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    Unhappy Digital Art frowned upon??

    Greetings fellow artists.

    I am one of them that really likes working in the digital mediums, though I do work traditionally as well. But I prefer painting digitally since I don't have much room to use paint or other more messy mediums.

    Now I have come across in my art school that teachers really frown upon this method. The reaction I usually get is: "huh, is it possible to paint in the computer?" or "this must be some kind of a trick and is cheating" or the more snobbish ones that just think this kind of art is below them.

    In most cases I think this is simply because they don't know what it is, and therefore won't accept it as one kind of art medium.

    But because of this, in my portfolio I'm making for the art department there, I will probably only have 1-2 digital works.

    But in the end, I was wondering if this is there same for you fellow artists. Does the older generation and teachers where you are also frown upon digital art or are they more casual about it?

     

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    I've been drawing digitally for 10 years now, and my grandpa still asks me every time "Really? You paint on a computer?", despite being familiar with my digital work at least since 2004. (No, he's not senile)

    Unless they specifically say otherwise art schools are focused on traditional art, this is normal. In my own art school portfolio I did not include digital work. People were/are not familiar with it, but I don't mind - after all I'm going to art school to learn traditional painting.
    People are much more familiar with it now, though, than they were 10 years ago. That's my experience.

    Don't worry about it - there's a market for everything - just keep painting and improving!

     

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    Well usually when you got to school for fine art, the faculty wants you to focus on using traditional mediums because that's what that particular market is all about. If you go to school for illustration, the faculty is usually more willing to let you work with digital media. If you really want to just focus on digital art, why not apply to a digital arts program?

    Instructors and professors usually have their minds made up about digital art and you're not going to be able to do much to change them. So if you feel like digital art is a huge part of what you want to do ask yourself; "Will I enjoy working with traditional media for schoolwork?" "What benefits are there for me to be in this art program that focuses on these other methods?" "Can I work on digital art on my own time?" "Is it better for me to choose another art program or school that is more accepting of what I like to do?"

     

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    A lot of professors focus on traditional before digital and that makes a lot of sense. First of all, traditional art is a lot easier to critique in a classroom setting, and everyone learns from each piece that is critiqued. If you are printing out a copy, there are all sorts of issue centered around the print - is it too dark or too blue, etc. However, the fundamental reason is that digital programs are based to emulate traditional mediums (to a greater or lesser extent). Teaching you painting the old-fashioned way will help you establish a foundation for digital painting.

    Another fundamental reason is that your professors may know traditional a lot better than digital and be able to provide more meaningful critiques. A lot of times, they'll be able to see how you worked in a traditional medium in addition to the end product, whereas in digital that's a lot more difficult. They can see and understand your process when you work traditionally which gives them an opportunity to say when you went wrong other than just saying what the problems are in the end product.

     

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    Back in college I also experienced some prejudice against this "mysterious" thing known as digital painting. I've also had a few curious looks in life drawing classes. However, I've generally found that a short demo can clear up any misconceptions.

    Usually if someone doesn't get it, I'll show them a playback of a painting I made a while back using the Colors homebrew for the Nintendo DS. From that they tend to realize that digital painting is just as much "real" painting as any other medium. I also generally mention the reasons I like working digitally: layers, undo, no waiting for paint to dry, backups, cloning, color adjustment, playbacks etc.

    For anyone here with a smartphone, it should be relatively simple to keep a couple video playbacks of your painting sessions on hand.

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    I think that for the most part digital painting is unknown and misunderstood by those who are not digital artists themselves. There are still many people who associate the computer with some sort of magic that only requires pressing a few buttons and as we all know...pressing buttons is not real work and doesn't require any specialized knowledge. ;P

    Julie I disagree with your main point about instruction...while I do agree that a teacher who has little or no experience with digital will have a difficult time even understanding what you are doing on the screen or what tools are being used...someone who has experience will be able to easily understand what is going on and how to correct it. After all...whether you use the line tool or a ruler to draw the lines, bad perspective is still bad perspective. And while one may be able to draw a line better with pencil and paper...it won't improve your anatomy. Likewise neither will having the latest version of PS or a particular artist's collection of custom brushes. If set up properly...digital would actually improve the classroom environment, but most people would likely not be able to figure out how to implement it to do so. As Feng Zhu says repeatedly in his videos, the tools don't matter.

    But really, does it matter how you hold the charcoal or brush or what brand of paper or paint you use if you can manage to achieve good end results (not the same, but close enough as to not be worth noticing)???

