Hi ho art friends. For today’s post, I am sharing the tools I’m using for my digital art.

I’m on a digital art diet right now because the Mister and I are remodeling our home and my studio is in storage. I brought my digital art equipment and tools with me to our very limited space temporary housing. I’m considering going full digital art, so this is my test of that plan.

If you’ve been reading along, you know I have taken Sebastian Michael’s Photoshop Artistry Grunge course and am currently in Awake and the Kaizen group.

Sebastian’s classes are teach Photoshop techniques, so naturally, most of the students are using it. There are a ton of plug-ins and other digital do-dahs to add onto/enhance the Photoshop experience.

Photoshop is currently only available as a yearly subscription; the least expensive option costs nearly $120 per year.

I’m not using Photoshop, so I’ve had to take each lesson and figure out how to re-create that technique with the software I’m using – Gimp. I wanted to share the low-cost tools and equipment I’m using to demonstrate you don’t need to buy expensive equipment or subscribe for the rest of your life to create beautiful art. I use are entry-level equipment and free apps and programs.

I’ll be honest with you: it is not easy to use these tools. It takes time and experimentation to explore, make use of and develop your style in this world. I try to make art every day, whether it’s a doodle on the nearest piece of paper or spending hours on a digital canvas. So many hours. So many canvases I don’t post.

“Mushrooms” an early digital color photo, edited with Gimp

I shoot with a variety of cameras:

  • LG ThinQ v35 (Android), which I recently found that I can control the manual settings on my camera. How cool is that?
  • Canon Rebel T1i and a small kit of lenses
  • Canon Powershot ELPH 180, which has 0 manual controls; free through my employer’s Accolades’ program.
  • I recently dusted off my first camera, a Sears KS500 SLR

My digital tools are:

  • My computer, a Lenovo ThinkPad T530, running Debian GNU/Linux
  • Wacom Intuos Pen & Touch small tablet
“Forest Revery” double exposure in Snapseed

The programs and apps I use are:

  • digiKam 5.3.0, similar to Light Room. I use it to manage my photos, process raw photos, and do some basic image editing. It does a lot more, but I haven’t fully made use of its capabilities
  • Gimp 2.8.18
  • Snapseed
  • Pixlr

I use my own images and class content from Awake, Kaizen and Photoshop Artistry. The content is professional quality, with commercial licenses granted to class students.

Stay tuned for a deeper dive into low-cost digital art.

Happy creating!