A large variety of mediums

When it comes to choose a way to express our creativity in visual art, the choices are many: pastel, oil, acrylic, watercolor, gouache, ink, collage, mixed media … and digital. Which one to choose? It’s a matter of preferences but for those of you who want to know why digital is a wonderful medium for creative painters, read below to find out.

Digital collage

List of benefits 

Here is a list of  benefits related with the use of digital tools in painting.

  1. Perfect for small working space.  No need for a studio. You only need a place to put a computer, a digital drawing tablet and perhaps a printer.
  2. No mess. Forget paint under the nails, stained clothes, paint drips on the wall, brushes stuck with dry paint. When working with a computer you can dress as you like and have no mess to clean up.
  3. No odors. No hazardous odor of solvent, paint or varnish.
  4. Eco-friendly. Here I must confess that computer, if not recycled, pollutes a lot, however, when compared with fixatives, pigments made with chemical and heavy metal, adhesives, solvents, contamination of water with those chemicals,…. which one is more pollutant? Hummm….
  5. Less hazardous to the health. I am referring to the damage to the lungs and health hazard caused by the exposure to chemicals and toxic if the artist does not protect adequately.
  6. A large variety of tools and techniques. Even with free software like GIMP, the artist has dozens of brushes with different effects that can be customized according to personal preferences. With software like Corel Painter, the brushes mimic the effects obtained with traditional mediums such as: dry or oil pastels, acrylic, watercolor, airbrush, watercolor and so on.
  7. Beyond the usual limits. For example, with digital it is possible to use a water based medium over an oil base medium; crop a painting without destroying the original; completely change the colors of a painting after it is done; work in layers modifying transparency as we like…. The list is endless.
  8. Reduced costs. If you consider that most of us already have a computer available, it costs very little to make digital painting, especially if a free software is used. Yes, some software are very expensive and if you add extras such as a digital drawing tablet or a paid software the bill goes up fast, but have you calculated the price to paint on canvas? Canvas, frame, gesso, paint, brushes, texturing agents, thinners, varnish, framing … Phew! With digital, if a painting is a mess, you just delete the file and it will only cost you time.
  9. A forgiving medium.  When working with digital, you may save your work at different stages of the creation and choose to go back if you are not satisfied, or simply press the delete function. It is simple and fast. This allows taking more creative risks.

These are reasons to try digital tools and some of why I appreciate this medium so much.

I forgot some benefits? Use the comment box to tell me.

In a future article, I will talk about the drawbacks of digital painting. So stay tuned!


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