Digital or traditional?

Posted on Sunday 2 March 2008

Hi there everyone.

Our earlybird opening was such a success. Go check out pics from the show here.
Lots of friends and family and artists we admire such as Erik Tiemens came out in the stormy weather! Thank you!

Anyhow I wanted to throw a question that has been roaming around my head for some time.
I am often asked by young artists if they should stick with traditional medium when they are learning how to paint. I have noticed, lots of students these days only paint digitally without learning to draw and paint traditionally. My generation who went to school over ten years ago, had no digital media back then so we all learned how to paint with a traditional medium.
Some people only do digital because it is more practical and think painting is painting digital or traditional.
Some stick to traditional because it maintains the artistic purity or just it feels good.
Can artists skip the training of a traditional medium?

In my case, I do my day job of concecpt art almost 100% digitally. It just makes sense for the production needs. It’s fast and it is easy to make changes. But I can’t live without using traditional paints outside of work. I have to say I get this great satisfaction out of traditional medium so much more.
I consider digital media just as pure. Who can say Craig Mullins’ work is any less sophisticated than any of the traditional oil painters? Good work is good work.

————-But I still recommend young students( or anyone) to keep learning from traditional medium.

I believe that’s where you learn so much because it forces you to make “your decisions.” I believe “your own decision” is one of the most important aspects of art. Digital painting could give you some bad habits because it allows you to not make your own decision with undo’s and layers and color corrections all available. I’m not saying it’s bad. I use them all the time for my job. But that’s when you stop making your own decisions of the brush strokes and designs and color and composition…you always have this safe net to change anything later.
I recently have been studying Bill Cone‘s color keys he did for Cars and Toy Story 2. He is one of the production designers at Pixar whose work inspired me to get into this business years ago. He is one of those guys who refuse to use digital media even to do his work at work.

The more I study his work, the more I understand how his decision are so clear with his pastels. There’s no Apple Z or fancy color dodge layer lots of people rely on these days. His marks are incredibly decisive. I can understand why he likes to stick to it.
I personally like both mediums to communicate what I need to communicate through my art.

But I would love to hear what your opinion on this would be. I’m sure everyone has their own take on this issue?

pen drawing from my OOP 2 story

digital painting for the final

30 Comments for 'Digital or traditional?'

    March 2, 2008 | 9:08 pm

    Whoa dude.. seriously nice pieces!

    March 3, 2008 | 12:00 am

    Hey Dice! First off I want to say that I was and am sooo sorry for not getting up to see you before you left for Pixar. I miss having you around, you were such an inspiration at BSS. It’s great to see you doing so much great work and to see you happy there. So this is a great question!!! As a matter of fact I have raised the same question to a plein air painter by the name of Michael Chesley Johnson. His blog is I’m new to oil painting still but I know that working with real oils teaches you about a lot of things like how color works and how complimentary colors work, which you don’t have to worry about in photoshop. For me there is something magical about the process of setting up your work area to start a painting and then laying out your colors and then applying the brush to the surface. I can’t back this statement up but from what I have seen, most of the guys who work at the big studios and seem to have the eye are guys who were trained in a classic medium. Of course there are exceptions but I think there are benefits to learning how to manipulate traditional mediums. To me a good example was watching Greg Couch, Mike Napp and you. You all were trained in different mediums but your digital work mirrors the style you each learned in. It’s like everyone always says, the computer is just a tool but it’s what you bring to it that sets it apart and makes it stand on it’s own or not. Well as always you are a great inspiration and I look forward to you and the guys on Early Bird Painters posting more work.

    Peace my friend.


    March 3, 2008 | 12:37 am


    I think that there is strengths and weaknesses in both mediums and it depends on intention of the artist on his choice between digital vs traditional. I do not think that one medium is superior than the other.

    Light vs. Shadows
    I have one oil painting in my collection which is a like an organic living entity. During the day, all the complex colors come out with natural light but it completely shuts down with room light. The artist choose a matte oil finish which give it this effect. On the other hand, I own pastel piece that I have needs to placed in shading to bring out the vivid colors. I believe that there is intention by these artist with the use of either lighting or shadows to their pieces. It is essence or soul of their pieces. For my digital pieces that I own, it is not dependent on light.

