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John Keates
01-09-2004, 12:28 AM
Hello. I started off as a traditional painter and only recently got into using a Wacom. At first I was realy wowed by what you can do with it (even though I only have PS 6), but I have started to get back to painting now. I still like cg, there are loads of things that you can do with it that are v.hard/impossible in painting. After all, the computer is a universal turing machine. But there is something about painting that brings me back to it. I boiled it down to the following (roughly).

1. Brushes

Brushes have a magic quality to them. I have built up a large collection and I know how to make the paint and the canvas work for me so I can pull off little tricks without knowing it.

2. The smell and general gumph.

3. The fact that I am making a real object that is there infront of me.

Of these three, only the third seems to matter. I am sure that the computer will catch up with brush controll. I have yet to try painter so maybe it allready has. The smell is just a nostalgic thing for me and doesn't realy figure.

So I am thinking that it must be something to do with the fact that I am making an object. There are several aspects to this.

1. I don't have to be sat at a darn computer with all manner of radiation pummeling my brains.

2. I don't get confused by all the zooming. When I first started painting in a computer, I found myself zooming and zooming in until I was putting huge amounts of effort into what was a tiny region of the image. With a painting, things seem more absolute. A 1mm line is a 1mm line. If you can't go finer than that then what the hey, go onto something else. The marks that you make are real marks in real painting. You know what you are dealing with and the thing won't look different on another persons moniter.

3. Paintings can be HUGE. I did some paintings that were about 4sq metres and it was realy fun. You feel like you are building a real scene.

4. Paintings are unique. They are immutable and what you see is what you get. When you have made one, someone might come allong and say "ohh, thats nice" then you can give it to them or sell it to them and they will put it on their wall and that is kind of nice.

I still love my Wacom and my universal turing machine but is there anyone else out there who shares this feeling that painting will allways be here to stay? Will the advent of cheap electronic papaer that can used as an input and a display change things?

Ariel
01-09-2004, 01:31 AM
I am not a painter....

Having said that, from what l do know about painting I think the biggest and most significant difference is the concept of a palette and how colors mix.

In CG you seem to be "forced" to pick a new color all the time where in oil painting you have some colors mixed which you can always go back to so the paining has a level of cohesiveness that is pretty easy to lose in CG if you're not careful.

That along with surface texture (and I don't mean the fake bump effect that Corel Painter has) I mean the true thickness of paint, transparency and translucency and the fact that paint is wet, are qualities that seem very hard to create in a computer.

Having said that, people who have skill with the traditional tools tend to be able to adjust to a computer pretty easily and still are able to create good work.

Lunatique
01-09-2004, 03:00 AM
It's a matter of give and take. Many traditional artists have transitioned to digital and never looked back. Some do both, depending on the intent and their mood. I myself have gone 100% digital, but I might still paint traditionally just for my own enjoyment. IMHO, the benefits of digital outweighs the cons.

beaker
01-09-2004, 04:00 AM
Alot of commercial painting work all gets scanned into the computer whether its for magazines, posters, etc.... Time is money and frankly doing it in digital is much faster and you can go home earlier at the end of the day.

Ariel
01-09-2004, 06:04 AM
I think there are no absolutes, but generally digital is more convenient for comercially oriented work. Traditional has a different feel and there's something (i don't know what) that makes it better for some people, but like Lunatique has said, many (if not most) traditional painters go digital and never come back.

In the end no one method is better than the other, although I personally tend to favor traditional artists a slight more because they don't have layers and an undo button ;)

John Keates
01-09-2004, 02:46 PM
Originally posted by Ariel

In CG you seem to be "forced" to pick a new color all the time where in oil painting you have some colors mixed which you can always go back to so the paining has a level of cohesiveness that is pretty easy to lose in CG if you're not careful.

I see what you mean but I find that colour is generally MUCH easier to handle in cg. This was one of the first things that struck me. You don't have to worry about how to mix a colour that you have already used, you can just pick it. Also you can paint totaly opaquely in cg so the colour isn't effected by previous layers. This is hard to do with paint. Right now I am doing a painting where I have decided to put a light object infront of some preliminary lines. I am having to put a few layers of white over and each takes a while to dry and effects the way that paint goes on afterwards. I keep looking over to my computer and wishing that I could do a bit there and then transfer back.

