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Thread: Digital Art frowned upon??
March 23rd, 2012 #61
I would agree that working digitally makes certain things more efficient, but I wouldn't equate efficiency with being "easy" in the sense that it takes little to no skill to get a good result.
I really don't buy this idea that doing things with efficient tools makes you lazy. It's difficult and inefficient to paint an oil painting with a live squirrel. It takes much more planning and finesse to use a squirrel than a brush, and you can only get a few strokes down with each squirrel before they bite your hand and run away. Does someone painting with said squirrel have no choice but to plan more beforehand? I suppose so. Are you therefore lazy to use a brush instead of a squirrel, just because it's more convenient and fairly efficient at certain tasks? Of course not. You use the most efficient, reliable tool you're comfortable with using.
It is true that lazy people do lazy things in a lazy way, but they also have lazy looking results. The most efficient tool in the world isn't going to let a bad artist produce a good painting from scratch. I can buy the best hammer in the world but I don't think anyone would want to live in any house I've built with it.
Nothing stops you from planning if you want to plan other than a lack of discipline. You still need to do some kind of planning if you don't want whatever you're making to suck. How else are you going to get a good composition? Plenty of people doing digitial painting will do numerous sketches and thumbnails beforehand. Likewise, as long as you don't care about the result, nothing is stopping you from going into an oil painting randomly, building it up until the paint is an inch thick.
You can scrape of the paint or push it around. I hit undo at most once or twice an hour, and by default only the last 20 strokes are saved. Most of the time if I want to fix something I'll just paint over it.
- Multiple versions
You want to test out an idea you're not sure will work, so you paint a thumbnail or make some sketches. Only difference in photoshop is sometimes you test things out directly over your painting.
Eh, if you're painting on glass or something.
- No knowledge of perspective needed - just bring up your perspective grid!
Won't do you much good unless you already understand perspective. In the real world people sometimes will use a projector or a grid printed on an transparent sheet of plastic, espeically for things like murals. What do you suppose people do for things that don't line up to the grid?
- Color mixing, color picker
Yeah you can rely solely on the eyedropper tool in Photoshop if you don't care about the final result. If you mean picking colors from the color selector (directly grabbing a specific hue or saturation) then I suppose the real-world equivalent would be buying specific pigments (eg. burnt umber) instead of mixing everything yourself from primary colors.
- No knowledge of anatomy required - just paint on top of your poser or daz model or photo ref without redrawing it!
Poser models look terrible, and a paintover by anyone who doesn't actually understand anatomy will look terrible as well. Also, what kind of satisfaction would a painter get from tracing over a photo unless they're just trying to impress the 12-year-olds on deviantart? In the real world, this can be done with projectors or transparent sheets of plastic, or via "camera obscura".
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March 23rd, 2012 #62
I like you dpant. You are harsh in some of your posts and I think you know this and dare I even say that at times you don't care that you are being harsh. It is what it is and I respect you as you are because you have knowledge and experience to back up what you say. I wasn't trying to make you seem like a bad guy because I don't think you are. I was just saying that the general tone and direction of the conversation was making me a bit blue. I hope that clears it up.
March 23rd, 2012 #63
Or you could just let the squirrel do the work for you!
Thank you for the analogy SmallPoly, brilliant.
March 23rd, 2012 #64Traditional Artist
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Also, when I DO sketch a bit in photoshop, I don't find myself making 50 "pen on tablet" strokes compared to my one with a brush (or pencil usually in my case). If you are doing an insane amount of strokes with the pen stylus, you may want to make sure you're doing good word - not just working at a fast pace.
A former art teacher of mine told me "if you make 10 strokes, that's 10 decisions you just made and look where it gets you. Look at the object, analyze it, and make maybe two strokes - that's only two decisions - now which one is easier?".
Doctors heal you, Artists immortalize you.
"Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach" - bullshit.
The usual staples for anatomy:
March 23rd, 2012 #65
March 24th, 2012 #66
Well, I certainly do but given my *cough* skills *cough* that might not account for how it should be done. But even looking at videos of professional digital artists, I (at least imagine to) see them making loads of strokes. Am I mistaken there? PS is much more forgivable because painting on top of something has no effect on what is underneath, and that leads to a certain.. well I don't want to call it sloppiness, but it certainly forces you less to think about "every 10 decisions".
