We are at an age where a person can become a full-fledged artist without having ever touched a pencil or a paintbrush. Becoming a digital artist means getting the necessary gear to help you hone your craft, but once you get in the groove, you’ll find that there isn’t too much of a need to purchase sketchbooks or go after physical forms of art.
That said, is something crucial lost when a digital artist foregoes anything physical and relies only on their tablet and their art program? How important is physical art, and is there a way for a digital artist to benefit from physically drawing something on paper?
A willingness to invest
Some might think that going for an expensive tablet (and they can get pretty expensive) is already a big investment to become a digital artist, but physical artists tend to spend quite a bit more. They are constantly purchasing art materials to help build their skills and hone their overall craft.
For many, being a digital artist is also a matter of operating under a budget. It is much easier to take digital art seriously as the overall investment is not nearly as expensive as physical art.
The capacity to make mistakes
One of the very best things about digital art is that you do not have to worry if you accidentally use a color you don’t want, or if you make a mistake with the lineart. You can easily hit ctrl+z (the undo button), and you’re back on track. Physical artists don’t have that kind of luxury. However, what physical artists do get is an appreciation for mistakes, and a means of making the most out of a mistake.
It’s not something that those who work purely digital have to worry about, which means they tend to gravitate toward perfectionism and could end up getting upset rather easily if things don’t turn out the way they want even with the undo key. Failure is one of the greatest teachers, and going fully digital will not give you the full experience of what failure can bring.
The best of both worlds
Is physical art crucial for the digital artist? Without a doubt, learning how to draw on paper is one of the stepping stones for effective digital art. Learning how to appreciate the rough sketch, the lineart, the coloring, the final touches on a physical piece of paper and realizing that you were able to do it despite a single mistake potentially ruining the piece is fantastic.
While digital artists don’t have to take the plunge entirely when it comes to drawing on paper, it would still be a fun exercise for them to give it a shot every now and then. There’s very little to lose, and learning how to draw on paper can have plenty of advantages for the digital artist. While those who want to go fully digital and ignore physical art can do so (and excel), it’s still a fun exercise to try something different every now and then. The same thing goes for the physical artist trying digital art!
1st and featured image from https://pixabay.com/photos/graphics-tablet-digital-drawing-3256600/
2nd image from https://andrewsteinwold.substack.com/p/the-future-of-art-why-digital-art