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35 Incredible Digital Painting Tutorials

Art is not restricted to any medium, nor is digital painting. Yes, you read that right: “digital painting.” It is a new trend in today’s technologically brilliant world that won’t go away any time soon. Here, we’ve gathered 35 tutorials to inspire you to display your creativity through digital painting. We hope you like this collection. Kindly share your comments about it with us.

Further Reading on SmashingMag: Link

Digital Painting Tutorials Link

Making of Spanish Girl5
This tutorial shows you how to make this portrait of a Spanish girl.

Making of Spanish Girl6

Making of “My Prince”
“The girl in the picture is a young witch with mysterious magic. The baby dragon is her pet. The baby dragon looks up to the sky naively, strains the leash, and wants to fly into an adventure. Overall, I wanted to create a peaceful scene, just like when we are holding our own pets, that makes you feel warm, or even proud.”

Umbrella Sky
Marta Dahlig’s gorgeous “Umbrella Sky” image was unanimously chosen for the cover of Ballistic Publishing’s EXOTIQUE 3. And after submitting it, Marta continued to improve on this exquisite work. Here, she takes us through the process of building on a dream.

Umbrella Sky

How to Create a Fantasy Mother Nature Scene7
“This tutorial is about creating a fantasy scene called ‘Mother Nature.’ We will use well-chosen images, brushes and, most of all, our imagination, in combination with Photoshop techniques, to create an outstanding image.”

How to Create a Fantasy Mother Nature Scene8

Making of Beauty on the Bed9
“It was obvious that a female character was an ideal subject. I knew I wanted to create a girl with imposing beauty. I am a huge fan of Lara Swift’s photography, and one particular photograph in my collection really inspired and motivated me to start.”

Making of Beauty on the Bed10

How to Create a Sparkling Fantasy Photo Manipulation11
“In this tutorial, we’re going to do photo manipulation using different techniques. We’ll adjust each layer and element to make a compact final image. We’ll use multiple photos and a handful of effects to create this work.”

How to Create a Sparkling Fantasy Photo Manipulation12

Modeling of the Dinosaur13
“When working with ZBrush, I always model something with Z-sphere. It is one of ZBrush’s cool features and enables fast and intuitive modeling of low poly objects. Also, I like that you can constantly check the outcome of your ZSphere form against how it looks when turned into mesh by pressing the ‘A’ key on your keyboard.”

Modeling of the Dinosaur14

Feathers and Angel Wings15
Painting wings is quite similar to painting hair: the first time you do it, it seems impossible, but in fact it’s not, and little tips can help a lot.

Feathers and Angel Wings16

Making of Binah
“Binah was a difficult and time-consuming project. It was a great challenge for me, technically and artistically. Binah is the third Sephirah of the tree of life in Cabbala. After reading many texts about the tree of life, I wrote some sentences describing my vision of Binah.”

Making of Binah

Making of Jealous Bodyguard17
In this tutorial, the artist shows you his preferred method of setting up the image and using Photoshop tools. You’ll see a breakdown of how this image was created.

Making of Jealous Bodyguard18

Digital Portrait -W-
A step-by-step tutorial on creating this digital portrait.

Digital Portrait -W-

Digitally Paint a Fantasy Tree Scene19
“Learn how to make a fantasy scene using only the standard Photoshop brushes. I describe the basics of color and light theory. In this tutorial, you will paint this eye-catching illustration in less than two hours.”

Digitally Paint a Fantasy Tree Scene20

Fantasy Light Effects in Photoshop21
Fantasy art scenes are usually handled with a liberal sprinkling of Photoshop plug-in fairy dust. But you don’t have to slavishly follow that route. By creating your own brushes in Adobe Illustrator and using scanned elements with Photoshop, creating otherworldly scenes that are alive with glow effects and shafts of virtual light is a simple process.

Fantasy light effects in Photoshop22

Making Of Boudicca 3060 A.D.23
An engaging tutorial that teaches you how to make this beautiful Boudicca.

Making Of Boudicca 3060 A.D.24

Painting fantasy eyes25
To paint a realistic-looking eye, one must understand its form. The human eye is a sphere, covered by upper and lower eyelids. Imagining parallel lines passing along the eyes makes it easier to sketch them correctly.