I have just recently started acrylics and realized that due to the physical impact of paint sticking to the board, I couldn't make nearly as many strokes. Especially the technique of "on-screen mixing" makes me use plenty of more strokes compared to physical acrylics.
I absolutely agree from a personal experience of only 2 hours of acrylics, some 6 hours of pastel and a bit of watercolour that for the learning part it is far more effective than Photoshop, because it exercises my brain much more.
However I would appreciate someone answering my question from page 1.
March 24th, 2012 #67
But the real reason it was hard to answer is because I think the assumptions or question do not get to the heart of the issue...which has been really clearly stated in a number of ways, people just haven't really been willing to accept the conclusions.
It doesn't have to do with skill, or even worth in their own arena for that matter (ie: digital is quite valid in matte paiting, production art, etc.). It has to do with the reality that digital "painting" is not really painting but the manipulation of a software program and algorithms to create an image. In both process and result they are radically different things...as different as photography and painting.
Personally I don't even take issue with calling it "digital painting", I think that is an appropriate term. The problem arises though, when people want to say it is basically the same thing as physical painting, and "It's just what I want to do...you must accept it as the same thing"...then complain when you don't and basically write you off as a dinosaur. They just arent the same. Particularly in a fine art arena (the OP's issue) where digital is embraced unless you are using it as a substitute for traditional media. Digital is not the same in how you do it, what you do it with or what results from the process or activity. Scale, impact, surface, artifact, evidence of process, longevity (there are paintings that are 35,000 years old), etc. all major differences. To ignore these differences basically makes the argument moot because to do so ignores the radically different nature between the two things.
Anyway, not sure that really answers your logic path/conclusion but I hope it helps.
March 24th, 2012 #68
Sorry for the mathematical approach there, I figured it'd be shorter than a wall of text to get lost in *heh*
Yeah I see what you mean. The assumptions are clearly the weak part- I based it on dpaints first post, saying that it IS easier and it DOES take less skill to draw digitally. However that does not necessarily imply that the work is less "worthy" (morally) but as this was the issue the OP had, I thought dpaints answer related to the worth of a piece, not the skill alone.
Are the following your points?:
So the only and crucial issue with digital painting in the fine arts arena is the lack of a physical painting?
This must not necessarily imply the digital artist could not paint traditionally or (pick any topic discussed in this thread) however it is a trend (certainly on the internet) for many beginners to substitute digital media with skill(?)
I think my only problem with the discussion is that the physical painting is deemed the ultimate goal, as supposed to art for production purposes- the main argument being that it is not physical (which to some people equals "not real") and not ever-lasting. See I don't disagree with what you or dpaint are saying, I would just try to pledge that little flexibility acknowledging change- or rather, alternatives, additives.. for the argument's sake. I'd also prefer (to have the money to buy) a huge Rembrandt on my wall as opposed to a digital print.
March 24th, 2012 #69
Not quite there yet as far as the points I've tried to bring up about scale, process and such. To me it is a HUGE deal that you do a digital painting on a monitor on a little plastic board and in the end can only produce a smallish size print to show for it. We're talking direct commparison again though...as if the only difference is you make one painting on a computer and one with paint. They are vastly different - again in the same way a photograph is different from a painting. In this sense digital painting has much more in common with photography than with real painting.
Physical painting is not the ultimate goal at all...unless you're painting . That is why I bring up Android Jones frequently as an example of someone whose vision, aesthetic and results are completely in tune with his media. He isn't trying to say, "This is just like an oil painting"...he's saying, "Look how fuckin cool this is!" (apologies for the street language - but I think that's how he would say it).
I'm all about alternatives...and a big part of why this always bugs me. It is the digital folks who don't want to explore alternatives...they don't want to actually learn how to paint, they want a one-box-does-all thing. And on top of that they want to limit their own chosen media to being a ridiculously poor imitation of the real thing. Sort of like internet porn vs. real love-making. Huge difference.