     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Penabled View Post
    I think that for the most part digital painting is unknown and misunderstood by those who are not digital artists themselves. There are still many people who associate the computer with some sort of magic that only requires pressing a few buttons and as we all know...pressing buttons is not real work and doesn't require any specialized knowledge.
    Go outside and paint somethig from life; that is what your ability as a painter is, with out a computer and undue and all the littlre shortcuts. Using a computer is easier and takes less skill. I should know I do both and have been using computers to draw with since the late 80's. I also paint from life traditionally. Its not respected because it hasn't earned the respect traditional painting has and ther is no physical original something digital will have a hard time overcoming to be taken seriously.

     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Penabled View Post
    I think that for the most part digital painting is unknown and misunderstood by those who are not digital artists themselves. There are still many people who associate the computer with some sort of magic that only requires pressing a few buttons and as we all know...pressing buttons is not real work and doesn't require any specialized knowledge. ;P
    Kind of tired of this misconception...as if anyone who paints traditionally doesn't use electricity and is mystified by a computer. It's BS. The reality is that "digital painting" is actually a misnomer. You're not "painting" or even coming close...no closer than playing a synthesizer so it sounds like a violin is playing a violin.

    Are you creating an image? Yes. Are you making a painting? No. Taking a photo creates an image too...but it isn't painting. Get over the idea that because someone says digital isn't painting they are a simpleton or dinosaur.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    The reality is that "digital painting" is actually a misnomer. You're not "painting" or even coming close...no closer than playing a synthesizer so it sounds like a violin is playing a violin.
    Seems like a strange comparison, given the major difference in workflows. I'd compare digital painting to playing an electric piano vs playing a "real" piano. Sure, the electric one may not have strings, but the method is mostly the same. Same input method: black and white keys, press harder to have louder notes, press longer to have notes last longer. Does the fact that you can make the digital one sound like other instruments and that it's more portable make it stop being a piano? Using it draws from almost the exact same skill-set as playing a grand.

    If we're talking about the kind of photo-manipulation stuff you have in your thread "Digital Alchemy", I'd agree that no, that isn't painting: that is much more akin to collage. However, if we're talking digital painting in the sense of what Bumskee does (eg. this thread), I would strongly disagree. (beautiful stuff in your Plein Air thread, btw)

    With digital painting you still:
    - Pick colors from an existing set or "mix" your own.
    - Often start from a sketch, underpainting, or silhouette
    - Put colors on a canvas in broad strokes, gradually refining things until they look right
    - Can mix colors on the canvas to blend things together
    - Can build up colors through thin glazes
    - Can remove bad strokes of paint as you might do with paint thinner.
    - Have to build up areas of light and shadow, and understand form and perspective
    - Have to understand how different kinds of surfaces react to light
    - Have to understand composition, color theory, and anatomy
    - Can use different kinds of brushes to produce different looking strokes

    When acrylic paints were first developed, many oil painters claimed it wasn't "real" painting. I'm sure that the egg tempera painters claimed the same thing when oil paints came out. I see it as the same thing with this, and I'm sure I'll complain as well when psychic photo-paper comes out.

    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint
    Go outside and paint somethig from life; that is what your ability as a painter is, with out a computer and undue and all the littlre shortcuts. Using a computer is easier and takes less skill.
    Ever try to do plein air painting with a laptop on a sunny day? Glare like crazy. Now that's hard! (okay, it's not so bad. nice stuff if your plein air thread too, btw)

    Last edited by SmallPoly; March 22nd, 2012 at 06:57 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmallPoly View Post
    Ever try to do plein air painting with a laptop on a sunny day? Glare like crazy. Now that's hard!
    Yes I have, and no its not hard. There is no order to the thinking invoilved and no need for knowledge of perspective and no need to commit to an idea. Its amateur all the way. Also a collapsable windshield screen is all you need to prevent glare.

     

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    Hey SmallPoly - thanks for the considered reply. Well traveled territory and I respect your right to your opinion on the matter. In the end though you still don't have anything physical...haven't made any actual brushstrokes with a brush, created any real impasto, glaze or scumbling...etc. The process is radically different and takes place at a different scale with a different feel and with different tools. Which is why I used the synthesizer/violin analogy.

    Anyway, my real point is that they are different mediums/tools and create different things and images. There are reasons that traditional painters, teachers and galleries do not accept digital work with open arms. People need to understand these diffferences and get past this idea that "they just don't understand what I'm doing" kind of attitude. Digital media is quite well accepted when it is used creatively and sort of "in tune" with itself...Android Jones being the best example.

