detail in another section.

3D Painting leverages digital technology to bring three-dimensional objects to life. Unlike traditional 2D art, which is focused on flat surfaces, 3D digital art involves the manipulation and design of objects in a virtual three-dimensional space.

As an artist, you can even use 2D and 3D digital techniques to mix and create very unique artwork, making the possibilities for this type of art huge!

For 3D Digital Painting And Sculpting, you’ll need a software such as:

  • ZBrush
  • Mudbox
  • Blender

I recommend you “test the waters” with Blender first since it’s free and a very powerful software!

Pixel Art

Pixel art presents a playful and pixel-perfect approach to portraying your artistic vision, allowing you to create captivating and colorful compositions.

This digital art form, popular in animation and game development, uses basic shapes to create intricately detailed art pieces.

The artwork is created by a very precise control of each single pixel, but pixel art can be used as a more free-flowing way.

Some pixel artists use different canvas sizes (ranging anywhere from 16×16 to over 512×512 pixels) and don’t follow the “rules” of avoiding jaggies or limiting their color palette.

So you can be very playful and experiment with it!

To create Pixel Art, you’ll need software such as:

  • Aseprite
  • Pixquare
  • Piskel

There are many free software options for creating Pixel Art (and you can even use another digital drawing software you already own, such as Photoshop), so be sure to give this type of digital art a try.

Vector Art

vector art example of digital art by Seb NIARK1 FERAUT
by Seb NIARK1 FERAUT

Vector art offers a precise and versatile approach to creating vibrant and scalable designs that captivate the viewer’s imagination.

This is one very important part of vector art, also called vector painting or vector drawing.

With vector art, digital artists can create clean and sharp images that allow for easy resizing without losing quality. Making it perfect for logos and graphics used in advertising and web design. We’ll talk more about Graphic Design and UI/UX artists later in this article.

Some popular art software for Vector Art are:

  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Inkscape
  • Affinity Designer

So choose one of those if you’d like to try it out!

Raster Painting

Raster painting by Kento IIDA
by Kento IIDA

Raster painting is a popular form of digital art that utilizes pixels to create intricate and detailed images.

This type of art form is a subset of digital painting, and it specializes in manipulating pixels. Digital painting, on the other hand, is about a much wider range of techniques using digital tools.

With the help of art software, digital artists manipulate individual pixels to blend colors and create organic textures.

For Raster Painting, you’ll need a drawing software such as:

  • Gimp
  • Clip Studio Paint
  • Krita

Fractal Art

Moving on from raster painting, let’s go into fractal art!

Fractal art is a mesmerizing form of digital art that utilizes computer algorithms, codes, and mathematical equations to create intricate geometric patterns and fractal mosaics.

It falls under the category of algorithmic art (we’ll talk more about this later), which explores the artistic potential of autonomous systems and programs. 

To create fractal art, you’ll need software such as:

  • Mandelbulb 3D
  • Apophysis
  • Frax

Fractal art is a very mesmerizing and aesthetically pleasing art form.

You should use this art type if you enjoy the logical side of art creation!

CGI Art

06_CGI example of Asuka by Lou LL
Asuka in CGI by Lou LL

With CGI art (Computer Generated Imagery), you can unleash your creativity and bring digital animations and creations to life with realistic precision and control.

CGI art is a powerful tool used in various industries, such as concept art, digital installation art, and generative art.

In general, CGI art encompasses a very wide range of types of art, and artists use it to create what are called computer-generated graphics.

To create CGI Art you’ll need a software such as:

  • Autodesk Maya
  • Blender
  • Pencil2D Animation

This computer-generated digital art can be used for creating art for games, movies, and much more. So this is a type of digital art to consider if you’re interested in these fields of work!

Digital Collage

Digital Collage by Lorenzo Spatocco
Digital Collage by Lorenzo Spatocco

With Digital Collage, digital artists blend various sources (such as photographs, illustrations, different textures, etc) into a single composition.

This is a VERY versatile type of digital art since art created using this method can take many different forms.

You can have raster art mixed with several types of fractal art.

Or you can have a simple newspaper photo combined with another example of digital art, such as pixel art!

To create digital collages, you’ll need a software such as:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Kapwing Collage Maker
  • Canva

There are endless possibilities and combinations that you can do with this art type, so be sure to try it out!

2D Animation

Secret of Kells movie, 2d digital animation
Secret of Kells Animation Movie

If you ever wanted to make your drawings and illustrations come to life with dynamic movement, then 2D animation is for you!

With the rise of the popularity of digital art, 2D Animation has evolved with it! While before, artists would focus on pencil, pen, and paper animation, nowadays, there are many ways to create digital animation.

