Discussion in 'January And Everything After' started by Raife, Apr 17, 2012.
You can get a decent one for about $100.
Yeah, I looked them up earlier. That's the issue - I just dropped over a grand on a new PC, peripherals, desk chair, etc. While $100 isn't unaffordable, it's a lot to throw into a device that I might not use for a hobby that I haven't pursued in 10-15 years.
Yep, traditional route is what I'm doing too because more control that way and also as I'm still learning the basics anything further is a bit beyond me. Edit: Huh, didn't I say this before? Ah well, bears repeating. I must master form and function first!
Apparently monoprice.com was selling some $60 tablets that were surprisingly high quality.
A review by an artist (that used to be a regular Planetcrapper): http://frenden.com/the-little-monoprice-graphics-tablet-that-could/
They've actually gotten cheaper.
I have a wacom tablet that I've been using since college. I never use it for anything but photo restoration, though. You really should just use paper and [stick of your choice that makes marks on paper]. You'll learn more that way, and cheat less.
I think one should use whatever they are most comfortable with. :)
That's a strange notion. Digital painting isn't cheating. You can paint over oil or acrylic on canvas, in fact you pretty much have to, it's just a matter of waiting for it to dry.
Canvas painting does, however, bring a sensitivity of texture to brush strokes and that can incorporate a sense of the artist's expression when seen in the right light. I used to have little appreciation of Jackson Pollock's work until I saw one in person and really got the sense of how he worked with paint.
That being said, digital painting's worst crime is that a sloppy artist can try to get away with not knowing proper shading and lighting techniques by drowning themselves in soft brushes, like this:
When an artist pays attention to texture aesthetically, you can still get digital greatness:
Mixing colors on canvas is quite different than doing it in photoshop, but I'm not down on digital media. It's not my thing, but a lot of things aren't. What I mean by "cheating" is being able to manipulate an image in all the ways that an image manipulation program allows. Sure, a good artist can use digital tools to produce good work. In terms of somebody learning to draw, in my own experience and in teaching others, all of that flexibility is more of a crutch than anything. More than learning and improving on fundamentals of composition and technique, developing your own style, etc., you learn shortcuts and ways to fudge things and fix mistakes. With a piece of paper and a pencil, you just get better and drawing.
Hey, feel free to disagree. Again, I'm just telling you what I've learned in my own experience. I think being able to sketch on paper should be a basic skill that every artist has, no matter what their medium of choice for final works. Plus, if you can draw on paper you can draw anywhere, including on napkins at restaurants when you're bored.
Yeah I understand the argument. I don't so much disagree that basic concepts are better learned on paper, I just didn't like the word choice of "cheating." Crutch, however, is fair game.
I honestly can not think of how making art digitally can be used as a crutch.
I mean, I made the fatal "DODGE 'N BURRRNNN" mistake back in the day, but it was because I continued to use digital methods that I figured out how lighting and colors work. Or at least started on the right path. I can't figure something like that out when I use traditional methods, but that's most likely because I would need a bunch of different colors to work with.
I have come to loathe the misuse of blur and luminosity, however.
This isn't meant to be an argumentative post as much as an "elaborate, please" post.
(also, this took much effort to type correctly. this is how you know i am incredibly interested.)
The argument is fairly subjective. There is a divide. It's like how some people that play acoustic instruments make the argument that using a synthesizer or beatbox is not the same as creating or playing music.
There is an impossible barrier for digital paintings to cross. A digital painting does not have a material that reflects light in its creation. The difference between a charcoal drawing, and a printed "digital charcoal" pixel-perfect replica, is that light isn't hitting individual pieces of charcoal on the fibers of a piece of paper or canvas. If you have looked at real paintings and compared them to digital reproductions that are actually printed on canvas nowadays, you should see a real difference in how layered oil or acrylic looks compared to ink that's just printed out overlayed digital dashmarks.
Another barrier (though not an impassable one) is that digital sketching tends to lead to draft perfection by deletion of mistakes. Creatively this can be hampering; It's worthwhile to be able to physically handle the sketch medium and tool while observing whatever subject is in mind. The other factor is that someone like aaron (and myself, really, though I too got exposed to art by playing with Photoshop on my friend's stupidly old Macintosh back in the 90s) sees the difference between the presentation of traditional art versus digital printouts. You could never replicate aaron's work with a tablet and Photoshop. The resolution of his work is infinite.
