The 21st century is the age of digital advancement where technology has completely revolutionalized the world. This digital revolution has also penetrated the world of art and transformed the way artists think, create and innovate. The art world is no longer confined within the four walls of galleries and museums, but is chartering new territories of its own into the cyber world. Digital technology has not just opened up new avenues for artists, it has also changed the entire outlook towards art. The impact of digital technology has greatly altered activities such as painting, drawing and even sculpture. From digital painting, to illustration and even photography, it has affected how art is created as well as presented.
But what is digital art? It is the practice of creating works of art that are computer generated, scanned or drawn using a tablet or mouse. This includes digitally manipulated videos as well as photographs.
Digital illustration or computer illustration is the use of digital tools to produce images, usually through a pointing device such as a mouse. A mouse may not be very precise for drawing, so a graphics tablet is a better tool for a digital illustrator, because it allows the user to make marks that look more like the natural lines made by the human hand. Moreover, the pressure-sensitive surface, allows for faint to bold and thin to broad marks. These variations mimic traditional wet and dry media.
There are two main types of tools used for digital illustration: bitmapped (or “raster”) and vector applications. Bitmap applications are commonly called “painting” programs, such as Adobe Photoshop, while vector applications like Adobe Illustrator are called “drawing” programs.
Digital painting is an art form in which traditional painting techniques such as watercolor, oils, impasto, etc. are applied using digital tools (software) on a computer or a graphics tablet using a mouse or stylus respectively. All digital painting programs have digital brushes for traditional styles like oils, acrylics, pastels, charcoal, pen and even airbrushing.
Digital painting software such as Corel Painter, Adobe Photoshop, ArtRage, GIMP, Krita and OpenCanvas give artists a similar environment to a physical painter – a canvas, painting tools, mixing palettes, and a multitude of color options. There are various types of digital painting, including impressionism, realism, and watercolor.
Advantages of Digital Art
- More efficient – Easier to get started and work quickly.
- More forgiving – Nothing is permanent when you have the undo button.
- More exploration – Unlimited experimental possibilities.
- Easier duplication – Ideal for working with clients.
- Equipment/Materials – Ease of working in an organized, mess-free environment
- Instant Sharability – Because digital art is already stored on a digital device, it is easier for artists to share their work in its highest form either on websites or through social media instantly.
There are some drawbacks also of digital painting. Some argue there will always be more control for an artist holding a physical brush in their hand. Others believe the character that is unique to physically made art is missing from digital painting.
Here are some of the best drawing apps:
- Adobe Illustrator Draw.
- Adobe Photoshop Sketch.
- MediBang Paint.
- Infinite Painter.
- Autodesk SketchBook.
The world of digital art is like a virtual simulation of the real art world. Digital art has changed not just how artists can express their creativity, but also how the audiences experience art. It is ever changing so is still in its nascent stage, but with time it will surely grow and mature into a fully developed art form. The day is not far away when the seemingly unorganized and random digital art world paves a definitive path for itself. The future holds the defining moments for digital art.
Here are a couple of my own explorations with digital art. Still getting a hang of it but I am loving it!!