Different media have different possibilities, limitations and expressions. I think it is silly to try to make one be something else is all. Can't get much impasto in a watercolor for example, and oils don't do washes very well. Why on earth would someone "draw" on a little plastic slate for example, instead of enjoying the physical nature of drawing? Especially with interesting physical media like charcoal or conte? Just a mystery to me.
And yeah, been very careful to limit the discussion to the grounds the OP set up...because all this goes out the window when talking about production art, illustration, etc. Then it is about the image only, not the artifact. It's also a different discussion whether learning and developing yourself as an artist is best done via traditional materials or digital. Don't even want to muddy the discussion with that!
March 24th, 2012 #70
Before I start, I would like to emphasize that to me, a physical painting is a big difference to a digital piece. I probably don't even get the grasp of just how MUCH different it is yet, as I have so little experience.
I follow you completely when you say a digital painting is different to a traditional painting to such a degree that the only thing it shares is the word "painting", at the same time being the reason for false hope and expectations.
However the photography thing won't get to my head. I have done a little photography myself a couple of years ago, and I find that the digital paint <> traditional paint has more in common than digital paint <> photography, for the following reasons.
Photography is about getting it right and then take one shot. (No Photoshop camera raw and whatnot) You need a motive, a composition, understanding of light and the technical knowledge of the camera in order to process a shot.
A digital painting involves the process of production, i.e. one click =/ process of painting. You do this obviously very differently from traditional (as pointed out numerous times in this thread) but it involves colour picking and mixing, picking brushes and applying the strokes in the correct directions. I would understand the argument that digital painting is a step between traditional painting and photography, because it mimics traditional painting but involves a production process as well.
I believe the reason that Android Jones is not picked up by most people because they understand digital painting to be painting. You say it is a mystery to you how people can draw on plastic tablets. I don't speak for anyone, but maybe I can enlighten you with my thinking process in art, a humble 1 year old.
First of all, I had a tablet before I had a brush. (I leave aside school art courses and the like) My understanding of traditional painting was: it is slow, messy and difficult. Digital art was easier- and I thought this is because the medium is appealing to me more than traditional- not in terms of skill, but the idea that I could now show my 'true talent'. It is not the plastic tablet that I see, it is the cursor that holds the digital paint. It feels like I'm painting- because I have never painted before.
If you have not experienced physical painting, then all you have is knowledge about what it is: applying paint to a surface with brushes- isn't that exactly what you do in Photoshop?
If it wasn't for dpaint, Elwell's and your continuous banging about how much different traditional is and how important, the thought would have never crossed my mind. It was only last week in my life drawing class when we did acrylics, that I understood that my knowledge of "what is painting" is limited indeed.
In the end you could come down with the argument that the physical side of painting does not matter and thus digital paint = traditional paint and it would end up in a discussion whether tradition is an asset in itself and you could name numerous examples of things in which the physical side has been overcome and so forth... I have no idea what religious war that one would be, but I summarize my assumption in that
the lack of experience of physical painting can lead to a limited understanding of what painting is, denying its physical aspect, and thus making digital painting much more similar following the logic.
March 24th, 2012 #71
I agree with you to an extent on the photography issue. Creating a digital painting is indeed a process that would seem more akin to real painting, ie: there are more layers of decisions, you use your hand to make strokes, etc. I was referring to other aspects such as the physical result can only be a smallish print, of limited longevity, with no surface quality, no mark of the artist's hand, etc. I also agree digital painting is somehwere between the two possibly, but closer imo to photography mainly because of the result. Not really that important because at that point I think we're talking apples and cumquats anyway.
But yeah, thanks for the discussion...we're probably boring the masses at this point!
March 25th, 2012 #72
One thing that's not been mentioned is the feedback thing: How the experience of making an image out of physical material as opposed to a simulation of that physical material (digital painting) affects the relationship to what you are doing and thereby the result.
The slow forms of Ancient Egyptian sculpture were an outcome of abraiding granite with nothing sharper than other stones - carbon steel was unknown to them. Thus the attitude to the medium was influenced by the hard, obdurate resistance of the igneous, volcanic forged rock itself. A perfect expression of the eternal.
