Sunday, March 21, 2010

An Invitation

This is an invitation to all those illustrators who wish to put in their thoughts, comments and two cents about Digital illustration and the pros and cons and in-betweens.

As a "Tradigital" illustrator I combine the traditional with the digital. Although I might begin an illustration with those marvelous traditional techniques and tools, I always finish my art in the digital form. The feel of pencil and paper, the ease of carrying a sketchbook to anyplace I want to wander and the possibilities that paint and ink and colored pencil bring to a work are all part of my process. I will always appreciate what the traditional media mean to me and others.

The digital world opened for me shortly after I discovered that I was able to draw with a mouse in a simple paint program.

After finding that Illustrator, and Photoshop did not do what I wanted I was introduced to Painter by a good friend and accomplished photographer. Painter allowed me to go as deep into the program as I wanted and left me always wanting to find out more. After 10 years of using Painter and teaching some workshops in the earliest of those years I am still finding new ways to make the program work for my chosen field.

Even with the freedom of change that a digital program offers, I still value the opportunity to use traditional media and combine the two. And even if I were totally committed to being only a traditional media artist, I have the good sense to know that at some point I would need to understand the technology of digital transfer, capture, and submission process for the publishing world.

So what about you? Are you digital, traditional, both? Do you have reasons for supporting one over the other?


Diana Evans said...

wonderful post Ginger!!! I am the same way....I start traditionally and end with digital ...I love the feel of pen to paper and also love the way digital modifications can add to a piece....

I have also worked on book layouts for Publishers and that is a lot of fun too....

Have a wonderful day!!!


Loni Edwards said...

Great post, Ginger! I am mostly digital. I draw my sketch, then scan it into Photoshop where I ink and color. I used to ink by hand, until recently. When I purchased my new Wacom, I decided to ink too. I am so glad I did. Not only did it save me money, but a lot of hassle with the ink/pens. I have a trial of Painter that I really want to try, and I probably will after I finish my Illustrator tutorials. As someone with severe allergies, I have found that being a digital artist allows me to be the artist I wish to be, without the illness! I am so grateful for that! Have a great day! :)

Susan said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and pics of your wonderful studio Ginger. I am brand new to digital, so I can't offer too much on that end. I am pretty invested in being a colored pencil artist. I love it so much I don't think I would ever completely give it up - but I never say never! BUT, like you said, I do have some good sense and am right now in the process of learning photoshop. I know I will be able to adjust and tweak my drawings digitally and use programs for submission. You and a few other artists I know also use painter I'm surprised it's so much better than both photohop and illustrator. Enjoy your Sunday!

Andrew Finnie said...

Hello Ginger,

well I'm 3d all the way. I can do things in 3d and digital that I would never have the patience or the skill to do in real life.

The edit undo button is King and the ability to use layers is Queen.

But in a hundred years time, who will be holding our digital work in their hands? Once you introduce an inkjet or laser printer into the process then is it still your artwork?

Or that of a machine?

It's like hiring someone to embroider your painting on a tapestry.

theartofpuro said...

Great post Ginger,love the pictures:)
I have to say that mostly I work digitally but I prefer the traditional way,I love pencils and paper and the smell of colours:)

Ginger*:) said...

I will address Andrew's concern about the lasting quality of digital printing. I believe it is art, just as much as a lithograph or an etching or a print that has a numbered limit. With the newer inks and various papers, including watercolor papers for the ink jet, I know that good prints can last 100 years. At least that is what the ink makers claim.

For gallery work I use archival paper, Epson Claira inks and only print what I feel is really worthy of the expense. It also has to be something I really really like and am proud of.

Having your illustrations acquired for a chapter book or a picture book is another way for your images to find that lasting quality.

Ginger*:) said...

To Loni, I am much the same way. My allergies to the oils and turpentines I used were driving me nuts.

I still like the feel of paint but didn't like the fast drying of acrylics. Now I have some transparent acrylics, and some mediums to slow or speed up drying.

Illustrator did not do what I wanted as far as a painting program, but I certainly appreciate what others can do with the program. I am taking some lessons to at least learn how to use it.

Ginger*:) said...

Susan, having the best of both worlds will be something you can take to the bank. Your colored pencil work really can be tweaked nicely in photoshop and you have the power of UNDO at your finger tips.

Ginger*:) said...

Diana, I agree with you. The feel of the paper beneath the pen or pencil is the sweet spot in art. But with the digital tools we have been given we can make adjustments that would have either ruined a piece or not been possible.

Ginger*:) said...

artofpuro, I know what you mean about the traditional media. Isn't it wonderful to have the ability to combine the traditional with the technical.

I thank all of you for chiming in. I think there are many more illustrators who at least know enough about the digital technology to find uses for their artwork or at least for the transmission of their work to editors and publishers.

Lucy said...

I went to a very traditional art school.. for example we ground our own paints, studied anatomy - even carving bones out of plaster , and used techniques that no one uses anymore (encaustic anyone?). I still get nostalgic when I smell the mix of turpentine and oil... BUT give me the digital art world every time! I love being able to imagine, create, change, destroy and then start all over again. It is so liberating to not have a stroke be permanent. Love that undo button and love my tablet. Thanks Ginger for an interesting discussion. I loved reading everyone's thoughts.

Ginger*:) said...

Gosh Lucy that brings back memories!

We used Rabbit Skin Glue to cure our canvases and made our own stretchers from wood planks. We even used house paint to stretch out our meager oil paint supply. It was wonderful but so messy.. I still like to get my hands and brain into real paint, but love the possibilities that digital is offering.