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Submitted on
May 19, 2009
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Digital vs. Traditional by MidnightTea7 Digital vs. Traditional by MidnightTea7
I've been wanting to draw black and white art for a long time :) If you'd like to see the picture in full scale, by clicking download then I must warn that it's quite big - moire is a nasty side of using halftones andx I didn't want moire on original size of the picture :\

This is my humble and ridiculously simple submission on "Bring Your Vision To Light" contest. It is not the most original, nor most brilliant idea of how to interpret "good vs. evil" theme... but since I didn't want to go entirely stereotypical with so little time I had and because, in my personal view, we people still lack an ability to objectively judge what's what, I've decided to take a bit different path.
Perhaps it's not exactly in tune with contest's idea, but it still vaguely outlines a very old and seemingly never-ending conflict, which also has its share in shaping what people view as good or evil - a conflict between old and new.

Illustrated by a 'conflict' dividing some artistic spheres about what's better or more 'artistic' - traditional art or a digital one?

Personally, I think such debates are futile, at best. No, really. Artists have always embraced new mediums, if they thought that it expresses them the best.

After all - art isn't as much about techniques, as it is about ideas.

It is especially apparent in modern art (well... and Rembrandt or Picasso didn't have computers to experiment with ;)).

Of course, we could endlessly discuss about how digital art is more powerful, with its wonderful keyboard shortcuts or many wicked tools that let us greatly enhance our art. Or how traditional art lets the artist 'feel' mediums they are working with and create one-of-a-kind masterpieces.
But this is actually a technical stuff referring to craftsmanship, rather than art.

A person able to use all possible techniques of painting or sculpting is a craftsman in the first place. A craftsman is not an artist in full meaning of the word without the ideas driving their manual skills. Just because some can copy Michaelangelo doesn't make them Michaelangelos. Although, without a dubt, they should be greatly respected for their talents.

But this picture isn't drawn with discussion about which is better in mind. In fact, the 'battle', here isn't a battle to the death or to achieve victory by one side - it is a creative battle that brings new and exciting things on the verge of both worlds.
The battle of ideas lying in mediums themselves, that emerge or could emerge if not ignoring the potential of both.

Anyway - the division between Digital and Traditional is quite artificial, since the contrast is, well… extreme. Also – Traditional side is in black, but not to imply that it’s sort of evil.
This is something I’ve drawn from myths, where primordial deities were often associated with powers that had to be defeated by younger generation of gods or heroes. This is the old and new that I've been talking about in the beginning – a natural state, where old perishes and young stays in the spotlight, to grow old and perish one day, just like human generations.
Digital art is and will be growing more and more popular, because of it's flexibility and applicability, but it won't stay in this shape forever.

Both digital and traditional techniques are evolving constantly and for me this is something optimistic. Perhaps, someday, we will have special new paints or resins for traditional art (btw. the paints of today don't remind anything of the paints of old masters). Or new materials for sculptures or architecture. And perhaps a digital art will be completely different after a decade or so, when there will be interactive holographers or very special screens, that will react on even the most subtle touch or movement. Or it will imitate the texture of real canvas or paper. Or printers that print pictures or sculpt in full 3D (we do have such printers today, actually).
I think this is fantastic and perhaps, one day, both mediums would blend together beyond what we think is possible - also, I don't think any technique of traditional art is endangered by new inventions. It won't perish.
It might be less common even than today though, as traditional mediums are usually not only a bit more demanding in use, but also can be a lot more expensive - and I don't just mean the cost of materials. It's quite difficult to paint with oils or print serigraphy or lithography on our desks or carpets, which is one of main reasons why user-friendly computer graphics or digital photos made such incredible career. It's simply natural.

But damned shall be those, who think that the computer would create something for them. This is not the way it works. In fact, such thinking is evil.

Painter X & Photoshop CS3 + Wacom Intuos 3
Poser reference
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juriTanaka Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I can has tablet? +plz Digital:
Turquoise Bullet - F2U! You don't make mess in your workspace
Turquoise Bullet - F2U! You have the CTRL+Z if you make a mistake
Turquoise Bullet - F2U! Unlimited sources
Turquoise Bullet - F2U! you needn't a scanner to put you work in internet
Turquoise Bullet - F2U! is better to make collabs with someone that lives far from you
Turquoise Bullet - F2U! is easier to make some effects if you uses a good software
Turquoise Bullet - F2U! You can make art in your smartphone too

:pencillove: Traditional:
Light Purple Bullet - F2U! You don't need expensive tools to work
Light Purple Bullet - F2U! The risks of loose your work are smaller
Light Purple Bullet - F2U! you can use strange tools like coffee as watercolor ink
Light Purple Bullet - F2U! You can touch the art. Your "emotional relationship" with the work is too bigger
Light Purple Bullet - F2U! If someone steal at internet you have the original work in your house and proof that it's yours
Light Purple Bullet - F2U! The especial effects depends only of your talent and creativity, not magical softwares.
Light Purple Bullet - F2U! you can make art everywhere and everytime with simple tools.
Light Purple Bullet - F2U! Traditional art is a nice gift for a friend

I honestly prefer to do the traditional art. But 90% of deviants (I think) prefer digital art
MidnightTea7 Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2014  Professional General Artist
I agree with you an most part :) 

However.... when it comes to some points on traditional list, there are  things that are somewhat debatable. And please don't take it as I'm a traditional art enemy - I'm not. I love it just as any other medium. Still, since I had an extensive experience with both, let me add my 2 cents here :)

"You don't need expensive tools to work"

It depends what you're working with and how often. When I was a student in Art Academy, most of my money was spent on art supplies - and not only I had a discount as an art student, I stuck mostly to low-to-mid range paints and did a lot of painting surface recycling. Still, a trip to art supplies shop oftentimes left me broke. And prices get much steeper when somebody wants to stick to premium supplies that last longer or give better results.

