The answer is traditional painting is better. Duh.
Ok maybe not.
Digital painting can’t be better or worse than traditional. Just like a watercolor painting isn’t necessarily better than one painted in oil. But, when you get down to specifics everything changes.
You can say that an art piece is better than another based on skill, how well the art communicates its goal and your personal preference. An artist can also say they prefer watercolor to oil or digital, and actually, that is what I do say.
(I will do that now)
I prefer painting in watercolors. Digital painting often makes me frustrated. The Results are good enough, but the journey is never as fun. Thus for me, traditional painting is better.
A Digital Illustration Goes Analog
My Iron Giant illustration started out as a something I did for Sketch Dailies. I don’t remember if I used photoshop or my old iPad but either way, he turned out well, and I added the image to my portfolio.
At our illustration conference last February, Giuseppe Castellano reviewed my portfolio. It was one of the best portfolio reviews I remember having. He mentioned my art seemed more like me when I do watercolor. I had been working hard to improve my watercolor skills and liked that compliment a lot.
He suggested I take the digital Iron Giant and repaint it in watercolor. Usually, I’m not up for re-hashing old illustrations but in this case, it sounded like fun.
I took my old drawing made a few minor changes and transferred it to watercolor paper. I used my old digital painting as a color study. It ended up being an easy process and a lot of fun.
Here are the Digital and Watercolor Versions of An Iron Giant Takes a Walk.
I”ve always liked the digital painting of this, but I love the watercolor version.
Never Stop Leaning
Although I love watercolor, there is so much to learn about art. Make sure to keep learning in many ways. I signed up for Chris Oatley’s digital painting course, and I’ve learned a lot about digital painting that can also apply to watercolors. Don’t let one medium or way of working keep you stuck. There is much to learn by branching out.
What medium do you prefer? Comment below and let me know.