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Thread: Traditional artist meets digital. Uh-oh.

  1. #1

    Red face Traditional artist meets digital. Uh-oh.

    Ugh. Well, I've finally decided to conquer my arch art enemy: digital art.

    I'm a huge huge traditional artist, and though I am far from perfect and am just beginning to get into it seriously I am more than capable of working my way around most any traditional media.

    Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I'm considering taking up art as a profession after college, and I know that in the field I'm interested in (scientific illustration), there is a growing demand for digital art. I feel I'd be best served to start learning digital art so that I can accomplish either side, plus I have been wanting to try it out for a while anyway. (No continuing supply costs, having everything already saved and ready on one location? Sounds great to me!) So while I've got the traditional side under control...digital art is another story.

    Digital is very foreign to me, I've dabbled around in ArtRage and with my tablet for ages but have never bothered to actually put true effort into it as I do with my traditional art. I tend to get frustrated with any serious digital art very quickly because I simply can't find a way to make it work for me! I realize that's lack of experience, but I haven't quite found my footing yet. So for now, I'm just looking for a place to start.

    So tell me, what helped you the most in learning digital art? Did you learn it yourself or consult tutorials and senior users? What's your favorite tool?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Europe
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    Are you French ?

    I would like to see one of your traditional paintings,
    do you have a blog or a place where you show your paintings to give a link to it?
    I say that because I always like to speak on things that I know and less on that I am told second hand.

    But, I still can say few things: there are many traditional artists who are doing digital art, here and there,
    anyway, as in real life there are no unique solutions for one problem but as I know this Forum is a very serious place for learning how to use Art Rage,
    this wouldn't make you an artist or any here, you get to be from the beginning, from yourself,
    I may be wrong but Is the way I think .

    If I understand well you have grate expectations from yourself and you are not very happy with your actual experiments in Art Rage;
    I also understand that you are very young,
    in what I am concerned I think you better try to be patient with your self ,
    take your time and learn if you wish .

    you get to use not one but all the ways that you mentioned to learn, in plus there are some schools specialized but it cost a lot of money to go in.

    Scientific illustration is a very vague expression,
    do you mean that you would like to represent the galaxies and all that stars in the sky ? or any other boring scientific illustration ?
    In both cases , if I where you I would try to look to what was done in the field and why not, contact the authors and ask few questions, I think it wouldn't hurt
    Good work , welcome and I hope to see your work soon.
    "All are about quiet and light." Dany
    Daily Studio Notes , Daniela Ionesco-Fine Art

    I accept critics only from friends,
    how about You ?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    India
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    I learned it myself (after my retirement), of course, my son guided me a little bit. Initially I started with Dogwaffle and later on switched to ArtRage and others. The encouragement would work psychologically for better once you start posting in these forums. Wish you good luck.
    The artist is the lover of Nature, therefore he is her slave and her master. - Rabindranth Tagore

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    The best thing that can happen to a digital artist is traditional art.

    No, really. It is far easier to apply what you learn with pencil and paint to stylus and pixels, than the other way.

    Treat digital as another medium with its quirks and advantages. Use the same principles as with traditional media. Composition, perspective, anatomy, lighting and color don't magically change just because it's on computer now.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    14,335
    I started out with a pen a long time ago when they first came out. It was a parker digital pen, really cool-and my kids Disney Magic Art software. I was hooked. I cannot get the strokes that I enjoy with my watercolor brushes or my acrylic and oil's, as far as a double loading and pointed edges yet, but there are so many advantages to digital art. I would suggest playing with each tools and their controls along with the layers and the effects. I think you will enjoy them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Tilburg, The Netherlands (EU)
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    For 36 years I'm a traditional painter until I discovered ArtRage last December. ArtRage is great and offers a lot of opportunities. I try to stick to my traditional way of painting and drawing, even with ArtRage. However there are some features which makes painting much easier and quicker with the same result or even better. The only thing I have to care for is not loosing my imagination and creativity because it's sometimes very seductive to use the handy ArtRage tools which could make me a lazy lousy painter.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    UK
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    I start traditionally many many years ago, no training just trying to relax after family losses. I found it so relaxing. Then life got hectic and getting all those paints etc out I stopped painting. By accident I found Artrage and boy oh boy I have never looked back. I'm completely in addicted to Artrage lol and the best way to get used to it is just to play around with all the tools and have fun.
    Sometimes...I remember better with my eyes closed

    My Gallery
    http://members.artrage.com/vb_users/6307

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by arenhaus View Post
    The best thing that can happen to a digital artist is traditional art.