    For the digital painters, I think that intention is not light but imagination and composition. As the focus is composition, the digital medium allows the artist to experiment with his compositon much like a creative fiction writer. (I am only guessing at this point. Maybe, they can crank it out on the first try).

    Fire vs Cool

    On clear advantage of oils is that piece obviously can have texture where the paint strokes can be obviously seen. Of course, it can add fire and intensity to the piece. But, at the same time, I have seen digital pieces go the other direction with such calmness and coolness.

    In the end, I think that it depends on the intention of the artist in the medium he/she chooses. I collect both mediums.


    PS. Really forward to your new story in OOP2.

    March 3, 2008 | 2:55 am

    Hi Dice, interesting question. My personal experience is, being good at digital art would get you a decent job, but if you want to be really good in the art field, you have to be good at traditional art as well.

    March 3, 2008 | 12:29 pm

    Thanks for offering some insight into this topic! I learned to draw almost entirely on the computer, and have only recently begun a serious exploration of traditional media. What you have to say about paint forcing you to make your own decisions is something I’ve found to be very true. One thing I love about painting with a medium like watercolor also is that a lot of times, the paint will make some of your decisions for you as well – it will bleed and drip in unexpected ways and you are forced to deal with that. You are forced to surrender a lot of yourself to the paint’s will, which is something that never happens on the computer.

    I think it is possible to mimic that feeling in a digital painting, but it’s a lot harder. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to make my brush strokes look more natural on the computer by studying the techniques of traditional painters and through the use of textures.

    For me, the greatest advantage to working digitally is that I can paint completely in grayscale and add color afterwards. Being colorblind, it’s practically impossible for me to paint in color, and the computer allows me to paint without worrying about mixing all the wrong colors together. I could never get the same range of color and subtle variations that painting traditionally would allow, but it does give me decent results. Something I have been experimenting with lately is doing grayscale paintings with acrylic and then scanning them into the computer to add color, so I can still get the sensation of painting traditionally without having to worry about messing up the colors.

    I think you can create lively work in any medium, and really the most important thing is to find a way of working that you are comfortable with and that allows you to be the most creative and productive. So as long as you are expressing yourself, what does it really matter what tools you are using to do it?

    March 4, 2008 | 5:48 am

    Hi, I love your works!!

    In this regard I just have precisly last week a peaceful discussion with a teacher who wasn’t able to understand why I dont paint digitally yet. Logically if in the future have to work for anything like pixar obviusly I would paint digitally.

    IIf i paint for me, I think oils is the best way to get the best result, for several causes:
    – One of the BEST images i’ve seen in my short life was some Rembrandt oils in Amsterdam. I NEVER cant imagine a digital work could make rivalry to anything so inifinitely sensitive and really 3-D textured. Doesnt exist any printer able to print a real 3D paint, for the moment..

    – Why the musicians keep playing saxos, trombones and other brass section? Its inimitable sound. Cant do it with synthesizer. But hiring a group its cheaper substitute all the brass section for 1 musician with synthesizer. Its money question.

    Obviusly im not over money, and in consequence i know i will learn digital soon (next year), but i still loving oils, acrilics, watercolors, etc.

    Sorry for the poor english, im all the time translating almost word by word!! greetings

    March 4, 2008 | 6:12 am

    Ive precisely had a peaceful discussion with a teacher last week, because he wasnt able to understand why i keep painting in traditional media like acrilics, oils.
    (Obviously, I will learn digital soon, because the labor market.)

    But that discussion makes me think about the diferences between digital and traditional..
    First of all I thought about the best image traditional or not I’ve ever seen….. and its Rembrandt, in Rijksmuseum. I cant get out of my mind 3 o 4 Rembrandt oils. The i can’t imagine any digital work exceeding that. Oil is inimitable, and have infinitely nuances, and is 3D! No printer can print that… at the moment
    (Logically i love a lot of really good digital work, but im trying to exaggerate a litlle for see more clearly)

    – Why musicians keep playing saxophones, trombones…? because any synthetizer sounds very worst, its an inimitable sound. Then, why concert organizers are hiring most time a band with one musician with synthetizer replacing brass section? Obviusly its cheaper.

