Painting pixels

Traditional art is on par with digital art


Art comes in many styles, sizes and costs, but one of the most controversial topics in the art community is whether digital and traditional art is better than the other. I’m an artist and have been for years now, and I believe I can throw out some input, having dabbled in both of these different ways of communicating creatively.
I think that, although traditional is my favorite, both are acceptable and amazing forms of art and are unique in their own ways.
Art in general is difficult to learn and master. I’ve been drawing traditionally with pencil on paper since I was in third grade, and I know I’m not even halfway towards mastering it. I’ve found a style, a coloring technique and ways to come up with my own designs that have come through years of trial and error.
Traditional art is difficult. Artists can’t just draw a picture-perfect straight line without a ruler like with digital art. However, traditional feels more pure, more original. It has a burning feel of nostalgia, for me at least. It’s easily erasable and artists don’t have to worry about having the wrong brushes because they’re working with stuff they’ve been working with. There’s so many different kinds of markers, charcoal, paper, pencils. The possibilities are endless.
On the other side of the spectrum, I’ve only been drawing digitally for about a year and a half. Digital art is beautiful. Artists can create glows of neon or the tiniest details that people couldn’t even imagine putting on paper. It usually turns out smooth and well lit. Plus, aspiring artists can get programs for free. Brushes in programs come in all different forms, and sometimes people can even make their own. One aspect of digital art is drawing on different layers. Layers are a godsend, and I personally use them in every digital piece I do. Traditional drawing may be, well, traditional, but digital artistry is messing with a whole new environment.
However, digital drawing has some downsides. There’s nothing more painful to me than sketching out a design and then doing the line art, only to find out I accidentally did them on the same layer. In fact, I did that the other night and almost cried. It’s an awful experience and has cost me many artworks that I ended up trashing.
Digital art is also a risky business. If a drawing isn’t saved and the computer resets or shuts down, it’s gone, possibly forever. It’s happened to me and it sucks. Some programs autosave. FireAlpaca, the one I use, autosaves any drawings.
While digital art may be easier, it’s nothing like the feeling of a pencil on paper and the sound of sketching a real drawing. The feeling of nostalgia from drawing on paper is a beautiful feeling to bask in. It feels like how it was when I started back in third grade: magical. It’s my passion, and digital art has never owned up to that same feeling. Traditional art just has that spark an artist can’t get from drawing on a computer. Even though digital art has its benefits, traditional drawings will always have a special place in my heart.