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How has the illustration changed with digital media?

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For a few years, graphics tablets have been made hollow between the tools of an artist, thanks to the fact that, together with the software they use, they are able to copy almost all the techniques with an amazing result. But there are still artists who prefer traditional media to digital media, why?

Learn to draw … again?digital media

That’s it, again! As an artist, the jump from paper to tablet was a strange experience. You are used to every inch of the paper equals a centimeter of reality, but this changes a lot when you use a tablet. In digital media, you always have the same surface, and it is necessary to adapt the canvas to the size of your stroke, and not your stroke to the size of the canvas, as it happens using traditional media.

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Another step that must be overcome, unless you buy a tablet with monitor (which is around 1,500 euros on average), is to get used to draw and look at different points. It seems silly, but we are accustomed to where we pass the pencil is a black mark just below him, but this with a tablet without monitor does not happen. It is true that it is a matter of having patience and getting used to it, but it is one of the main reasons why people end up not using a graphics tablet.

It’s almighty, it’s magnificent, it’s Ctrl + Z

Indeed, one of the biggest advantages of the digital media over the analog, although it has its buts. It allows the correction of errors, which can save our lives, but, as with many miraculous solutions, it is a double-edged sword. Why? Because when you realize you’ve spent two days without sleep remaking the same stroke, with your dog biting your shin because you have not fed him, and the garbage smelling weird. It is an exaggeration, but with this, I mean that you lose the ability to decide, and you end up not thinking before drawing, which is a huge waste of time.

Layers, the sheets of methacrylate of the futuredigital media

Another advantage of digital media is the use and editing of layers. You can precisely define exact values of color or transparency, and arrange them in different ways to work on only one element. The only downside is that if you are not ordered, you will end up with a file with 150 layers without a name. And spend an hour turning off and lighting layers while you leave your eyes and brain to know what each one has is not pleasant, I assure you. Read more 9 Tips to fix a garden with flowers

Calibrate the paper?digital media

Paper does not, but your monitor does. You will need a good monitor to be able to illustrate, and you will also need to have it calibrated. With traditional media, the color you see is what it is, period. With the digital media things change, because the color of your monitor (if it is not properly calibrated) will be different from that of another monitor, and if you intend to print your work, it will be even less similar. That is why you should have a monitor with a good color reproduction and that is calibrated. And if you want to print and the colors come out as close as possible, we recommend that you first print a letter of adjustment with the printer with which you are going to print, to get an idea of how the tones will look. The paper you use will also influence, but it is as easy as printing a letter on each type of paper you have, to have a sample.

Disconnection with texture

Another of the great steps you have to overcome is to say goodbye to the sensation of the support rubbing with your hand, the tear of the graphite against the paper, or the smell of oil. It is to forget about it to say hello to a cold and smooth surface, that does not smell and that does not sound. But, in return, as we will talk later, you gain space.

For many artists that relationship between the artist and the work is diluted with digital media, and choose to continue using analog tools. The texture (understanding texture as something plastic, that comes out of the support) is something that we lose with the digital illustration. It is true that you can distort it, but you lose the third dimension and the play of light and shadow that the painting itself can project onto the canvas.

A study in a small boxdigital media

Storage is another point to consider when deciding. Traditional media occupy physical space, and it is not uncommon for you to end up with one (or several) rooms full of junk. Brushes, paint, canvas, paper, easels, drawing board, pencils and a long list of other tools at your disposal, which you will have to keep somewhere.

With digital media, all this is reduced to a table with a computer, a tablet and a hard drive. Apart from the obvious saving of space, you can save all the tool to master them all

We have already discussed this above before. In digital media, a tablet and a pen equal any tool you can imagine. You can hold a 2B pencil in your hand, and in the second, a brush loaded to the top with paint of the color you want or a brush with ink. But do not think that this is magic because you will spend hours looking at different packages of brushes, buying and downloading them. And then you will have to test them and know how they are used, what results from they give and what you can use them for if you can. Here the traditional illustration wins since you know that “x” tool has “x” stroke, and its use is usually much more intuitive.

There are hundreds of packs of brushes on the Internet, many of them free. But our advice is to ask directly to digital artists that you know or follow to speed up your search. One of the most used is KyleBrush, which is now exclusive to Adobe users; or the GrutBrushes, also for Photoshop. They are paid, but in this, as in almost everything, the good is paid.

A clear disadvantage of traditional versus digital media is the wear of tools. You have to give special care to all of them, and no matter how careful you are, they end up wearing out with the use. It is true that the pencil that you use with the tablet also wears out, but it is only a tool, and the usual “repair” is to change the tip. And even if it breaks, it’s a tool to change, and not twenty.

After reading this post, the safest thing is that you have not decided on what to use. The reliability of the traditional or the comfort of the digital? That is already in your charge. The only thing I can say without fear of being wrong is that digital media is here to stay. That, and that there is no reason to choose one or the other, you have to know what to use them for.

The author is an expert on occupational training and a prolific writer who writes extensively on Business, technology, and education. He can be contacted for professional advice in matters related with occupation and training on his blog Communal Business and Your Business Magazine.

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