    Greetings, i really love your digital and traditional works. (one cause that makes work digital tempting its avoid cleaning brushes and the UNDO command!!! )

    March 4, 2008 | 6:15 am

    no!!! the first comment wasnt erased!!!! ohhh ive repeated in vain!!!! hahahha

    March 4, 2008 | 11:53 am

    Hey Dice,
    This is a great discussion you have going. I think that there is no one set path. In my limited experience, I have found that whenever you say this is the way to do it, some amazing artist will break all the rules and do something brilliant and unexpected. I think you can become a great painter, regardless of what medium you use.
    I personally prefer traditional media. It forces you to commit. When I set up my paints and squeeze out the tubes of paint, or set up my easel, stretch a piece of watercolor paper, I am taking extra time that forces me to care more about what I am doing. If a painting is going poorly, I feel compelled to get myself out of the situation I created and make the painting work. In Photoshop when the painting is getting away from me, I don’t have the sense of commitment. With digital, there is always a safety net. I can always hit apple-n and start a new piece, or control z.

    There are no history palettes and undo with traditional paint (and oh how i sometimes wish there were), but there are other things that I miss with digital media. I miss the smell of the paints and the texture that can only be achieved in traditional media. I miss the direct relationship twith the painting surface in digital media. I love having a one of a kind artifact of the work, when you finish. When I stare at a beautiful original drawing or painting, it brings out an emotion in me that is stronger than the feeling i have when I stare at a great piece of digital art.

    That is enough senseless rambling from me, I have to get back to my photoshop painting 🙂

    March 7, 2008 | 1:56 am

    This is either beer drinking, or coffee talk… not sure. Nonetheless, very good questions, and some excellent answers.
    You ask:
    Can artists skip the training of a traditional medium?

    Yes, but why should they? many traditinal mediums are cheap, portable, need no batteries, and last for centuries….

    I agree that Craig Mullins, and many others of that skillset, can emulate the sensuous bravura of Sargent, as well as the color and illumination he achieved. This, in addition to some apocalyptic vision of a great city in ruins, or under attack
    by three headed aliens. None of these things are inherent in the machine or the tool, but some are easier to come by in one medium over the other. In each case, it is the individual who has made all the choices, and overcome the biases and limitations of the medium, or used them to his/her advantage.

    I also went to school when computers were not a part of the curriculum. We drew in charcoal, graphite, popsicle sticks dipped in india ink, painted in gouache, oils, and acrylic. There is a physicality and a built in limitation to all these mediums, yet each one is capable of an extraordinary range of expression…. within the scope of that medium. With digital, those limits are essentially gone, but to what end? It’s entirely dependant on the skill and taste of the artist using the tool.

    Limitiations are useful in many ways. In fact they are a great mechanism for learning. I remember taking a contour drawing class where we drew the model and still lifes with 3×0 rapidograph pens for several months. You couldn’t use value, you just studied the edges of things, which a skinny little black pen is well suited for. Of course this exercise could be duplicated by enforcing the same limits upon a student in digital: NO undos! 3 pixel brush! 18 x 24 white image size!, etc. , while with a pen and paper, the limitations are simply inherent.

    I would not recommend for anyone studying art to skip learning how to mix color and value in paint, or draw the figure in charcoal. The physical connection of paint, and brush, the friction and crumble of charcoal on paper, the accident, the artifact of the tool, and how that plays into the image itself. Why would someone NOT want to know what that is all about? It is like saying there is only one kind of musical instrument worth playing… the one that can imitate all the other ones! It’s a trap I’m tellin’ ya!

    March 7, 2008 | 3:58 pm

    My small contribution to the debate is late and I don’t want to paraphrase anyone but Confucius : “The tool dictates the form” (that sounds like a mantra :-). I hope that I translate it accurately from my basic french.
    I observe that your question is a great opportunity for having big talents point of view on this page, which is instructive . I would add that many artists try to reproduce the traditional tools effects by using photoshop, artrage or else while the opposite is impossible
    and above all useless. (I know it because I wasted a billion of hours trying to hide my failings with infinite undos …) However, am I wrong to think the luminescence of the computer’s screen can be usefull in a light scene intented for a film ? Otherwise I also noticed there is a resonance between what Bill Cone says and his colleague Ralph Eggleston in this interview : where he talks about traditional and digital tools . Without being sentencious, beyond the choice of the tool, which is fundamental for finding his own inner music, it is all about what you communicate with it.

