I think it is better to start smaller because the brushes are only so big, and you want brushes to work with. Before you work on the details make it as large as it needs to be, because huge canvas sizes can make the biggest brush look small. That is why you don't want it too big to draw the main part. It is like using an artist brush to paint the house.
Most computers will tell you what size is best to start working on artwork, because if it is too big or too small the brushes will get jerky with the screen trying to keep up. A size that is just right will have a smoother flow.
The finishing size don't need to be more than 300 dpi, because most printer don't print more than that, and transferring it to the printer puts a lot on the Ram and Buffer. Too much will crash. I use to go with 40 inches by 36 inches, at 300 dpi, but the file size would be one gigabyte. with a lot of layers. The minimum for DA Prints is 36 x 24 at 100 dpi and that is easy to put into pixels because you just add 00 to the inches which would be 3600 x 2400 pixels.
What ever you go with when you pick a size you can always resize it and the pixel size would be at the top and the inches and dpi are at the bottom. It really don't matter which one you use to change the size, because both do the same thing.
Your drawing would look blurry when it is larger because it is so small, and it light take a lot of work adding details, but I will be a higher quality with a lot more detail.
so we all know that 300 dpi is good print quality but how that relate to pixels...
i have no idea but i remember reading some tutorials a long time ago from julie dillon where she mentions using anywhere from 3000+ pixels upwards. she probably uses another size by now...
I have fiddled around with a lot of sizes myself and I'm very comfortable with 2400 X 3200 pixels at the moment. Anything lower seems a bit too small for detailing in general. Anything higher tends to lag my computer at times since I tend to leave 10+ browsers open in the background along with skype and winamp. and there have been times when i used an a softbrush at a size of 2000+ to create certain effects at my canvas when minimized. It would totally lag if my canvas was lets say... 9600 X 9600 and i was constantly trying to draw with huge brushes...
Very helpful puppy! I think I got it. The main problem is that I did have it set to pixels and I am not good at relating pixels to inches without help. OK now, this brings up another question... I think I know the answer, but can I adjust my size now? The painting isn't complete maybe about 60-70%... or is adjusting the size going to affect the look of the painting?
Well, the physical size should be at its SMALLEST the size you want to print. And you should work and print at no lower than 300pp. You can make smaller prints from a larger file, but you can't really do the reverse.
Most of my work starts out as a 9X15 'canvas' at 300ppi, I adjust it as needed, the largest I'll work with is very rarely more than 30in on one side, the smallest is about 8 in per side. But that's really just because that's around the paper size I used to work on when I was scanning and altering traditional images.
'OK so I've been working on this one painting... and it's 300 dpi but 1100 x 825. Which is about 3.5 x 2.75 inches. Obviously that is too small... what did I do wrong?'
You made your canvas to small. Imagine if you were working traditionally. What size would you use? If you're not sure, go out and measure something. Put in the actual inch measurements of the canvas size you like, and set your resolution to 300ppi when you make a new document.
When you make a new document, you can set the measurement by pixels, inches, and a couple other things. You want the 'inches' setting first, so if it's showing px instead access the dropdown menu and select 'inches'. You can set your canvas resolution in a different field. When you set the resolution, you should see a display of the size in inches and in pixels.
The dA prints recommend 150 minimum, which is probably a good minimum elsewhere, too - but 300 is much better. There's really no reason to not use 300 unless your painting is so large your computer can't handle it. A 2 ft x 2 ft painting would be 7,200 x 7,200 pixels at 300 dpi.