The limstone chiseled to form the sculpture of the quatro cento was an outcome of the culture's proximity to water and the slow, swirling reveal of marble smoothed by water.
The late 18th/early 19th century english landscape painters were making their pictures from a powder ground from the rocks and suspended in the seed oil extracted from the very land they were making their picture of. Constable's pictures literally plough the image into existence.
A dream takes you.
And you lay out your palette - a little dictionary of innocent coloured letters.
Blobs of light made flesh.
You mix it with the hand turned wand of the brush and write with it upon the infinite turned chalk wall of the canvas priming.
For what is painting but the alchemy of the visual poet?
When you take away the smells, feel, mess, blood and taste of cooking, what effect does that have on the chef?
Last edited by Chris Bennett; March 25th, 2012 at 05:19 AM.From Gegarin's point of view
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March 25th, 2012 #73
I work in watercolor, acrylics (tempera style), marker, colored pencils, and digital. They all have their quirks and challenges. They all make some things easy and others hard. They all require a different touch and timing. They all smell, feel and flow differently.
Yet they all are based on the same fundamentals and the same principles of form, color and light. I don't suddenly forget how perspective works if I switch from watercolor to acrylics or digital. If you work with a painterly method, then it does not matter which medium you use. It is possible to produce a painting in graphite and a drawing in oil, the conventional distinctions of the medium aside. There are monochrome paintings and color drawings. It all boils down to the way you use light in your image.
I'd like to ask something from all of you who are singing very poetic praise to the physical experience of oil painting and how it all is absent from digital medium. Substitute some other medium in your philippics. Instead of saying that digital is worthless because it lacks the smell of turpentine and getting the paint consistency right and pushing it around with the palette knife and the delightful little randomness of paint thickness it all introduces to enliven the result, say that watercolor is worthless because it lacks the smell of turpentine and getting the paint consistency right and pushing it around with the palette knife and the delightful little randomness of paint thickness it all introduces to enliven the result. Maybe then you'll see that the whole argument is, frankly, ridiculous. That you love a particular experience does not mean that another experience is worthless.
It's just another medium, folks. Daubing viscous paste around the canvas, scraping brittle chalk on the tooth of board, controlling the drying of little pools of water, placing patches of pure light next to each other.
It's not WHAT you use, it's HOW you use it.
March 25th, 2012 #74
But how you use it is contingent on what you use. Insensitivity to the medium is an imaginative failing no less catastophic to the quality of the work as lack of creative vision.
Digital painting has no smell, no feel, no mess, no texture, nothing to touch, no tangible presence and therefore cannot be used as analogy in the argument you've just given.
In fact, the reason I use digital painting from time to time is because there is no smell, mess, or room taken up by the damn thing in the small studio space.
Digital painting is a simulation of painting. (Which is NOT the same as saying it requires less skill)
And that has certain practical advantages.
But you pay for that advantage by losing the things I've cited.
It depends what you want to do.
Last edited by Chris Bennett; March 25th, 2012 at 09:18 AM.From Gegarin's point of view
March 25th, 2012 #75
I feel the same way, that it's not about one being easier or taking less skill just a different kind of skill. The reason I got caught up in this discussion, yet again, is to disagree with the idea that digital can be used in place of traditional in an educational learning to paint environment.
One can use digital in a different context but not the same.
I enjoy digital and will continue to use it in my limited way for illustration but it is not an equal experience concerning materiality it is its own.
March 25th, 2012 #76
Jeff and Bill may not want to get into the easier argument, that’s fine they don't have to but I will.
I've been in games since the beginning of modern games, when we painted backgrounds by hand and scanned them into the computer. The push to make digital art was for only one reason. It allowed companies to hire and train less skilled artists to do a job that was much harder to do traditionally. I was there at the time and I watched it happen. Transitioning to digital was easy for the traditional artists, they just didn’t like the lower pay that digital brought to the field. Why do you think prices dropped for most artists entering the field fter that time? Because the skill set was no longer specialized to warrant higher pay. I still work in the field, I still get paid more because of my skillset, as do all the traditional guys I started with that still care to do the work. I can do this even though I walked away from games for five years and just painted and sold traditional paintings. When I wanted to get back in, I just came right back after a month of tune up on my own, as a contractor, no problem, in the worst economy of my lifetime.