    No, really. It is far easier to apply what you learn with pencil and paint to stylus and pixels, than the other way.

    Treat digital as another medium with its quirks and advantages. Use the same principles as with traditional media. Composition, perspective, anatomy, lighting and color don't magically change just because it's on computer now.
    ..
    I resonate strongly with arenhaus post. Especially I resonate with the advantages of bringing what you've learned from traditional media about composition, perspective, anatomy, lighting, line, color, forms, etc., to your digital experience. The next step for me was learning that the digital tools ARE NOT natural media. They are tools that have their own properties and as such effect your outcome opportunities.

    In traditional media, oil paint gives you different results than charcoal, no matter how you cut it. Learning the characteristics and possibilities of the tools informs the decisions you'll make that show up in how your paintings look and evolve over time as you master the tools. While ArtRage, for example, is a program that in part mimics real world tools like crayons, ink pens, water color brushes, etc. it is also much more than that.

    So, this is a long-winded way of saying like any tool you'd learn to use and eventually master in traditional media, take the time to learn the characteristics and possibilities of the digital tools you use. For me that line of thinking markedly increased my enthusiasm for a program like ArtRage and took me on many joyous paths of exploration and discovery. I'm a long way from the end of that journey.
    Last edited by byroncallas; 01-26-2010 at 11:16 PM.
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  9. #9
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    While you are still at college, head over to the science department and milk the lecturers for all the information you can about the field.

    Scientific illustration is a very broad field, it can encompass many types of digital illustration, eg/ schematic diagrams, charts and graphs, photocomposites, 3d renderings (scientific illustration for medicine has been erring more and more towards 3d)

    You want to be sure that you have the right toolset.
    "I paint because I love to cut mats" (Arthur Alexander)

  10. #10
    Thank you all for your responses! Sorry that I was delayed in returning here, I was met with a very long week. Bah.

    That aside, I'm glad to hear all of this! The forums look lovely and I have just posted my first WIP thread, looking forward to getting involved.

    A few individual replies...

    Dany; Sorry, I'm American, just an English speaker.

    That makes sense--most of my pieces are at school and will be there for another month or two, I do have colored pieces (colored pencil, charcoal, etc.) involving illustration but if you're looking for painting techniques then I'll try to get some more up soon. Here is one piece from a few months back that I DO have with me, though...
    http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o...y/IMG_8290.jpg (oils, pardon the glare, it's a reasonably basic piece) and I have just posted a WIP of a digital painting here.
    http://www2.ambientdesign.com/forums...ad.php?t=26895

    I do believe I have to start fresh too, digital is an alien feeling compared to traditional so it'll take some getting used to. I've been working on basic drawings, but coloring is still something I've been having difficulty with. I do need to learn to get over my expectations first, I think! I know I have the patience and dedication to go through with it, though, it's just working over this first hill that is giving me trouble.

    I haven't picked a specific field of scientific illustration yet, but I've been looking towards botanical illustration recently. I want to practice everything I can just for experience, but most of my interest is for flowering plants and both the anatomy/skeletons of animals. I am in contact with a few illustrators in those fields and will be taking a class on it this summer, but most of the illustrators who I've come across tend to be traditional artists--it's from the schools and employers that I'm hearing a need for digital.

    Arenhaus and Bryoncallas; Yes, I've slowly come to realize that in making my first stab at serious AR art! I think all of the tool settings are psychologically playing with me a little, but it's comforting to know that my personal toolbox isn't empty. I don't at all expect to learn Rome in a day, but I'll certainly start playing with settings and such soon.

    Juz; Haha, well...not even quite college yet. Perhaps I can milk the art department head or one of the illustrators I've been in contact with. I've been looking into the various sections, seeing which field I prefer (currently plants/animal anatomy), but I know that my heart may drift over to another area before I graduate high school, particularly medical illustration, so I'm hoping to cover a few bases just in case.

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