I was also a student of serigraphy, however - apart from some basics - I can't practice it any longer, because it would require me to set up a very expensive workshop. In fact, it's so expensive, that apart from Art Academy, there's no traditional printmaking workshop I know of anywhere that would let me get back to do prints :(

So yeah... not really that inexpensive. In fact, I'd say that the introduction of digital mediums is probably what led to the implosion of talent we see today - because digital mediums are simply much cheaper than the traditional ones. 
I can create hundreds upon hundreds of paintings or practice drawing for hours while using only one working tablet, decent computer and software. Paints, pencils or rolls of paper just can't offer such efficiency.

"The risks of loose your work are smaller"

I've nearly lost all my digital artworks some time ago, but considering that I have multiple copies of them on multiple disks I'd say that they're quite safe as long as technology's running... And there's only one original of traditional artwork and as we know accidents can happen easily - from burning to spilling some substance on it. The world has lost many works of art because of their fragility.

You can touch the art. Your "emotional relationship" with the work is too bigger"

I don't think it's an issue, really :) Art is not only paintings or sculptures, but things were never able to touch anyway - like movies or music, yet it still makes people make emotional connections with them. Besides, with the introduction of 3d printing and electronic surfaces that can be manipulated, I think we'll soon be getting a feeling of texture on digital devices.

If someone steal at internet you have the original work in your house and proof that it's yours"

What if you sold your artwork? Or given it to somebody? Or it got accidentally destroyed?

"The especial effects depends only of your talent and creativity, not magical softwares."

There's no magical software :) People still have to have the talent to use the medium, either traditional or digital.

However... there's a whole slew of "magical effects" in traditional artwork that can and are used - in fact, some were used for centuries :) You can still trace, you can use a special grid that makes placing objects on canvas quite easy, you can use special paints or brushes or pre-fabricated shapes or glue in whole photographs and paint over them... It's really a matter of how those effects are used, rather than that they exist.

"you can make art everywhere and everytime with simple tools."

That is true, but with the introduction of portable tablets and smartphones with decent cameras, same can be told about digital art today.

"Traditional art is a nice gift for a friend"

So are digital artworks :) Especially now, that I can print it on almost anything - from mug to canvas, with many nifty special effects to be added in printing houses utilizing modern digital printmaking techniques, making the gift no less unique than a traditional drawing. It's a matter of creativity in both :)
juriTanaka Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, here in Brazil digital stuff are very expensive, is very rare for me make digital artwork since I haven't a tablet and draw with mouse is very hard. And I just lost a digital artwork with a dA muro error. My PC is a lame (windows 7) and have a lot of errors. The technology is getting advanced with the portable stuffs but if the battery finish? You can loose all the work or pause it when you are still inspired. The software helps to make some things like patterns, you have special brushes. Print digital art in a mug, canvas or similar things are expensive here in Brazil.
MidnightTea7 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014  Professional General Artist
I don't live in Brazil, but I live in Poland, where many digital options are much more expensive than. e.g. in USA or western Europe - and while it may be that in Poland digital art-making is cheaper than in Brazil, I'll still claim that generally speaking (on global, not local scale) digital art eventually comes cheaper.

The technology is getting advanced with the portable stuffs but if the battery finish?

What if you spill the coffee on a pencil drawing? What if a soft pencil or coal stick smears all over the place, as it usually does? What if the paper wrinkles after using inks or watercolors?

I can't count how many drawings I've lost to liquids, smears, crumpled paper or else - and usually even special sprays don't help much to keep e.g. thick pencil layers or pastels in place - it's especially notable during transportation; the bigger the work the bigger the problem. 
In conclusion: accidents happen, be it when making traditional or digital art. 

However, usually majority of decent digital art making programs have auto-save function just for such occasion - though it's good to make a good habit of saving often; it definitely saved my work more than a few times and I have many stages of painting progress saved to be either used later in timelapses or as proofs of my authorship.

"The software helps to make some things like patterns, you have special brushes."-

Digital brushes or effects don't help a person paint better or do the work for an artist. They may make things easier, but people still have to know how to use them. I think deviantArt greatly exemplifies that - people can usually tell who's good at drawing and who's not, no matter how awesome digital software they may own.

Also - as I mentioned before: it's not like traditional drawing or painting doesn't come with a set of pre-made effects or whatnot: textures, patterns or effects can be either bought or created from many things - from pieces of cloth, printed paper, beads to old toothbrushes or stamps. It's really a matter of a person's creativity, be it in traditional or digital art-making :)
manalangmitra Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
jarzseald Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2013
Manga319 Featured By Owner May 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This is really good I love it!
jearu12 Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
wow! incredible!
i just wonder, wat medium did u used on the traditioanal?
MidnightTea7 Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013  Professional General Artist
It's all digital ;)
BurningwoodM Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
LOL, I had mine marry each other :P
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