digital painting – devices and technology

I recently took the time to post a comment on a site. Great work – but it really irks me when things are not honestly presented as true products of technology and not of “hand”.

I used to get VERY testy about printed reproductions being passed off as “limited editions” and “artists proofs”. The original print (etching, relief, lithography…) trade vocabulary being abused for profit, by artists, dealers, printers and galleries – and the unsuspecting public gobbling them up as a great investment. :-(  Oh the 80’s. Bateman. Doolittle etc

Now it is the new technology. We all carry a camera, and have so many options for creative application.  I think it is GREAT!!!!   but Giclees and digitally “enhanced” images are being passed off a “paintings”. So I thought I would expand and share my comment to the artist who stated ” I can’t understand why anybody cares how you produce an image if I never tell the viewer how I produced it…”   Dennis Roberts UK

I had been attracted to this artists wonderful “paintings” on Instagram – but after seeing many prolific postings I did not feel it was honestly “painted” but was digitally filtered and embellished photography. Too consistently realistic and contrasty like an automatic camera/light exposure. Perhaps digitally painted OVER a separate photo reference layer.

Now I am certainly not against digital photos, art and the wonder of creative technology. I use them myself.  Projecting images onto large canvasses for tracing, doing accurate architectural client illustrations in a layer OVER top of site photographs…but if I painted OVER a printed image – it would have to be called a mixed media. 
I draw the line (yes- pun inteded) at calling them “paintings” I would call them mixed media. 

reply/comment to Dennis Roberts:

great to see all the feedback on this topic.
I was attracted to your work on Instagram – great compositions, subtle light and color. That makes for good photographs & paintings – whether traditional or digital. Good work.
But as a plein air painter, I was also questioning whether they were “digitally” created – and I think it is a valid inquiry.

As a professional digital illustrator & traditional painter/printmaker I was asked to jury a “Digital Art” exhibition. It became apparent immediatly that there were TWO very distinct categories of submissions – and they could NOT be qualifed or compared equally.

1) Photographic – digital images with filters and embellishment applied
2) Digital Art/Painting- created with NO photographs – existing ONLY as pixel or vector paintings.

I would love to see a recording/video of your digital process. Then I could determine for myself whether it is actually a “digital painting” or a re-worked photograph. If there are photos involved – it would be inappropriate to label them as “paintings” as you do – as this suggests traditional fine art methods.

As with photographic prints/giclee reproductions that are embellished with paint – they should be listed as mixed media or reproductions.



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