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  1. #1

    What's Your Opinion--Digital Art or Traditional?

    Heyo!

    I'm a longtime fan of fantasy art. My favorites include Frank Frazetta, Michael Whelan, Boris Vallejo, Dean Morrissey, Brom, Barry Windsor-Smith---the list goes on and on. Several years ago I discovered art produced by computer programs and became fascinated by the look of the work. I started doing digital art myself--I've posted an image in the art gallery that some of you have taken the time to view (more than I expected)! Thank you for that.

    I'm wondering if people have a preference these days. Do you all prefer the look of traditional art produced with traditional media, or are you open to the computer generated art? I'm really curious about this. For those of you who are interested in seeing a digitally created piece of art, pop over to the art gallery. The image is called Lady Of Ravens. Then head back over here and let your opinion be heard.

    Will digital art ever replace traditional art? Do you want to see more digital art on fantasy book covers? Or is there something about the genre that demands traditional art produced by hand?

    Let's talk about it!

    Best,

    Mark-Wayne Harris AKA CatJack

  2. #2
    Seven Mary Four Glelas's Avatar
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    Been leaning toward Digital Art lately.
    Nice job on Lady of the Ravens. What software do you use? I have been meaning to dabble in Digital Art whenever time permits but time never permits.

  3. #3
    Thanks for giving your opinion and taking a peek at the art, Meriadoc. I used Poser 4 for the figures and Bryce 5 for the environment. Which programs were you interested in to get your dabbling started? Have you ever visited the art forum at www.renderosity.com? I have a lot of images posted there under the name JackStr8 and they have a LOT of fantastic digital artists posting there. Check it out when you get a chance.

  4. #4
    Guarded by the Moon Moderator Lani's Avatar
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    I've moved this thread to the Art section of the site, so everyone interested can reply there.

  5. #5
    Kiss my axe! kahnovitch's Avatar
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    I like digital art a lot and a friend of mine who dabbles in it, amazes me with what he can produce.
    I can't draw/paint etc for toffee so digital art might be a way for less maually dexterous people (like me) to actually create something.

    BTW I like your "Lady of the Ravens" but where does she keep her sword?

    Did you sketch it out roughly first on paper, or just create it straight from your mind's eye?
    Also I'd love to know what software you use.

  6. #6
    Artist Steph19041961's Avatar
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    CatJack said: "I'm wondering if people have a preference these days. Do you all prefer the look of traditional art produced with traditional media, or are you open to the computer-generated art?"

    I would have to say, it depends on what I want the art for. If I am looking for a cover piece for Neo-opsis magazine, digital art is wonderful. For one think the work is already a computer file, so putting it into the layout and getting it printed is relatively simple. With a hand done painting there is the texture of the paint and the canvas, or paper, to worry about. The work must be photographed or scanned, and often colour corrected. When photographing an acrylic or oil painting, some times you have to use a polarized lens to reduce the glare off the paint, and there again you have to worry about getting the colours correct.

    When looking for art to put on my walls at home, I prefer an original painting, something where you can see and even feel the brushstrokes. I don't want a copy on my wall, because copies seem flatter somehow, and digital art has that copy quality to it.

    On a calendar, on a book, on my computer's desktop, in a movie, even on the walls of a gallery, I see nothing wrong with digital art. I like it, but when it comes to having a painting on my wall I want something that seems more solid.

    I can understand why many people think that digital art is easier to do than painting by hand. When you are painting by hand, and you make a mistake, you can't hit "Undo", whereas with digital art, if you have been saving all the way along, it is easier to go back a few steps and start again. You can remove that mistake with digital art, but being able to hit "Undo" isn't necessarily help. It can mean that the artist works and works on the same piece of art trying to make it perfect, and never quite gets there.

    Digital art can be as difficult as painting by hand, and it often doesn't get the consideration that other media get. Some people consider it cheating, but then some people think that using an airbrush is cheating. There will always be those people who will put down what is new or different, but I hope there will always be new ways to express art. When we stop trying to express ourselves within the inventions of our ingenuity, then we will be a dead people.