    March 8, 2008 | 5:55 am

    Hey Dice, what’s up? I find myself asking the question of “digital or traditional” all the time. I feel like everything nowadays is digital for the most part. Yet, there’s something about being able to draw some amazing sketches, etc. with a ballpoint pen or doing an amazing oil painting. Traditional is simply heavenly/fulfilling.

    In other news, I am not sure now if I am going to SDCC dude. Sadly, my grandmother in Nigeria passed away in February. I was very close with her, so I am going to Nigeria hopefully in May for the big funeral service, etc. Since the time is coming close, I figure I’ll just use my money for the plane ticket and whatever else instead of going to SDCC. It sucks and I really want to go, but I guess I have to choose the more important of the two. If I don’t see you in SDCC, have extra fun for me Dice. Ja mata!

    March 11, 2008 | 10:29 am

    i love these Dice…and aobut your question, i love seeing both types of art. of course, the curse of the digital stuff, it’s hard to say what is the original?? the file?? haha…but i love hte way you and some other artists out there handle digital painting – you dont try to duplicate traditional media with it, instead creating things that are new, which is always a good part of what art is about – discovery, and experimentation – new ways to seeing and expressing things. and you know how tied i have been to traditional media! i’m addicted to the tactile quality of ink, paint, brush and clay…it’s hard to beat. but there are times, i wish something i did digitally couldve been produced large scale, and feel more grand. printing it out just doesnt feel right (or at least not yet)..

    nonetheless. glad you proposed the question, and look forward to talking again.

    March 11, 2008 | 1:37 pm

    oh my god!
    these are great comments! And from such a wide variety of people…. digital artist, art collector, young artist, veteran artists….

    I’d like to comment on each. I’ve been slammed at work these days but I will for sure! Thanks for taking your time to write.

    And I’d LOVE to hear more. I know some of you who haven’t commented, can contribute!


    March 11, 2008 | 4:04 pm

    My first 3 years of painting were entirely digital (even got my first few jobs without traditional experience). Of course, I learned some stuff and even fooled people into thinking I was professional. However, it wasn’t until I began really being influenced by great oil painters (Sargent, Zorn, Fechin, Schmid, Christensen, Weistling, etc) that I felt the desire to try painting in oil myself. It wasn’t long before I found myself discovering nuances of value/edges/drawing/colour that I completely took for granted previous to that point. I use digital paint for 8 hours a day at work too, but when I go home to paint for myself, it’s almost 100% traditional. On top of continually becoming more aware of the subtleties of this world, I enjoy the craftsmanship aspect, and it’s nice to have an original that can’t be copied and pasted.
    It’s great to read everybody else’s thoughts on this, too!

    March 11, 2008 | 7:06 pm

    yeah, it’s awesome to hear everyones take on this. I feel like you guys hit the nail on the head. I think that digital paint is just another tool and its an awesome tool. ill even say that digital painting in the right hands has a super realistic yet total sloppy and effortless feel that is totally original and amazing. And i feel it is pretty much a non-issue because of what bob among others are saying; its a progression, not to mention self expression. there are no rules really, and besides that rules are meant to be broken, that’s how things move forward. Didn’t everyone think the impressionists were nuts? or the first guys to NOT paint pictures the virgin and the saints and all that stuff? maybe if they had blogs back then the subject would be “John the baptist or peasants?”. maybe thats not the best example for this subject, but you know..

