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Thread: Digital Art frowned upon??

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    Quote Originally Posted by vineris View Post
    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.
    .
    Your talking about experience I'm talking about the product of the experience.
    The act of of doing anything is not an object. Digital painting when you are finished makes no object, traditional painting does. Those objects are unique, and if created with enough skill, they have vlalue beyond the image, the object itself has value. Thats why an original has more value than a print even in traditional mediums.

     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ameza View Post
    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.
    I'm not sure where you got the idea that some of us don't like digital art (or maybe you didn't mean me?). I've been doing art on a computer since about 1985. And like I mentioned, digital art is widely accepted even in the "fine arts", when it is used effectively and not simply as a substitute or simulation of traditional media.

    It is up to the artist to explore and develop a form of expression that is in tune with their vision and media. Android Jones has done that. And just a reminder, none of this applies to illustration, concept art, industrial design, etc.

    So, push the digital envelope, explore the media for it's possibilities, not its limitations. I'm sure if you had this approach your teachers and department would welcome the challenge.

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    Digital art is cheating. So stop it.

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    One thing to be said for traditional over digital is that traditional makes you think harder before you do something - which is both good and bad.

    Digital is a huge advantage to playing around with color schemes, trying different textures, and generally experimenting because the experimentation comes at essentially no cost. On the other hand, that also means that any given digital piece probably teaches less because there's no consequence for failure.

    Digital teaches your procedurally: you know how to achieve an effect in the final painting. Traditional art teaches you the concepts: you have to know what you're doing before you start painting. If you're attempting to paint a scene at night, in digital art there is less onus on understanding what colors do in low light. You can paint them as is, then work with layers to get the proper environment. Therefore you have learned a procedure to achieve a nighttime painting, but may not know all the reasons why it works. In traditional art, you have to understand and apply the concept from the get-go. Each mistake is more costly so it teaches a stronger lesson.

    Digital art isn't lesser than traditional art (a good painting in either is still impressive and sometimes digital is the right medium), but it doesn't force you to confront your problems in the same way. In the educational system a good prof will force you to confront as many problems as you can handle and he wants you to learn the concept, not just be able to achieve the effect.

     

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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    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.
    Again, this appears to be a problem with the way we define things. Your definition of painting includes having a physical, tangible painting as the end result. Ours does not. Different words mean different things to different people. We call it painting because you have to call it something if you want to talk about it, and painting is the closest approximation. We generally add in the word "digital" to refer to the specific type of painting.

    Given that our definitions vary, which of us is wrong? I'd say neither. It isn't wrong that the Japanese word 青い (aoi), usually translated to "blue", can sometimes means "green" when referring to the color of plants. It isn't wrong that what a man in London calls a "chip" I call a "french fry", and what I call "chip" is what he calls a "crisp". It isn't wrong that what I call "soda" in California people in Chicago call "pop". Words mean whatever you want them to mean, and for you "digital painting" probably isn't going to seen as just another kind of painting the same way "oil painting", "acrylic painting", and "watercolor painting" is.

    As for the lack of an "original": we don't care for the same reason the violinist doesn't care. When the violinist plays a song, where does the original go? It falls on the ears of whoever is around. You can get an imperfect copy by recording it, but the original is always lost and the music has to be reproduced every time someone wants to hear it. Even though it is reproduced, each reproduction is still considered the same song.

    Paint is nothing but a bunch of tiny dots of pigment suspended in some kind of liquid that tends to look like things when arranged a certain way. A bunch of tiny dots on a screen showing up at a different brightness is no less real to me. Whether anyone can touch it doesn't really matter to me. Ever been to a museum where they let you run your hand over the paintings?

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    Digital art is easy. That's why everything on Deviant Art looks fantastic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    Your talking about experience I'm talking about the product of the experience.
    The act of of doing anything is not an object. Digital painting when you are finished makes no object, traditional painting does. Those objects are unique, and if created with enough skill, they have vlalue beyond the image, the object itself has value. Thats why an original has more value than a print even in traditional mediums.
    Of course. What I'm saying is that non-tangible things also have value, so the argument that a digital painting is not valuable because it's not an object is only valid if you limit your scope to objects and collectors of objects. But you don't *have* to. You can probably do wonderfully with digital art in a fine arts department if your vision for digital art is experiential (is that even a word? I don't know.) Judging by what the local gallery puts on, modern art museums love that shit.

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    This thread is so discouraging.

     

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJacks View Post
    This thread is so discouraging.
    The thread is quickly degenerating into everyone trying to persuade one stubborn person that a digital image is still an image.

     

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    Sooner or later we'll all be plugged into the matrix and experience everything through downloading raw data to our brains anyway...

