Robert Genn published an interesting newsletter recently about artists creating art digitally, particularly with programs like Photoshop and Painter. A lot of other artists seemed to find it interesting also, as Robert received more than 700 replies from subscribers.
Robert says “Creative folks of all stripes find the making of digital art to be almost irresistible. Brilliant software–on a constant arc of improvement–permits ever more speedy and imaginative manipulation.” and “While holding out the hand of democratization to all who would participate, like photography itself, it also runs counter to the role of art as commodity–digital is difficult to make rare.”
He has also published some of the responses from artists, with many saying its fine, but just not as good as the real thing, while others found that Photoshop completely changed the way they work. Here’s one example..
“We must realize that when a human being takes a brush and lays paint on a ground, that person joins a 35,000 year old tradition. I am no Luddite, but I know of a time when people thought that photography would spell the end of painting. It didn’t and neither will Photoshop“. The Painter’s Keys
I have used Photoshop quite a bit and feel comfortable using it as a creative tool, but I could never imagine putting away the paintbrushes for a mouse. It’s probably best used as one of several tools, rather thinking that you have to be either a digital artist or an anti technology artist. The two can be used side by side, just as pencils and photographs are used by painters.
Fellow Australian painter and illustrator Leith O’Malley says good things about his Wacom tool that he uses with Photoshop and Painter. Leith recently did a step by step post on his blog, where he goes through the various stages of creating a digital picture. It’s almost like painting, but you don’t have to wait for the paint to dry and you don’t have to wash your hands when you are finished.