Digital Adoption: Technology is Shaping How We Draw and Paint in Today’s World

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By Raja Segaran, An Associate Fellow of MIM, AFMIM 39793 

What? Digital Art?

Are you an art enthusiast, hobbyist or an artist? Do you always dream of having your own art room with a huge space to store all your art tools and materials? What about a storeroom for your completed artworks? Or do you already have your own space but over time it’s getting smaller or cramped? But your passion to work on art is ever increasing.

I have thought about all the above like you and I still think about them. Fortunately, I have stumbled upon an exciting discovery in drawing, doodling and painting – digital art.

Digital Art, the New Form of Art

As we all know, digital and innovation have come a long way on how it impacts our lives in many aspects and art was never excluded in this ever-evolving journey. Hold your thoughts there for a moment. I know you are about to ask me, “Hey Raja, what happens to the usual way of drawing and painting with brushes, colour pencils, pastels and others?”.

Well, honestly, I believe the conventional art will never lose its value irrespective of time and technology advancements. And I am not going to stop drawing, doodling and painting on papers and canvases. I like to get my hands dirty sometimes too. Conventional artworks have a special place in my heart and also the customers who like the real deal.

Digital art is slowly becoming the ‘other’ real deal to give an option to the artists as well as the customers with increased acceptance in this new digital age.

My First Impression? – Oh Wow!

My early experiment on a serious digital artwork was purely accidental a few years ago. I bought a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 with stylus for my personal use for easy reading, note taking and doodling to relax my mind. Since I was at it, as I thought, might as well download a painting app and test my Surface Pen. And I downloaded the Fresh Paint app from the Microsoft store.

I instantaneously fell in love with the first stroke of the digital brush on the digital canvas. It was so real! I could see a permanent scratch mark on my digital canvas which I did with a digital pencil as high pressure was put on it. It was so real that I just could not wrap it around my head.

Oh wow! Yes, that was my first impression.

Why do I find this digital art exciting in the first place? These are my top 3 reasons:

  1.  Realistic – amazing digital drawing and painting applications with realistic texture and material that allows for jaw-dropping composition.
  2. Convenience – I get to draw, doodle and paint anywhere I want. The cushion, the bed or even under a tree in the park.
  3. Clean – saving the environment a little goes a long way. I don’t have to use solvents, dye, markers, paint and papers. And I don’t get my clothes and hands filled with smudge of paints and colours too.

Despite the convenience and cleanliness factors, the amount of work to detail out an artwork remains unchanged to a large extent. The strokes, choice of colours and intensity of focus are almost as challenging as the works we do on conventional art materials.

Exhibit 1 is my digital art piece with digital oil on digital canvas using the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and Fresh Paint app.

Exhibit 2 is the final digital output printed on a high quality canvas.

Exhibit 3 is a conventional artwork that I had worked on a real paper and various graphite pencils.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Digital art will not take over the essence and the value of conventional art, but it will co-exist to give the artists and collectors a new option to explore. Digital keeps raising the bars in almost every aspect of our lives.

Keep exploring. Keep innovating. Keep drawing.


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