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    The reason it is so discouraging is the reason that so many of these threads go astray. People will not read and accept things presented logically from the point of view of experience they just continue to argue because they can.

    This discussion is similar to the art vs. illustration argument. One thing trying to be another when it doesn't need to. When its own thing is perfectly good enough without trying to attach words like painting to 111001001001.

    You can call it digital painting and I don't think anyone will mind (by the way the fries/chip analogy is flawed because we are talking about the same thing in that case). But to try to compare them on a level playing field is ridiculous and completely unnecessary.

    Digital is digital and reality is reality. Both have their places and can be great in given contexts.

    When someone one is trying to teach using traditional material it is about more than image it is about materiality too. You cannot teach materiality with digital which is also a strength of digital in certain situations.

    If you want to redefine painting feel free but why?

     

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    Quote Originally Posted by vineris View Post
    Of course. What I'm saying is that non-tangible things also have value, so the argument that a digital painting is not valuable because it's not an object is only valid if you limit your scope to objects and collectors of objects. But you don't *have* to. You can probably do wonderfully with digital art in a fine arts department if your vision for digital art is experiential (is that even a word? I don't know.) Judging by what the local gallery puts on, modern art museums love that shit.
    Exactly my point. It is well accepted when it is being used creatively and in tune with itself. It is not when it is being used as a substitute.

    It's popular here to bring up the point that digital art is its own medium and tool. Which it is. The problem only arises when people want it to be oils, watercolor, charcoal or any other traditional media. Which it is not. You can change the terminology and go through all kinds of convolutions to try to justify it as the same thing...but it simply isn't. The various traditional media all have their advantages, disadvantages and interesting, unique qualities. You can't paint impasto with watercolor either.

    What I get tired of hearing (back to my original comment in here) is people whining about digital art not being accepted and assuming it is because someone has a bias or is so behind the times, snobbish or just outright too dim to get how cool it is. When the reality is you're just too lazy to be creative with the tool.

    If you want to paint, paint. If you want to do digital art go for it...just do something interesting with it besides simulate painting.

    Hey JJacks....I thought it was a good discussion? Why discouraging?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bcarman View Post
    The reason it is so discouraging is the reason that so many of these threads go astray. People will not read and accept things presented logically from the point of view of experience they just continue to argue because they can.

    This discussion is similar to the art vs. illustration argument. One thing trying to be another when it doesn't need to. When its own thing is perfectly good enough without trying to attach words like painting to 111001001001.

    You can call it digital painting and I don't think anyone will mind (by the way the fries/chip analogy is flawed because we are talking about the same thing in that case). But to try to compare them on a level playing field is ridiculous and completely unnecessary.

    Digital is digital and reality is reality. Both have their places and can be great in given contexts.

    When someone one is trying to teach using traditional material it is about more than image it is about materiality too. You cannot teach materiality with digital which is also a strength of digital in certain situations.

    If you want to redefine painting feel free but why?
    I agree with you but it comes from both sides. As a digital artist I would like my practice to be respected for what it is. I don't think anyone is trying to say they can hang their digital print next to a painting and say "same thing, except I did mine on the computer."

    Sometimes I think traditional artists jump at the opportunity to call someone else's way inferior to their own. That's what is discouraging. It's ok if you don't like digital art but why do you have to tear down the whole practice and make someone feel like ass because they like using a computer to make art?

    I think the discussion was much more productive in the other thread that Jeff linked to.

     

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    Quote Originally Posted by arenhaus View Post
    The thread is quickly degenerating into everyone trying to persuade one stubborn person that a digital image is still an image.
    Not an image, a physical thing. Pay attention!

     

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJacks View Post
    This thread is so discouraging.
    Indeed... I have an uphill struggle convincing my family that what I do is 'real', and the 'computah doesn't just do it all for me' when I press the 'art' button. Funny to see similar perspectives here, of all places... particularly when you realise so little value is placed upon what one does. Thoroughly depressing.

     

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    If you want to paint, paint. If you want to do digital art go for it...just do something interesting with it besides simulate painting.
    Going the other way, few people would suggest that all artists doing oil paintings should take advantage of things being physical and glue some stuff to the surface as a mixed media approach. That's not the kind of work they're doing because that's not the kind of work they're interested in making. On a similar note, photography contributed to the rise of things like cubism and abstract art. While this kind of work is easier to do in painting over photography, not everyone want to work abstractly.

