In traditional painting, color and form is imparted by using tools -
generally brushes (palette knives, fingers, spray cans, etc.) The major
difference is that the artist
tools of the computer to create the painting.
Such a painting will still require composition, still require drawing,
still require mixing color, still require steps to achieve effects, and
still require technique and development. The language is different from
that of watercolor or oil, but it is very much the same process.
big difference with digital painting has to do with storage and the ability to
reproduce an image. With any digital image the information (colors
and form) are stored using numbers (digitally) within a file on a
computer disc and can be viewed on a monitor. Providing a file is not
altered after it is created - it will print the same image as many
times as one wants without any degradation.
many ways, digital art is akin to lithography in that the art
prints are the original art. The remarkable difference is
that printing can be done on demand - rather than a run of prints. Set
up time is negligible and as a result the quantity and even quality of
the print is more in the control of the digital artist.
addition, there are also multiple size possibilities for any one
digital painting while still being an original work of art at any size
Because this is a relatively new area in art, there
is much confusion over the different types of digital art - and much is
lumped together. When a photograph is altered, there is frequently
painting involved, but it is more similar to a painted photograph than
an oil painting.
There is never a clear cut line when it comes to technological aids and
artists do not create their own pigments or make their own brushes or
tools. So we should not expect today's digital artist to have to be a
computer programmer - but more likely someone who can harness the tools
and colors others have created and put them together within his own
Art is foremost about communication - the language to create the
digital painting is something new - even the pigment ink on watercolor
paper done here - is in many ways new - but the language of art is
shared. And that is what is most important.