Painting fantasy eyes26

Create Film Sets in Photoshop27
Film scenes frequently rely on vast backdrops and fantasy imagery that would be too costly or impractical to actually build or find. This is where matte painting comes in. Visual effects artists are called on to create both simple and elaborate illusions by painting over real images.

Create film sets in Photoshop28

Creating Broken Link29
This tutorial focuses on making design choices and a bit of theory.

Creating Broken Link30

Red Assassin Digital Painting Tutorial31
“Here’s how I do my painting. This is a work in progress, so you’ll see the steps I take in creating it. This is a quick sketch over a black background. Then I fill it with colors. I normally place my palette of colors beside the drawing so that I know what the colors will be.”

Red Assassin Digital Painting Tutorial32

Do you want to Play with me33
“This artwork was created in Photoshop CS2 with a Wacom Intuos 3. I will explain in detail how to make this image. Hope many of you will enjoy.”

Do you want to Play with me34

Making of Three Lines
In this detailed tutorial, the artist teaches us how to make “artwork of three lines.”

Making of Three lines

Making of Willpower
“I’ve always found the thought of someone faint and helpless, suddenly being able to fight against the worst of dangers, very appealing. This is the point when everything changes, when the lost decide to escape their fate. In my image, a brave young girl is in a situation she would never believe she’d get into, and then something happens that no one would ever expect!”

Making of Willpower

How to Draw a Digital Portrait
In this tutorial, the artist explains how he created this portrait of the gorgeous Scarlett Johansson.

How to draw a digital portrait

Painting Kadaj35
In this detailed and comprehensive tutorial, the artist shows his best techniques for making this portrait of Kadaj.

Painting Kadaj36

Painting realistic hands37
Painting hands can be very difficult for professional and amateur artists alike. The complexity of their structure makes them one of the hardest parts of the human body to render properly. Painting realistic hands requires two key factors for a satisfying result: a thorough knowledge of anatomy, and a creative choice of skin tone.

Painting realistic hands38

Transform a Human into an Abstract Painted Werewolf39
“In this tutorial, you will learn how to bring a simple concept to life and give it a fantastic final result. Beside illustrating the human-to-werewolf transformation, we will fill the images with cool painted effects and add some abstraction in the end.”

Transform a Human into an Abstract Painted Werewolf40

Making of Angelina Jolie41
“After having collected some pictures of the famous actress Angelina Jolie, I decided to use some of them for this creation. Before starting the modeling phase, I took a moment to observe the features of this beautiful actress—above all, her cheekbones, which are very pronounced.”

Making of the Angelina Jolie42

Making of Cold Sky43
The artist teaches us how to make this beautiful “cold sky.”

Making of Cold Sky44

Skin Painting Tutorial45
“I want to clarify that this tutorial is not the correct or only way to paint. It is just my way of painting, and only that. Feel free to follow it entirely or just the part that pleases you. I will be using Photoshop, but the tutorial can be done on any program that has good painting tools.”


Painting Really Old People47
“The Internet is full of young, pretty people with large breasts. But believe it or not, people do get old. And wrinkly. And nothing is wrong with that. It can actually be fun and interesting to draw people who don’t have silky smooth skin! This tutorial shares some methods I’ve found for painting wrinkles and some thoughts on how to make a character look old.”

Painting Really Old People48

Making of Bronze Dragon49
“In this tutorial, we are going to color a dragon portrait. As I always say, it’s impossible to make a good painting without a good sketch. That’s why, if your drawings are not as strong as you’d like, you should buy a sketchbook before picking up Photoshop.”

Making of Bronze Dragon50

Spider Harp51
“This fantasy is of musician playing the harp on a spider’s web. It was a personal piece and a really big and delicate work. I thank the users of and for helping my work in progress.”

Spider Harp52

Making Frodo
A detailed and beautiful tutorial that teaches you to make a great Frodo.

Making Frodo

How to Create a Fantasy Landscape Photo Manipulation
In this tutorial, you will learn how to manipulate a fantasy landscape photo.

How to Create a Fantasy Landscape Photo Manipulation

You may be interested in the following related posts:


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  1. 1

    some of these arent paintings, and I dont mind using textures, I do mind using full photo pieces instead of rendering out the items

  2. 2

    Nice tuts.