  7. #7
    Registered User Skylynx's Avatar
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    The digital art challenge

    As a professional artist, I do both, also. Most artists getting into digital are find it difficult to render texture. Colors are filled into areas as just a color, making the object look flat and unreal. Traditional painting allows you to place pinpoint variations of colors together side by side, which gives an overall effect of realism and play of light on a surface such as human skin or a tree trunk, or animal hide. Digital allows that, too, but you have to know how. If I want to render a red dragon in digital, I choose the tiny circle tool and choose about three or four shades of red, then do a kind of pointilism all over the surface area. This takes a lot of time but makes a huge difference. It's a lot faster if you have a pad and stylus instead of the mouse. When looking at other's art, which I love to do, I skim by a hundred pieces of digital art on web pages and do a screeching halt when I see the rare one that shows mastery of the textured effect.

  8. #8
    enslaved to my writing Abby's Avatar
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    Hey there. I'm a professional artist in both the traditional and digital fields, and having worked in both, my opinion is that they both have pros and cons.

    Quote Originally Posted by CatJack
    Several years ago I discovered art produced by computer programs and became fascinated by the look of the work.
    I understand that you probably didn't mean that the computer produced the artwork by itself, but this is a common misconception. People seem to think that all a computer artist does is press a few buttons, type a few commands, and voila! They have a finished masterpiece! Or a finished videogame, or a Flash film, or whatnot. But the computer is just a tool, and has nothing to do with the creative process or the vision. Unless you're manipulating pre-existing images (photos or someone else's art), the vision comes entirely from you.

    I think the best use of the computer is for digital painting. I know that Joel Payne (http://www.gicleeart.com/spotlight.htm#jpayne) and lots of other artists will use Illustrator or some other program to sketch and/or color a drawing. It's no different than using a canvas and paintbrush. The end result is difficult to tell apart from a "real" painting. Just like with traditional drawing, this takes a LOT of skill, talent, and practice to be able to master.

    Flash artwork and animations can also be difficult--even impossible--to tell apart from traditional 2D cartoons. Again, there is a traditionally trained artist behind these computer creations, if they look any good.

    3D art has its own look. I don't particularly like or dislike it, but I think it's strong for certain things (robots, urban landscapes, accurate lighting and evocative mood), and weak with other things (people, furry animals, naturalistic landscapes).
    Last edited by Abby; October 16th, 2004 at 05:35 PM.

  9. #9
    I didn't do it! Fantasyeatergal's Avatar
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    As a viewer I apreciate all possible medias. However, when it comes to do the work myself, I have a clear preference toward traditional ways. I love my brushes and pencils! And I love the textures of papers and canvas. (yes, I'm as romantic as I sound!)

  10. #10
    Anime nutjob Zentron's Avatar
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    As someone who uses both traditional and digital media, if I want something done quick, I'll choose digital, but if I want something that looks crisp and professional, I'll go for traditional!

  11. #11
    Registered User Richard H. Fay's Avatar
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    When it comes to art that I produce, I am rather old fashioned. I certainly hope digital art doesn't completely replace more traditional art, because pen and ink is my media of choice. The most I use a computer for is to colour in my drawings.

    There are some pieces of digital art that are quite nicely done, but I still prefer the look of art created by more traditional means. For me personally, much of the art created digitally has too much of a "video game" look to it. There'sa something "unreal" about it.

  12. #12
    Sci-Fi/Fantasy Artist Moderator Ariana's Avatar
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    I do digital art and traditional, like all of them pretty equally! I started 3D because of the same reason I started photography, I get more instant gratification, well I used to! LOL! Once you start doing 3D seriously, it can take as long to set up a scene, and create lights, backgrounds and moods as a traditional work takes. Too many people think CG is push a button and instant art! Not even close. In some ways 3D is more frustrating to do then an acrylic painting or drawing. You know what you want to do, and sometimes your computer has a fit, the model just won't co-operate, or some other weird thing occurs.

    BTW, I have a signed LE #13 of "Elric, the Demon Slayer" from Michael Whelan! And I know Frank (*Frazetta, if ya didn't know) and Ellie both personally! Frank is a God of Fantasy art. None better IMVHO. I tried to buy Egyptian Queen signed LE, but didn't have 3 grand at the moment Ellie would part with it.