    [None of these observations apply to the commercial or production use of digital media btw]

    And thanks for the plein air comment - yeah, my digital stuff is really more collage/montage oriented than painting oriented.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    Yes I have, and no its not hard. There is no order to the thinking invoilved and no need for knowledge of perspective and no need to commit to an idea. Its amateur all the way. Also a collapsable windshield screen is all you need to prevent glare.
    I was kidding about the glare. ;-)

    Why wouldn't you need knowledge of perspective when painting digitally? Unless you don't care how it looks or you're just taking a picture and using a filter to make it look painterly, I can't see how doing it on a screen would make a difference.

    Doing things without order or commitment sounds more like a discipline problem to me than an inherent problem of painting on a computer. If you're saying you can get a good result without discipline, that sounds more like a feature than a bug.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmallPoly View Post
    Seems like a strange comparison, given the major difference in workflows. I'd compare digital painting to playing an electric piano vs playing a "real" piano. Sure, the electric one may not have strings, but the method is mostly the same. Same input method: black and white keys, press harder to have louder notes, press longer to have notes last longer. Does the fact that you can make the digital one sound like other instruments and that it's more portable make it stop being a piano? Using it draws from almost the exact same skill-set as playing a grand.
    I'd largely go along with that regarding skill.
    But the electric piano is still a synth.
    And any instrument is a sort of synth of the human voice.

    Thus painting on a computer is like painting with your hands stuck inside a goldfish bowl. You are performing an activity that apes the equivalent activity in reality. Painting on a computer is painting by proxy.

    Doing anything on a computer is doing by proxy.
    Including this...

    From Gegarin's point of view
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    Hi JeffX99 -

    I think that hits upon the key difference here - if I'm understanding correctly, some of us define painting primarily by the actions and skill-set used, and some of us define it as inherently involving paint (or paint-like substances) which are then manipulated with that skill-set.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmallPoly View Post
    Hi JeffX99 -

    I think that hits upon the key difference here - if I'm understanding correctly, some of us define painting primarily by the actions and skill-set used, and some of us define it as inherently involving paint (or paint-like substances) which are then manipulated with that skill-set.
    Yes, in part. But those are major differences. And you're ignoring the lack of a physical artifact, scale or tangible surface effects. Painting does in fact inherently involve paint, its application on a support/ground/surface and the interaction of light upon the surface. Simulating painting does not.

    Anyway, the problem does not lie with "those old folks who don't get it", it lies with people that want digital to be something it isn't.

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    I find traditional painting {with oils at least} almost like sculpting. You are physically manipulating the paint, not simply "coloring" the picture. So, I can see why an art teacher might not find the 2 interchangeable.

     

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    With the synthesizer/violin analogy. You can respect an amazing violinist but if you've ever seen the skill some artists have with editing/programming synths, wave forms etc, who then compose simple bleeps and bloops into creations that require ridiculous skill you wouldn't have any less respect for them.

    I'd equate it closer to electric piano maybe, but some people use the tools at it's base level. They take an electric piano and use it to emulate piano sounds. Others take the electric piano expand on it, create their own sounds, hook it up so it is to come out of the piano then use the piano as a tool to create it in a standard notation. That requires no less skill if not more than playing a regular piano.

    (Pretty sure Jeff hit that note with the Android reference)

    Not many are like this though. They take it at it's basic form.
    Though when it comes to pretty pictures mostly only the artists care about the method. While the average joes only care about the pretty picture itself. With music someone could create a chiptune from scratch, program it and take hundreds of split second synths to create a distinct bloop but the average viewer still only finds it as a 'cool sound' regardless the skill to create it.

     

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    Kind of tired of this misconception...as if anyone who paints traditionally doesn't use electricity and is mystified by a computer.
    This one is bizarre.
    I'm learning to paint traditionally, but it's certainly not because I just can't work out how to start this weird PhotoShop voodoo thing..

    When I started using computers the hot new games arrived on a C15 cassette tape.
    When I first scribbled on a computer PS did not exist, it was all NeoPaint, DeluxePaint, and bizarre lightpen attachments.
    I remember PS when it came on floppy disks.
    I spent two years elbow deep in Softimage3d / XSI and Maya.
    This netbook hardrive is fried but I can still use the thing to browse the web because I'm booting it off an Ubuntu live install..
    Point being, I'm a terribly geeky geek, a lifer.

    I currently choose to paint with actual paint, because that seems like the logical way to learn to paint.


    I don't really care if you want to call computer simulations of painting "painting" or not, but can we please stop with the tired "you just don't understand how it works man!" . Please?

    I totally get how it works, I totally got how it worked when you were three.