You can create art with frame-by-frame animation, rigged character animation, motion graphics, cutout, or even stop motion!

Depending on the type of animation you’ll need different software, but here are some popular ones:

  • Pencil2D
  • Toon Boom
  • Adobe Animate CC

You can find a more detailed list in my article on the best Cartoon Making Software For Artists!

3D Animation

If, instead of 2D animation, you prefer the world of 3D animation, that is also a possibility for you!

Some artists find it harder to get into 3D, others come naturally to it.

So be sure to try it out!

This art is commonly used in movies, TV shows and video games. Both for creating and animating different characters, animating environments such as trees swaying and ocean waves, and much more.

To create 3D Animation you’ll need a software such as:

  • Blender
  • Autodesk Maya
  • Cinema 4D

There is a high demand for 3D artists in different industries, so if you’re interested in this art type, be sure to give it a go!

Photobashing

Photobashing study by Xu Tianhua
Photobashing Study by Xu Tianhua

Similar to a digital collage, photobashing focuses on using existing photos or images to quickly generate and explore concepts. The biggest difference is that contrary to a digital collage, photo bashing tends to manipulate only those photographs.

So if you’re interested more in creating quick concepts and creating a base to refine later, photobashing is for you!

Matte painting is one of those cases that can be done after a photobashing creation, trying to blend the resulting art form into a realistic or fantastical environment.

To create photobashing, use one of these software:

  • Krita
  • Photoshop
  • Gimp

This art is often used for concepts as I’ve mentioned before, so you can give it a go to give you a leg up before even trying other art forms!

Datamoshing

Datamoshing is a technique that falls under the umbrella known as glitch art. This involves intentionally distorting or corrupting digital data to create unique and abstract visual effects.

I wouldn’t consider this a mainstream digital art form, but it has risen in popularity over the years!

It’s normally used to create very surreal artwork with jarring colors. This is done by manipulating the compression algorithms in digital video formats, to create those desired glitch effects.

This can be very chaotic and random though! But it gives you a nice room for experimentation.

Some software to create datamoshing is:

  • Avidemux
  • Moshy
  • Moshup

You can read more about datamoshing at datamoshing.com.

Algorithmic Art

Algorithmic art is created by using computer algorithms and mathematical processes. The artists design the rules to create and modify visual elements and compositions of the art piece!

Some of the earliest algorithmic art dates back to the 1960s by Georg Nees, Frieder Nake, A. Michael Noll, Manfred Mohr and Vera Molnár(1).

Algorithmic art can be used in many different resulting artwork, such as simple images, animations, or even interactive installations.

To create algorithmic art you’ll need programming knowledge and a software or tool such as:

  • openFrameworks
  • Processing

By using algorithms to create art, it can be very entertaining (but also hard) so I recommend any artist interested in this resulting visual art style to give it a go!

Integrated Art

Installation by Eddy Loukil, integrated art
by Eddy Loukil

Integrated art combines elements from both digital and traditional art, using different techniques. Artists incorporate painting, sculpture, photography and more to fuse everything together. 

Integrated art is usually site-specific, which means that it is integrated into a public (or private) place! Artists tend to complement that same space or building with installations, and it normally encourages interaction by the viewers.

To create integrated art you need:

  • A Concept
  • Collaboration with Architects/Designers/Engineers
  • A Space

And, of course, a budget and resources to get the materials you want to add to that integrated artwork, with the different integrated art pieces.

VR Painting

There has been a new rise in Virtual Reality technology in the past few years, and Painting has accompanied it!

With VR painting, artists can create digital art in a whole new immersive way. You can use virtual brushes and tools to manipulate virtual paint and create art in a three-dimensional space.

This is a very innovative technique (that can be a bit more tiring than using a tablet) that is super immersive.

To create VR Paintings you’ll need software such as:

  • Open Brush
  • Medium by Adobe
  • Vermillion

And you’ll also need VR equipment such as a Meta Quest 2.

Projection Mapping

11_Projection Mapping What If White Night
Projection Mapping What If White Night

With Projection Mapping (or Video Mapping), artists can transform ordinary surfaces into dynamic, interactive canvases, creating a lively show of light and motion!

Projection mapping is a very interesting form of digital art that uses specialized software and projectors to project images and videos onto irregular surfaces. These surfaces can be buildings, sculptures, and even entire landscapes.

To create Projection Mapping you’ll need a software such as:

  • HeavyM
  • Resolume
  • MadMapper

This is a very interactive art form, and art can be created using one of these software above PLUS a building or surface. You’ll need to know which surface you want to project unto beforehand, though.

