Holiday Gift Guide 2013: The Digital Artist Edition

Every year companies push the limits of digital art and in some cases it gets harder and harder to distinguish digital art from hand made. Here are some of this year’s best products that you might consider getting for the digital artist in your family.

Wacom Intuos

intuosEarlier this year Wacom rebranded its product line and made the consumer line the new Intuos line. With the new name comes a new design and one of the best drawing tablets I have ever used. It comes in two sizes and any digital artist would love one of these.

Corel Painter X3

logopainterFor years Corel Painter has been the best natural media paint program on the market and this year Corel has updated it to version X3. With X3 comes new features like perspective drawing, easier photo painting, and a ton of new brushes. It is also faster than previous versions. It isn’t cheap, but if you can afford it this is a great gift. In my opinion it is the best version of Painter yet.

Adonit Jot Touch

jotThere are several Bluetooth styluses for the iPad on the market today that claim pressure sensitivity. I have tried several and the Jot Touch by Adonit is the only way that does what it says. It has pressure sensitivity that works through several iPad apps that have built-in compatibility. For any artist working on the iPad this is a fantastic gift.

Sketchbook Pro for iOS

sketchbookIf you are going to get the aforementioned Jot Touch for a gift, the recipient is going to need an app to use it with. Sketchbook Pro is one of them. The Jot Touch works great with it and the app is great even without the stylus. It is one mod my favorite drawing apps on my iPad.

Griffin’s Crayola Line


For the young digital artist in your family there is a collection of fantastic digital tools/pens available by Crayola through the company Griffin Technology. There are many different Crayola tools from drawing to airbrush to painting. They come in the form of pens/styluses and work with Crayola apps that are available for the iPad. Many of these apps are free and work without the pens, but the pens are needed to unlock extra features. This is a great way to support the young digital artist.

With this guide, whether you are shopping for a pro artist, hobbyist, or a young artist in your family, there are plenty of options at different price points to choose from this holiday season.

One of the World’s Largest Photoshop Images

The amount of time that it took to put together this art piece, a true feat of digital mastery, is almost unfathomable. How much time? Try 4 whole years! And this was no side project – the artist, Bert Monroy, worked full days on it as if it was his full time job. All that time to create this one image. The amount of dedication necessary to succeed with this project is really incredible.

The image (the largest Monroy has ever created) was unveiled at the Photo Plus Expo in New York on October 28, 2010 as a work in progress and now it makes its world debut as a finished product. The image has led to the beginning of a tour that will reach New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, giving Monroy a chance to showcase his talents and share some of his tools and techniques during a one-day seminar in each city. The seminar is being called, “The Making of Times Square: Live!” Straightforward and to the point, hopefully a trait that he will continue into his lectures.

On to the image: What makes it so special? Well, for starters, there are absolutely no real images used in the virtual painting. Everything was created within the Photoshop program. Altogether, the image is compromised of almost 3000 individual Photoshop and Illustrator files. To create the hyper-realistic look, Monroy had to use over 500,000 layers and an image size of 60 inches by 3oo inches. Combined, all of the images make up a panoramic photo that takes up 6.52 GB on a hard drive, after it’s flattened.

Within the Times Square scene, if you are well informed, you can see a few of the imaging industry’s biggest players like John and Thomas Knoll (the founders of Adobe Photoshop) standing in the main foreground. He also did his best to include people from his own group of family and friends, standing amongst some of the most famous landmarks in that area.

For more information and a closer look at the image head on over to Bert Monroy’s website.