On the other hand, I roughed out the composition on a computer before putting it on canvas. This was realy handy as I could try things out on layers etc. But when I looked at the canvas, I saw it differently. It was kind of clearer and more real. I made some changes that I am realy happy with and I don't think I would have thought of on the computer.

Also, I think that there is a psychological effect of knowing that anything that you can do can be undone. When you are painting, you are forced to use your imagination more before committing to paint and I think that this is good. Ofcourse you could try and do that with cg painting but the temptation is to fiddle about "on the page" rather than doing the work in your mind. Apples and oranges I guess.

Originally posted by Ariel

That along with surface texture (and I don't mean the fake bump effect that Corel Painter has) I mean the true thickness of paint, transparency and translucency and the fact that paint is wet, are qualities that seem very hard to create in a computer.


There are some nice things that you can do with paint. Some people stick things on to the canvas or whatever, but we are getting into the realms of artsy-fartsy here. I only realy use translucent paint so that I can get colours that otherwise don't happen in pigment. With a computer you don't have to worry about this as you have nice glowing colours.

Certainly, as some have mentioned, cg comes into its own when doing commercial work and this is why I got into it in the first place. But I can't see myself doing the "fine-art" thing in the computer.

SpeccySteve
01-09-2004, 02:57 PM
With my very limited experience of cg and traditional painting I'd say the thing I like best about the cg is the freedom to experiment and play around.

I found sometimes I'd get a bit nervous nearer the end of a painting, not wanting to completely ruin something that had taken me weeks, I maybe didn't try out things I should have.
Cg on the other hand, you have backups, you have an undo button, you have layers, you can try anything, no matter how weird and know that if you don't like it you can always go right back to where you were originally.

There is something nice about having actually made a physical object though.

2p worth

John Keates
01-09-2004, 06:22 PM
Originally posted by SpeccySteve
With my very limited experience of cg and traditional painting I'd say the thing I like best about the cg is the freedom to experiment and play around.

I found sometimes I'd get a bit nervous nearer the end of a painting, not wanting to completely ruin something that had taken me weeks, I maybe didn't try out things I should have.
Cg on the other hand, you have backups, you have an undo button, you have layers, you can try anything, no matter how weird and know that if you don't like it you can always go right back to where you were originally.


2p worth

I agree. There have been times when I am near the end of a painting that has taken a long time and I wand to put an object into the compostion that will cover some other things that may have taken a long time to paint. Sometimes I will make a piece of paper the right shape maybe with a drawing of the object on it, then I can stick that paper on and move it until it fits. More recently I have started using the computer for this. I take a digital photo of my painting and then fiddle in the computer. This means that I can also get a good idea for the colour and I can choose between several versions. The odd thing though is that when I come to put the thing on canvas, I often look at what I did on the computer and think "Naaa!", then I put down something different. I only do this if I am realy sure. Sometimes I can see what I am about to paind before it goes on. This feels much like when you play pool and can see the line of the ball.

I guess that all the experimentation in the computer helps me to get confident in my final decision as I have thought around the subject so much, but it is only when I am faced with the possibility of erasing a whole load of work do I realy focus and feel what it is that I want to do.

commy
01-09-2004, 06:45 PM
im not a painter in anyway or form but it sound slike you'd be happier with a program like painter which is much more true to real life where you can actualy use water and inks etc and they behave naturaly (u can apply water to your brush and smudge the water colour round etc) just a though anyways :)

Noc
01-09-2004, 07:43 PM
"The odd thing though is that when I come to put the thing on canvas, I often look at what I did on the computer and think "Naaa!", then I put down something different."

This is probably the main reason I enjoy doing projects, just cause you have an idea, but in the end it always turns out different then u first expected.

HorrorShow
01-09-2004, 08:45 PM
I have the same feelings and attitude about traditional artworks.
It's the feeling and presence of something real, hanging on the wall or standing in the corner. But I'm slowly embracing my wacom(now only if they could shrink the prIce on TabletPCs!)
True working digitally allows you like 9000% more freedom(which can be counter productive at times) in being able to pull off amazing works and you only have to find a printer process that will put it onto paper/canvas/walls/wutever.

The hardest(& prolly easiest) thing is the choice of keeping or deleting your work(if you trash a few canvases-people begin to worry about you!)

