Digital illustration is essentially the use of digital tools, such as a mouse or tablet, in combination with drawing software, such as Adobe Illustrator, to create an illustration. A computer is not typically used alone in digital illustration and is most often used in tandem with some form of drawing tablet and pen, or stylus.
Many tools within drawing software are designed to imitate traditional illustration techniques like paintbrushes, oil, watercolor, etc. Many techniques and methods which apply to drawing, in general, apply to digital illustration as well, therefore the knowledge of traditional drawing techniques is of great use when venturing into digital illustration.
Digital illustration is used primarily in industries like film, gaming, publishing, advertising, product design, etc. It is less often used by architects, who prefer CAD software to develop their designs. Adobe Photoshop is the industry-standard software for digital illustrators working with raster graphics, or Adobe Illustrator for vector graphics.
Other popular tools include Corel Painter and Procreate. Digital illustrations may include both raster and vector graphics in the same work. A raster image file may be saved in a format that embeds a layer of vector information, and a vector image file may include imported raster images.