Digital art versus traditional art media

The blogger known as Fish of Gold, who is an art director by profession but who is also an artist, was discussing how different in style her fine art is using traditional media such as charcoal and pencil, from the artwork she does using digital media (see more here). I am just an amateur artist, but I have noticed the same thing with my art. So, for example, here is a pastel painting I did of my brother’s dog, Maggie:

"Maggie", by Caron Dann, 2012.

“Maggie”, by Caron Dann, 2012.

In comparison, have a look at how different this digital painting is, done with my finger on an iPad, depicting my cat, Lucy Locket:

Lucy Locket, digital painting by Caron Dann, 2012

“Lucy Locket”, digital painting by Caron Dann, 2012

Maggie took me weeks to do, but Lucy took me only about 15 minutes. Lots of people like the style of the Lucy painting better! I could get a similar result using paint if I used my fingers and not a brush, I guess. But I wouldn’t—painting to me is about brush work, sometimes fine brush work.

So, perhaps Marshall McLuhan was right in this regard, and the medium really is the message. (By the way, here is an interesting MM memorial website run by his family, I think:

2 thoughts on “Digital art versus traditional art media

  1. I love the contrasts of these two pieces. In the first there is so much character, which I suppose is a result of ‘being’ with the subject for longer – as I am assuming the first one took longer. The second is really full of a sense of movement – the way the cat poses: even though it’s static, the curves and lines suggest such fluidity, which I guess comes from working faster and freer on the ipad? Very interesting!

    • Thanks for your thoughtful comments, and I’m enjoying reading your blog. You’re right: Maggie the dog took me weeks to do. Lucy the cat took me only a few minutes. She was sitting like that one day and I just grabbed my iPad and quickly did the sketch in a few minutes. Amazingly, she stayed in position so I could finish it. I’m painting her again at the moment in pastel. She’s not a very good sitter after all, so I’m working from a photo this time.

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