Exploring Digital Art
Having explored a lot about digital art I have found some interesting points about it. The first point is the community that has been created from digital art. Subreddits such as digital painting, allows users to post their works and get critics about it. I believe that critics are very important because it allows yourself to improve on your work. Sometimes when you keep looking at your own work you don’t see the mistakes you have done, so another pair of eyes are good to re-evaluate it.
Another amazing development due to the presence of digital art is the amount of tutorial videos available on YouTube. There are millions of videos that not only teaches you on how to draw but teaches you on colour theory, brush making, different kinds of drawing functions and much more. The community of digital artist continues to expand because the community itself is teaching other on how to use the technology we have available to us.
Draw A Box is another subreddit that I believe is very useful in learning how to draw. Similar to digital drawing but what makes this page special is that they give a step by step process on how to draw. They have a theoretical part which explains what they should do and then an exercise part for them to practice it. Not only that but they also prove samples on what the exercise should look like. Once a person has completed their work they can post it on the subreddit and get feedback on their work. It’s just like a classroom only there are not classrooms and the teachers are other students.
Is Digital Art “Real” Art
After going through the history of art I realise that digital art was not in it. I believe that some digital arts are worthy to be in galleries as they look beautiful and have lots of techniques and skill behind it. Recently I went down to the contemporary museum in Sydney and this was one of the works been displayed at the gallery. This made me question why this artwork was here and why something done on a digital platform wasn’t.
I believe there are three reasons why people do not believe that digital art is “real” art. This first point is because of the stigma people have on digital art. People believe that drawing on a computer is way easier and comes naturally. Drawing on a digital level does not instantly make your artwork amazing. There are some functions that allow you to correct your artwork but it still takes a lot of skills and techniques to do so (Zagrobelna, 2014). Digital art is using technology to help create your artwork on a digital level (Digital Reach, n.d.). If you are not good at drawing and try to draw on a tablet your artwork will still be the same. The tools used to create art does not define the artwork itself. It is the artist themselves that uses these tools to create their art.
The second reason is because anyone can own the digital art. The artist can sell multiple copies of their work to different people. Compare to an artwork done in an analog way. There is only one copy of it, people can try and replicate it but there is still only one of its kind making it unique. Because multiple people can have a digital artwork it loses its uniqueness. Finally, the last reason why it’s not considered real art is due to the art industry itself. Art is a business of its own and according to the global art market report. It has achieved total sales of $63.8 billion in 2015 (Kinsella, 2016). This shows how much money is invested into art. If we are to acknowledge digital art as real art it would change the entire art industry itself. Jobs may be lost and people would spend less on material like paint and brushes affecting the art industry dramatically. Because of these reasons, it may take a lot more time before people can accept it as real art.
My Art Journey
Improvements have been made. Practice is key, just like FEFO, Fail Early Fail Often. My drawing and colouring have improved over the few weeks but I have still a lot to go. I have been watching different YouTube videos and spoken to friends about my work. Some of them offers amazing tips and other skills I learn from watching other artists draw on YouTube. So for today, I would be showing you where I have come so far in my progress. Today I would be drawing Lucario from pokemon, so I get my necessary reference.
As always I start out with the fundamental shape of how it looks (this is a layer by itself). Once that is done I began adding more detail to the sketch. Once I was done I began adjusting the shape of Lucario with a new function I had discovered called liquify. Basically, what this does is that it turns your drawing to a water like state where you can push and pull the pixels in any way you like (Phlearn, n.d.). Once I was happy with my work I created another layer and began adding smoother lines. It’s good to have your reference close at hand so you can look back at it and see if you are following it. You can also use the reference to see the colours they used and use if for your own work.
The next technique I had learn was a function that allowed me to paint only the parts in the line. You would need to go to your paint bucket tool and uncheck the contiguous and all layer box. What this does is that it allows the whole canvas to be filled with the colour (lines will not stop it from filling). This is a going to be your colouring layer. Once that is done move your drawing layer on top of the colour. The final step is to take the magic eraser (right click on the eraser and you will see it) and erase the background.
What should happen is that the background colour will disappear but everything that was outline the colour will stay. It should look something like this. An issue I experienced while doing this was the fact that my lines were not connected properly and because of that some of the colours disappeared when I used the magic eraser. MAKE SURE YOU LINES ARE CONNECTED!
Once it’s coloured in don’t forget to lock your colour layer. What this does is that it only allows you to colour whatever is in the layer and nothing will splash out of it. Now it’s time to add more colour to drawing. Normally each part of the body would have 3 to 4 shades of the same colour. You can add a brighter colour if you are considering light in your work. Use the blending brush as it will help blend your work nicely. Always sample (this means to take the eyedropper sample the shade of that spot and blend it again. Do this for both the dark and lighter side) the colours around the blended area so it blends nicely. Shadows are important as well so if your light source is only on one side remember to make the other side slightly darker.
The eye is a small part to colour in. What I did was use the magnetic lasso tool and only select the eye. Since you had already locked your layer at the beginning, only the area you have selected will only be able to be coloured (so no worries of it getting colours outside of the line). After finishing most of the work I create another layer and add a bright yellow colour along Lucarios body. This is showing the light hitting directly on the body. Once the layer has been added change the opacity making it more transparent. After that erase parts of yellow to match the shape and shadows of Lucario. The final touch I added some rim lighting on Lucarios body. Some white around the edge of his eye and a light-yellow tone around his body.
As a conclusion, I believe I am improving in my work. Being able to learn from YouTube videos and experimenting it on my own has pushed me to my current skill level. One of the few feedbacks I have is to properly plan my work which also includes the background of my art. I should also branch out and experiment with more than just pokemon. Maybe some landscape drawings will be my next challenge and adding in more realistic things like animals.
Digital Reach. (n.d.). What is Digital Art?. [online] Available at: http://www.andrewreach.com/?page_id=137 [Accessed 28 Apr. 2017].
Phlearn. (n.d.). How to Use the Liquify Tool in Photoshop. [online] Available at: https://phlearn.com/phan-week-use-liquify-tool-photoshop [Accessed 28 Apr. 2017].
Kinsella, E. (2016). TEFAF 2016 Art market report-artnet News. [online] artnet News. Available at: https://news.artnet.com/market/tefaf-2016-art-market-report-443615 [Accessed 28 Apr. 2017].
reddit. (n.d.). Art Fundamentals: Learning to Draw from the Ground Up • r/ArtFundamentals. [online] Available at: https://www.reddit.com/r/ArtFundamentals/ [Accessed 23 Apr. 2017].
reddit. (n.d.). Digital Painting • r/DigitalPainting. [online] Available at: https://www.reddit.com/r/DigitalPainting/ [Accessed 23 Apr. 2017].
YouTube. (2015). Digital Painting Basic Tips & Tutorial | StevRayBro. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyticPBLixM&t=204s [Accessed 17 Apr. 2017].
Zagrobelna, M. (2014). Is Digital Art “Real” Art? Facts and Myths About Digital Creating. [online] Design & Illustration Envato Tuts+. Available at: https://design.tutsplus.com/articles/is-digital-art-real-art-facts-and-myths-about-digital-creating–cms-22010 [Accessed 28 Apr. 2017].