    GIFs were shown earlier as an example of something unique to digital media, as compared to traditional painting. To me, it seems gimmicky - I have a hard time believing that the only reason oil painters don't make their paintings animated is because they can't. Not every painting benefits from a lens flair, and not every Powerpoint presentation is improved by the use of animated words and sound effects.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJacks View Post
    I agree with you but it comes from both sides. As a digital artist I would like my practice to be respected for what it is. I don't think anyone is trying to say they can hang their digital print next to a painting and say "same thing, except I did mine on the computer."

    Sometimes I think traditional artists jump at the opportunity to call someone else's way inferior to their own. That's what is discouraging. It's ok if you don't like digital art but why do you have to tear down the whole practice and make someone feel like ass because they like using a computer to make art?

    I think the discussion was much more productive in the other thread that Jeff linked to.
    I linked to that thread because I believed it to be a better discussion also. And if you read what I said carefully you'd see that I am supporting the digital medium as its own very important thing so it doesn't need to be compared to painting.

    Some people here seem to be crying out "accept me like you would an oil painting" when they should just say what I do is unique and it doesn't need to have anything to do with traditional painting.

     

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJacks View Post
    I agree with you but it comes from both sides. As a digital artist I would like my practice to be respected for what it is. I don't think anyone is trying to say they can hang their digital print next to a painting and say "same thing, except I did mine on the computer."

    Sometimes I think traditional artists jump at the opportunity to call someone else's way inferior to their own. That's what is discouraging. It's ok if you don't like digital art but why do you have to tear down the whole practice and make someone feel like ass because they like using a computer to make art?

    I think the discussion was much more productive in the other thread that Jeff linked to.
    Thanks JJacks - but that was actually Bill with that link . Easy to confuse us I know....he's a lot cuter, but he's quirky.

    In bold is pretty much what it sounds like people are saying? IDK?

    Anyway, I don't think anyone is hating on digital, I'm certainly not...I love it...I do it...I teach it...I show it...have it published, etc. But I also respect it for what it is...a unique medium which lets me create images and express myself in ways I couldn't in traditional media.

    You simply can't ignore the fact that a digital painting is non-material. How is the "application" of "paint" made in a digital painting? Is it with a stylus/pen held in a writing grip and stroked across a plastic surface in 4-6 inches? Or is it with deft strokes of a number six flat one edge and twisted slightly backhand and held at arm's length? With a loaded knife skipped across the surface to lay in impasto notes? A large flat loaded with paint carving out a passage of snow on a mountainside? These things, these notes, this variety of surface, decision making and statement the hand and touch of the artist are all evident in a real painting...and part of its beauty. Show me that in your giclee. [btw...there is an undo in oils as well...called your palette knife]

    The other thing people don't acknowledge is scale. At what scale does digital painting take place? A Bamboo? An Intuos 4 large, med or small? A Cintique?
    I just went to a major show of Edgar Payne. Very hard to convey on a monitor what it is like to stand in front of a 4' x 5' painting of the high sierras let alone be surrounded by 80-100 of them...all framed in massive, hand carved frames...alive with dynamic brushstrokes, thin, stained passages juxtaposed against rich, juicy layers of paint which seem to capture the essence of the mountain rock itself. Sorry, not the same thing as looking at a little screen.

    Go to a museum...go to a show...see paintings in person. That should help.

    Thought I'd try to find a few examples to share:

    Edgar Payne, Canyon De Chelley, 28x34
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    Edgar Payne in studio (Paris)
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    Mucha, one of the "Slavic Epic" paintings (and not me in front)
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    Hugh Ferriss in studio...those are charcoal drawings
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    Joaquin Sorolla out painting "The Horse's Bath" on the beach
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aly Fell View Post
    Indeed... I have an uphill struggle convincing my family that what I do is 'real', and the 'computah doesn't just do it all for me' when I press the 'art' button. Funny to see similar perspectives here, of all places... particularly when you realise so little value is placed upon what one does. Thoroughly depressing.
    Yeah but what artist doesn't have problems convincing their family that what they do is "real"? It ain't much better if you're an oil painter or a comic artist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SmallPoly View Post
    GIFs were shown earlier as an example of something unique to digital media, as compared to traditional painting. To me, it seems gimmicky - I have a hard time believing that the only reason oil painters don't make their paintings animated is because they can't. Not every painting benefits from a lens flair, and not every Powerpoint presentation is improved by the use of animated words and sound effects.
    The Cow, by Aleksandr Petrov is an animated film using oil paints. (the technique is often referred to as "paint on glass", as the artist paints an image on a sheet of glass and for each successive frame changes the painting.)



    That being said, I think the difference between school and production should be noted - in production it's about getting the job done as quickly as possible. In school, it's about building the skill through experience and understanding.