    90% women, 5% men, rest landscape and things;)

    Wish there was more diversity in the kind of tuts.
    but anyway, nice tuts;)

  3. 3

    I’m sure the tutorials are great, but ugh! It’s a bunch of schlocky fantasy crap disguised as artwork. I look at it and all I see are pimple-faced, rotund, dice-rolling geeks wasting a bit of time dicking around with Photoshop between planning for their next furry convention.

    • 4

      Thank you for saying what needed to be said. These are dull and extremely generic. Except for the Willpower one which is easily the ugliest, stupidest thing I have ever seen, and it’s stupid shit like that that really turns me off of Smashing Magazine (even articles that aren’t my cup of tea aren’t as truly pointless as this).

      Tacky and tasteless– especially “Willpower.”

  4. 5

    so ugly !

  5. 6

    Excellent Tutorials… :)

    Thanks to SM

  6. 7

    Impressive stuff!

  7. 8

    Davide Espertini

    November 13, 2009 6:45 am

    Great resouce list!!

  8. 9

    These are fantastic, I’ll definitely be taking a deeper look into quite a few of them!

  9. 10

    great & inspiring material…..

  10. 11

    A salute to SM

  11. 12

    Except for the ones that are not actually digital painting, but 3d modeling (like Binah, which has been featured in at least 3 different posts), great tutorial list.

  12. 13

    Some of these aren’t paintings and use 3D rendering programs, and some aren’t even tutorials – they’re more like a quick show of different stages of work. A tutorial is a step by step set of instructions on how to recreate an image. There are however some great ‘actual’ painting tutorials here.

  13. 14

    Awesome selection tutorials!

  14. 15

    AWESOME! I can not wait to get a free moment and try my hand at some of these different techniques. Smashing! Simply Smashing!! Keep it up.

  15. 16

    Very very very nice !!

    Is there by chance, any tutorials that are ” Paint Over Tutorials ” ?

    I’m really looking for some . !

    NICE POST !!

  16. 17

    Great list here.Its mind blowing i need tutorials for such work.
    Thanks for sharing. There is so much useful information.

    dsi r4

  17. 18

    Chase Whiteside

    November 13, 2009 5:18 pm

    This is just a collection of scant women and dragons–are there more teenage boys here than I realized?

  18. 19

    It is a bit confusing if you only show artworks of Fantasy Digital Paintings. There are many different styles on digital art. I´ve notice that principiants think only on figurative-fantasy images when talking about digital art.
    Please, try to find out some other styles. See what I mean at

  19. 20

    Incredible as always, although I must say that it IS a little boring that almost everything is fantasy and that the floating tree does not fit in here. It’s unrealistic and too simple.

  20. 21

    Floris Fiedeldij Dop

    November 14, 2009 12:24 pm

    Argh, now I am going to be on my Wacom tablet all weekend again :p

  21. 22

    YES! This is so inspirational its amazing. I was looking for something like this for a long time!

  22. 23

    wow that was beautiful artwork

  23. 24

    Flat tones, no volumes, no anatomy knowledge, maybe the “artist” might consider reading a bit about colour theory instead of just copying pictures. This article has absolutely no interest.
    (not even talking about the incredibly kitsch themes)

  24. 25

    Active Computech

    December 21, 2009 11:58 pm

    Excellent Tutorial. I would like to recommend it to my student. We impart online training in web and graphic design applications.

  25. 26

    wow, amazing art works!

  26. 27

    very very like for the picture wonderfull in the Making of Beauty on the Bed hands of the photograpy very very very super… great photo very very very amazing lovable photos i like very very much …. by vijayarajan

  27. 28

    digital painting with chad

    July 5, 2010 11:10 am

    I love the lighting in all of these pieces. However, I think my most fav. on is the Umbrella Sky. Simply beautiful!


  28. 29

    Nice digital paintings and CG pictures.

  29. 30


  30. 31

    Amazing.. :)

  31. 32

    it’s very nice

  32. 33

    wow … :) I’cant believe my eyes … It’s impossible… Awesome… I can say only awesome, awesome and great job … :)

  33. 34

    Few tutorials are really interesting but shame that most are on lower level for begginers. It is really hard to find online some of the advanced tutorials for digital painters. Umberra Sky and Spanish girl are most entertaing and helpfull I think.
    Some of advanced tutorials can be seen on


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