AI Art

AI Art by Evgeny Romanov
by Evgeny Romanov

AI art, is a popular digital art form that utilizes artificial intelligence technologies to create art with AI tools.

Artists generate digital art and animations by giving prompts and tweaking settings in different pieces of software.

This can also be used as a decent quick concept tool to work as a base that artists can work on and refine later with digital painting.

To create AI Art you’ll need a generator such as:

  • DALL-E
  • Midjourney

This type of art is very popular right now, artists can create digital images and animations very quickly. But it’s still very recent, so it has a lot of different ethical and practical problems.

11 Types Of Digital Artists

We’ve gone over the different types of digital art available, let’s now go over the types of digital artists!

There are many types of digital artists, from concept artists to illustrators, environment artists, and much more.

Digital art is a vast field, so you can get a job as a digital artist working for films, games, television and so on. You can even just create your own comics and graphic novels!

So let’s go over each digital artist.

Concept Artist

Concept Art by Jordan Grimmer
by Jordan Grimmer

Concept artists are digital artists that explore the design of characters, creatures, and environments on a concept level.

Many artists want to be concept artists, especially in the character design department! (not so much in the environments department)

As a concept artist you’ll be one of the first to show a visual interpretation of a world, so it takes a lot of responsibility and skill.

Concept Artists tend to work on:

  • Video Games
  • Storyboards For Movies
  • Books
  • Costumes and Fashion
  • Creature and Character Concepts

You’ll use both traditional and digital assets to bring that world and characters to life, and it’s not one of the easiest forms of digital art (you’ve been warned!)

With that said, if this is your passion, go for it! Being a concept artist can be highly rewarding.

Illustrator

Illustrators bring stories to life by creating illustrations for books, games, and much more.

As a digital illustrator, you’ll conceptualize ideas for illustrations, sketch them and design them from the ground up (or based on a concept created by a concept artist).

Illustrators create work for several media, including:

  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Websites
  • Animations
  • Games
  • Graphic Novels
  • Comics

Even though illustration tends to have a “clean style”, there are many different types of illustration styles available!

So be sure to try several and see what you like the best.

Character Artist

Character Art by Yuriy Mazurkin
by Yuriy Mazurkin

One of the most sought-after careers by artists is being a Character Artist.

Character Artists create characters with stories and personalities, both in the digital and traditional world.

They consider the personality, role and visual style of the character they’re designing. And tend to use references or written descriptions on their projects!

Most Character Artists work on:

  • Video Games
  • Animations Movies
  • Comics
  • Graphic Novels

This includes both 2D and 3D character artists, since you can create models and rigs for games and animation.

So, as you can see this is a very versatile digital artist career!

If you’re interested in it, I recommend you specialize in a specific part of being a character artist (for example, 3D rigging) and become a master of it!

This will make it much easier for you to get a job as a character artist.

Environment Artist

Environment Art by Alen Vejzovic
Environment Art by Alen Vejzovic

If you’d like to create different art environments in the digital art world, Environment Artist is the career for you!

Environment artists specialize in creating realistic, immersive environments for different types of media. They focus on creating landscapes, settings and backgrounds that help with the visual storytelling of the project.

Environment Artists work on:

  • Video Games
  • Film And Animation
  • Virtual Reality
  • Theme Parks
  • Advertising And Marketing

And more!

Environment artists are needed in all sorts of fields, so if you enjoy creating environments and landscapes, this is a great art job for you!

Animator

Digital animators bring characters, objects and entire scenes to life through animation!

They use different animation software coupled with animation techniques to create interesting and captivating motion in their projects.

Not only that, but creating animations out of visual effects requires a skilled animator!

Digital Animators tend to work on:

  • 2D and 3D Animations
  • Visual Effects (VFX)
  • Motion Graphics
  • Stop Motion Animation
  • Character Rigger

And much more.

Animation nowadays is everywhere! So there isn’t a lack of opportunities in this field if you’ve got the right skills expertise.

3D Modeler

3D Model by Prashan Subasinghe, 3D Character Artist
by Prashan Subasinghe, 3D Model Artist

3D Modelers use different computer software to create 3D models of objects, characters, environments, props and much more.

This is a tough job for digital artists! Going from 2D to 3D is a big step, but it can be very interesting to work with.

3D Modelers tend to work on:

  • Props
  • Character Models for Films and Games
  • 3D Printing
  • Products
  • Architectural Models
  • Character Rigging
  • Virtual Reality

And more!

So if you enjoy working in 3D and just want to focus on the modeling part (not the animation part), I recommend you specialize in 3D Modeling!

Graphic Designers

Graphic Design by Surya Hiperiansyah, Graphic Designer
work by Surya Hiperiansyah, Graphic Designer

Graphic designs create designs that are engaging and communicate specific ideas for different kinds of media.

