Lately I've been playing around a lot with digital art, and I’ve been enjoying it a lot too. However, I’ve always struggled to feel comfortable and confident when making digital art. Even though I learned photoshop, Illustrator and Corel in school, I always felt the medium never translated my ideas very well.
|Winter Garden, 2012|
There's a lot of stigma to digital art still. Like with any new medium, the art community seems to be reluctant to adapt to the changes and the new tools, deeming them as trends, toys, you name it. It happened when oil paints started to become popular in the 15th century. Tempera used to be the medium of choice, and artists looked down on painters who would use oils, as they were originally used for crafts and decoration.
During my art school years, I had a handful of art instructors who would either completely dismiss digital for final assignments, or if allowed, would berate it at critiques. That affected the way I looked at digital art for a long time. But I also had professors that encouraged it as the main medium for the class; they saw the potential and practicality that digital art offers.
|Blue Beard Environment, 2011|
So, why am I trying digital again? We live in a small apartment where there’s not much room for me to spread out my works in progress and leave my supplies out ready for me to jump to work whenever I please. My studio is a corner of a bedroom. I can only work on one project at a time and must put everything away each time to have room on my table for other tasks. Digital has given me the option to have all my palettes, textures, references and brushes in one place where they can be accessed from my computer,iphone or ipad - - magical. Also, I don’t have to worry about running out of supplies and even save some money towards repaying student loans.
Using the right tools makes a huge difference in your art experience. In my last semester at art school, I took a digital figure drawing course. I was using a six year old small Bamboo drawing tablet from 2006 and thought I was doing “great.” One day my professor wanted to do some corrections on a pose I was having trouble with. After making a couple of strokes with my tablet, he suggested that I replace it because of its accuracy and drawing area. I saved some money and reluctantly purchased a medium size Wacom Intuos 3. The difference was astounding.
|Head Study I, 2015|
|Head Study II, 2015|
|Head Study III, 2015|
If you own an ipad or similar type of tablet, I recommend their Creative Stylus; it’s the closest thing you can get to a Cintiq if you cannot afford one. I recently purchased one and use it along with the Sensu brush and the accuracy with traditional media is pretty incredible.
|2 Minute Gestures, 2015|
There’s one thing I think is important to understand though; you cannot compensate for any lack of artistic skill by using digital art. You need to have an understanding of the fundamentals and traditional media to have your ideas translate well. I believe this is why some of my professors were annoyed with its use in the classroom.