Don’t Skip Using Traditional Medium

Don’t Skip Using Traditional Medium

I watch a lot of Youtube and Vimeo videos, gathering new information, learning the newest techniques when it comes to using digital mediums. Recently I’ve seen and heard quite a bit of digital artists telling young artists just starting out “don’t skip using traditional mediums.”  Hmmm, why is that? After all isn’t drawing on a tablet with pressure sensitive pen pretty much the same as a pen/pencil to paper or paint to canvas? In a lot of ways it can be and in other ways not at all. There is no perfect undo when painting with traditional mediums. No layers, they are all flattened in as soon as a new layer of paint or varnish or pencil mark is put on top of another. No distort, perspective, warp, or liquefy tools either. Some might be saying, “So. It only matters if the art is good and people like it, right?” As far as sales and aesthetics go I would say that kind of statement is correct. I personally like both mediums. One is not more pure than the other. I totally agree with DiceTsutsumi’s statement, “Who can say Craig Mullins’ work is any less sophisticated than any of the traditional oil painters? Good work is good work.” But there are reasons why it is important to use traditional medium. First off, digital paintbrushes, pencils, and filters are set up to mimic the traditional tools. Without understanding how the traditional ones work one may not know why they can’t achieve a certain look or feel they want in digital. To use traditional mediums is to learn to make your own choices about...
Digital Painting

Digital Painting

When computers became more mainstream in the commercial/graphic design field illustrators immediately began to experiment with how to draw and paint with the software. In the early nineteen-eighties we learned just how cool technology could be and we created slick illustrations, illustrations with shiny surfaces for slick shiny magazines, or at least I did. At that time I didn’t want nor care about texture in the images because the digital medium provided a fresh new look that was preferred to the redundant looks that had been used for years. Soon though we wanted a little texture and we would scan in a favorite paper texture that would be the background page of an article in a slick magazine.  Illustrators and Fine Artists would return to their traditional mediums, the paints, the pencils, and the pastels when they wanted or missed the textures they provided. Software came out such as Corel Painter, now in it’s 12th version that alleviates quite a bit of this need for texture in an illustration or fine art work. Another way to alleviate the need for texture in a digital illustration or photograph is to use photographs of textured surfaces such as a brick wall, concrete sidewalks, bark on a tree and so forth in layers over and/or under the work. Those who use Photoshop love this technique either to get a rather pleasing artistic feel to a photograph or to speed up the process of an illustration because of the tight deadlines an illustrator works under.   Many digital illustrators still prefer to use Photoshop to Corel Painter due to either crashes in Corel,...