Digital Art Expressions


This day in age, digital art is not a degenerative form.  While traditional art offers more tangible application, digital methods provide more manipulation, and a lot more exhibitive potential

Traditional forms of pencil drawing, pastels, painting, and crafting methods will never lose their place. These will always provide a distinctly hands-on characteristic that cannot be replaced. The purchasing of paint and brushes, the feel of a fresh new canvas, the smell of an antiqued paper. Drawing has a long, and cherished history. But modern innovations in computer hardware and software have permitted some very viable options for raw artistry.



The early days of digital art saw little in the way natural interaction. The mouse and keyboard shortcuts were the only (commonplace) means of input. But people are sensory more then they are mechanical, and so touch pads and stylus’ came out around 1988 for Apple computers. Today, Microsoft has been heavily pushing touch screen technology since their Windows 8 operating system. While this in itself means little to an artist, the digital canvas environments available on a computer must be conveyed through a base operating system. Art software has fully embraced pressure-sensitive touch input, making the digital artist’s expression through a device much less mechanical.

Wacom’s Cintiq 13HD Interactive Pen Display

Integration is a very important part of excellence, and pairing Microsoft’s touch-based operating system with Wacom’s Cintiq 13HD Interactive Pen Display (DTK1300) is highly suggested for a serious artist. Wacom is the name in interactive touchscreen tablets, and while they offer touch pad interfaces, the ability to draw right on the screen directly is irreplaceable. A tablet offers a lightweight, mobile canvas with quick-saving potential. In addition to being able to save several works of art in the internal storage, the 1080p LCD display offers more then just canvas access. Unlike a physical canvas, a digital canvas allows the artist to zoom in closer to one spot on an illustration. And with the advent of 3d and 2.5d art, this screen would be a multipurpose digital immersive window!

Wacom INTUOS4/CINTIQ21 Grip Pen


The stylus is of particular interest. While a paintbrush or pen can run as much as $120 for a set, the single ultra-ergonomic Wacom stylus is an-all-one multipurpose interface with 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity. When working on a physical canvas and easel, the array of colors, shades, and colors mixes can be enormous (not to mention take some time to set out appropriately). With a software-enhanced stylus, every paintbrush imaginable is available (or creatable), as well as every pen, pencil, pastel, or charcoal. It would be the last paint brush or fountain pen you ever buy!
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Illustrator
Adobe After Effects

While the de facto-standard among digital artists is the legendary Adobe Photoshop, illustrators will likely also have software like Adobe illustrator at the ready.Additionally, After effects offers tool sets to work time elements of a video strip and etc.




But if your budget is not ready to handle the purchase of the best-available software, several high-quality alternatives are available. The uncontested alternative to Photoshop is GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Software).  GIMP is a raster image software solution. With a very large community, tutorial, plugins, and brush sets are about as numerous as those of Photoshop.  Inkscape is a high-quality alternative to Illustrator, utilizing a very large support of vector image formats.  Blender is a all-in-one 3d art studio, now being utilized by many film organizations for it’s extreme customization and community support.  Jahshaka is an up-and-coming alternative to Adobe After Effects.  These platforms are all freely available, and are available on Windows, Mac, and Linux!

imagePROGRAF iPF6400 24in Printer

Lastly, what is art if you can’t display it?  Of course, websites do this well, and large 1080p and 4k displays will display art great, but sometimes art just needs to be tangible.  There are a variety of options, but the ideal would be something from Canon, the recognized name in inkjet printers.  The reason for using an inkjet is that the detail is better.  Laser jet color prints can look good until they are examined closely.  A true art exhibit wouldn’t trust their efforts to be produced with heat and toner.  But that is the high-end stuff.  I would recommend finding a local print shop that has a quality printer like this and have them print out your work.  There are also printing services online where digital submissions can be made, and prints can be received.



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