Sunday, April 28, 2013

Traditional Oil Painting vs Digital Painting

Although I'm new to digital painting, I wanted to write a little about my experience with it so far compared to traditional oil painting. I really enjoy both methods, but for different reasons. This comparison focuses on the positive aspects, and not the negative.


Traditional artwork will always have that extra energy to it. An indefinable power which radiates silently from the work's simple presence and existence. From what I have found, the greater the painting, the greater the quiet hum of energy. 

There is also more of a romantic quality to creating artwork in the physical form. In some ways it's like magic, breathing life into a blank canvas, and pulling up a creation from nothingness. 

I think the reasons behind this extra energy and romanticism lie behind physically creating something using creativity. A piece of the artist goes into each of the works of art. I don't know exactly why or how this happens, but it does. Traditional work has soul.


I love digital painting because of how convenient and time-saving it is. With traditional work I need to put aside several hours at a time to properly blend the colors before the paint dries, but with digital painting I can work on the artwork in smaller, more scattered increments of time. There is no waiting for colors to dry before adding more layers, and no strong smelling paints or solvents. There is no need for large studio space, and I don't have to spend hundreds--if not thousands--of dollars on paints, brushes, and canvases.

Digital painting is clean, quick, and fun. Making mistakes can be easily fixed with the undo button, and even after the work of art is complete I can preposition it anywhere on the canvas, or re-size it to fit particular dimensions.

Because of both methods having such strong advantages over each other, I can't just choose one and not the other. I need to pursue both.

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