    March 17, 2008 | 1:17 pm

    Hi Dice,
    I’m just learning to paint now and I use the digital medium exclusively. However, I think a traditional approach really does force you, as you say, to make your own decisions. So, as much as I can when I’m painting, and especially when I’m making studies from reference, I stay away from blending modes and such. I try to always pick and mix my colors myself before making a stroke. I find that that really helps me with lighting and colors and such. However, it is a little too easy to use some of the other tools (my achiles heel is the lasso+transform) to make changes/corrections. I think a lot of it is will power. It is probably possible to recreate a pure learning in the digital realm, but you really have to try harder than with traditional media. But then again traditional media is , to me, harder to work with. I’m guessing that, ultimately, the proof is in the pudding. A great artist will have to have worked hard no matter what. If one uses the dodge or burn tools as a crutch, eventually that weakness will show, even if it isn’t horribly obvious in most of one paintings…

    March 18, 2008 | 3:24 am

    Hi Dice,
    I’m the same as you, I have a love for both and the more I do the one the better I get at the other. To me the big issue is monitor (light source) vs pigment (reflected light only). You get a far wider value range on your computer screen. In my experince, people who learn digital only have great difficulty when they’re confronted by the limited value range of traditional media.

    March 22, 2008 | 4:40 pm

    Hi Dice,
    Great question! My own personal belief is that it’s unnecessary to learn traditional before digital but it’s a good idea to learn different mediums. For example it’s not necessary to learn watercolor but it will have its benefits in the future.
    Beautiful work as always Dice!


    March 22, 2008 | 5:49 pm

    Thanks everyone for all your answers!

    I am impressed to see how everyone had their own take on this question.
    Some of the answers were quite eye opening for me personally.

    I think in the end, we all agree the medium shouldn’t really dictate the judgment on the art itself. Each medium definitely has its own pros and cons. But as far as a mean of one’s expression, it shouldn’t make any one of them better the others.

    I do still think, though, that we all need to be fully aware of the danger of this new medium, digital painting due to its tremendous flexibility.
    The one thing we always notice when reviewing students portfolios submitted to Blue Sky or Pixar is that, it is quite obvious when one has a solid training in traditional media or not even if his or her sample art work is all in digital. That really shows for some reason.

    Whether you start painting digitally or traditionally at first, it’s definitely good to work on your traditional skills whenever you can. That’s for sure.

    I once in a while see someone painting on laptop using a tablet PC from a live model. I do think that’s really a dangerous place to be. If life painting is a given opportunity to do studies, why avoid the real learning opportunity?

    I think it’s not just the “undo’s”
    Like Bill Cone’s comment, learning how to mix colors is something you will not learn so well digitally.

    Mixing colors is one of the most challenging part of painting.  There is millions and gazilions of colors in the spectrum that human eyes can perceive.  To be able to get the “right color” can be difficult for any masters.  Being forced to learn how to mix colors in traditional medium is one of the best ways to learn about color and value relationship.

    Of course, pastel, water color, and oils all react differently. (not to mention each brand of paint tubes has different tendencies when multiple colors are mixed)   Notice Sargent’s oil palette opened up tremendously once he started using water colors. (though that has a bit more to do with the fact he started painting outdoors)
    And with all the reasons aside,  there’s such a satisfying fun in doing traditional mediums.

    It’d be ashame for any of us to not take advantage of that!


    March 22, 2008 | 6:32 pm

    And here are my comment on everyone’s!

    thanks a lot. I looked through your blog the first time in a while. Some nice stuff!(the cast of unicycle joe looks really cool!)

    thanks a lot for your comment.
    It was cool seeing everyone at Blue Sky. I’m glad Horton is as successful as we all hoped.
    I miss all my buddies at blue sky..such a great group of people..

    that is an interesting comment you made about the comparison.
    Especially coming from a die hard collector like yourself… really fun hearing that..

    Well said.


    great to hear from you man. Hope you are doing well wherever you are.
    Anyhow, I really loved your comment because you brought something absolutely eye opening for lots of us coming from a traditional training background.
    I do agree with you completely where you had to start digital because that allowed you to work in color more easily given your chronic limitation(color blind) and I think that’s awesome.

    I do realize there are so many people who found fun of painting because of the flexibility of digital medium. I have to say that’s awesome. And if those like yourself later found the need of trying out more traditional media, that’s really amazing.

    thanks for an awesome comment Kevin. And do keep in touch!

    I love the way you said “why the musicians keep playing Saxos~~”.
    So true. Sometimes organic mistakes and accidents would gives a great touch to your work.

