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Kirby July 14th, 2013 7:42 PM

Which do you prefer? Traditional Art or Digital Art? Why? Or do you think that both have their pros and cons and should be treated equally? For the sake of simplicity, let's only discuss 2D art. No sculptures, videos, crafts, etc.

I for one like both mediums but as years have gone by I realized that I like digital art more than traditional art. Why?

First of all, because digital art is cheaper. All I have to do is buy a computer and a tablet and I can create an unlimited amount of art. It will eventually pay itself off. In addition, I don't have to bother buying paints, pencils, markers and paper to create my work. Those, I feel, are all unnecessary expenses.

Second of all, digital art is more eco-friendly. I used to use a lot of paper to create my artwork. A lot of those papers were scrap work. I threw them in the trash. They could have been used for something else. Also, what happened to those markers and pens that ran out of ink? I threw them in the trash too, and now they're in a landfill somewhere. With digital art, I don't have to worry about that. My computer and tablet have lasted me a long time.

Third of all, I can easily preserve my digital artwork. I can upload it on the internet, save it in the documents folder of my computer or save it on a flash drive. It will last as long as the internet and computers last. However, with traditional art, I was not as lucky. I lost all of my childhood drawings because I misplaced a binder full of them... I'm not sure when I'll ever get to see them again.

Lastly, digital art enables me to easily share my artwork with a huge audience. Sure, you can have your traditional art displayed in the museum, but will that museum attract as large an audience as the internet does? And who is to say that your art will even be displayed in a museum? You can publish your art in a book, but who will you find to publish it? With digital art, you can go on a website like Deviantart or a forum like Pokecommunity and upload your picture and have hundreds of people enjoy and critique it. Yes, you can scan in your traditionally made pencil drawing to the internet, but at that point, is it still traditional art..?

A lot of people have complained that digital art lacks the "feeling" and "originality" of real-life, traditional art. I can see why they would hold that opinion but I still think that digital art can convey "feelings" and "originality" as well. There are also some things that digital art can't do that traditional art can do and vice versa. One of the main drawbacks of digital art is that your canvas is limited to the size of your audience's screen. But, in a way, the canvas of a digital art can be infinite (or at least close to it), which xkcd attempted to prove with one of its comics (Link:

What do you think?


Originally Posted by Alexial357
This discussion was (and currently is) running in Discussion & Debates and can be seen/read here. Shout out to jcl who was the original creator of this discussion. It's a good debate! But I plan on expanding it over to different mediums. That, and for the sake of bringing it to more artists attention, I'm posting a similar thread here. :)

What do you guys think? Do you prefer traditional or digital art? Why? Do you do both? Discuss some of the pros and cons. Graphic artists, is it so cut and dry that your preference lies with digital tools? Or do you feel that graphics could find a place in traditional mediums? Explore these ideas.

I personally have a multitude of reasons to prefer traditional art. Pen and paper are my bread and butter, and it will always feel more natural to me to hold a pen as opposed to a stylus. Controlling ink flow, my line work, steadiness, and the inability to simply "undo" an error makes it so much more appealing to me and really allows the artist to flex their tactical muscles.

Originally, I was going to come in and say that digital art (or the tools you need to create it, rather) are just too expensive. But in retrospect, I've probably spent more on my pens than I ever did on my tablet. Still, in my opinion, one cannot beat the availability and general feel of paper and pencil. Is it a superior medium? Probably not, given the versatility of digital art. But for me, considering where my comfort zone is and my level of skill, I'll always favor the traditional and (arguably) conventional.

Your turn! :)

Thursday July 14th, 2013 9:45 PM

Going by only 2d art styles, I would say I like them both but would probably choose traditional art.

Don't get me wrong, I love digital art but I love the look and feel of originality of traditional art. The idea that you can't reproduce millions of copies the same piece or have people randomly stealing your art to say they made it. I will say though, digital art gives more chances and can make someone like me (who can't even draw a circle correctly) make something a little better looking than something drawn on a piece of notebook paper.

kosuke July 15th, 2013 5:22 AM

As for me, i think i prefer traditional art more.
Though i also like digital art, it seems like i cant come up with my desired output each time i use it, especially in combining colors. It also has way too many options, settins, icons, and such that i dont understand. It is still great art though especially in our present generation where we prefer automated stuff,

but really, traditional art is something that is used in our history. it has made many different great artworks. Some of them even reach millions of dollars. It is within our history. a great part i say.

so thats my statement. XD

jcl July 15th, 2013 12:13 PM

I was reflecting on this issue and I realized that traditional art has an advantage over digital art. I was reminded of my AP art class in high school. There was a student, "Person A," who had a really good eye for design and was very adept at using digital art programs. However, he could not create traditional art, and therefore, included only digital art in his portfolio. But because he was such a great designer, everybody expected him to get the highest portfolio score: a 5. Meanwhile, another student, "Person B" included a variety of both traditional and digital art in her portfolio. Her teacher expected her to get no higher than a 4. In the end, Person B received a 5 and Person A received a 3. Why?

