You could argue for days on this subject and likely reach no satisfying conclusion, but there are some practical considerations to weigh when considering creating digital art over traditional, “analog” art. Here are a few cost and execution pros and cons to keep in mind when you’re starting out.
- Easy error corrections. If you’ve ever worked with paints, inks, or charcoals, then you know it’s actually very easy to just get a slight miscalculation or a push of the hand to completely ruin a piece that you’re working on. In some cases, those mistakes can be fixed with relative easy, but on others, it can be harder, time consuming, and sometimes even impossible to go back once the error’s been made. With digital pieces, you have the value of “Undo.” It’s also very easy to get wrapped up in going back to fix errors on a digital format.
- A wealth of tools, often for free. Although software suites themselves can cost money, many digital painting programs and photograph editing tools come with plenty of add ons that give you a studio’s worth of different mediums to use, such as different brush strokes, angles, and more. On top of that, you also get a nearly endless amount of colors, with no mixing required.
- But at what cost? If this all sounds too good to be true, it often can be; digital art has yet to catch up with traditional, analog art in exactly one arena; depth. You can’t recreate the layers or thickness of paint with digital, and while you can work to draw the thickest, deepest black lines possible, you can’t recreate the exact shines of certain oil techniques, nor the handbrushed lines and “human” qualities of classic art. There are new tools coming out every day to remedy this, but they’re not typically up to the task.
- Many options are available, and all of them require no connection, or power supply of any kind. You can work with acryllics, oils, pastels, or just pencils, and create something incredible wherever you are, on a piece of paper that costs less than a cent. That means that traditional art is always going to be more favorable for those that are inspired right on the spot. With digital art, you need an entire setup to even make basic pieces come together.
- Low costs up front. A nice monitor that can represent all the colors necessary for an artist can run anywhere from $200 to $800 depending on your budget and amount of space. The actual hardware can be from $500 to $1000 and up through the thousands, not including peripheral devices like electronic drawing tablets (which themselves are a must have for artists, and can cost hundreds to thousands as well.) With analog art, you get everything right up front at what it costs, with little investment required.