    I use Poser 6 & 7, Vue6, Bryce 5 & 6.1, Carrara, PS, PSP, 3DSMax. I started about 3 years ago. My advice if you want to do 3D?! Try to study a bit of photography. Perspective and camera settings and angle, plus a good knowledge of how a camera "sees" lighting is so very helpful when you start to create your renders. A little bit of anatomy knowledge for the figures helps too. Body only moves and bends certain directions before it just looks wrong. Last tip...invest in a very good texture! One excellent texture can be a boon to character's appearance. You can add make-up and scars and such in PS or other photo editing program in post work.

    Hope some of this helps a little.

    Hugs
    Ariana
    Last edited by Ariana; June 6th, 2008 at 04:13 PM.

  13. #13
    Registered User Phyllis's Avatar
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    I've often thought about this question (as I love art and constantly review artbooks from both mediums).

    Personally, I prefer traditional art because I feel it has more talent involved, where as digital art has more about knowledge of how to manipulate an image and hard work. I would love to look at something someone has done directly with there hands (like a drawing with lead or an oil painting), rather than something through a computer.

    However, there are places digital art can go that traditional can't (such as image manipulation). I think digital artists should focus on this strong point, rather than trying to 'paint a picture' so to speak, on a computer.

    I have read some of the beforementioned comments about misconceptions about digital art being all about a few clicks and BAM, done! I'm aware, but I still think it doesn't compete with the raw, primal talent someone has that uses their hands.

    I think one of the biggest cop outs are people who can't draw, paint or sculpt but cheat by using a computer. These remind me of 'abstract' artists who can't even draw a pot realistically, so then do abstract to cover up.

    *hides head under blanket and waits for flaming*

  14. #14
    Sci-Fi/Fantasy Artist Moderator Ariana's Avatar
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    Hi Phyllis,

    First the flam.... Shame! Any art, created in any medium, form or context is a gift and should be both respected and reguarded with a certain sense of awe.

    When anyone learns any medium, there will be people who attempt to critique it. But to call CG cheating... hmmmm, obviously you do not understand or have never tried to tackle the medium on your own. As in drawing a sketch (*which most all artists do before attempting to paint a serious endeavor), the concept comes from your brain! It is just as involved to compose the scene in your mind, and transfer it to the program, as to do the same and transpose that to a canvas or paper!!!

    You first have to position and pose your character(s) as you envision the scene, then you have to create thier expressions...different from the base posing, then you have to select and conform, pose and articulate the hair to fit the scene and the surroundings/ Next you have to get the right camera angle, the correct lights, and also the best perspective for the scene to be able to tell the story. NONE of these things happen by accident or with a click of the mouse. Often it is necessary to complete your work in a Post-work medium like photoshop to correct things a computer just cannot accomplish. AND photoshop is an artform of it's own! It is not as easy as one would think to create, edit and utilize it.

    Lastly, I have an art degree in acrylic/oil painting, life drawing and pen & ink (*bamboo quill). When I went for my minor in photography, I heard much the same as you are saying about CG. Some of the most moving and beautiful art is done with a camera... many consider that not to be "Real" art! But the fact remains, art is a gift to everyone, and those who do so digitally are no different then any other artist, in any other medium. If your work can move one person to feel something... you are a sucess. Many of the people who are considered to be industry giants and I personally thought painted thier work, use digital enhancement or complete digital compositions. Some are so good you cannot tell the difference.

    The only way it is possible to "Cheat" at art is to steal anothers work and claim it as your own. So if someone creates art, in any form... you must appreciate all forms of art as what they are... beautiful and a splendid gifts to all.

    Hugs
    Ariana
    Last edited by Ariana; August 29th, 2008 at 03:07 AM.

  15. #15
    Registered User Phyllis's Avatar
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    You first have to position and pose your character(s) as you envision the scene, then you have to create thier expressions...different from the base posing, then you have to select and conform, pose and articulate the hair to fit the scene and the surroundings/ Next you have to get the right camera angle, the correct lights, and also the best perspective for the scene to be able to tell the story
    But from my point of view, someone who is a traditional artist does this also - but then goes on to complete it with their actual hands.

    I think that you have some good ideas for your point of view. But its quite simple, I don't subscribe to the following belief:

    So if someone creates art, in any form... you must appreciate all forms of art as what they are... beautiful and a splendid gifts to all.
    I'm quite harsh and critical when it comes to art. I don't believe that the majority of its good. I love art, but i find a lot of it pretentious.

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