They tend to work on branding, marketing and user experiences, but there are a lot of possibilities when you work as a graphic designer!

With that said, this is a job that focuses on clean communication. And it’s often done with vector art.

Some options for Graphic Design related careers are:

  • Visual Identity Designer
  • Print Designer
  • Web Designer
  • UI / UX Designer
  • Game Artist
  • Icon Designer
  • Freelance

Practically all of these careers can be done as either working for a company or working as a freelancer on your own.

With that said, Graphic Design is often known to be a freelance-focused career.

VFX (Visual Effects) Artist 

VFX (Visual Effects) Artists use digital software to enhance and create visual effects for several types of media!

They create visual effects for films, television shows, video games and much more.

And as a Visual Effects Artist your job is to enhance the overall storytelling and expression of the scene.

Some career options for VFX (Visual Effects) Artists are:

  • Compositing Artist
  • Videogame VFX Art
  • Particle And Fluid Simulation Artist
  • VFX Supervisor
  • Motion Capture (MoCap) Artist
  • Previsualization (Previs) Artist

And more!

This is a pretty crucial career, since without visual effects (or with bad VFX) most media would feel flat and boring.

UI / UX Designer

User Interface Artwork by Adrian Kubiak
by UI/UX Designer Adrian Kubiak

If you enjoy creating digital interfaces that are user-friendly and aesthetically pleasing, being a UI/ UX Designer is the job for you.

UI / UX Designers focus on the user experience and usability of many different media, usually digital media.

Your job is to ensure that the user can navigate effortlessly through the project, app, or website, and enjoy it while they’re using it!

Some Career options for UI/UX Designers are:

  • UI Designer Focus
  • UX Designer Focus
  • Web Designer
  • Mobile App Designer
  • Product Designer
  • Game UI/UX Designer
  • Augmented Reality (AR) UI/UX Designer

So if you enjoy making pleasing (and working!) interfaces for users, you’ll probably enjoy being a UI/UX Designer.

Storyboard Artist

Storyboard by TB Choi
by Storyboard Artist TB Choi

Storyboard artists focus on creating captivating visual sequences for the viewers, guiding them through a story.

They create single illustrations in a sequence, called storyboards, showcasing the flow of scene after scene, the angles of the camera and the character movements.

Storyboards are basically blueprints that the rest of the project members use to work on, so this is a very important job in the creative world!

Some Career options for storyboard artists are:

  • Film Storyboard Artist
  • TV Commercials
  • Videogames Storyboarding
  • Comic Book Artist

And more!

If you enjoy planning the visual composition of entire sequences of art, then storyboarding is the job for you!

Matte Painter

Matte Painting by Steven Cormann
by Matte Painter Steven Cormann

Matte Painters create immersive backgrounds and environments for different visual media such as films, tv shows and games.

They combine both traditional techniques with live-action or CGI footage, such as photos or 3d models, to blend different forms of art together.

As a matte painter, you need a very strong understanding of composition, lighting and perspective! These are crucial skills that you can’t skip on.

Some career options for Matte Painters are:

  • Film Matte Painter
  • Game Environment Artist
  • Concept Artist
  • Visual Development Artist

And more!

If you find joy in contributing to the storytelling of films, animations and games, and enjoy blending traditional art skills with digital techniques, then being a Matte Painter is the job for you!

Related Questions

Got more questions about digital art and digital artists? Then let’s go over them!

Can conventional art methods be used in digital art?

Yes, many techniques from conventional art can be applied to digital art.

However, digital art software like Clip Studio Paint and Photoshop often provide additional possibilities, such as working in layers or blending multiple art mediums, that can’t be easily achieved with traditional media.

With that said, many traditional techniques are VERY useful in digital art.

Is digital clay considered part of digital art?

Yes, digital clay is a part of digital art.

Using digital clay involves molding basic structures into complex 3D models. It utilizes points in a digital 3D space to articulate shapes much like clay in the hands of a sculptor.

This can mostly be considered 3D Modelling though, but if you’d like to niche down and specialize, digital clay is a nice option!

Is word art considered a digital art form?

Yes word art is a form of digital art.

With word art, artists use typography and calligraphy in creative ways, to create artwork based on words.

I hope this article has helped you learn about digital art and artists!

And if you’d like to dive into digital art headfirst, check out my Online Drawing Courses here.

Or start some Digital Drawing exercises now!

DonCorgi

Patricia Caldeira is the main writer here at Don Corgi. She's an art teacher with over 20.000 happy students across many platforms and courses!

Enjoy your stay and as always:
Keep on drawing!


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