Art has been around for millions of years, and over the course of its existence it has seen major development both in techniques and tools used. Nowadays, we’ve moved on from cave paintings and taken it a few steps further. From the confines of our room, we can create beautiful, intricate and touching pieces of art, using only a digital device! However, this new world of artistic opportunities has yet to be fully ventured; new techniques, new programs and new perspectives have yet to be explored, and in some cases, digital art has yet to be accepted as a true form of art. The concept is relatively new, especially when compared to the forms of art we are used to, but in the following article we will attempt to give you a crash course on everything you need to know about digital art and the amazing communities that have made it flourish into what it is today!
What is the difference between digital and traditional art?
Digital and traditional art share quite a few traits in common but at the same time the two are vastly different worlds. They share the common purpose of creating art and both use the same basic concepts that sit at the foundation of art. A few examples would be balance, the colour theory, harmony and contrast among many others. However, there are still enough differences in the mediums they use, the process and the minute details that separate the two forms of expression.
The most blaring difference between digital and traditional art is the medium used. One utilises, as the name would suggest, traditional tools, applications and methods such as pencils, canvas, paper, paint, brushes and many more. These have existed for a long time and have been improved upon in their many years of existence. Digital art, on the other hand, utilizes digital devices in order to create art. Sketching on an art program, 3D printing and photoshopping are all forms of traditional art that have been adapted for (and made using) digital devices and are therefore considered digital art.
Also, although we did mention that the basic rules and principles of art are the same, the techniques and procedures differ greatly because of the different tools available to the artist. A simple example would be natural paint splatters, which can only truly be created on canvas. Shapes that resemble paint splatters could, indeed, be recreated digitally, but they would never truly be actual paint dropped onto canvas. Digital art also offers certain shortcuts and tools that art on canvas is unable to provide, such as the bucket tool, or the layers feature.
Is digital art… really art?
Whether digital art is considered real art has been a controversial topic of discussion for years now, and some people’s opinions still refuse to budge despite the clear signs of hard work and skill being put into the artists’ works. Some tend to believe that the software does all the work for them and the artist is simply watching it all unfold, but this is completely and utterly incorrect. Despite digital art being able to speed up the process by providing the artists with a wider range of tools that complete otherwise time consuming tasks, (such as the bucket or colour-selector tool, something which traditional art does not offer) the artists still have to have the necessary skills and get used to their program of choice, which, like any other simple change of pencil and paper, takes a while to adjust to. Although it is entirely possible to find yourself with a stable job doing traditional art, digital art offers a much wider range of job opportunities, such as concept artists, splash artists, and the classic animation artists. Some people like to bash digital art simply because of their fears that digital art will replace traditional artists and although this might be true to a limited extent, it is important to remember that traditional art, because it tends to be more manual and much harder to perfectly replicate, can have more cultural and monetary value than digital art.
The community’s work
We would like to end this by giving a few examples of our favourite digital artists found on social media in order to prove the magic digital art can be!