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Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Digital ‘Crutch’

I used to think that drawing/sketching/painting digitally was cheating.
It’s not authentic.
You’re not a ‘real’ artist if what you created was done on a computer.
Plus, how can you sell your art if the only place it exists is on a screen?

I’m not so sure I feel that way anymore.
I no longer think I’m cheating.
I’m creating no matter what the medium. And a computer or Tablet is just another medium in an artist’s arsenal.

Both digital and ‘hands on’ art making have their place, but I find myself leaning more and more towards the former.

Pros and Cons of Digital Drawing as I see it……

Tablet: Pros:
Portable: I like that I’m not tethered to the computer in a room cut off from other people. I like that I can take it outside and to places to sketch.
Tactile: I like that you sketch ON the tablet, like sketching on paper. As opposed to sketching on a tablet while looking at a screen elsewhere. The whole patting you head while rubbing your stomach thing.
Erase-ability:  rather than having to trash a drawing/painting I can just erase.
Layering ability: really cuts down on ‘mishaps’. You can try out different ideas and if you don’t like them just delete the layer!
Apps: much less expensive than full computer programs.

Battery: dying in the middle of a sketch. (Sometimes I forget to recharge Tablet……….)
Limited memory: this then limits drawing programs.
Apps: can be glitchy.
Media: can’t always do what you want it to do. (I would like a watercolor app but haven’t found a decent one.)
Learning curve.

Computer: Pros:
Memory: HUGE  capacity.
Power source: unless we have a power outage, not an issue.
Programs: many more available and what they can do is much more than a Tablet, although they can be overwhelmingly cost prohibitive.
Layering ability: Photoshop (the program I use most of the time) does have layers, although I find them less intuitive than Sketchbook Pro on Tablet.  (I thought I’d be an optimist and put this in the pro list.)
Erase-ability:  Photoshop has ‘step backward’ button also an eraser but again it’s less user friendly.

No Mobility: tethered to the computer. (I have a desktop.)
Hand eye coordination: drawing on a tablet while looking at the screen is tricky to get used to.

Both have their merits.
And each serves a purpose.
Although I lean more towards Tablet the one thing I like about BOTH of them is I don’t get my hands (clothes, floor, walls……) dirty!  

What do you think? Have you jumped on the digital drawing bandwagon yet? 


  1. I like reading your pros and cons...something fairly equal about both, personal choice in the end I guess.

  2. Interesting reading. I am afraid I am not sure about digital art. It may be because I am not very technically minded but I do prefer handmade.

  3. Haven't done much digital drawing. Based on your recommendation, I bought Sketchbook Pro for the tablet. Still trying to figure it out. As you said, things don't always work the way they are expected. The graphic in my blog post today was my fledgling attempt.

  4. I don't draw much…but you…You draw wonderfully…no matter which medium you use…and you're not cheating. So there.

  5. i guess because i use photoshop and illustrator all day at work, i don't consider it "fun." Computer = work.

    I always look forward to 5:00 so I can pick up a pencil or paintbrush to play!

  6. I want to but have not yet tried digital. But you make is look like so much fun.


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