    Yeah, you are one of the rare talents out there who can pretty much paint in any freakin’ medium. that is why I am so jealous of your talent as much as your height!
    People like you and Vince really kept me pursuing my never-ending challenger attitude when it comes to painting. Can’t wait to see your Totoro painting now!

    thanks a lot. your comment really said it all.
    “Why would someone NOT want to know what that is all about?”
    That’s it.
    Oh also, I forgot to mention Craig Mullins is an incredible traditional painter too. Don’t know if he learned that before or after. I believe that’s why his digital paintings look so incredible.

    “The tool dictates the form”
    Great answer!

    Man, I’m so sorry about your grandmother.
    That’s tough. And Yeah, you should give that a priority. We’ll see you some other time.

    Yep. I agree.
    I know you are especially big on organic hand drawings and paintings.
    I’m telling you. You have to really go back to 2 d animation some day.(as a director of course)

    Thanks man.
    I didn’t know you started digitally first. that’s great to hear a perspective from someone like you. And seems like you are hooked on to the wonders of painting just like us! 🙂
    I”ll be keeping my eye on your work!!

    Yeah, you are also a good artist who isn’t afraid to try any medium. that’s why I respect your stuff. Yeah, people used to throw up looking up the show of impressionists. Crazy huh?

    Thanks for your comment.
    Didn’t know you only painted difitally at first.
    Yes, it won’t be impossible to learn just with a digital tool but like you said, it’d be difficult.

    great to find your comment for the first time!
    You are one of my inspirations lately.(and so many people’s too)
    I’m pretty happy to find your take on it too. (since I don’t see many digital stuff on your blog)
    Can’t wait to see more of your kick … grouch studies!

    thanks a lot!

    March 25, 2008 | 10:47 am

    Not that i have much to add but in my short experience every medium has its technical problems. Its just a matter or learning to work around them or learning to work with them. The more you practice painting in general (digitally or traditionally ) the better youll get at it. Every one learns it a different way so i dont think theres a right or wrong way to go about it. PErsonally for me anyways, i think the undo button is a great teaching tool. It allows me to make mistakes and not worry about wasting paper or paint , it allows me to explore and try different things. As much as i would love to put down the right stroke right away and get it perfect in one shots , the undo button lets me improve on the spot ( which in turn i believe will improve my thought process for traditional painting)

    A good digital painter should be able to paint traditionally no problems it just a matter of ajusting his work flow to overcome the technical problems of traditional paints ie ( painting drying, mixing colour , paint brushs , cleaning your water /brushes ect… ect.. ) Just because the medium changes it doesnt mean his knowledge of painting ( light , shadow , shape , detail , edges ect..) will change from one medium to the next its just a matter or learning the medium and not learning ot paint all over again.

    HEres a question. Take 2 young college freshman with equal experience in painting. Give both of htem the same knowledge over a 5 year period make one paint digitally exclusivly for 5 years and the other paint traditionally. YOu really think you can say one will be better than the other?

    I really believe its more about the knowledge you learn and the practice. The medium you decide to express yourself in shouldnt matter.

    March 27, 2008 | 4:00 am


    March 28, 2008 | 7:04 am

    Again, my eyes are full with this deep admiration for your excellent work… the work on colors patterns and textures are particulary amazing


    March 28, 2008 | 10:00 pm

    THat’s an interesting point you made. I do agree that allowing you to make mistakes sometimes gives you the chance to learn too. I do recognize things I learned about painting because of digital media. True.

    Like everyone says, it is up to the artist himself/herself. I do still think one has to be careful with digital media. There are quite a few digital painters who have hard time picking up traditional medium where as I haven’t really seen any traditionally sound painters having hard time picking up digital media. (unless they have no interest in trying it at all) There must be a reason for it.

    But it’s definitely true in the end, that it’s just another tool. Like Nathan said in his comment, I love both mediums just as much for different reasons.

    I think we are lucky to have this exciting new medium to let us try lots of new things!

    Muchas Gracias!

    I tried contacting you the other day. Have you received it? Maybe I’ll try again!

