Are you really going to compare making marks as a distillation of language to be read at another time to the direct mark making of a visual process where the end product is the physical piece on which one is working?
I really shouldn't have to explain this.
Just as a side note. Make sure when quoting a post, these brackets:  have the word "quote" in them at the beginning of the post and the word "/quote" in the  brackets at the end of the post.
Thanks, carry on.
1. Abraham Lincoln's signature on an envelope.
2. A digital scan of Abraham Lincoln's signature on an envelope.
1 is an authentic, highly rare artifact, and sought after by many collectors and museums.
2 is essentially worthless.
Only a sleaze would try to sell a scan or printout of Lincoln's signature as an item of historic value. And only a fool would purchase it thinking it has historic value.
At least Icarus tried!
My Process: Dead Rider Graphic Novel (Dark Horse Comics) plus oil paintings, pencils and other goodies:
My "Smilechild" Music. Plus a medley of Commercial Music Cues and a Folksy Jingle!:
The meaning of 'medium' in the plastic arts is not the same as the same term applied to the dramatic arts, including film.
In the plastic arts, the expression of the content is directly and vitally linked to the medium it is made out of. (Bill's just said that above)
In literature, say, sensitivity to words is of course vitally important and the story is conveyed through the 'medium' of words.
But words are not physical.
So what do we mean when we talk about 'medium' in the dramatic arts?
We're talking about something different, because it is not corporeal.
This is what is confusing people about digital (simulated) painting.
The actuality of the screen is not vital to the meaning.
The same goes for the screen of film.
The same goes for the stage of plays (read stage for screen).
But in the plastic arts the medium is vital to the communication. For instance, Michelangelo's David would be meaningless made of glass. (although pretty cool)
When we look at a painting we are looking at an object that is an illusion of something it is not. Therein lies the metaphorical communicating engine driving everything upon its surface.
When we look at a screen we look through a window.
The screen is transparent, innocent of content, neutral.
The surface with paint on it, is not.
And it is the non-innocence of the physical medium in relationship to what it carries, that is the foundation of sense in the sensation of experiencing the plastic arts.
Last edited by Chris Bennett; March 25th, 2012 at 04:07 PM.
From Gegarin's point of view
There is something about looking at a large physical painting that is psycologically different than looking at a digital one. As an artist I find that I'm more in awe of a execellent traditional painter than I am an digital painter of the same apearent skill level. Maybe this is because I started out traditionally and have been around traditional painting my whole life (My mother is a wonderful oil/watercolors painter). I mostly do digital paintings myself now, so I do get the difference in the processes. I have to agree that digital painting is easier. Not because it requires less skill, but because everything is so much faster. For me, The reason I prefer traditional art is because I know so many digital artists use techniques that I find distasteful. So there is alway the question of how much actual skill the painter had versus the likely hood of cheap shortcuts being used. It is harder to take shortcuts in traditional work. The only reason this matters to me is because, as an artist, I appreciate the process of creation as much as I do the finished creation.
But I feel the finished art created by both traditional and digital artist are equally valid.
The destination is the outcome of the jouney.
Whether that journey was difficult or not is of no importance.
Only the fact of taking it.
There is no such thing as a short cut.
Because the short cut takes you to a different place.
From Gegarin's point of view
I really enjoy working in traditional and digital media, but to me they shouldn't be compared with one another. I'm not really a fan of those who try to simulate oils and watercolour, to achieve that 'painterly' feel mainly because digital painting is a medium in itself, separate from 'paint'. If I had an idea that I thought would be better expressed through oils, I would use oils, but I wouldn't try and simulate the look of oils in painter/photoshop, that would just be a waste of time.
A while back I was doing research for an art project at school and I came across a piece by an artist who had used paint to create the look and feel of torn human flesh, he had thickened the paint in such a way so that the portrait became real looking, obviously you couldn't achieve this effect with digital paints but I don't see why someone would want to. (I'm annoyed I can't remember who it was now, but it really made me rethink the ways an artist can use oil...) But at the same time I do love using Photoshop to create portraits, I genuinly enjoy the technique of layering transparent strokes over and over until they become invisible, it's not because it's quicker it's just a different experience to me that achieves different effects. I remember my teacher suggested to me in the past to try an idea in several different media (including digital) to see which one worked best. I know it's all personal preference, but to me one doesn't cancel out the other, and it's a shame someone would look down on a well thought out piece of art just because it's in digital.
It's been really interesting to read this thread, the way people interpret real-life paintings, and I do really respect those opinions of the more professional artists on this site and I hope I don't butt heads with anyone.. Just my two cents :p I'm not trying to argue with anyone in particular, just wanted to express my opinion.
