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.
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.
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.
While pursuing Instagram, I saw Natalie Hall‘s beautiful angel drawings. Even though our artwork doesn’t have much in common, her elegant pictures often inspire me. Continue reading to learn how I take inspiration from someone else’s art make it a jumping off point for mine.
The thing I loved about Natalie’s angel drawings, besides everything, was the wings. The shapes are beautiful and expressive while having a bit of an edge. They inspired me to try drawing my own “edgy” wings, but that is probably not how you would describe my angel painting. Honestly, I don’t know if “edgy” is something that could come out of my hands or head. Edgy it not me.
So, my first piece of advice when it comes to keeping your style yours is Be Yourself, and trust that yourself is good. Once someone described my artwork as soft and flowy with sinister undertones. It’s one of my favourite compliments because it describes me as a person as well as my art. We need art in the world with edge. We need art that’s flowy, and we need whatever kind of art is your art too.
My second piece of advice is to remember what another artist draws is their interpretation of something real. Natalie drew wings. Wings also exist in life. Birds have wings. Bats have wings. Airplanes have wings. Don’t forget to look at real life for yourself and interpret it your way. For this painting, I used reference of swan’s wings to help me create the finished art. So although I got the idea and the shape inspiration from Natalie, I used real life interpretation of swan’s wings for more information.
First, even when you are looking at other artists for inspiration keep making your own marks, and thinking about art in your way. Second create your own interpretations from real life. Look at real life stuff and use lots of references.
Here is my video speed painting of this little angel piece. I hope you enjoy watching it and find much inspiration from it that you can make your own.
How do you use other artist’s work for inspiration? Feel free to tell me in the comments below.
Do you create art that is more narrative or conceptual? I usually create art based on a story, but this painting was a change for me. I chose to focus more on images that conveyed ideas, and it was a workout for my brain.
I started this piece knowing I wanted to create something beautiful and little fantastic. I knew I wanted the girl’s face to be the focal point of the image and that the things around her would support the idea that we all have a Divine Godlike Nature that is an important part of who we are.
I found this image of the girl’s face and felt like it conveyed the confidence of someone who knows who they are, and conveyed the idea of Divine Nature in her eyes and expression. I added some of the other elements around her to support the idea. I added doves because traditionally they are used to represent God, flowers because they are pretty and blue because the Young Women Value Divine Nature is represented by blue in my church.
I struggled to try to make sure the doves with the super light value didn’t compete with the face. I also would have liked to have more imagery to support the main idea but overall I feel good about the result.
You can watch me paint the image in this video.
What do you think, is the painting successful? Do you think of yourself as a conceptual artist or a narrative artist?