    Simon Varela
    March 31, 2008 | 9:30 pm

    What to say!!?? ….this question is as good as “Does an animator need to know how to draw ?”…now days may be not….sad, very sad but true!!! oh well……but back to the question!!!! This is an answer from somebody whose work is as primitive as it gets. I work with charcoal, pure black and white ( the white ….is the white of the paper as much as I can) eraser,cotton,knives, India ink and yes a little bit of white paint when it’s needed……but YES!! you do need to learn how to paint traditional and draw traditional……most of the new crop of illustrators don’t even know how to mix secondary colors (sad) but true …….but they can pick a thousand of different greens from an infinite ciber palette…… by the way Craig Mullins was my roommate while attending Art center…we started together and believe when I say he doesn’t need a computer to paint those beautiful pictures…The man knows how to paint traditionally and draw traditionally as well…..I seen him paint.!!!!…….The computer offers easy fixes and a dare to say a sense of having more talent than what people actually have…..I tell all my friends to draw as much as they can traditionally because It will make them a better artist because you will have to be sure and more confident on what you do than having that “apple Z’ button handy……The computer has his uses but a true artist shouldn’t be define by his tool (the computer) .He should be able to retain that talent and perform even if the electricity goes out. It would be like me saying I can’t draw because my pencil sharpener is not working. Teachers should demand that there students do as much traditional work as possible!! What kind of artist needs a computer to have talent!!??? …That’s not much of an artist………and last There is nothing like an original and that my friend you only get from traditional work…not the cyberspace “ORIGITALS” that are flying around in the net!!!…..originals are tangible and more beautiful to look at….you see the mistakes that became part of the piece… the human touch!!! bottom line….if you want to consider yourself an artist learn how to draw and paint traditional first and then get yourself a super freaking computer and blow the world away……… that’s just me the prehistoric man of animation.

    Simon Varela.

    Tim Fielder
    April 2, 2008 | 7:35 am

    I’m going to be honest about the entire digital analog thing. Firstly, I started out as a graphic novelist and editorial cartoonist in the 80 and continued on that path till I went into digital animation in the late 90s. When you’re trying to finish a painted comic page on deadline with an editor breathing down your neck, the physical limitations inherent in analog tools leave me exhausted at the end of the day. My field concentrated on work for REPRODUCTION. Work large, publish small. Don’t get me wrong, there is obviously a plus to understanding the foundations of how to compose and render images. But I absolutely must say, I don’t miss the mess, chemicals, mixing, drudgery of working in analog media. After lining off and applying gouache to tier this and panel that for years I say thank God for Digital tools. I can finally grapple the enormous amount of work to tell my stories.

    Next up: the purchase of beeeyoooteeeffffulll Cintiq 21UX baby!!!

    April 22, 2008 | 2:49 pm

    Hi Dice ,
    I permit myself to add something to the interestings feelings that were written :
    I’m sometimes “scared” by ‘traditionnal’ drawings done by excellents CG artists : whereas their finished images are ‘catchy’ ,seducing , “tape-à-l’oeil” , what they draw with a simple pen reveals a way of seeing,a way for feeling very… poor .

    Of course , I don’t wanna generalize : but there’s something in the air that makes more rare draftmen like Sempé , Quentin Blake ,or Reiser whose drawings are “thrilling” , vibrating , and…’human’ in the way their hesitations / their confidence are visible !

    …It is a very deep question ,in fact,Dice : do you prefer the discussion with someone who choose his words , who knows how not to bore the assistance with too much informations , or are you seduced by those who spread all they know in every sentence ? :o)

    (sorry for my bad english,Dice , I ‘m better in reading your language than writing it… :o)

    …and thanks and respect to you , to your work ,Mister !
    you feed my eyes , and my head too !

    May 15, 2008 | 2:27 pm

    The previous sketch is absolutely gorgeous!! I much prefer it to the digital /although this one is also astonishing 🙂

    February 15, 2011 | 11:50 pm

    Aspiring character designer here, and I just spent the last couple hours with my mouth on the floor looking at your work, love your work..I graduated in Illustration and we mostly worked with watercolors..but digital was big too as you said. You are absolutely right It is so soul satisfying finishing a traditional painting. Much more then a digital, well that’s my opinion at least.. Looking forward to see more.

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