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  • Writer's pictureKonstantin

4 Types Of Digital Painting And Whether They Are Real Art Or Not

Updated: Oct 18, 2020

As an aspiring artist, I've often come across digital artist already but I've also spoken to traditional artists that think, digital art can't be considered art. They say drawing or painting with the help of a computer was cheating.

Is digital art a legitimate art form?

Digital art is in no way cheating and can definitely be considered real art. Digital art also takes time and effort and creative skills to be created. Digital art is a real type of art and digital artists deserve acknowledgment.

What are different types of digital art, is digital drawing/painting easier? What do you need to pay attention to before starting off with digital painting (this link leads to a free and professional online course)? Let's answer all of these questions in this article.

I. 4 Types Of Digital Painting

Digital art can not only also be referred to as real art but it even opens a lot of completely new doors for artists to enter. Let's take a look at four different types of digital painting.

What are the types of digital painting?

1. 2D Digital Painting

2. Media Hybrid Painting

3. Manual Vector Drawing

4. Dynamic Painting

Yes, all of these types can be considered real art just to clear that out right at the beginning. Well, even before actually diving into the first one. Let's go.

1. 2D Digital Painting

If you simply want to step up your regular/traditional drawing game, 2D digital painting is the way to go for you. This is the simplest way to start off with digital art when you've already gained a little bit of experience in traditional drawing or painting.

The technical knowledge you need to acquire for 2D digital painting is so small that you don't even need to have drawn traditionally before. You can be an utter, bloody drawing beginner and still manage to get directly into digital painting.

Traditional drawing or painting experience is, of course, always recommended before venturing into this different artistic world. After a little bit of time, you will need to get comfortable with the digital drawing environment on your screen you are good to go.

You can easily learn how to draw in Photoshop, for example, by simply following the instruction of Youtube tutorials. One of the best videos I have seen on painting 2D digitally in Photoshop is this one below. Check it out in case you're interested.

The nice teacher goes over basic Photoshop knowledge in every step and I find it very easy to follow, so it's perfectly suited for beginners. If you're now or after watching this video extremely excited and want to get Photoshop immediately don't do it.

Don't purchase any digital art program without checking your computer specs before. I'll talk about this topic more detailed in the fourth section of today's article. Check it out before making a devastating and discouraging mistake.

2. Media Hybrid Painting

Have you ever heard of this drawing and painting technique? If you have you're probably thinking about the drawing technique where you're mixing different subjects or drawing techniques to create an abstract artwork on your paper like the one below, for example.

That drawing technique is solely called hybrid drawing but now we're talking about a digital painting discipline that combines different art media. The best-known media hybrid painting type you can create digitally is a mixture of photographs and paintings.

This method is also known as interdisciplinary art and it's all about crossing different types of art with each other. As I already mentioned digital artists often mix photography with their painting and drawing skills.

They store their photos on their computer or use other artists' photos and create something beautiful around them. It's most common this way around but if you're a passionate photographer you are also able to use paintings and mix them with you're photographs.

Maybe you're even interested in both artistic disciplines. In that case, you can clearly use your own photos and painting/drawing skills to create a media hybrid artwork completely on your own.

3. Manual Vector Drawing

This is something I personally haven't heard of for a long time until I talked to a logo designer whom I'm working with sporadically. He told me that he is almost only using this method to create logos. So I asked him:

What is manual vector drawing?

Manual vector drawing is a type of digital art and is about creating art with basic shapes such as squares, triangles, and circles. This is being achieved with mathematical equations transforming and connecting shapes and lines.

You can see vector drawings mostly in any kind of digital line art or in logos. This method is also used to create fonts for word processing software.

This Youtube tutorial shows exactly what vector drawing is and how a beginner can do it easily step-by-step for him- or herself. Here the teacher gives you instructions on how to create a logo from a traditional drawing using manual vector drawing.

The program being used is called Adobe Illustrator and everyone can follow the instructions in this video. Again, it doesn't matter whether you have any digital painting experience or not. Check it out, it's fun.

4. Dynamic Painting

What is dynamic painting?

This type of digital art is a very modern way of painting. This type of art is created by an artist setting up a computer algorithm that is then creating art on its own without further human interference.

Once again, I have a cool tutorial from Youtube that shows how dynamic painting basically works in the digital art program Blender. Take a look at what the teacher is showing in this video.

There is another unique type of dynamic painting that isn't really subject to much debate and until to this point of writing, I have never heard of that myself. Nevertheless, it is truly fascinating what is possible in our modern times.

Check out the video beneath this paragraph to see what I mean. A completely new kind of art that I think will get more attention in the next years to come.

II. Is Digital Art Easier Than Traditional?

Frankly, there isn't simply one right answer to this question.

Yes and No...

It completely depends on the aspects you're looking at. Do you need less artistic skills than with traditional art? Is the process itself, for example, erasing or shading easier digitally than when you're drawing traditionally?

To each of these questions, the answer is different.

1. Do you need fewer artistic skills for digital art?

There are not fewer artistic skills needed in digital art compared to traditional art. The same number of skills that an artist needs for traditional drawing is needed in digital drawing and even more. A certain technical understanding is also required.

2. Is shading easier in digital art?

Shading isn't easier digitally than traditionally. In fact, shading is more complicated in a digital art program because of all the settings and different tools an artist needs to understand to successfully use a digital art program.

3. Is erasing easier in digital art?

Erasing in digital art programs is a lot easier than on paper. One doesn't need to exert any kind of pressure, whereas erasing on paper always needs pressure but also caution to not tear the paper apart. Digitally, an artist can undo an action by pressing one button.

Now, you hopefully have an idea of what is easier in digital art and what is exactly the same compared to traditional drawing and painting. Digital art is a very impressive and revolutionary kind of artistic expression in my personal opinion.

It has opened many doors to us as artists to express our creativity. Therefore, I think digital art should never be compromised for being easier in certain areas. Art is a subjective phenomenon just as beauty or taste. Please, appreciate every artist.

If you're interested in learning the basics of digital painting from a professional completely for free, I highly recommend checking out this free online course.

III. Check Your Computer Specs

To draw digitally on a computer it is mandatory to know about your own specs. By this, you avoid extremely annoying lags when drawing or painting in Photoshop, for example.

If you only have a Laptop/notebook from 2010 you'll most likely have severe problems with your digital art program. Everyone who wants to get into digital art has to make sure he or she has sufficient RAM et cetera in their computer before buying expensive programs that eventually don't work in the end.

What are the minimum requirements for digital art?


CPU Speed: 2 GHz

GPU Memory: 4 GB

Hard Drive Space: 256 GB

Remember that this data merely represents the minimum requirements. More of each specification is always better in any case. The future will bring more and more complex programs constantly so being up to date in terms of PC specs is very important.

Most important of all of these specs for digital art is RAM. It is responsible for the effortlessness of the number of tasks the computer has to deal with simultaneously.

IV. Related Questions

1. Does Digital Art Replace Traditional Art?

Digital art is often seen as an enemy of the traditional way of creating art. This is an unsubstantiated fear. In fact, digital art is responsible for providing artists everywhere with a variety of new opportunities to express their creativity. Digital art is a supplement and not an endangerment of traditional art.

2. What Is The Difference Between Digital Art And Traditional Art?

Traditional art is based on non-technological tools and material, whereas digital art is the creation of artworks using a computer such as a desktop PC or a tablet.

3. When Did Digital Art Start?

Around 1965 the first experimental digital artworks produced with a computer have been published. Since then digital art has gained a large amount of popularity among artists of all ages. It is a groundbreaking and revolutionary type of art that tremendously extends already existing art media.

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