You're also ascribing to "us" opinions and comments we just haven't been making...that somehow digital painting is the "opposite of everything good in painting"...or that "digital (and other media or experience) is worthless". Far from it. I've tried substituting nearly every other medium to make the point they are all unique. Which is your point I gather, except when it comes to digital media, which you seem to want to be the exception and regard it as real painting.
And again, you're choosing to ignore: process, scale, artifact, surface, logevity and evidence of the hand - not minor differences. I tried really hard to demonstrate those factors in the images I posted. As Kev said to deny the differences is absurd, and basically makes the argument moot.
All image is not the same. I realize that is becoming something not well understood in today's society, which is in part why I feel this is important. Why isn't photography painting then? Why isn't a still frame from a film painting? Photographs deal with the same fundamentals: composition, form, light, color (in color photgraphy obviously). It's just image - deals with the same fundamentals?
I certainly haven't said any one medium is better than another, I love them all for what they do. And you're right, digital is just another medium...but don't claim it is something it isn't.
The entire discussion revolves around the question of why digital is frowned upon in the traditional arena. Many of us have explained why, and I've even tried to point out that it isn't at all, except when you try to say it is the same thing. Completely OK of course if folks don't want to acknowledge the differences, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.
Really the funny thing is why is there even a question if they're the same and it doesn't matter?
Last edited by JeffX99; March 25th, 2012 at 06:22 PM.
Inevitably there is more intuition and "soul" within traditional mediums as they, for example oils, has a life of its own and behaves as it does thanks to it being a physical matter with its different qualities. Digital "paint" does not. (or rather said, it may not be as explored as other mediums, therefore people know less about these unique qualities and how to utilize that.)
This may sound a bit bizarre but bear with me... In traditional art You have to understand the medium, and learn to cooperate and dance with It. Contrary to that, which in this case is digital art. The medium, being a computer, has to understand You. And he does! He will do exactly what you tell him to do, (eg. by drawing with a tablet) and he demands nothing in return. "Command" him to simulate oil brushstrokes and he's up for the task. The end result may look exactly like an oil painting. But it isn't. It's a mere projection of the computers interpretation of an oil painting, based on the info you gave him.
Nevertheless, you can create stunning pieces of art with digital mediums. Though I believe one can accomplish that more effectively by "commanding" the computer to do something which traditional mediums cannot. If you want to create a picture which looks like it was made with watercolours, for the sake of setting a certain mood, I'm certain you will be able to send that emotion to the viewer more effectively by painting the picture with actual watercolours.
Maybe that's why traditional painting is oft valued more highly than digital. Digital painting lacks that visible spark which occurs when a human being is interacting with a physical medium. Take action painting for example. How well would that stand digitally? (Now that I've run this post through numerous times I remembered, seeing a video with someone doing what looked like live action painting on-stage, but with a tablet and new piece of software which created interesting shapes & forms based on the users input or something... does anyone know what I'm talking about?)
NOTE: First I'd like to credit those who contributed to the thread, very interesting read. Also, I'm aware I MAY make a complete fool out of myself here by stating something that could sound like total humbug. But I'll stand for that, I'm a young art-student with my own perceptions on art and questions on the subject also. I have to try my voice sometimes, and get punched under the belly for doing that a couple of times too.
Edit: Actually I think action painting holds up quite well in the digital realm and is a medium probably better suited to the concepts of action painting than paint and canvas. But interesting to think about what Pollock might have done with Painter...
I think the reason some traditional artists frown upon digital art is that the computer has become the middle man and it interprets your actions. The experiences are quite different and there seems to be greater satisfaction from actually painting rather than doing one digitally.
Its kinda like being at a football game versus watching it at home on your TV.
my 2 cents
No man who values originality will ever be original. But try to tell the truth as you see it, try to do any bit of work as well as it can be done for the work's sake, and what men call originality will come unsought." - C.S. Lewis
To the topic of which holds more power or "soul" standing in front of a physical painting or a printout of a digital one. That depends a lot on the painting, the imagery, the artist, and the person viewing.
To the average viewer there is little distinction imo. A good image is a good image to them.
Though, this dives into the purpose of the art itself.
If it's fine art someone wants, they want fine art and a physical painting, often they want an original work that no one else has. However, if someone likes an image I know plenty of people and even businesses like restaurants that frame up a high quality print of the art they like. (kinda know more people with prints than paintings nowadays personally). There's obvious difference in value, one you get an original which is hard or impossible to reproduce or even scan depending on the images source the other can be copied infinitely.
