i first learned how to draw and paint traditional, but now that im getting into digital there are a lot of things that feel like cheating to me. for instance i see a lot of people that use photo templates, as oppose to painting everything from scratch they start off with a photo of a building. it would feel a bit wrong if i did it just because im so used to doing everything traditionally, and sure either way you could get the same result but it sorta leaves me feeling less like an artist and more like an editor? what do you guys think?
Use whatever techniques you like... Nobody's forcing you to use any particular technique or shortcut or gimmick. You can do everything from scratch in digital just the same as with traditional, it all comes down to personal preference and what your goal is.
Personally, I don't like doing paintovers or shoving photos into paintings... The photo-painting-mishmash is not a look I usually want, and with my rudimentary camera and photography skills, the odds of a photo looking anything like what I want are not great anyway. (Plus painting from scratch is more fun.)
Though some people get interesting results combining photos with painting... (Matt Mahurin used to do a lot of that, I think Rick Berry does too?) And I can understand why people would do it when they need to throw together a lot of fast concepts for a deadline.
I will say that when it comes to combining photos and painting, if someone doesn't know what they're doing it usually looks terrible... Either you end up with a picture that's trying to look like a painting but has distracting bits of photo popping out all over the place... Or you have something that's trying to look like a photo but has distracting bits of painting stuck on.
The times I've seen it used most effectively are when people take advantage of the mixed media nature of the combination and really push it. Or when people are extremely good at photomanipulation (and there aren't many people who do really good photomanips...)
I wouldn't call digital cheating per se. But I do admit that I feel pretty guilty sometimes about using digital. It can kind of hide certain things...like my draftsmanship and composition are somewhat weak. But with the forgiving nature of digital I can rework a painting a lot, or select things and move them about, or stretch things, change their size, change all manner of things. I can also very easily get smooth transitions, or add texture if I need to.
All of these things are possible to do traditionally, but take way more skill in my opinion. Sure, it requires a skill to do digitally. But I feel it requires more skill to pull off the same things traditionally.
"Complacency is the womb of mediocrity. " -- Jason Manley
"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." -- Bruce Lee
what sean mcclain pointed out is the extent of using templates or photos in art that i would go to, but if the deadline really is that tight i do see myself resolving to paint overs. guess its just an art ethic/moral thing i got going on with myself. and yes i agree that traditional does require more effort, takes more time and you don't have things like undo or changing contrast etc.
The only cheating in my book is literally stealing an image and calling it your own.
BUT sometimes you have to assess what method is the best for you. Say you're doing a Bargue drawing. Do you really want it to just look exactly like it and that's that? Then just trace it. But do you really want to get the most out of the exercise? Then tracing probably isn't the best way to go. And the same can be said about very many other things. You have to assess your intentions and then pick the means that best fits that. There is no cheating, only different methods, and different methods will yield different results.
You can fool others, but it is at least as harmful to fool yourself. Animators trace till their fingers fall off, with a purpose. I have been told to trace art, to get a feeling for style, appeal, line quality, and I feel I learnt something from it. However, even if you don't lie about it, and trace for the purpose of learning, it can be a cheat if you claim you spend your time practicing, while you may not get anything out of it.
For instance, I consider tracing, or even blindly copying, the diagrams from Bridgman a cheat. Yes, you may claim you spent weeks with Bridgman, but you're really only cheating on yourself...
^^ The key word there was blindly. Anything you do blindly isn't going to stay with you. Anything you actually think about can help you learn something. For the record I don't trace, but I couldn't care less if others do. I have my goals and personal sense of artistic integrity, others have theirs'.