As for Dodge and Burn, the only way I can think of to use that as training for lighting is to start with a lighting-neutral image and to see what works. However, that can't teach the core of the knowledge. In order to know how light really works, you have to look at how it works. If all one ever does is try to figure it out by manipulating it in an image that is already created with a light source in mind, nothing is ever really learned... the artist is just re-creating what they've been exposed to. Light can't be learned by observing 2D objects. Hell, light is so natural to our eyes that even figuring it out when it's right in front of you can be very tough.
I will admit that it took me a long time to realize that when I look at my dog in the dark, there is no "brown". There is not even any "dark brown". But my brain has "THE DOG IS BROWN" pounded into my head, to the point where I stubbornly thought that he must be brown.
That's not how colors work! And I find it cool (and horrible) that that's how the mind works.
Sorry... had an idea from this post recently that I penned out.
No permission was acquired from anyone, so let me know if I've offended anybody, I'll take it down as soon as possible.
Back to lurking...
That was awesome. Lurking is for assholes -- if they only thing you feel comfortable contributing is awesome comics of BF stuff then do it! Also, regular word posts are easy-- type words then push 'post reply'.
That was amazing.
OMG. That is the most wonderful thing.
I know people say it a lot around here, but I wish I could like this more often than once.
FUCK YOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUU six months motherfucker
In a way, kind of a "you have to crawl before you can walk" sort of thing. To touch on my professional arena, I would also say it's like architecture. If you want to learn to design buildings, you don't start with a copy of AutoCAD, you start with a roll of trace paper and a pencil. And even later, when you do use those tools to develop your design, every* architect's starting point is sketching on paper. That's where you work out your ideas, where you have freedom to experiment and think without anything else getting in the way.
Essentially, again based on my own experience with digital painting, the more "filters" you have between your brain and what you're producing, the more you're hampering yourself. That degree of separation between you and your work, coupled with the flexibility of photoshop to do things that are outside of simply seeing and thinking and producing, I think, does you a disservice. Even something as simple as being able to zoom in and manipulate things on a pixel level is unhelpful.
When you draw on paper, you learn technique and practice fundamentals. You learn that if you want to draw more detail you have to draw bigger, and drawing bigger presents new problems that you have to solve. Everything that I've posted here is essentially just technique practice, learning how to get what I see with my eyes and imagine in my head onto paper. When you learn to shade with a pencil or charcoal, you learn how to do it but you also develop your understanding of light and shadow and lineweight and contrast and all of those little basics. You get better and more confident with linework. And all of that knowledge carries over to whatever medium you work in next. That understanding of tone is fundamental to mixing paint colors, understanding different ways to use a pencil carries over to brushwork, etc.
When you can pick colors from a near-infinite palette and just color fill them into your work and then do a photo filter-->warmer at the end if it doesn't look right, you skip all that. When you can figure out the RGB value for "flesh tone" that you like, you skip an understanding of the colors that go into it and how they change based on light and shadow. When you can just pick "black" and then lighten that up with careful dodging, you skip understanding how to build up tones with graphite or charcoal. Those things are part of the fundamental basics that give your work life. So much of practicing drawing is learning to really see what you're drawing, be it a still life or a landscape or fine details in a photograph. In photoshop, I just don't think you get the same experience.
I've re-written this post three times now, on and off over the past hour, because I don't want to sound like I'm dogging on digital media. I'm not, even if I am unapologetically pro-physical media. "Cheat" was perhaps not the right word, so if that sounds confrontational, that's not what I meant. I won't walk back "crutch," though. Choice of media is absolutely subjective, but I do personally think that even people who plan to have all their work on imgur rather than in a sketchbook or on a canvas would do themselves a big favor (and make their work stronger) by breaking out the pencil and paper.
*every one that I know and know of, anyway. I'm sure some don't and they're wrong and they should feel bad.
I don't think you need to worry so much about coming off as offensive or pushy. Everything you're saying makes total sense. Sure, working digitally is not cheating, but as you say, you're skipping over the fundamentals if you go straight to digital without working with physical materials to develop that basic familiarity.
