Digital Art vs Traditional Art

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An example of a traditional drawing and a digital drawing.

At the turn of the 21st century, digital art became a reality and since that time, artists have been debating the use of digital art versus traditional art. Which one is easier to use? Which one can produce better art? Which one can show the artist’s true creativity and talent? This debate has been raging on between artists, and still is very prominent in providing more and more results and statistics that we can use to compare the two forms of art. So what do I, Daisy K., an insignificant student at Kraemer Middle School, have to say about it?

Well, let’s start with the background. Digital art is an art platform that typically uses a drawing tablet, stylus, and an art program that the artist uses to virtually draw on a computer. You can draw using the stylus like a pen, and the drawing tablet like paper, and move your stylus against the tablet to create an image on the computer screen. The image is created from the tracked movements that you made on the tablet.

Traditional art refers to the fine arts that use the traditional methods (hence the name traditional art) to create art, such as using pens, brushes, pencils, paper, and other tools. In the end, you create a tangible image on a tangible platform instead of creating an image file made up of pixels and code for digital art.

Digital art is a bit controversial since many digital art artists do not know the fundamentals and theory of art, and just rely on the special effects that the program offers to cover up their lack of true art skills. However, there are still digital artists that have transitioned from traditional art to digital art, and use digital art to enhance their already amazing traditional art skills.

Traditional art is classical and one would think that you can’t go wrong with it. But lately, ever since the rise of digital art, traditional art done by the human hand and tools has looked crude in comparison with the more sophisticated and advanced digital art. Which, by the way, features airbrushed affects, a wider variety of tools that you can use, perfect shades that you can create using the versatile color palette, and AN UNDO BUTTON. Because that little button proves to be very essential and important when trying to fill in the last small detail of an eye, and then something bumps into you and your pen goes flying everywhere on the work, ruining it in the process. Thus, the undo button (along with the save button) has saved millions of artists everywhere, and many artists have switched to digital art in hopes of being able to leave behind the old days of tons of pencil indent markings, ruined art pieces, and the frustration of messing up right when they were almost done with the work. Because trust me, having something ruin the drawing entirely over one small detail caused by something completely irrelevant and insignificant is THE. ABSOLUTE. WORST. THING. EVER.

Hence, more and more artists are starting to prefer digital art over traditional art.

But that is not to say that traditional art will soon die out after the rise and domination of digital art. Oh, definitely not. I think that the traditional arts will always be a classical form of art that many artists will continue to practice, most likely for a very, very, very long time (especially since many artists, such as me, cannot afford to buy all of the digital equipment that is necessary to create digital art, and resort to using free school-provided paper and that one pencil you found on the floor of your classroom in homeroom to create their art).

This is because I acknowledge digital arts as more of a tool to enhance art skills instead of a rival to traditional art. The digital arts should be used to improve art skills, not as an easy alternative to the more rigorous (in the sense that it is harder to create) traditional arts.

All forms of art are very unique in their own way. Digital art, in my opinion, is just another unique form of art that builds on previous skills learned by practicing traditional art. Through the many special effects, wide variety of tools, and the sacred undo button, digital art is a revolutionary form of art that can improve on already amazing art. That, my friends, is really all it is. There should be no need for debate and competition, because there is no real basis for it. Both traditional arts and digital arts create art in their own unique way, so both should be respected and acknowledged for what they are. KMS student Jessica W. thinks so too – “I think that digital art and traditional art are BOTH really cool!” she says.