Starting February 2014 this blog will be out of action.

But DO NOT DESPAIR. We've just moved, and you can still find the same riveting and informative posts that you have come to expect on our new blog:

Friday, October 03, 2008

ACM #1 Watercolor

Digital Painting offers both versatility and efficiency. The digital tablet allows projects to be finished in a fraction of the time of traditional media. There is no drying. There is no mixing. There is essentially no media preparation, and client corrections are easy to handle. It is one of the best ways to stay competitive in the market. However, the imagery can tend to look plastic, worried, and disposable.
Traditional materials feel more organic. They feel more human. They are, like humans, finite, inefficient and have a tendency to go crazy on you. There is a warmness to them that humans can connect with easier than something digital and synthetic that lives in a world I's and O's.

But more than the organic, authentic 'feel' of traditional painting, there is also the difference in the processes. With traditional painting the shortcomings of the media force the artist to compensate with a more careful, craftsman-like approach.
For instance, in digital painting, you do not have to wait for anything to dry. You simply plow ahead at whatever speed you can move the cursor. Whereas in watercolor, you must wait for layers to dry. You must plan for layers to recede in intensity and depth once they are dry. This demands more contemplation in the piece. You are essentially forced by the medium to contemplate your future brushstrokes, while you wait for the current application to dry.
I have been torn between digital and traditional media for many years. There are effects that I can achieve digitally in moments that I could only otherwise achieve traditionally by spending months on (and having to mix my own colors with egg yolks and toxic chemicals). Yet I love the look of old weathered oil paintings more than anything in the 2d art world.

That being said, I have embarked on a new method. My plan is to paint these pieces in watercolor. I take them as far as I can towards a finished piece in the amount of time I have. Then I transfer them to the computer, and polish them using CS3 and Corel Painter (after which I print them on canvas and then varnish them). I hope this allows me to use the strengths of both traditional and digital media.


  1. I totally agree! I think your new process by mixing the old with the new is the way to go. I recently did a small spot illo combining inkwash with photoshop and the effect was nice.

  2. i love this!

    great work and feeling..