I spent 4 years looking for a digtal paint bundle that mimics real tools and brushes and doesn't cost an arm or your soul but allows you to maintain the "real" look.

http://www.righthemisphere.com "DeepPaint3D" or "DeepPaint"
http://www.corel.com "PainterClassic" or "Painter 8"
Painter 7/8 have excellent watercolor & oil effects like being able to adjust how much your paint will run(like gravity!) and so on. It's also my preferred program and is far cheaper then the other "guy". Painter 8 also has a palette mixer(YAY!) so you blend 80 million colors together to get the perfect mud colour.

Yes...sometimes i do have a sit down, open up the paintbox and sniff the "non-toxic" paints and my tech pens ohhh the smell of sumi ink.....the smell and dragging "scritch scritch" of 4H Berol on Strathmore 500 Cold Press....mmm....something a computer can't recreate-yet.

umm...so use both and see what you can come up with.

ArtisticVisions
01-10-2004, 11:03 PM
I've really have gotten into working with Painter 8 over the past few months, even though I've never used real paint in my life (before the computer, I primarily used colored pencil and airbursh). For me, it's much easier to use and work with (I tend to be a clean freak :rolleyes:, so I don't always like the messier mediums) and I can experiment over and over to my heart's content without having to start another painting if I screw somthing up.

I've heard some people say that artwork made on the computer is not "true art", but I think those people are really limited in their thinking: these are the same people who believe that films should be made without any CG or special effects at all and made like the movies of the 1930s-1940s, because they would be more "true to life".....
Needless to say, I'm not one of those people.

John Keates
01-11-2004, 12:41 PM
Painter sounds interesting. I think that I can get it for the upgrade price too because I got painter classic with the Wacom.

However, I am not realy interested in making my creations look like paint. I tend to paint in such a way that I get rid of the identity of paint. There arn't any brushmarks on my paintings. I think that the biggest thing that I would get from painter is the ability to customise brushes and the way that they handle the angle of the Wacom (I splashed out on an intuos 2). This would prevent the brush seeming "dead" as it does in photoshop 6.

Does anyone have some good info on what can be done with brushes in painter? Maybe I should go to the painter forum with this one.

Atwooki
01-11-2004, 12:58 PM
I use an 'Intuos 2' for all those 'painterly' and 'inking' effects, also; but I'm really looking forward to getting hold of a decent size 'Cintiq' :)
I believe these tablets will spawn a whole new generation of real-life to CG converts, as the hand-eye coordination control will cross over much more easily.

Atwooki

John Keates
01-11-2004, 02:32 PM
Originally posted by Atwooki
I use an 'Intuos 2' for all those 'painterly' and 'inking' effects, also; but I'm really looking forward to getting hold of a decent size 'Cintiq' :)
I believe these tablets will spawn a whole new generation of real-life to CG converts, as the hand-eye coordination control will cross over much more easily.

Atwooki

Yes, those things are magic. Another nice thing about them (other than the hand/eye thing) is that you can take them away to the garden or whatever. I guess that eventually they won't even need a radio link to a computer as the computer could be in the tablet. You would be able to take the thing wherever you want and sketch away. That would be heaven.

evanfotis
07-07-2005, 06:49 PM
Just to add my two cents in this thread,
we, artists with traditional background are "programmed" through practice to work more efficiently on an actual canvas with real pencils/pens/brushes.

Myself, am far more accurate and faster working on a piece of paper with a pencil when it comes to proportions, faces etc.
Digital for me is good for enhancing the basic idea and "finishing" it, in a way impossible traditionally.
The freedom one has with undos and variations is here to stay.

So the transition to digital is imho all a mater of practice.
But I still do agree with John Keates on the issue concerning the actual or relative sizes in digital work, and the hassle with zooming in-out and spending way too much time "correcting" a useless detail.
Once one can overcome this, usually using large monitors in dual setup, the advantages of working digital as Lunatique mentioned, way outnumber its weaknesses.
And to add on the topic that digital work is not real art...
what to say... It is not the medium that matters but the content. If a painting has no composition, bad colours, wrong proportions or whatever might be used to measure a paintings qualities, it would never become a piece of art whether it has been made on real canvas or not.

danielh68
07-07-2005, 07:38 PM
Personally, I enjoy creating CG artwork because of time-efficiency and the endless freedom to undo and experiment. Plus, my living derives from it.