    /rant

     

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    Quote Originally Posted by JFierce View Post
    With the synthesizer/violin analogy. You can respect an amazing violinist but if you've ever seen the skill some artists have with editing/programming synths, wave forms etc, who then compose simple bleeps and bloops into creations that require ridiculous skill you wouldn't have any less respect for them.
    That's correct...and I certainly don't. But I respect them as keyboard/synth guys...not violinists. Just making the distinction.

    To the OP's question of a lack of acceptance of digital art in a traditional setting (and to put the synth/violin analogy to bed): try taking your synth to a symphony audition for a seat with the violinists. And then imagine complaining that they just don't understand...you have all the skills, your keyboard sounds like a violin, in fact it's even better 'cause it can also sound like drums!

    My advice is rather than worrying about hammering the digital peg into the traditional hole...work out what the digital can do that traditional can't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JFierce View Post
    With the synthesizer/violin analogy. You can respect an amazing violinist but if you've ever seen the skill some artists have with editing/programming synths, wave forms etc, who then compose simple bleeps and bloops into creations that require ridiculous skill you wouldn't have any less respect for them.
    It's not a question of skill.
    Playing a violin with your feet as well as you can with your hands requires imaginable skill. Playing an electric piano while using an organ bass for your feet is harder than playing one without... etc etc.
    But that doesn't alter the fact you are playing a violin or piano.

    Doing the same with the synthetic versions of these instruments would be just as difficult.

    When I use the computer the skill set used regarding visual composing is exactly the same as using physical paint.

    One is synthesising the process of using paint and one is the process itself.

    It is not a distinction contingent on skill.

    Last edited by Chris Bennett; March 23rd, 2012 at 08:49 AM.
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    I'm just trying to get the hang of this conversation.
    Assumption1= the worth of a painting is measured by the skill of the artist.
    Assumption2= the skill of an artist in this model is either 1 or 2, 1=digital and 2=traditional, e.g. higher.

    If (solely) Digital Artist DA, and Traditional artist TA, it is TA > DA (in terms of skill) because digital is easier.
    Therefore, the DA's work, Wda, is < than Tda. Because the skill required to achieve finishing a painting is lower for the DA, thus the work would be worth less because it is based on skill (moral argument, no industry-related demand involved in this.)

    The question I wonder is, if the DA is a TA as well, a TDA so to speak, and he or she would produce both digital (DWtda) and traditional (TWtda) works.

    Would that mean the following:

    skill: TA > DA, TDA > DA, TDA = TA
    worth: Wta > Wda, but DWtda < Wta and TWtda = Wta.

    ?

     

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    Digital art is good...
    A lot of people frown upon it because they suppose it's easier...due to all the tools being readily made and the colours being mixed easier-etc. I agree to some extend, it is a way of cheating. It is sort of the lazy way out.

    But I know a lot of digital artists that work as many hours on their digital work as traditional artists do. However, all they need is a computer, a program, and maybe a tablet or at least a scanner and BAM they're making art.


    I much prefer traditional art, but I do draw digitally sometimes when it's not a piece of art that I'm passionate about or something that I want done quickly. It helps get the job done fast and it's easier to upload to digital galleries.

    A lot of people are switching to digital art, and that's okay. It's their preference. Mine, however is to sketch out my art work and sometimes upload them into photoshop to line and colour them digitally.


    The point is, it doesn't matter what you do as long as you enjoy it and know how to do it and you're creating art. Art is a meaningful thing, and whichever way you decide to make it...doesn't matter.

     

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    unfortunately traditional and fine art painter do frown upon digital art, and that is a fact, I'm not saying all do, but a great majority do look at it something inferior. If at some point you want to gear yourself towards fine arts it may be a good precaution not mention your digital background. I find it pointless but unfortunately the opinion of other people does count in that ambient. Take a look for example of artists who took different names for their commercial art and their fine arts.

     

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    Thank you all for the heated discussion haha.

    Clearly there are some serious differences in people's ideas.

    I am no stranger to traditional art and am taking drawing, painting and watercolour classes at the moment. Though I more often draw digitally, I love using paint when I can.

    And the department I'm actually going for is a mix of Fine Art and Illustration, so I hope that in some way I might be able to show the teachers there that digital art is just another medium, or that is at least my opinion. Most of them have simply not wanted or had the opportunity to look into digital art like my generation has. At least most of the artist around my age dabble at least somewhat in digital art.(I'm 23)
    Though my oil paint teacher, that is such a great guy and a master painter also works in the computer.