     

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    bcarman Sorry I got you and Jeff mixed up. I get what you're saying and I agree with you and thank you for saying it in this particular thread. I was quoting you because that's how I feel about what I do. I chose to do digital art over painting because it was something very different that I happened to like.

    JeffX99 I agree with everything you are saying. Painting and digital art can't be compared. I actually am really glad you brought up scale because that's my biggest beef with digital art. When I was painting, my work was bigger and bigger and the size of a painting is a great artistic element in itself if that makes any sense.

    I don't know...maybe because I'm having a bad day but the thread just seemed kind of hostile before and that's what I meant when I said it was discouraging. I felt like the content was poignant and truthful but the delivery was a bit condescending. Meh...just being sensitive I guess.

    EDIT - Not saying that either of you two were being jerks or anything. I meant before you two started talking. Ugh...I'll shut up.

    Last edited by JJacks; March 23rd, 2012 at 03:49 PM.
     

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    Quote Originally Posted by hitnrun View Post
    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.
    The 'undo' mode appears to be your friend... But it can quickly become Beelzebub incarnate, resulting in an addiction to indecision and distrust of anything that temporarily takes your picture a step back... And in so doing, the ground is never prepared for the conditions in which two steps are taken forward into the unexpected.

    That is to say, the resolution of an image is in its transcendence of the average or mediocre or safe. And the conditions for this to happen lie in the 'mistake'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    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.

    I don't understand how exactly using a computer to 'paint' takes less skill than traditional paints. The core of painting derives from knowledge, everything else is muscle memory and knowledge of medium.

    Digital art is faster than most traditional art, but that in no way makes it require less skill. It's just potentially speedier, especially for a finished work. I'm curious what you mean by digital taking less skill, I would love a specific example.

    Now as for value, yes I can see your point. Traditional paintings will always (I think) have more monetary value and cultural value than digital will, because of the painting actually existing in physical form.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vineris View Post
    Yeah but what artist doesn't have problems convincing their family that what they do is "real"? It ain't much better if you're an oil painter or a comic artist.
    I think you're missing my point Vineris.

     

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    On the "ctrl+z" thing- I think if you're painting in PS, one "step backward" is not reversing the changes you have just made.
    You make a ridiculous amount of brush strokes on a tablet compared to with a real brush, it's insane - Photoshop only goes back a certain amount of steps and if you have just screwed up painting a mouth, you have made some hundred odd strokes.

     

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadlyhazard View Post
    I don't understand how exactly using a computer to 'paint' takes less skill than traditional paints. The core of painting derives from knowledge, everything else is muscle memory and knowledge of medium.

    Digital art is faster than most traditional art, but that in no way makes it require less skill. It's just potentially speedier, especially for a finished work. I'm curious what you mean by digital taking less skill, I would love a specific example.

    Now as for value, yes I can see your point. Traditional paintings will always (I think) have more monetary value and cultural value than digital will, because of the painting actually existing in physical form.
    This is NOT a knock against digital, but I do truly believe it's easier to make pretty pictures with digital than traditional. You have so many elements going on with traditional- the brushes, the surface, the physical pigments, hell even weather can play a part. All of these things have unique properties that aren't simply static- they can vary session by session. So I do believe traditional painting has a higher learning curve. But again that's in no way saying it's better or worse than digital...just different...

     

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    It has something to do with our intuitions of authenticity and originality. A digital painting file can be copied and pasted many times, but you can't do that with a traditional painting. Thus, the value of traditional paintings are always greater than a digital painting.

    Consider this, would the scanned digital copy of a traditional drawing worth more than the real drawing itself, when, let's say, that the scanned copy is hypothetically exactly the same as the real drawing, or is it the other way around? Would Mona Lisa sell for millions if it was a digital painting that could be copy and pasted many times?

    Sure you can print a digital copy, but that digital copy will never be the same as the original painting shown on the computer. Plus, printers have their own limits of gamut mappings.

    This is the reason why printed books won't die off to ebooks.

    There is also the aspect of digital paintings, where the artist works with a medium that is within the confine of technology, rather than within the confine of the "natural" world as traditional paintings might be. Paintings done on the computer are calculated, because computers use algorithms to patternize strokes. In traditional painting, each stroke may never be the same.

    One might have a better time at reproducing a digital painting than a traditional painting, because a traditional painting contain intricate and randomness of strokes and textures outside the context of the painting, of which may be reminiscent of individual artistic styles and of which alone can be difficult for a computer to calculate.

    Lastly, a traditional artist has more understandings of the process and his mediums, mostly in part due to the simplicity of traditional art. Less so is the digital artist with his or her computer.

