Friday, October 8, 2010

Traditional + Digital = TRADIGITAL

There is no question that some publishers frown upon what they call “digitized” artwork.   The truth is, digital painting is far from digitized.  To digitize an image refers more to taking a photo bringing it into a computer.  Sampling at various intervals occurs in the computer via scanning or direct input.  That word - digitized -  has all kinds of negative suggestion as it applys to art.  Far too easily it can be misinterpreted to mean all digital illustration is somehow computer generated and not a very different and original artform.

Digitizing is a far cry from “digital painting.”  The term digital painting simply refers  to the fact that the painting is taking place in the computer.  Digital painting has the ability to free the illustrator from having to redo an entire painting just to correct one color or element. Newer high end computer software can mimic the brush strokes for hundreds of brushes, pens, pencils, pastels and all forms of paint.

I will often sketch with pencil or pen because it gives me the freedom to do very large renderings.  Those can be reduced in the computer to the size needed by my editors.
This is a watercolor study for the digital painting below.   Usually I don't go this far, but I wanted to get a feel of the colors and technique I would use when I transferred to the computer for the final painting. As a study it was good, and I was able to incorporate it into the main painting. 

Digital painting is no less creative than traditional.  Colors, design, point of view and composition are all elements of digital painting.  When combined with traditional sketches and even watercolor washes or beginnings, the finished work can have a quality that is impossible to get in any other way.  The colors can be controlled and kept constant through pages and pages of illustrations.  You won’t run out of paint.
Paintings that you have completed traditionally can easily be scanned or photographed and incorporated into the digital work.

This is the final painting done with digital painting programs.  Here I have the freedom to paint in layers and not disturb elements under one another.  But it is still original artwork.

In some cases a digital illustration can take longer than a traditional one.  Both methods should be respected and when they are combined the same is true.

All kinds of traditional methods can be combined with digital painting:  cut paper, collage, clay sculpture, bas relief, even folded paper art can be incorporated.

I use the term TRADIGITAL  to describe my work; it is  basically another form of painting, one which conveys the essence of any story for which I am hired to illustrate.

I will say this, however. The use of too many of the tweaks that are available in the digital software programs can ruin the freshness and originality of the work. One has to be careful of not using too many  of the fancy plugins to enhance the work.  Good art is good art in whatever method the artist uses.


Nikki said...

Well stated, Ginger!

And I love the lion piece..

Loni Edwards said...

Nice post Ginger!

theartofpuro said...

Wonderful post and art:)