Gone are the days artists go to the stationary store in search of paint brushes and sculpting clay. Although traditional art lives on in many forms, it has been somewhat overshadowed by digital technology, with programs like Photoshop, Illustrator and more.
Nowadays, digital artists can leave the paint behind and use the computer to create their masterpieces instead such as the one recently displayed by Marco Brambilla. While many people can’t believe that computer art is a real thing, graphics softwares have been developed to give more tools to artists to visualize their ideas in a digitalized way.
So what are the major differences between digital and traditional artwork?
Traditional art is just that — traditional. It uses physical materials like paper or canvas and oil paints and brushes. Artists like Max Frintrop, who uses acrylic paint to create his work on canvas, know that if you make a mistake or are unsatisfied with your work you will have to spend time reworking it, erasing or repainting it.
Basically, traditional art refers to fine arts that use the old methods for creating artwork, such as pens, brushes, clay and other tools. Although traditional arts has different techniques than digital arts, the forms are still related to each other because creating it involves a talent that not everyone possesses. Think Starry Night Over the Rhone by Van Gogh.
Art schools still teach students about traditional art. They still have to complete such projects, however, schools have also shifted their focus on digital art education.
Working on paper means that if you make a mistake, you probably have to start over to compensate for the error. There are times when an artist like Jon Rafman may miss penning on paper, but through other forms of digital art, there are even more capabilities to design and visualize ideas. Jon Rafman, artist, specializes in technology and digital media.
Over the years, computer graphics have been developed a lot, and software companies are trying to give more capabilities to design and artists, through new features. Just look at the latest updates in applications such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. There is a mixed brush in Photoshop that can convert and create painting-like artwork easily. The bristle brush in Illustrator tries to mimic a painting effect with vector graphics.
The digital art experience has also been extended to hardware, like tablets. These tablets help artists use a digital pen so they can feel the same effect as they would using a real pen and paper.
Do digital art and traditional art really compare? The answer is simply in the eye of the beholder, but they are different styles of art with different techniques.