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  1. #1
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    Research paper on digital painting

    Hi my name is Guthrie and I am writing a research paper for my MA Illustration on the impact of digital painting tools on art practice. I've a few quick questions that I'd like to pose for anyone with the time or inclination to answer.

    1. What are you working on at the moment?

    2. What are your primary digital painting tools?

    3. Have you always used digital means? If not how has the computer changed your art practice? What has been the hardest or most significant change?

    4. What is the typical way you work?

    5. When painting how much of your work is produced within the digital arena and how much printed and worked on outside?

    6. What do you most enjoy and/or dislike about working with digital painting tools?

    7. Ray Caesar said in an interview with Dangerous Ink that making art on the computer was one of the most challenging methods he'd used? What's your take?

    Please note that although the paper won't be published I may quote directly and/or refer to this discussion in the paper.

    I am also happy to take direct submissions direct.

    Thanks for your time
    Guthrie

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    The usual answer to these sort of posts is "sorry, we don't do your homework," I think. And in fact you would probably be better served by using the search function to look at past discussions (these questions get asked very frequently) or possibly research prominent digital artists and look for your answers in their interviews.

    However. I'm kinda bored at the moment so what the hell, I'll answer these for you. (God knows I've bs'ed a few papers from internet surveys myself...)

    1. What are you working on at the moment?
    Well, I have a few commissions I'm working on, a color study for an illustration project, and then I'm also trying to do an entry for Imagine FX's cover contest.

    2. What are your primary digital painting tools?
    I use Photoshop CS2, with default brushes. A hard-edged brush and a soft, pressure-sensitive brush with pressure set to opacity. I call it the watercolor brush, although I don't know it's actual name.

    3. Have you always used digital means? If not how has the computer changed your art practice? What has been the hardest or most significant change?
    I started painting in Photoshop regularly about 5 years ago, about mid-high school. Before that I had mostly used acrylics. I think it's gone back and forth with real media influencing digital and the other way-- I still do a lot of painting in colored pencil and watercolor as well as digital paintings. It just depends. As for the hardest part, learning to think in layers is very tricky at first. Although it did come in very handy later when I was doing screen printing.

    4. What is the typical way you work?
    I do most of my sketching in pencil, then scan the work in to Photoshop. Sometimes I color under the lineart and sometimes I do a more painterly approach, it depends on what I want the final effect to be. Either way I will block out the colors for the entire painting on one layer with the soft pressure-sensitive brush, then work over that on separate layers for each individual section, refining with the hard-edged brush.

    5. When painting how much of your work is produced within the digital arena and how much printed and worked on outside?
    For a digital painting, everything except the initial sketch is done in Photoshop. This is mostly because I am terrible at sketching within Photoshop; I simply can't refine the image well enough with PS's tools.

    6. What do you most enjoy and/or dislike about working with digital painting tools?
    The ability to reverse large changes and test things out is invaluable. Also the ability to simply dump one area full of color very quickly. Of course, there's always the problem that your file may get corrupted or your computer crashes halfway through, and then you have to do everything over. And I actually find it very hard to visualize the painting when I'm painting digitally, because you are forced to constantly work zoomed-in, whereas with a traditional painting you can always lift your head and see the whole picture at once.

    7. Ray Caesar said in an interview with Dangerous Ink that making art on the computer was one of the most challenging methods he'd used? What's your take?
    No, I don't think it's the most challenging way to paint. It takes more work than most people expect, but with a computer you can ultimately redo everything if you need to, and you only need to pick the right color. I think it's much harder to mix paint colors effectively and to handle the materials so that a traditional painting comes out right. There's also a difficulty in working at different scales that the computer ignores. The computer makes many things easier, and it's not that hard to transfer traditional painting skills over. Much harder to learn to paint traditionally if you've only done digital.

    "The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the one doing it."

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    Thanks for your response FlameRaven, some interesting comments, I appreciate you taking the time. I understand the reluctance and I just don't have the personal experience yet to fully appreciate all the issues, althought that's changing as I learn more.

    I think it's also much more interesting to have real discussion with people who are commercially practicing. It's still seen as a bit contraversal in fine art courses to be making digital painting.

    Pretty much all the people on my course use primarily non-digital means to produce their art which is great but leaves me with little in the way of immediate resources.

    So again thanks for taking the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guthriej View Post
    It's still seen as a bit contraversal in fine art courses to be making digital painting.
    Art students asking about the legitimacy of digital art is nearly as common as art students posting questionnaires.

    I think a more relevant series of questions are:

    - What do you want to get out of art?

    - Does digital art hinder or help that goal?

    - When it comes to the creation of art, the use of color, value, line, form, and composition, is there any real difference between paint and digital? In reality, isn't it all the same thing?

    -Do the preconceptions and prejudices of "fine artists" matter? If so, would the current fine art field be the way it is now, if some artists didn't decide to break off from the pre-conceived notions of THEIR instructors?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guthriej View Post
    I've a few quick questions that I'd like to pose for anyone with the time or inclination to answer.

    1. What are you working on at the moment? My nails

    2. What are your primary painting tools? Avon Tropical Punch

    3. What is the typical way you work? From top to bottom.


    Thanks for your time
    Welcome

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    Quote Originally Posted by J Wilson View Post
    Art students asking about the legitimacy of digital art is nearly as common as art students posting questionnaires.

    I think a more relevant series of questions are:

    - What do you want to get out of art?

    - Does digital art hinder or help that goal?

    - When it comes to the creation of art, the use of color, value, line, form, and composition, is there any real difference between paint and digital? In reality, isn't it all the same thing?

    -Do the preconceptions and prejudices of "fine artists" matter? If so, would the current fine art field be the way it is now, if some artists didn't decide to break off from the pre-conceived notions of THEIR instructors?
    I agree. I answered the questionnaire, but they weren't really very helpful questions. Researching "digital art" has too many different possibilities. Are you researching how the fine art world views digital art? Or how artists doing mainly digital art get their art seen? There's a lot of different approaches you could take, but you should pick one and go after that, not ask generalized questions. That's why I suggested you should look up prominent digital artists (there are a number here on CA) and ask if you can interview them personally, or read interviews they already gave... you'll probably get more helpful answers than just a general survey.

    "The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the one doing it."

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    Thanks for all your responses so far, I appreciate the feedback.

    To quote myself "I am writing a research paper for my MA Illustration on the impact of digital painting tools on art practice"

    So literally when your using Painter or Photoshop, a Wacom and a scanner what impact that has on how you work both practically and aesthetically. I'm trying to move beyond the typical argument about the validity of the medium and explore it's impact.

    I am comparing digital painting to modern traditional means but I'm not ascribing greater value to either painting mode it's merely as a point of comparison, with a greater focus on the digital process.

    I'm keen to understand how using a tablet, software and a screen is different to other painting modes. The advantages, disadvantages, the differences, does it impact philosophically or aesthetically or it is it purely practical.

    The research paper is relatively short (3000-5000 words) but I felt it was import to get feed back from artists in the field. Partly because little critical writing has been done on digital painting and partly as a way to gain better understanding of the medium from those using it.

    Again thanks for all your feedback.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlameRaven View Post
    That's why I suggested you should look up prominent digital artists (there are a number here on CA) and ask if you can interview them personally, or read interviews they already gave... you'll probably get more helpful answers than just a general survey.
    Thanks for reiterating this I will follow it up!

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