Digital painting, for people who remain unaware, is an art form where traditional painting techniques are demonstrated using digital tools in computer software, digital paintings or even a digitizing tablet and stylus. The “artist” uses painting techniques to create the digital painting on the computer. Included in the programs are brushes which can be digitally styled to portray the original type of painting just like oils, acrylics, and water paint.
Creating with the effectation of charcoal, pen, and pastels can also be an available tool. In most programs, the user may even create their particular brush style using both shape and texture, which can be important in bringing traditional and digital painting together as an authentic looking product.
Although digital painting has always been a fascinating subject if you ask me, and I believe it’s amazing how a technique is executed in minutes when it usually takes days to obtain the exact same effect manually, I can’t help but think it takes away the integrity of a genuine painting done with a truly skilled artist. With “digital” painting there’s no real artistic talent used in applying the techniques which can be mimicked by digital painting programs. They’re applied by using digital tools in the computer software. It’s hard for a conventional artist to think about an individual using this sort of software as authentic. Not to imply they don’t have an “eye” for color or have a lack of vision, but what about the skill of actually using physical mediums and tools? And of course the feeling of accomplishment that accompany finishing a painting that’s been lovingly labored on for some time, mixing paint to obtain the perfect color, and, by trial and error, getting that effect you’ve been striving to achieve. The entire type of the artist is different.
Many traditional artists are extremely physical using their paintings and will use hands, feet, clothes and other things that to get a certain effect or texture. They like to mix the paints with an actual palette knife, use mediums to regulate the paints, apply the paints to a genuine surface, and work a painting until it is finished with great satisfaction. They especially appreciate learning from mistakes made and skillfully correcting them… not by selecting “undo” in a software program, but by hand.
I can see where it would be tempting to use a digital program only for the fact you have a palette of a million colors to choose from, and the ability to take back mistakes in an instant. However, it’s still apparent if you ask me why these digital programs should be used primarily for work and school projects or on a commercial level for graphic designers. Fine artists who desire a hands-on relationship with painting mediums and their smells, canvases and their textures, and the overall messiness of utilizing their fingers as tools should stay authentic and true for their craft.