top of page

Top 8 Digital Artist Products that Helped Me Illustrate My First Book!

Looking to become a book illustrator and looking for the right tools to get started? Here is a list of the top 8 tools I used to illustrate my first book!

These are wonderful products that helped me illustrate my first book! I'd recommend them to anyone looking to start illustrating and become a digital artist!

Here is the book I illustrated now available on Amazon! You can see a finished product of the items I'll be recommending below!

Once Upon a Robin

(This blog post contains affiliate links so if you decide to purchase some of the products listed it'll help me earn a small commission! Thank you!)

List of Top 8 Products for Beginner Illustrators

  1. iPad Mini

  2. Apple Pencil

  3. Procreate

  4. Watercolor Texture Pack

  5. PaperLike Screen Protector

  6. Windows Surface Computer

  7. Adobe Photoshop

  8. Adobe InDesign

Keep scrolling to learn more about why I chose each of these products!

iPad Mini

I love my iPad Mini because of the mobility it provides with its small size. I can throw it into a small bag and take it with me anywhere! I will say the only minor letdown is it has limited storage and if you use the app Procreate your iPad Mini has less layer capabilities. Something I didn't take into consideration when first buying it. I found the limiting layers a struggle sometimes when illustrating complex scenes, but otherwise, it's a great tool all around to get started!

Apple Pencil

I've tried a few different types of stylists but this is still by far my favorite comb with the iPad. Apple pencils have great pressure point sensitivity so its really great at helping the artwork look and feel more like traditional art.


Illustrator drawing on ipad

This is my favorite drawing app to use! There are plenty of other options out there but I always come back to Procreate. It has a lot of versatile options that make it easy to customize and layer your artwork! It's not a free app but totally worth it. I've been able to use it to illustrate and make my money back on it. Not that that's a guarantee for everyone, but regardless it's worth it!

Watercolor Texture Packs

watercolor painting

My favorite illustration style is to make digital artwork LOOK like traditional watercolor. My favorite place to look for texture packs is on Etsy! There are a lot of great texture packs with brushes and tutorials to help you create that watercolor aesthetic. It's a great way to support other artists and find your style!


This screen protector is so nice to use! It makes drawing on the iPad feel like I'm drawing on paper! It helps create a rougher surface instead of a smooth glass finish. If you're into a more paper-like feel I'd recommend this! I feel like it helps with motor control when drawing.

Windows Surface Computer

I love my Microsoft Surface 2 computer. It's light and compact. I'd recommend 16 gigs of RAM and higher-end processors like i7 so you can use programs like Photoshop or InDesign. I'll admit even with the best spects my computer still runs slowly when I try to illustrate on Adobe Photoshop or InDesign. There were times I had to patiently wait for my computer to catch up but it would get the job done! I think its a great travel-friendly option and a good place to start, but I'm looking to upgrade to a more powerful computer down the road to either the Surface 5 or the Microsoft Studio which I've seen other illustrators use!

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is great for exporting your illustration from Procreate and then adding it to a Photoshop document. This is a great way to deliver your illustrations to an editor or book designer to help them layer the book together. Since I helped design our self-published book I used Photoshop to make sure the illustrations fit the correct size and add layers like text. You can also illustrate using photoshop or make minor changes to your illustrations instead of having to go back to the iPad.

Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign was the final step in my illustration processes. It's great for actually assembling all the pages of the book and preparing them for printing or eBooks. If you're self-publishing then this program is perfect for you! Some illustrators don't need this program though but I still find it useful to see the finished product come together and make sure pages line up.

The Three Most Essential Products from the list

None of these products are mandatory to start your digital illustrator journey but if I could only choose three things to start I'd recommend an iPad, Apple Pencil, and a drawing app like Procreate to get started. These feel most like traditional art and after some practice can help make the illustration process more streamlined! I hope this helps and excited for you on this illustrator journey!

Once Upon a Robin



Hey there reader!

Hello, I'm Hannah the artist behind Peaceful Paint Drop!

Here we're all about helping you have fun new creative ways to make art and crafts, find new drawing tutorials, make DIY printables, and more! We are constantly bringing you new fun projects for all ages so be sure to subscribe to never miss a new post! 

Let the posts
come to you.

Thanks for submitting!

  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
bottom of page