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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

As the digital age increases is old school paint to canvas or pen to paper artists going the way of the T-Rex?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (21520 points ) May 19th, 2014

Will a time come where artist who actually put paint to canvas or media to paper be unneeded, replaced by completely digital artist? As printing methods get better, one day images will be able to be printed right on canvas, if it hasn’t happen already, and be efficient and cheap enough to do all of the time. Once that happens, who would need people who can actually draw and paint outside of a computer program?

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23 Answers

dxs's avatar

That’s a different kind of talent than painting. I’m sure there are people who will still appreciate traditional painting throughout the years.

Darth_Algar's avatar

There are plenty of artists who work in both mediums or even combine them.

Mariah's avatar

For any kind of professional art, I’d say this has already happened. If you want to get paid for art these days you had better be making it for video games, movies, textbooks, etc. and those media are all digital.

But I don’t think there will ever come a time where people don’t appreciate and feel motivated to produce art in all its various forms.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

As a musician, I’d say that time will never come. There are still buskers who make a (mostly meager) living playing real acoustic instruments (as opposed to the digital equivalent). One sad development I’ve noticed, though, is the lack of real musicians for military funerals. When we buried my father-in-law, the time came to play taps. It looked like a bugle, sounded like a bugle, but the mouthpiece did not touch the lips of the military “bugler”.

GloPro's avatar

Buying an original is a pride factor. If each is created digitally there is no original. Originals sell for BIG money. Limited editions generally do not. It would be dumb to stop providing original, hand created artwork.

downtide's avatar

Even digital art needs the skill of an artist to create it. But I think there will always be a demand for hand-painted originals as well, just as there is still a market for books made of paper and music pressed on black vinyl.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@downtide

Yep. Digital is fine and convenient, but people seem to forget that we’re a tactile species. We need to touch and feel things and we value physical artifacts.

downtide's avatar

@Darth_Algar That’s it. It’s the tactile nature of it. You can’t run your fingers over a piece of digital art and feel the brush strokes (yet – 3d printing might fix that in the future).

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@downtide Even digital art needs the skill of an artist to create it.
Really, how so? Why would a person need to learn the skill of doing a gradient wash or mixing colors when a click of a mouse can do it for them? You just have to click the right part of the field to get the color you want then click it into your pallet, you don’t actually have to know the colors that went into that tint, or how to mix it, much less apply it to blend smoothly from one shade to the next; a program can do it perfectly and in a matter of seconds.

downtide's avatar

I have yet to see any software that will draw your picture, mix your colours for you and automatically apply them in exactly the right place to perfectly create the image that’s in your head. You still need to be able to imagine your image and reproduce it on the screen and it all has to be done manually, placing lines and applying colour in the right places, just as you would with a brush or pen. Sure there area few short-cuts but not as many as you’d think and you can’t escape the need for skill.

I have done both traditional painting and digital art and believe me, traditional painting is far easier.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ I have done both traditional painting and digital art and believe me, traditional painting is far easier.
Do tell…...details man, details…....don’t just drop a lug and not include the details.

downtide's avatar

Much easier to show than tell. Some of my paintings are here They’re all watercolours and most took less than 3 hours to complete.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ Nice work, so in what way would reproducing them by way of a high-level digital editing program be more trouble or take longer to do than doing it by hand?

downtide's avatar

Digital art needs to be done on multiple layers, which involves a lot of masking and that’s just about impossible to automate. For example if I was doing this one digitally, I might make a brick texture for that wall in the centre (which in itself is a good couple of hours work). Then I have to mask off the parts of the picture that have that texture, apply it, scale it, add shading, that’s another couple of hours and all I’ve done is the bricks. Then I have to mask off more layers for the trees, the grasses in the foreground, the canal, the sky, and making new textures for each one.

Of course you could save a lot of time by downloading textures that other people have made but that’s… cheating.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ So…..there is not like a “leaf texture” you can just brush in and change the size of the leaves or coarseness to depict distance or closeness, etc.?

downtide's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central You would need several such textures for different parts of the picture because you wouldn’t want all the trees to look the same. You need the texture to have leaves all pointing in different directions to look natural, and the texture must be seamless so you don’t get repeats where it tiles. And you would have to make all those textures yourself too.

Mariah's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central, you display an amazing amount of ignorance towards the process of creating digital art, or even art in general (and I KNOW you’re not ignorant on this subject) if you think those things you listed eliminate the need for any talent in creating art. Are you serious?

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Mariah you display an amazing amount of ignorance towards the process of creating digital art, or even art in general (and I KNOW you’re not ignorant on this subject) if you think those things you listed eliminate the need for any talent in creating art
When it comes to digital art, I Am not totally ignorant of the process but greatly limited in all that it can do; I create the old fashioned way, with brush to canvas (or wall, since I do murals more than not), or pen to paper. I have seen people create things (I guess you can call that art) on the computer but they can’t draw. They do it by cutting this, pasting that, using whatever clipart or template in the program, add effects like starburst with the click of a mouse, plus the only color mixing they know is from the program. If I sat some tubes of oils in front of them and told them to mix this or that, they could not do it.

Mariah's avatar

Do you think the work that is produced with those methods looks good? Of course it doesn’t. The good art does require skill. Exactly like traditional art.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ That is what I would hope, but 50 years from now who knows how good programs will be in representing real and natural art, as well as printing them in any size. Sure, now live artist are still needed, there is not a program in the world that I know of that can paint a mural on the wall, but I am not sure it will always be so. I may be dead by the time t happens. At one time those primitive brute machines working off vacuum tubes that took up an entire floor and could do little but count cards, were considered state of the art.

Mariah's avatar

Computers that could independently produce art would have to be artificially intelligent, in. which case they would be considered their own consciousness and their creations would be attributed to them solely and would be in a class of their own. Certainly better than anything we humans could produce.

Regardless, in the present there is certainly no need for your condescending attitude towards digital artists. You even admit that shortcuts to circumvent having talent don’t exist in the present.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Regardless, in the present there is certainly no need for your condescending attitude towards digital artists.
I don’t have any attitude about digital art, condescending, or otherwise. I hold true that you can do a lot of Art within a program and not have to command control over a paint brush, airbrush, etc. At some point, the program will be so quick and so easy to use; no one will bother to do it by hand anymore, just as sewing machines replaced human sewing in 90% or more of applications where sewing is done.

Mariah's avatar

You literally said that creating digital art requires no skill.

There is no way, and probably never will be any way, to make a program draw for you, which, yes, means that artists need to command control over the brush. I don’t know how you think the shapes and composition appear on the screen but it isn’t by magic.

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