Preferring mediums over others: Is it ok?
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    Red face Preferring mediums over others: Is it ok?

    So I'm taking classes in painting and I think they've been very useful and they are throwing my digital painting skills light years ahead of where it was. It has helped me in color, preliminary work, compositions, and brush technique. I can see it in my newer digital paintings.

    The only thing wrong is while I've learned a lot and my digital paintings are looking better than ever, I still suck at using real paint. I just can't get used to it. This is my 5th or 6th painting class and I can't seem to do well with it. It's expensive, time consuming, temperamental, and over all it's a pain in the ass.

    I've only been experiencing acrylics by the way, I can't speak for what oil is like since I can't afford trying to learn from it. My professors say that oils and acrylics pretty much work the same so maybe I'm not missing out.

    Anyway, my question is this: is it ok to prefer one medium over another or do I have to master painting using them all?

    "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills..." - J.F.K.
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    the important thing is the skills. I hate painting as well, digital is far easier. d:

    mediums don't matter... digital, canvas, newspaper, wood, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms.Quelquefois View Post
    I still suck at using real paint. I just can't get used to it. This is my 5th or 6th painting class and I can't seem to do well with it. It's expensive, time consuming, temperamental, and over all it's a pain in the ass.

    I've only been experiencing acrylics by the way, I can't speak for what oil is like since I can't afford trying to learn from it. My professors say that oils and acrylics pretty much work the same so maybe I'm not missing out.
    it might not be entirely your fault: if you're attending painting classes run by teachers who say oils and acrylics 'pretty much work the same' you should consider asking for your money back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by duztman View Post
    it might not be entirely your fault: if you're attending painting classes run by teachers who say oils and acrylics 'pretty much work the same' you should consider asking for your money back.
    Lol! Thank you! I was thinking every time in class "my acrylics aren't doing what everyone's oils are doing..." I'm happy that it's not entirely me.

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    What? Of course it's ok to prefer to work in one medium over another. That's what most people do. I dunno if I am getting the question????

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJacks View Post
    What? Of course it's ok to prefer to work in one medium over another. That's what most people do. I dunno if I am getting the question????
    Sorry about that. I meant is it ok not to be a master at every medium? And to be more specific to my situation: is it ok to be good in digital but horrible in real mediums?

    "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills..." - J.F.K.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms.Quelquefois View Post
    Sorry about that. I meant is it ok not to be a master at every medium? And to be more specific to my situation: is it ok to be good in digital but horrible in real mediums?
    Is there even a person who's a master of every medium? I would think most manage to master one or two, if even that, and then be "pretty good" on bunch of others.

    As for the other question, depending on what you want to do, it can bite you in the ass pretty badly. If you want to draw for fun and never challenge yourself to learn more, sure it's ok. But if you want to learn how to get better in digital, traditional mediums will help that a lot, and if you manage to do good stuff with several mediums, you'll have a lot more variation to offer for potential customers and employers. (Also you won't be restricted to sit in front of the computer.)
    To quote Elwell, the art police won't come knocking your door, but it's your own loss.

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    I know exactly what you mean! I'm in my second painting class right now and I still can't get a handle on the paints (using water based oils). However my digital painting has taken a step forward. I don't know if it's easier for me to use or something but for some reason my digital paintings are far superior to my oil paintings. Personally I think I need a better teacher and just more experience. As long as you have a good teacher I'm assuming they can help you learn to control the paint better.

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    If you want to master every medium, go ahead. But all you need is to be able to communicate your image in a medium that involves color or gray scale depending on your occupation, which is the necessary part. It is unnecessary to master every medium. Ultimately, if you know how to draw very well, you should have less trouble experimenting mediums that requires the same movement. You should also take into account the style of your art and what do you plan to work as in a job when choosing between mediums. Take note that I am still an amateur and the words I say are from what I see in the professionals on youtube, they like to stick to certain mediums.

    Last edited by Vay; April 8th, 2011 at 12:25 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vay View Post
    Ultimately, if you know how to draw very well, you should have less trouble experimenting mediums that requires the same movement.
    I must be doing something wrong then because I draw really really well. When I draw on the canvas the shapes, lighting, and tone are really accurate, but once I put paint over it it just becomes a disgusting mess. It gets so messy and globby it dries when I don't want it to and it's hard to correct and it's just so unappealing to me. In the end you can see how much I hate working with real paint just by looking at the finished product.

    "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills..." - J.F.K.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms.Quelquefois View Post
    I draw really really well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ms.Quelquefois View Post
    In the end you can see how much I hate working with real paint just by looking at the finished product.
    Well, it wouldn't probably hurt if you actually showed these things here. I'm pretty sure the painters here could give some technique etc tips.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyBird View Post
    Well, it wouldn't probably hurt if you actually showed these things here. I'm pretty sure the painters here could give some technique etc tips.
    I dorm so I might do that when I go home for summer. I don't have an easy time getting them onto the computer where I'm at because they are sort of large and I don't have really ideal lighting for taking pictures at the moment.

    "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills..." - J.F.K.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms.Quelquefois View Post
    I must be doing something wrong then because I draw really really well. When I draw on the canvas the shapes, lighting, and tone are really accurate, but once I put paint over it it just becomes a disgusting mess. It gets so messy and globby it dries when I don't want it to and it's hard to correct and it's just so unappealing to me. In the end you can see how much I hate working with real paint just by looking at the finished product.

    Acrylics are like that. And yeah, duztman is right on with his comment - oils and acrylics are pretty much the same? That is such an ignorant notion that I find it offensive that someone with such little awareness is being paid (probably with tax dollars - if you're going to them privately then stop).

    Oils are the place to begin with painting media - and most find they are superior to anything else.