With that said, I hold tremendous respect for the traditional artist -- more so than the CG artist. Traditional mediums are much more challenging and require a great knowledge to command. And, the end product, I believe, is much more desirable from a pure aesthetic angle. I suppose the idea is very primal in nature, but there just seems to be an added mystique to paintings composed from elements of the earth, as opposed to, pixels. It touches something in our collective unconscious. CG doesn't grab me in that respect. Even when it's printed onto a textured canvas, it's still a poor and contrived facsimile.

It's funny, at my home office, I have traditional oil paintings and cg prints hanging on my wall and whenever company is over, they tend to always gravitate towards the oils. If they happen to greet the CG prints first, I'm usually asked "Did you paint this?" and my response is "Yes, on the computer." For some reason, they seem rather disappointed. I think there's just a natural bias for those outside the CG industry to assume that computer artwork is unreasonably easy to produce. As if the computer does the thinking and creating itself. However, and unfortunately, even upon educating friends and family about the lengthy artistic process involved in CG, they'd still rather have one of my oil paintings.

SpeccySteve
07-07-2005, 10:42 PM
With that said, I hold tremendous respect for the traditional artist -- more so than the CG artist. Traditional mediums are much more challenging and require a great knowledge to command.

I would disagree that traditional media are "more challenging", it's just a different set of challenges.

-Steve

danielh68
07-08-2005, 01:55 AM
I would disagree that traditional media are "more challenging", it's just a different set of challenges.


I respect your opinion. However, on a theoretical level, the challenges are relatively the same. The artist employs the same basic fundamental truths into their work, such as form, line, composition, lighting, color, value, temperature, etc., regardless of the chosen medium. And, if you accept that these truths are universal, then challenges to master them would equally be the same.

Now on a not-so-theoretical level, I find traditional media "more challenging" because it does not include an "undo" button in its tool set. Or, to phrase it better, an instantaneous "undo" button. For instance, if my oils start to muddy, I will have to stop and let it dry for three days before resuming. Or, I may decide to wipe off a small portion of a portrait that I'm not happy with; and, afterwards, decide it was a wrong decision -- I'm screwed!

With traditional art there's so many potential pitfalls. The amount of things that can go wrong with a painting and the ability to correct them in a timely fashion is in direct relation to the amount of "challenge" it garners. An analogy would be telling one guy (traditional artist) to hit a bulls eye with one dart and if he misses, he'll have to come back the next day and try again and again, until he finally hits it; while, the other guy (CG guy) is handed a box of darts and is given endless attempts to hit the mark during all hours of the day. In short, which would be the more challenging task?

Lunatique
07-08-2005, 04:10 AM
I've gone back to traditional painting in the last 6 months or so. Right now, I do both digital and traditional--about 50/50. I keep them seperate (meaning I don't do hybrids of traditional and digital) because the traditional paintings are meant for the galleries--I don't want them to contain any digital elements. I might incorporate traditional elements into my digital work though (for example, traditionally textured surfaces).

From my own experience, traditional is a lot more spontaneous, because of the incredible amount of freedom you have with real brushes and paint and mediums. You can scumble, lay on impasto, paint transparent or opaque, splatter, use firm bristles, use soft sables, use palette knives, use salt, sand, sponges..etc. To do any of those things digitally, you're essentially "mimicing" those effects, but without any of the control and spontaneity of the real thing.

Traditional is definitely harder. Having to deal with the physical property of paint itself is already much harder than digital. Even mixing paint alone requires a vast amount of experience and knowledge. It takes many years of experience to truly master something like oil painting, but with digital, there's no physical paint to master--you just have to know your art theories and foundations, and you can paint whatever you want right away.

For plain image making, digital is a lot faster, easier, and efficient, but you will have to give up spontaneity, complexity, subtlety, scale, legitimacy (in the fine art world)..etc.

I prepare all the preliminary work for my traditional paintings digitally. I do color sketches, experiment with composition, and sometimes I even experiment with how I want to arrange the various types of edges. Then I print out the winning color sketch as a guide.

For now, I use digital for all types of commercial works (illustration, concept art, storyboards..etc), and traditional for all fine art works (oil paintings for galleries).

I used to do portraits and figures in digital, but I've realized that it's pointless to do portraits and figures digitally, because most people don't respect digital portraits and figures. The photo-rapers/smudgers/overpainters ruined it all for us. There will always be suspicion that you cheated. So, I decided to never do another portrait or figure digitally, and will only do them traditonally.

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