I would like to start with this small introduction that this blog is to help beginner artists that are not certain on where to start with art, especially in the digital era. I do not want to fool you into thinking that I can teach you how to draw, but more instead I would like to share basic tools and topics to help expand your creative & critical thinking and practicality towards art.
Now you would say, but isn’t that not what I am here for? To learn how to draw?
Well yes, to an extent, you are here to learn but I can’t exactly teach you how to draw or even how to make art:
“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see” - Edgar Degas
The difference between the two statements above is that the basic fundamentals in art can be taught to help an artist start off their creative journey. However utilising or using shapes, colour, and tools (whether traditionally or digitally) would be unique to each artists. For example, the way an environment artist creates art would be different from how a character artist creates art. This is obvious given the fact that both are very different in nature (no pun intended). To further emphasis every artist would vaguely have similar tools but would use them "differently" to create their own style . You would rarely find the same "art style". This is for two solid reasons:
1. No one is you
The only consistent and prevalent factor would be the basic art fundamentals. Knowing this and understanding oneself is the beginning of growth and confidence.
Now let's commence!
Everything in life begins with a small step and with this small step, we need to know the shortcuts for the chosen software: Adobe Photoshop.
I am not going to bore you with intense details of what Photoshop is. I am pretty sure that there are many thesis and websites on the internet detailing the history and uses of Photoshop. Furthermore, I am very certain that many of you reading this have already heard of the software. But for those who are curious, I have provided a few resourceful links below.
However, for those who are hearing of it for the first time, Photoshop is a powerful program editing tool that allows a user to basically edit and manipulate digital images. Photoshop was created as a solution to editing images; but as the software became more popular its use expanded to different industries. You will find at the end of this blog the pricing plan for Photoshop (and various other software).
Fun Fact: Adobe was not the original creator of Photoshop. It was bought by Adobe in 1995 (it has been around since 1987) from the Knoll brothers for $34.5 million1.
Before we start talking about the fundamentals of art, we need to know Photoshop keyboard shortcuts. Down below are shortcuts of all the important tools I learnt overtime to help with digital art. You would say why bother learning keyboard shortcuts? The main reason why I learnt is because it helped speed up the process of accessing important tools. There is nothing more frustrating than wasting time trying to find a tool that can be easily accessed from a shortcut (especially from an intimidating interface like Photoshop).
Here is a list of keyboard shortcuts:
A = Direct Selection Tool
B = Brush Tool
C = Crop Tool
D = Switches Back to the Default Black & White Swatches
F = Change Screen Mode
G = Bucket Tool
L = Lasso Tool
M = Marquee Tool
P = Pen Tool
Q = Quick Mask Mode
R = Rotate View Tool
S = Clone Stamp Tool
T = Text Tool
U = Line Tool
V = Move Tool
W = Quick Select Tool
X = Switch Between Foreground and Background Colour Swatches
Z = Zoom Tool
Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + S = Save (Specify Location on Computer)
Cmd/Ctrl + S = Quick Save
Cmd/Ctrl + Z = Undo
Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + A = Camera Raw
Cmd/Ctrl + T = Free Transform
Cmd/Ctrl + E = Merge Layers
Cmd/Ctrl + C = Copy
Cmd/Ctrl + V = Paste
Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + N = New Layer
Cmd/Ctrl + J = Duplicate Layer
Cmd/Ctrl + O = Open Photoshop Document
Cmd/Ctrl + N = New Photoshop Document
Cmd/Ctrl + M = Curves
Cmd/Ctrl + A = Select All
Cmd/Ctrl + D = Deselect All
Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + ; = Snap
Cmd/Ctrl + R = Ruler
Cmd/Ctrl + I = Invert
Cmd/Ctrl + G = Group Layers
Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + G = Ungroup Layers
Ctrl (on Mac) = Quick Brush Select (While on brush tool)
ALT/Option = Clipping Mask
ALT/Option = Colour Picker (Brush tool needs to be selected)
Learning shortcuts is not a hard and fast rule however as time passes you would realise the necessity and relevancy of accessing tools quickly. I have provided a link below that Adobe has produced for referencing.
Thanks for reading and hope to see you in the next post.
Photoshop Shortcuts PDF. Courtesy of Adobe.
History of Photoshop:
© Inkyo 2021