And obviously digitally-created work can be amazing - we have some great examples here of work that you guys have done that looks incredible. The talent is evident even if the tools facilitate some shortcuts or offer access to a broader palette (literally) than you'd have available otherwise. But I don't think this is about "which is better analog or digital," it's about understanding how one develops their understanding of the fundamentals.
In my own case, my earliest work - and the classes I took to develop those fundamentals - were over 20 years ago now. I'm effectively starting from square one. While having some cool new toys like a Wacom tablet would offer some additional incentive to get me sketching again, I really do need to get back to basics and re-learn everything from the ground up.
I don't know much about art so I tend to defer to experts, like the Royal Academy of Arts. They did an exhibit of iPad art by David Hockney. So it's all cool with me! (Completely agree with the thing about getting a grounding in real materials but I wanted to post this cos I thought it was cool)
This was the motherfuckin' BEST
Best Post Ever.
If I ain't in your comic it's shit.
Fixed that for you.
It's better to post awesome comics than ask forgiveness. Anyone offended by awesomeness is clearly not worth listening to.
Urk, you are one sexy motherfucker.
This is the greatest thing ever.
Urk, that was the best thing ever.
Edit: DAMN IT, NINJA'D WITH A BETTER WORD.
Urk that was tremendous.
Heh, I'm just happy to not get a pelting. Sometimes my ideas meander too much to turn into anything interesting.
SuperJay 's question:
I use Photoshop and PaintToolSAI on an Intuos 3 9x12 which I acquired years ago under the impression that bigger area means better art. That is patently false. Better artist means better art, full stop. A great artist is a great artist no matter the means of conveying ideas, and sometimes I wish I had more table real estate.
@ Digital and Traditional media discussion
"You have to crawl before you can walk" pretty much exactly sums up how I feel about my personal artistic development, and how I've sort of dug myself into a hole. My biggest problem is that the conveniences digital media offer me means that I have little incentive to go back to traditional media. But with no formal art education or experience, I'm convinced I need to go back to traditional media to develop further, even if just to feel how the digital paints I use work.
Advantages we get working entirely digitally:
Infinite paper. Messed up a sketch? Crtl + A, Delete, and Presto!
Instant layers. And a nearly limitless supply, if you've got the memory.
Clean, instant undo. No erasing. No permanent marks.
Instant mirroring directly on canvas. Enough said.
It initially felt like a win-win, all-you-can-eat buffet with no trade-offs. That's not quite the case.
After a few years, I found it hard to draw on paper since I never see my hands as I work
Engendered bad habits, with drawing feeling more like a Monte Carlo simulation where I erased/undid many bad strokes, since there's no consequences to anything I did with instant undo and a perfectly clean eraser readily available.
aaron mentioned, it's harder to build knowledge on how light/shadows affect color when I could just pick from a palette and go.
Temptation to cheat my way out of problems. Mess up proportions? Just cut and paste the affected body part on a new layer like a surgeon, then resize and redraw. Voila!
The downsides were slow to manifest, and the features warped into a crutch for me. Nowadays, PaintToolSAI waits daily down a dark alley for me to stop by after work and get a dirty, cheap intravenous injection of a 4000 x 3000 pixel canvas that I can carelessly spray digital inks over.
I still don't know what the funniest bit is. It's a tie between:
RIVETING AERIAL ASSAULT, OLD CHAP.
Those are corrosive likes, they'll eat through and go right for your feels!
LK's reading glasses holy shit lol
OK probably Lumbird's smile.
DO MORE OF THESE.
*Adding tears to my avatar as we speak
Urk, you are the God of Fuck-ing Awesome.
Urk I would do it, but am just slightly short of the shamelessness to like-farm at that level. But you should really consider making a new thread, reserve some spaces, and then insert new spoilered cartoons as they come up. Two reasons:
-It will give people the opportunity to like your comics thus far a second time, and then again as you go since you insert them as they go in the thread and add them to the first posts. This is a heavily requested feature.
-It will give them the ease of access and visibility they deserve.
HITS LIKE SO HARD IT CARVES A PORTAL THROUGH TIME AND SPACE
What's the thing in the top-right of the first panel?
Also OMG GIANT
Separate names with a comma.