Our jobs are made easier by all of the ignorance and the lower bar set for art that digital allows. So while it can be a skillset 90% of the time it’s less skilled labor and it shows in the prices paid and the lack of enough work for lower skills crowd that have flooded the market. No one is taking my job away at my level, only you guys starting out. But keep telling yourselves that it’s not true and you don’t need to have that skill to work and see where all that laziness gets you. Clocks ticking…
The only argument here is in your little brains that can’t accept reality of the situation. It may change in another ten years but right now that’s still the way it is and anyone starting out is limiting their chances of having a career in art going down the digital only path.
And if you think this I'm somehow against digital, I'm not I use it to make money with as well as my traditional work. This is advice, like it or not I don't care.
March 25th, 2012 #77
That's why people's wages got lower or didn't rise. You can get someone just as skilled in making what is necessary overseas. It's a lot easier to contact that person online now vs before where you pretty much HAD to go local.
This argument that allowed less skilled, well people of less skill always got in other ways anyways. It's not like fads don't play into commercial art, where someone like Liefeld got in (I know he's the comics whipping boy).
Digital painting is just a side factor, I think the impact of technology in general, certain laws governing economy, the bottom line have bigger factors to your argument.
Last edited by Arshes Nei; March 25th, 2012 at 12:52 PM.
March 25th, 2012 #78
March 25th, 2012 #79
That and our laws in the US were changing and slowly eradicated a lot of rights we had too - and that was before free trade. We're just seeing the effects down the line (had to add that).
Last edited by Arshes Nei; March 25th, 2012 at 01:11 PM.
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March 25th, 2012 #80
March 25th, 2012 #81Registered User
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There's a qualitative difference between physical reality and digital simulations of reality. And this difference translates to a qualitative difference between a handcrafted artwork, (a unique, singular object directly created by physical effort), and a digital or digitized artwork (where infinite scalability of the code that gives the illusion of the reality of the work is possible without degradation of information.)
Physical Reality versus Digital Simulation: If you haven't seen Frazetta's paintings IRL, you haven't seen Frazetta's paintings. Period. Same with any of the Brandywine illustrators or Klimt, Brangwyn, Mark English or Bernie Fuchs, or a whole host of others, like Sargent, Sorolla, Hals, Vermeer, Fechin, etc. etc. etc. The authority of great art, the physicality of it, is something that can only be experienced. It cannot be explained or expressed in words.
Art, as communication, is what is encoded in it, and digital technology cannot encode a whole range of experiential artifacts available to plastic mediums, like oil paint. So much more information is encoded into a physically-made tactile work of art than can be picked up by pixel or camera technology that the comparison between original and reproduction/digital is actually absurd. That some cannot see the differences, fixating on the basic similarities of all flat visual images is a demonstration of the paucity of understanding of the viewer. It is the physicality... the plastic stuff that makes a work of real art... that is the substance of its reality. And this substance carries significance and meaning, not just aesthetically, but also in terms of human value.
Unique versus Scalable: It is this physical artifact of the authorship of a work of art that makes it a unique, and therefore valuable, object. The direct contact of an artist with his plastic materials cannot be replicated. Direct human interaction with plastic media is not scalable. “Prints” are always degraded versions of the original.
This does not mean that the flat transcendent Image that results from a wholly digital workflow is not a prime value for those that value images as entertainment or enough to pay for them. Images, regardless of how they are made, are art, no matter how we experience them (real oil paintings, printouts, or onscreen). I don't think anybody is saying that digital art isn't art. And we all understand the value of digital, the amount of creativity it can unleash. Digital images, as content, are certainly intellectual property. They just aren't real as a physical work of art.
Digital art files only mimic real physical art. The direct hand of the author upon the plastic material is not there because pixels are not plastic material. Pixels are an illusion of plastic substance, just as a scan or printout of a man's signature is not his actual signature.
