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Thread: Does your digital practice improve your traditional skills?

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    Does your digital practice improve your traditional skills?

    I'm not looking for the absolut truth about this subject, nor looking for a scientific explanation, I just want to hear about your experiences.

    So, empirically I know that practicing with traditional media (pencils, acrylics, oils, etc.) helped to improve my digital painting skills a lot. On the other hand, I've been doing a lot of digital-only pieces (generating traditional media textures or basic sketches/layouts at the most) and I see a lot of improvement in that area. Buuut, I feel that my traditional skills are somehow getting poorer, so I plan to go back to the drawing board soon.

    I'm just curious, let me know what you think.
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    i think every time you draw, it improves you. no matter what you draw with.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrr
    i think every time you draw, it improves you. no matter what you draw with.
    100% agreed.
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    The understanding of form, color and other things you learn when painting digitally will still count when you paint traditionally. So i guess its safe to say that digital practice will help improve your traditional skillz.
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    i used to draw with my paper rotated in various degrees, but can't do that with a wacom, screws up that hand-eye coordination thing, so i've gotten over that habit and am able to almost draw any line/shape without rotating the paper.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ah.heng
    i used to draw with my paper rotated in various degrees, but can't do that with a wacom, ...

    oh, you can, if you using corel painter, just use the hotkey "e", and you'll able to rotate as you wish


    by the way, my opinion is: the digital work and the traditional, must walk toguether, digital gives you quick resourses and the gods most usefull tool : "CTRL+Z" lol, so, you can test and test and taest again, without risc of loose your paper or spend lots of materials on it. BUT i believe that great ideas there's no time or place to apear, and you can walk everywere with a laptop and a tablet... so, walk around with your sketchbook and keep praticing in PC at night.

    c ya
    ps.: please, sorry about my english
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    My traditional art suffers because of digital practice. Maybe it's because I have a 4x6 IntuosII, or maybe it's because I just can't get the loose control that others have with digital. All I know is, as I fight to use digital, my traditional skills seem to vanish

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    Yeah man I think it helps...as I think practically every creative endeavor would help. If you take photos, you'll get ideas for odd compositions, or an idea for lighting you wouldn't have thought of. If you sculpt you'll see a certain form in a whole new way. I'm kind a noob at digital but I'm already getting ideas about texture and color combos and thinking "hmmm..how would I translate this to oil paints"...
    just my thoughts
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    Quote Originally Posted by m o я p h o
    you can walk everywere with a laptop and a tablet... so, walk around with your sketchbook and keep praticing in PC at night.

    c ya
    i think you meant to say 'can't walk around with laptop and tablet'. well i know a guy who bought a tablet PC just so he could digi-sketch on the go.

    but yeah, you're right. practise more on your sketchbook than on your PC. if you can't draw good stuff on paper, chances are you can't draw good stuff on the computer either.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ah.heng
    i think you meant to say 'can't walk around with laptop and tablet'. well i know a guy who bought a tablet PC just so he could digi-sketch on the go.

    but yeah, you're right. practise more on your sketchbook than on your PC. if you can't draw good stuff on paper, chances are you can't draw good stuff on the computer either.

    oh man, sorry , you're right, unfortunately, my english isn't so good...
    sorry all for the mistake

    tablet PC? i don't know this! O.o
    ps.: please, sorry about my english
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    I agree, any drawing no matter where you do it will increase your skill. Personally though I find my traditional practice increases my digital skills much more than the other way around.
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    I'm going to throw a wrench in here that some of you might want to kill me over...

    Digital doesn't do a damn thing for your hand skills as far as traditional art is concerned. It does open up more possibilities in the realm of color, easily making major/minor element shifts, producing a cleaner more accurate drawing--especially in bezier, and keeping your clothes clean, BUT...

    The act of drawing, painting and image manipulation based on intuition only are the result of traditional media, and don't carry over well to the digital world. The use of a mouse, trackball, or even a tablet is counter to that set of skills. In fact, it's a whole new set of mind/muscle connections that actually hurt the traditional training you received.

    Sorry to revert to my "I'm Old, Dude..." mode, but I need to here for proof...

    Thirty years ago:

    I could execute a complete drawing with a stripping brush and ink, with running lines from nearly invisible to a pica across without a single mistake or even thinking about it.

    I could execute an entire painting from ground wash through impasto, then to final dry brush gradations so sensitive and subtle IN FOUR OR FIVE STROKES that not many of you could do it with all the opacity/brush/pressure controls at your command in PS or Painter in less than 40 or 50 hand-movements.

    I could draw with a brush and ink faster than any of you probably can now with digital.

    I have yet to see anything digital over any length of time that approaches what can be done with a conte or lithographic crayon in five minutes.

    After roughly 20 years on the machine, these skills have deteriorated to the point that I'd be embarrassed to try them in front of an audience. The belief that your hand skills improve in the real world as you CG skills improve is BULLSHIT, plain and simple. It's like trying to convince me that you can produce a better cat by more careful cross-breeding of fish and camels.

    You MUST--MUST--continue in both media sets or you will "traditionally" die, and it's such a subtle progression that you may not be aware it's happening til it's too late to go back.

    DO NOT confuse speed/undo/clean toys to play with with the real world of hand skills. They are two different animals, and they will never be the same until technolgy advances to the point that it's possible to "feel" the viscosity of your paint, the drag of your graphite or litho, or the action of your brush as it moves around in that techno-window you're looking through right now.

    Throw stones, throw rotten fruit or dog shit. I don't care. I can prove my opinions, and they aren't opinions, they're facts. Convince me I'm wrong without "guessing" or "excusing" at your "nice shiney monitor end"...if you can. I'm willing to listen and learn...I'm old, I'm not fuckin' brain-dead.
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