Quite a recent art-form, obviously only being possible since the invention of the computer and even then being relatively undeveloped until around the last decade, digital painting has quickly become very popular amongst a range of different people. Not only is this the technology that will now go into the production of most of your favourite films, either because they are animations or in the production design stages, but the art style has also become popular for those simply doing artwork at home, particularly teens, with many websites online dedicated to displaying the artwork of the public for everyone to see. Some comic books too have now adapted to this style due to its simplicity.
It’s easy to see why this form has flourished so quickly, offering the added flexibility of many different brush styles and techniques all with just a few pieces of equipment, meaning that you can produce lots of different styles while only having to learn the practicalities of one. Also the ability to erase your mistakes without leaving any trace means that it is a lot easier to produce cleaner looking pieces of artwork and by using the zoom function, you can produce an incredibly fine level of detail that surpasses the level you could do with just the naked eye and real tools. If you need to change your brush type or size, you don’t have to go out and buy new ones, you can just click a couple of buttons and the settings will change. The same applies for the colour. When using paints, you’d have to spend ages mixing them, and with pencils, you have to make do with the colours you have, meaning settling for the closest you have to the actual one you want. Using computers however, you can both select colours quickly and from the entire colour palette of the computer, meaning that you can keep to the exact specifications you desire.
There are also a lot of great resources online for learning about this art form, because of its inherently technological nature. To get started with it can seem expensive because you’ll need some kind of art/photo-editing software such as Photoshop and a graphics tablet for drawing with is often considered essential, though it is in fact possible to draw with your mouse, it just comes a lot less naturally. However, if you consider the fact that with other types of art you’ll need to continually buy materials such as paint or pastels for each new art work, the investment in these few pieces of equipment may actually save you money in the long run.
In terms of the simplicity of using the software and getting started, I started experimenting with this method relatively recently, in fact only a few months ago, and I have already been able to get into the swing of it. If you have no experience of painting or drawing already then you will naturally take a bit longer, but I think if you follow tutorials online as I did you will get there in no time. I also think that younger generations may find it somewhat easier to make the transition to digital painting, since they have the advantage of having grown up with computers and so have a lot of the essential knowledge already embedded in their minds.
Having discussed the benefits of digital painting, I will now add that I do not believe we should forget older styles of art, since for one thing, the techniques learnt using these styles will help a lot with doing it on the computer. Also there’s something so unique about a hand crafted art work, and they will generally look a lot better hung on a wall than a digital painting that you’ve printed out, but for simplicity, neatness and efficiency, checking out this modern style is a must.
Image from: http://i.ytimg.com/vi/_1RbMwW-dlU/maxresdefault.jpg