So, yes, Photoshop can help you achieve your vision like nothing else. But the achieved result is not a physical artifact. It only looks like one.
The real building material of digital artwork, in fact, isn’t even the pixels, but is instead the code behind the pixels. That’s the real substance of a digital work of art. That's what's changed "in reality" every time you click the mouse or swipe your stylus across your tablet. And this inner code has no intrinsic aesthetic value. It isn’t plastic. It's electric. It can not be directly manipulated. And it doesn't look like an artwork. And that's why you aren't actually building an artwork when you work digitally. You are merely building the code that is convincing you that you are looking at an artwork.
But this code that stands behind the non-existent digital image can be replicated perfectly, and indefinitely. Which is why I often say an "original" photoshop file is really just the first reproduction of an artwork that never existed.
That Adobe neglects to tell the user that the amazing power of the program is in exchange for the actual reality of the work, doesn’t change anything. The standard aphorism apply whether someone explains them or not: You can't get something for nothing... if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
(Adapted from my previous posts on the topic.)
At least Icarus tried!
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March 25th, 2012 #82
Good thing someone had the sense to delete their post because it was really wtf.
March 25th, 2012 #83
I'm in an Illustration program, in first year we aren't allowed to work digitally for school except in our Computers class, second year they allow a little bit (depending on the project), and third & fourth year seem to be pretty much open to what you want except for obviously courses like life drawing and painting. That's just my personal experience.
March 25th, 2012 #84
Suit yourselves, then. You've just reiterated your prior arguments, but didn't really respond to what I had said. I don't have anything to add to that, and I am not very interested in discussing philosophy of simulation at the moment.
March 25th, 2012 #85
You realize everyone subscribed to this thread gets mailed a copy of your post. I won't embarrass you by reposting your remark, but really save your ignorant hyperbole for DA.
I know people have an issue with my delivery of information and opinion and thats fine, I don't really care if you do or do not like it, I'm not here to make friends. But really unless you are wiling to refute my arguments or present your own counter arguments, you have no business in the discussion.
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March 25th, 2012 #86
March 25th, 2012 #87Registered User
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Much to the nature of the very topic; Digitial Painting is painting just in a digital medium. There are differences but thats the case with really any medium change.
And while there are elements that are much easier in a digital sense, like undo, layers, etc.....thats simply just the luxary of the advancment of technology which is the case in virtually any field.
Before Mircrosoft Word, before the Typewriter, before the Printing press, before the Pen even, back to the Feather with ink on it....all books had to be handwritten. Because of that, Books were expensive and reserved for the rich which lead to large percents of the population being illiterate.
Thru advancments in technology, being literate is now the standard since books became rapidly availiable.
But how is the argument against digital painting really any different from critizing a writer from using a keyboard instead of a quill? If I write a novel with a feather and ink, it will have its own instrincit value from being one of a kind. So long as I can find a buyer willing to pay for a handwritten book that is. Now if I were the write it on my Macbook......Does that make me any less of a writer? The depth of the penmenship, spelling/grammer mistakes, the crumbling texture of the paper being written on, the stray blotches of ink will all be lost in the translation if I write a book digitially. Differences for different mediums of course....But weither I type a book or use a pen, Its still writing.
For all the flack that digital painting is pixal manipulation, the illusion of art, numbers and algorithams, etc......The same applies to digitial writing. If your going to critize a Digital Painter that his work doesn't count as a painting, then you have to equally maintain that every writer that uses a keyboard isn't writing....which I can garuntee will piss off almost every writer on the planet since almost everyone writes on their computers.
Now I'll be the first to admit, there are drawbacks. yeah using Photoshop to paint can make one adopt lazier habits by constantly redoing, hue adjusting, etc...but its no worse then Spellcheck. Spellcheck has become so common place that it has pretty much destroyed everyone's ability to spell.
Last edited by darkmagistric; March 25th, 2012 at 04:20 PM.
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March 25th, 2012 #88
Deleting posts suck even if the post sucked. Think about what you post. Ban deleting.
March 25th, 2012 #89
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