    Last edited by Vay; March 23rd, 2012 at 05:25 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deadlyhazard View Post
    I don't understand how exactly using a computer to 'paint' takes less skill than traditional paints. The core of painting derives from knowledge, everything else is muscle memory and knowledge of medium.
    So if it wasn't Bill and Jeff you are talking about J, that leaves me... I look good in black anyway. Maybe I'll grow a Snidley Whiplash mustache to go with it.

    As for DH, While digital work can be just as skilled as traditional work artists hobble themselves starting digital before tackling basics in a traditional manner. As proof, how many of you digital only with no traditional practice work professionally as artists? So all the successful traditiionally trained people who work as artists using digital don't know whats going on but all the amateurs do? Yeah right.

    Let me suggest that digital only artists lack of skill stems from the use of digital as an attemppt to shortcut what is the daunting task of learning to paint and draw representationally and all of the things that go with it. those shortcuts in discipline have come home to roost denying the artist the thing they seek.

    As for the less skill argument. Less planning of an idea before starting necessary (undo, save multiple version of the same image, layers that can be reordered ) less knowledge, of perspective (just bring up your pespective grid), of color mixing (sampling colors is how most people paint digitally) of anatomy (just paint on top of your poser or daz model or photo ref without redrawing it).

    Obviously there are artists that have skill as digital artists, but I'll bet most learned the critical process of how to draw and paint traditionally and learned the important steps of organised thinking that goes with that training before moving to digital.

     

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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    So if it wasn't Bill and Jeff you are talking about J, that leaves me... I look good in black anyway. Maybe I'll grow a Snidley Whiplash mustache to go with it.

    As for DH, While digital work can be just as skilled as traditional work artists hobble themselves starting digital before tackling basics in a traditional manner. As proof, how many of you digital only with no traditional practice work professionally as artists? So all the successful traditiionally trained people who work as artists using digital don't know whats going on but all the amateurs do? Yeah right.

    Let me suggest that digital only artists lack of skill stems from the use of digital as an attemppt to shortcut what is the daunting task of learning to paint and draw representationally and all of the things that go with it. those shortcuts in discipline have come home to roost denying the artist the thing they seek.

    As for the less skill argument. Less planning of an idea before starting necessary (undo, save multiple version of the same image, layers that can be reordered ) less knowledge, of perspective (just bring up your pespective grid), of color mixing (sampling colors is how most people paint digitally) of anatomy (just paint on top of your poser or daz model or photo ref without redrawing it).

    Obviously there are artists that have skill as digital artists, but I'll bet most learned the critical process of how to draw and paint traditionally and learned the important steps of organised thinking that goes with that training before moving to digital.
    Oh sure, I agree with 80% of what you said there (especially on your traditional training first, nothing better than learning from life with traditional materials -- I don't think anyone is arguing that), but the perspective grid doesn't make sense nor does the paint-over anatomy thing, since you can apply those things in traditional art. You can trace. You can set up a perspective grid using a ruler to replace lack of skill for creating straighter lines.

    Randomly applying a perspective grid to an image won't work; you still have to know exactly where the VPs are to place the grid correctly. Perspective is dynamic. If you're painting an image from life whether it be digital or traditional, you still have to have a commanding knowledge of perspective to use it correctly whether or not you have a template to set up the lines originating from the VP(s).

    Shortcuts just make the process faster, you can still 'undo' in traditional media by scraping off paint (say...in oils). Although I will admit -- the paint will eventually build up on the material you're painting on so I imagine you can't undo infinitely.

    I'm not saying they're on ENTIRELY equal footing (that would be crazy talk), I tend to respect traditional art more than digital if only because it's so....satisfying and materialistic comparatively. But I definitely think, that since knowledge is really what makes art more than anything physical or digital, that both require very similar amounts of skill to actually produce an effective painting.

    And one major thing you pointed out that I feel the need to mention and agree on, is that traditional materials DO require a more careful mastery of planning. I think that is one of the reasons that traditional art is so much more attractive to learning from than digital.

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    As Chris said I believe a page back digital vs traditional is not a distinction of skill.

    (My own opinion/take on that from this point on) The limitations of traditional force you to learn the basic foundations. But at least imo things like perspective, color theory and things like that aren't based on the medium it's the same as the music analogies. A guy could take a synth program hundreds of arpeggio's just to create a distinct noise it's most certainly can take just as much skill as knowing how to play a bunch of chords on a piano.

    But that doesn't help create your music if you don't know how to compose or have that skill. You can use the neatest sounds (or the neatest brushes/effects for digital painting) and it doesn't mean shit if you don't know anything about music and can't compose.

    Last edited by JFierce; March 23rd, 2012 at 05:42 PM.
     

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