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Painting Reimagined



Digital painting is an up and coming art form in which traditional painting techniques such as watercolor and oil painting are applied through the use of a computer, a graphics tablet and stylus, and painting software. This form of digital creation differs from other forms of digital art, particularly computer-generated art, in that a computer is not rendering from a model or a photograph; such as applying a filter. Instead, all digital painting programs such as Photoshop and Procreate come with pre-intalled digital brushes that mimic the use of physical media through various effects and blend modes and the artist is allowed to us a stylus on a screen the way an artist would use pencil on paper. 

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Digital Brushes

I personally focus on digital oil painting as I was trained traditionally in oil when I attended college. What this really means in simpler terms is that the Photoshop brushes I use blend and mix together in a way that simulates real oil on canvas. While my pieces are made by holding a stylus and drawing on a graphics tablet that is connected to a computer (currently I am a Huion 4k pen display with a MacBook) the fact that the digital pigment my stylus leaves behind blends and mixes is what makes it a painting and not a drawing. On top of that, once I've completed painting a piece I then export it and import it in Lightroom, a photo editing software by the same creators as Photoshop, and there I alter the tonality, color family, highlights, shadows, clarity etc. essentially enhancing it and bringing the painting into a another dimension of quality that is virtually unattainable traditionally and can only be accomplished through digital means, this process also adds to the photorealism look in my art.


How does it compare to

"Real" Oil?

Traditional oil painting is a luxurious medium that is not only expensive to make but extremely time consuming due to the oxidation process (drying time). It posses multiple health risks not just to the environment but to humans as well. Fumes from chemicals and even the pigment themselves may contain components such as carcinogens (things known to cause cancer). 

While, cost, health risk, & time management are downsides to traditional oil, the upsides to digital oil are the total opposite. Digital oil is very low cost not just for artists to create, but for patrons to purchase! Since oxidization time is non existent, paintings can be made faster and thus sold at a more economical price point; and as there are no materials, there is no risk of coming in contact with fumes or chemicals.  More importantly the risk of loss, theft, or damage during transit or even the pieces lifespan is virtually none! Digital paintings can be sent via email, downloaded, saved, backed up, and reprinted in perpetuity. 

In addition to all that sweet, sweet digital goodness - let's not forget versatility. It is as easy as 1, 2, 3 to make adjustments, modifications, & changes to digital art.

Making changes on a traditional oil painting? Oof. That's not fun for anybody and will usually run you up a large and heavy fee to compensate for the artists time. But rest assured that's not so likely to occur with your friendly neighborhood digital artist - at least not with this one!

For me, the switch from traditional to digital was a no brainer. The pros far out weight the cons, and really the only con is that I don't get to make a mess;  which I really enjoyed doing! 

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