This article about digital art solutions will, hopefully, assist
artists to choose which style will best suit their purpose. The
popularity of digital art increases every year and the technology
required is increasingly becoming readily available to everyone.
Once the domain of graphic designers or artists such as Andy Warhol, digital art is now becoming a common way to create artwork.
No other medium would let you erase a hundred times, without harming your canvas in the slightest.
A choice of digital art software for each style.
This article will explain the different styles of digital art, offer digital art solutions and will discuss each category in a little detail to help clear up some of the confusion.
Anyone new to digital art will no doubt have encountered terms such as ‘vector’, ‘pixel’ or ‘mixed media’ art but may well have not been able to access a clear explanation. As is always the way with art, there is always some interpretation and the way I have chosen to categorise the art styles might not suit everyone.
Digital Art can be divided into five main styles, Mixed Media Art, Vector Art, Fractal Art, Digital Painting and Pixel Art.
Mixed media art or integrated art
Since the arrival of Photoshop in the '90s, mixed media or integrated art has been rolled out to the masses.
Mixed media art is exactly what its name suggests; it is the merging of many art styles such as painting, photography, drawing and digital art. Using digital art software such as Photoshop, artists are able to combine these art forms with often amazing results. One popular style of mixed media is ‘Pop art’.
Led by the Andy Warhol portrait styles that
consist of using a computer programme to add bright colours to the image
and often align multiple panels together to form blocks of 4 or 9
images in different colours, this mixed media style is often seen in
digital abstract art.
Vector art is one of the most popular digital art solutions and techniques. A better term for it might be "vector-based art," meaning art created using a vector-based program such as Illustrator or Freehand or Corel Draw.
The artist uses vector drawing software and creates the image totally in a virtual environment. The style makes use of shapes which are outlined and can be filled with various colors and patterns; this usually produces a harder edged or graphic look.
The signature flat colours and clean lines
are easy to spot and quick to grab attention, making them popular with
advertisers looking to get the attention of the public.
Fractal art has been around for a while but is seeing a resurgence of late. Examples of fractals can be found in the natural world, however, in terms of digital art, it is art created entirely using mathematical formulae; they are infinite in their ability to be viewed in ever increasing detail. The closer you look, the more detail there is, as you zoom into the image.
Digital painting is an art form in which traditional painting techniques such as watercolor, oils, impasto, etc are applied using digital software.
Digital painting is different to many other forms of digital art in that it is created without using a template or computer generated model. The artist uses painting techniques to create the digital painting directly onto the computer.
The digital art software program uses traditional techniques such as brush strokes and colour blending to mimic the physical media. Styles available are increasingly diversified but include pastels, watercolour, oils, charcoals and acrylic to name just a few.
In amongst all these ground-breaking digital art forms pixel art, a resurgence of old school pixel techniques, is proudly celebrating the humble beginnings of computer art.
It is a retro digital art style that is making a comeback. When seen, most people immediately remember their old commodore '64 or Atari graphics. Indeed, these old computers and video games all use pixel technology.
Pixel art is drawn pixel by pixel in minute detail, usually using a very limited colour palette and primitive computer graphics tools. One of the more popular programmes is Microsoft Paint. This programme hasn't been updated for years; however, it is a perfectly suitable tool for creating pixel art.
NOTE: Thanks to the author of this article, Gary Klungreseth, who is an authority on digital art solutions and
Gary operates a quality service reproducing art and photographs on canvas. Check out his Andy Warhol look-alikes!
His explanations and digital art solutions have helped me, for one, so I hope that they have helped you too. Thanks, Gary.