I love to draw. I have been drawing and painting since I was 5 years old (at least that is when I remember first getting a clue about how objects in space can be depicted on paper.
Since adding the iPad to my arsenal of drawing tools, my drawing, both digital and on paper has flourished. For every drawing I make on paper, I can prepare 50 studies on the iPad. Its where I make nearly every thumbnail sketch now - but its also a great way to build up volume and value studies, develop color schemes, play with ideas that may be a bit too “iffy” to commit to paper - without wasting paper, while still creating something for the archives.
I’ve mentioned in previous posts that using most of the drawing and painting apps available for the iPad leaves you the option of compiling and publishing sketchbooks - which can be given as gifts or sold.
The diversity of tools available for the iPad is remarkable.
I don’t hesitate to mark my work prominently as “digital” - my sketchbooks all have a balloon on the cover that says “Made with an iPad Air”. When I make an image on my Mac, or a sketchbook on my Mac, that balloon says “Made with a Mac”.
If digital artists are afraid of the digital label, they shouldn’t be using the media.
Its like Monsanto refusing to mark their GMO products. If the product is good and safe, they should be proud to put a prominent GMO label on all their goods.
We are creating a new paradigm. If we don’t represent our digital work proudly and prominently as digital, we are selling ourselves short.
Artists who look down on digital artists do so in part because so many digital artists are ashamed, or afraid to present their work as digital.
Is it painting? Certainly. Drawing? Yes.
Is it as good as a hand crafted object?
In the hands of a skilled practitioner, absolutely.
Has working on digital images stopped me from making woodcuts, watercolors, and etchings? No. Has it made me better at making those other things? Absolutely.
Like any tool, iPads and computers are only limited by the imagination of the user.
If you are a good and vital painter and you apply yourself to learning digital tools with the same vigor and imagination that you apply to your traditional tools, and you stick with it you’ll be rewarded by seeing new dimensions open up in your work.
If you don’t try it you will, of course, never know.
For those of us who have tried and liked it, we have to become missionaries if we want to rise to the level of prominence and acceptance we deserve.
So call it what it is. Digital imaging, digital photography, iPad art, Photoshop Manipulate, Illustrator Vector drawing. Lead with your tech, and when possible explain why you chose the digital tool over the traditional one.