    So here's a question...for those of you that thought you should be painting great works after a few classes...would you expect to play "Stairway to Heaven" after a few lessons? On stage? It takes a few years of solid effort and experimenting to BEGIN to get a handle on painting...that is when you realize you've managed to get a toe-hold on the first step. For me it was about 2 years and somewhere between 300-400 paintings...and a few workshops with some top guys and a whole lotta reading. Can I get a witness!

    Anyway, just sayin you gotta work hard, do your own learning and...you know, work hard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nonameowns View Post
    the important thing is the skills. I hate painting as well, digital is far easier. d:

    mediums don't matter... digital, canvas, newspaper, wood, etc.
    Really? Do much digital life drawing? Digital plein-air? Show your digital paintings in galleries? People buy your digital work? Just wondering.

    I agree with you that skills are the important thing...learning to draw is the key...after that the rest is icing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms.Quelquefois View Post
    I must be doing something wrong then because I draw really really well. When I draw on the canvas the shapes, lighting, and tone are really accurate, but once I put paint over it it just becomes a disgusting mess. It gets so messy and globby it dries when I don't want it to and it's hard to correct and it's just so unappealing to me. In the end you can see how much I hate working with real paint just by looking at the finished product.
    It sounds like you are expecting paint to act like some other, more precise medium. It's not going to (at least not anytime soon). Trying to get it to do things it's not meant to do is like going into a dessert cooking class hoping to come out with barbecue chicken. Maybe what you ought to do is quit drawing on the canvas, quit trying to be accurate and start blobbing paint around.

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    Good point Vineris - painting is quite different from drawing (usually, unless you "draw" with broad, soft media in a "painterly" manner). Drawing tends to emphasize construction, line, edge, contour and rhythm. Painting emphasizes mass, form, volume and surface texture. They are different enough that you can feel the mental shift from one mode to another (I notice it anyway, maybe not true for all). The thing is you have to understand drawing very well before painting is effective (for representational work anyway).

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    Acrylics are like that. And yeah, duztman is right on with his comment - oils and acrylics are pretty much the same? That is such an ignorant notion that I find it offensive that someone with such little awareness is being paid (probably with tax dollars - if you're going to them privately then stop).

    Oils are the place to begin with painting media - and most find they are superior to anything else.

    So here's a question...for those of you that thought you should be painting great works after a few classes...would you expect to play "Stairway to Heaven" after a few lessons? On stage? It takes a few years of solid effort and experimenting to BEGIN to get a handle on painting...that is when you realize you've managed to get a toe-hold on the first step. For me it was about 2 years and somewhere between 300-400 paintings...and a few workshops with some top guys and a whole lotta reading. Can I get a witness!

    Anyway, just sayin you gotta work hard, do your own learning and...you know, work hard.
    Aye, I've been doing a lot of acrylics in the last few months. You can dry brush to try to get smoother gradients/blending...but even my cheap ass Daler Rowney oils blend better. God I hate those paints. Please save me from the wrath of Georgian oil color .

    And you're right, the two mediums couldn't be any more different. It's like they're polar opposites almost. One can dry in ten minutes, another can dry in weeks.....one uses water to thin, another uses turp...

    , no way someone getting paid doesn't know that.

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    As has been said, acrylic!=oil.

    If you're a traditionalist you'll probably end up devoting yourself to at least two mediums, one for drawing and one for painting, whether that's pencil and digital or pastel and oil, the sky is the limit.

    A multimedia artist, however, will incorporate whichever medium will best represent his/her concept for that specific project . From my experience, multimedia artists that don't have a strong traditional background produce very subpar work because they're fighting with the materials as much as they're fighting how to properly execute their ideas.

    Getting off course here, I think it's wise to focus on only one or two mediums initially, if not indefinitely, for mastery. And, if you decide to bring a new medium into your arsenal, you should start out with the basics (namely DRAWING/PAINTING FROM LIFE) and then, as you build proficiency, use it in your bread and butter workflow.

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    like above said, today artists are better off with pencil on paper and paint digitally if traditional tools are an hassle.

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    Damn well said CK!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ms.Quelquefois View Post
    Sorry about that. I meant is it ok not to be a master at every medium?
    Absolutely not!
    Here is a partial list of mediums you will be expected to master if you want to get your official I ARE A FOR REALZ ARTIST certificate:
    Pencil
    Charcoal
    Ink
    Silverpoint
    Pastel
    Oil pastel
    Watercolor
    Gouache
    Egg tempera
    Glue tempera
    Oils
    Acrylics (emulsion based)
    Acrylics (solution based)
    Cel vinyls
    Casein
    Fresco
    Mosaic
    Scrimshaw
    Glassblowing
    Holography

    Any questions?

    Last edited by Elwell; April 8th, 2011 at 07:30 PM.

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    Scrimshaw.

    And don't dare show your scurvy mug around here 'til you've mastered it, matey!


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    Heheheh! I salute your evil side, Elwell!

    I've never understood anyone being afraid of trad media (says she who hasn't a clue about digi)

    The easiest is acrylic. It's surprisingly forgiving and correctable. Slightly more difficult is oil (but it smells great and feels really smooth to apply).

    Watercolour, (despite being the medium of choice of the hobbyist in Victorian times) is the spawn of the Devil. It's more unforgiving that a spurned girlfriend, and nothing looks worse than a runny watercolour.

    Silverpoint? Absolutely no erase on that,.

    But where's the fun in life or art if you don't try whatever won't destroy you?

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    Damn good thing you said "partial"! I'm in my ninth year studying encaustic...part of why it is taking so long is I'm trying to do it without using wax. It's really hard to find tutorials on it! (no don't go find me some...I know that's where you were headed).

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