    I'm sad to see though that many people here as well don't like digital art, though I respect their opinions. Though I think it's quite crude to say that just because something is digitally made, that it's not real.
    Also there are some great artist like Dan Dos Santos (http://www.dandossantos.com/gallery.htm) that mix traditional and digital art together for one piece.

    Also I guess I'm more of an Illustration/Concept Art/Comic person than Fine Arts, and those have gone further along in the progress of digital art.

     

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    Well, here's what I've gotten from it so far: Digital is not the same as Traditional..

    I know a lot about the processes of traditional art.. I do not know much about digital art.

    So, based off my small amount of experience, and the replies I've received from those Digital folks brave enough tell me how they do it (which I can count on one hand btw), it seems as if Photoshop is doing the majority of the work, and making all the real decisions.

    Instead of using thinners and oils, you're using a layer in which a slider adjusts the opacity. In this example, don't tell me the digital folks have to work as hard to get the opacity just right.

    Instead of having to decide which paint brush to use (synthetic or something nice like red sable), digital folks have only to hit [ and ] OR Shift+[ or Shift +] to adjust brush size and softness. Traditional artists have to select the brush (storage and maintenance of the brush is also something digital users do not have to worry about), and decide if the softness/hardness of the bristles is adequate for their painting. Digital folks make that same decision here, however this task is not as difficult for them in my opinion.

    Also, and lastly, Ctrl+Z.. I don't see any traditional artists who can simply go a step backward as if their last flawed brush stroke *never* happened. We can go back and manipulate it, but in the end, that mistake still occurred and can still have a bearing on the final work.

    This is why I feel as if Digital folks don't have half the work traditional artists do - at least not in technique.

    I fully encourage some digital folks out there to prove me wrong. Lack of knowledge is never good thing - and I really do not know all the processes out there for digital. So, if anyone out there wants to share, please do. I've asked quite a few digital workers on here about their process and I have received, to date, ONE Reply. So in lieu of my argument, can some of us NOT understand why it seems believable that digital painting is not the same?

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    Maybe some more questions and answers here: http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=238313

     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ameza View Post
    "this must be some kind of a trick and is cheating"
    They must never have tried it because cheating or easy it damn well isnt.

    Anyway, just my two bob's worth from the point of view of a traditional artist trying to learn how to also paint digitally.

     

  49. #28
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    dpaint is online now Registered User Level 16 Gladiator: Spartacus' Retiarii
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    [QUOTE=Ameza;3413407]I'm sad to see though that many people here as well don't like digital art, though I respect their opinions. Though I think it's quite crude to say that just because something is digitally made, that it's not real.
    QUOTE]

    Its not real, where is the original? There isn't one. Whining about something that is a fact doesn't change the fact. At the end of the day you have nothing to show for what you do unless you print it and a machine print is not an original, it never can be. You can stamp your feet all you want it won't change reality.

     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Candra H View Post
    They must never have tried it because cheating or easy it damn well isnt.

    Anyway, just my two bob's worth from the point of view of a traditional artist trying to learn how to also paint digitally.
    I've hired and trained lots of artists in the industry on the computer. The ones with traditional professional skills took about a month to get up to speed with digital. People without traditional skills never could cut it because their work was amateurish at best. The computer made them lazy and conviced them they had a skill when really the computer had the skills and they didn't. Is it possible to achieve the same quality with digital yes it is, but the chances are it won't happen; just like people who can't make change at a grocery store without a computer or can't tell time wihtout a digital clock. They rely on the computer to do all the parts that are too hard for them. Its not something to be proud of. If you know what you are doing, digital is easy.

     

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  53. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint
    Its not real, where is the original? There isn't one. Whining about something that is a fact doesn't change the fact. At the end of the day you have nothing to show for what you do unless you print it and a machine print is not an original, it never can be. You can stamp your feet all you want it won't change reality.
    This is like saying that speech isn't real because at the end of the day you have nothing unless you got a recording. This argument can be applied to any experience. At the end of the day you can't show off your "original" to anyone. It came, it went, if it wasn't "real" then there's not much left in "reality" to get excited about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ameza
    But I prefer painting digitally since I don't have much room to use paint or other more messy mediums.
    My watercolour kit fits in my hand. My acrylic paint kit fits in a backpack. All you need is a couple flat paintbrushes, a plastic container to hold water, 6-8 tubes of paint and a roll of freezer paper. You can use acrylics on a watercolour block (a pad of paper where the sheets are stuck together so they don't warp when you apply wet paint to them) which requires no further prep.

    If you have a kitchen table and some plastic to put on top you're good to go.

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