I think the reason is because an artist does not take any RISKS when they create digital art. You can very easily "undo" an action and erase mistakes when you make something on the computer. With traditional art, however, you run the risk of smudging, bleeding or tearing up your artwork. It's harder to correct your mistakes when you draw with pencils, pens, markers etc. Therefore, when the outcome of traditionally made art looks good, it means the artist has overcome many obstacles in order to achieve that goal. With digital art, however, there are little to no obstacles to overcome.

blind-beloved July 15th, 2013 1:12 PM

Hmm I disagree with some of your points, but I wont go into it too much. From what I noticed, digital art is almost shunned in galleries and yet traditional art view through a camera picture or a scanned is still greatly appreciated online. And yes, the internet may expose your art to more people... but they will not care about it. In a gallery, heck in an art show, I make a lot more personal connections. Locally, people expect to see more from me. Not so online. Online, art is cheapened, in my opinion. There are so many fantastic artists all over the world, some masters of digital, and it honestly cheapens a lot of what gets put online. Unless you are really amazing, it's hard to get a HUGE following online. If you find a few good people to help you with your journey, more power to you. But they may not help you enough when you apply for a job and they ask for references. That's why real world connections are important too.

As for my personal preference... I like the capabilities of digital but I'm going to have to go with traditional. Though most people do know me for my digital works, online and at school, I worked my butt off on paper before I ever transitioned. I barely started using a tablet last year and I'm buying a new one by the time it's my birthday. I just like the feel of traditional. With digital, even the tools make the art feel cheaper. If I'm frustrated with my artwork, I can just exit out and act like my mistakes never existed. With traditional, I can flip through my sketchbooks and basically see an archive of my past ideas. I can smudge my fingers to shade, I work with my mistakes more than I do in digital and usually end up better for it. While I appreciate digital and my chosen path will probably make me use it a lot more, I don't think I'll ever give up traditional completely. Plus, I love working with ink, brush and dip pen over digital outlining any day. Digital loses heart when I try to become a perfectionist. I can also finish up outlining way faster traditionally, but that just may be me. I don't think it's "cheating" to do anything digitally, I just feel I learn way more traditionally and I still use it a lot more than digital today.

Kura July 16th, 2013 4:38 AM

Art is art, whether traditional or digital, those are only mediums, that's all. As for personal preference? I don't have any. Sometimes I like to paint on card. Sometimes with my tablet. Sometimes I use 3D software. Just depends on the look I want to achieve. Sometimes I find it easier to draw thumbnails on paper, but easier to colourblock digitally. Artists can learn and grow by using both mediums.


With digital art, however, there are little to no obstacles to overcome.
Wrong. Both mediums have their strong points and weak points. Yes you can press undo.. so what? You can use an eraser as well. However, the computer won't tell you where to put your brush strokes, or what type of brushstroke will give you your desired effect. You need to play around with it just as much as you would with acrylics or oils.

The Dark Avenger July 16th, 2013 9:27 PM

I see the same thing in regards to music.

One might say that classical music is refined and proper, and modern music doesn't have the same sophisticated qualities. However, those who live in the medieval times or prior to would consider classical music to be flashy and unsophisticated, against the tide of traditional music.

Though the distinction here, beyond taste and preference, is availability. Digital Art has the ability to be reproduced, where as traditional art, has the potential to be unique and not duplicated. But being able to be replicated or not replicated both have their advantages and limitations.

shenanigans July 17th, 2013 2:38 AM

Merged the two discussions on this. Alexial, if for whatever reason you wanted there to be two threads rather than one (not sure why that was the case originally), then go ahead and un-...merge it. If that's a thing!

BlueMudkipz July 17th, 2013 6:06 AM

My short answer is-

Regardless of Digital art or Traditional art,

it is art.


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