If someone wants concept art though, I'm not in the industry at all but I imagine most couldn't give 2 shits whether you give them a painting, print or pdf since the main purpose is the imagery and design used to create something else (2D drawing to help create a 3D model etc). Since many of the Concept artists around here I've subscribed to on different sites often do more digital than traditional both professionally and in practice (though most do both regardless for practice). If someones freelancing to game company I doubt anyones going to pay something like 10,000 for a single fine art painting (insert link showing the salaries of freelance Concept artists proving me wrong, thats not a challenge btw. Just have a feeling someone was going to lol).
It's a different purpose entirely with different value, for different price ranges and audiences. Though either way the actual image is all that matters. (or historical value in many cases)
Last edited by JFierce; March 25th, 2012 at 11:28 PM.
lol well don't want to play the 'explain it to me' card. But in all reality explain it a bit?
Because every single person I know that has no art experience at all, doesn't distinguish based on anything more than if they like it. Unless it has some historical value, or their buying it as some sort of investment I don't know anyone that buys or displays something they don't like. No one puts up a painting they hate in their house opposed to a print they love.
(Also should just throw out there my mom loves to go to auctions and buy random art for cheap, has no idea what she's doing. But their are a lot of decent quality prints in the mix that have been in their house where people have no idea on the difference. To this day there have been barely anyone I've seen that even says it's a print. Heard many times "Oh that's a nice painting on the wall who did it?")
Last edited by JFierce; March 26th, 2012 at 01:08 AM.
Judging art on the basis of whether we "like" it is the best litmus test imo as well, though sometimes a deeper searching for context can help us "like" something that may seem challenging at first blush. Or as you pointed out we may also "like" something simply because it is interesting historically.
If someone can't tell the difference between a print an original work so be it, that is a reflection of their limited awareness, not a conclusion that the things are the same.
The world is bigger than a 22" monitor...and so is art.
(btw - I appreciate the fact that many times I see you take a jab well and in the humor it is intended - gold star my friend!)
Oh no, I was by no means saying a print is the same, the two are very very different. (Although I hate to admit I've been fooled a few times without the use of a magnifying glass. Used to have no idea about prints at all)
I was just trying to attempt throwing out the view of those non artists in the mix as they view the art too, same as everyone and are often the ones that 'consume' it the most. Experience as you said has a big impact on connection.
Kind of like how I remember back before I learned anything at all about anatomy, I wasn't bothered half as much by wonky broken arms and things that make no sense lol. Now I see drawings and paintings I remember liking years ago and thinking '....wow.... that was not how I remembered it'.
I've found this thread interesting and wanted to point out something no one else seems to have... Painter has the technology to simulate textured canvas surfaces, visible brushstroke textures and impasto techniques like traditional oil or acrylic paintings (the lack of which has been pointed out in this thread many times to be a failing of digital art). Which just leaves the problem that they can't be printed into something tangible... but is that true? 3D printers are rapidly dropping in price and expanding in their capabilities and I wouldn't be surprised if it's already possible to do this. I think it is highly likely that in the future creating textured art prints on canvas will not cost significantly more than creating a high-quality giclee print of an artwork. This gives us interesting possibilities for reproducing the texture of classical masterpieces down to minute brushstrokes using surface scanning technology, but also means that it would be equally possible for a digital artist to use the dimensional techniques a traditional artist would and frame a high-quality canvas print which incorporates them. And you can certainly sculpt digitally (and print the sculpture, if you have access to a 3D printer).
I think people on both sides of this debate are generalising a lot. While they are certainly different mediums, an artist can apply the exact same techniques with mediums which are different to one another. Artistic knowledge (such as colour theory, knowledge of anatomy and composition, etc) span all art mediums, and it doesn't make a difference if the artist is holding a brush, pen, or stylus. Now, I am an artist who started out with digital and transitioned to traditional materials (though I still use digital as well) and I certainly agree with much of what has been expressed here - I'm currently learning to oil paint and one thing a computer can never simulate is the tactile sensation of creating a work of art. From the artist's perspective I am sure the two can never be comparable and nor do I think traditional originals are replacable in value. But I'm baffled by the idea that creating a digital painting "takes less skill", especially coming from other artists who know exactly how much skill and knowledge is required to create great artwork whatever the medium. Artists who use both digital and traditional are using exactly the same skills and knowledge for both. OK... digital is a medium more tempting to "cheat" with and that is a pity, but the cheaters will never become professional artists because they lack the artistic skill to create sophisticated work and a real artist who is serious about learning techniques and theory will do so and produce great work whatever they are using. Because I went about it backwards from most people, I'm using techniques I learned in digital painting in my traditional work - because they are universal art techniques, not digital tricks. Generalising about "cheating" and "laziness" is unfair on a lot of very good digital arists.
But I guess a lot of people are saying that already.
After all that's been said you can't seriously believe this?Originally Posted by Birkeley
Artists who use both digital and traditional are using exactly the same skills and knowledge for both.