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Hand Painting v Computer Art


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I love looking at art and appreciate all the different forms of painting and illustrating.

However, when I look at computer generated illustrations, no matter how good, they seem to lack that indefinable something that can only really be accomplished by hand with conventional artists materials. Computers seem to lose something along the way. Maybe it loses the subtleties of an artist's style somehow.

Not that I don't appreciate the skills needed to generate computer art. It's just that to me something always seems missing when I see computer generated pictures, compared to sketches and paintings done by hand.

What do other readers think?

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I think its down to hand done art having flaws that somehow add to the art. digital tends to not have those flaws. maybe the flaws are what gives it flavour. I'm not sure if flaw is the right word but I'm sure you know what i mean, its something intangible. sorta like an extra layer to the art that was unplanned

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I like to both draw with pen/pencil and paper and doodle with the MS Paint program..... I think that hand drawn art is a bit 'warmer' and more organic. Digital art can be a bit cold and distant. I wish I could afford something like Photoshop to draw with, though. Here's a drawing that I did in Paint, I think it evokes a bit of feeling even though it's digital.....

TheBlackCrowes(1).jpg.72d0266d7bba38bcaba9bc7eb374b1bd.jpg

 

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12 hours ago, JollySipper said:

I like to both draw with pen/pencil and paper and doodle with the MS Paint program..... I think that hand drawn art is a bit 'warmer' and more organic. Digital art can be a bit cold and distant. I wish I could afford something like Photoshop to draw with, though. Here's a drawing that I did in Paint, I think it evokes a bit of feeling even though it's digital.....

TheBlackCrowes(1).jpg.72d0266d7bba38bcaba9bc7eb374b1bd.jpg

 

Have you tried Gimp?  It's free and is a Photoshop alternative.

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I agree that hand-drawn or painted art tends to have imperfections that make it feel richer than digital art.

That said, some digital artists have become SO good at mimicking traditional art media and techniques that you'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference through a computer screen! It's crazy what's possible these days.

On 4/1/2022 at 9:58 AM, JollySipper said:

I just checked that out..... Can you draw from scratch, or is it mainly image manipulation software?

Gimp has a variety of tools, including ones that allow you to draw from scratch.

RE: digital drawing/painting apps that are free, I should also mention Krita. It features some awesome digital drawing and painting tools and is set up a lot like photoshop. I downloaded it fairly recently but haven't dug into it yet, so looking forward to that!

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  • 2 weeks later...

The art differs allot, I like them both. When I are in the cabin I have time to sit down and do some freehand arts with pencil and try to color them with my kids “filter pens”(?) get results that I am proud of. When sketching with pencil on the IPad I can laborate more,  and do things I can’t on the paper yet. I can also sit anywhere when traveling. And the nice thing for me is that I can do sketches of my finished models 😉 especially since they take so long for me to finnish.

Practicing on the iPad with Procreate also trains my perspective when going back to paper.  

Edited by Mattilacken
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  • 2 weeks later...

As an agency graphic designer, I use Photoshop for hours on end and I enjoy it. Photoshop makes work easier but it's 100-percent controlled. That's fine for commercial design and layout, but art by hand is much more liberating and expressive. There's not much "undo" so you kind of live in the moment and take what you get. The mistakes, successes and textures are more honest and I think viewers can see and appreciate that.

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^^^  I agree entirely with Lunajammer.

And while I have a great deal of respect for good digital artists, to me, it can be kinda annoying in the way digital photography can be.

When everybody and his little dog has a digital camera, we kinda see a smaller percentage of "photographers" who have any real, basic understanding of the medium, and concepts like composition within the camera, exposure, depth of field, lighting effects, bracketing, panning, lens optics, and on and on.

You can correct or modify just about anything in digital media, even with my old dinosaur Nikon photo processing tool, and while it makes what used to be a fairly complex and skilled hobby or profession accessible to "everyman", it also can encourage laziness, and substitute speed and convenience for art.

I find that almost universally, someone who has mastered the old-school skills, or is at least cognizant of them, produces better digital art as well (this goes for 3D printed modeling too).

A friend of mine was a talented and successful commercial artist, having done well-known images for Rolling Stone covers, things like Breck shampoo's Breck Girls, etc. The guy was at the top of his field. When the digital revolution came, he was rapidly eliminated by kiddies who had zero old-school skills, worked considerably faster, and were consequently cheaper to hire.

As he was close to retirement age anyway, rather than try to learn the oh-so-much-better-faster-cheaper new way, he quit...and sadly, never painted again.

Edited by Ace-Garageguy
TYPO
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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm a pro-photographer but have yet to go digital. Of course my color film does get developed in a dedicated film processor and a high quality scan from work and some post PS work but my BW is done all by hand in the darkroom. People always say to me "But you only have 36 shots!?!" Yes, I'm stuck with "just" 36 images per roll but that's all I need to "get" the shot. I have no intention of buying a DLSR and shoot 3600 images only to spend the next 8 hours combing through all that BLAH_BLAH_BLAH_BLAH to get the 10-20 I need. And a well done BW in the darkroom is miles ahead of any BW digital image, in my mind anyway. Just old school I guess. 

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  • 2 months later...

My thread has raised some interesting discussion.

Hand done artwork does have that intangible 'feel' to it unlike computer generated compositions.

As for photography, I agree that the 'machine gun' approach by many camera users (I will not call them photographers) using digital will render a few nice pictures out of hundreds taken purely by the law of averages. But I am surprised to learn that Scott, being a pro photographer does not shoot digital. 36 images per roll suggests that he is using a 35 mm camera rather than a medium format roll film camera with less images per roll. Dodging and burning in the darkroom to a large extent has become a lost art that Scott is still keeping going.

To get the best out of a camera you need to have some understanding of aperture settings and shutter speeds. I have a lovely little Panasonic LX3 Digital Camera that I have owned for some time now that I can either set up or use as a point and shoot, so quite versatile as I don't have to lug a bag of gear around with me to the shows.

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Then there is the best of both worlds!  After years of burning 18-20 rolls of 36 shot 35mm only to get 4 or 5 good shots, scanning them for cropping and final touch up, I welcome the digital photography.  Hand art vs. digital art is like is like apples and plumbs. Each has it's place in the art world just a different tool to an end.  Picasso/Pissarro

Cat Country Poster sml.jpg

Red Bull 2021_01sml.jpg

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On 5/3/2022 at 6:52 PM, webestang said:

And a well done BW in the darkroom is miles ahead of any BW digital image, in my mind anyway. Just old school I guess. 

Agree 110%.  I took a couple of photography classes way back when I was in college, all we shot was black and white.  Up until I got assigned to Korea in 1979, every base I had been at had a hobby photography room, so I had ample opportunity to practice.  Never quite reached the level I was looking for, but still enjoyed the creative processes.

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21 hours ago, Bugatti Fan said:

But I am surprised to learn that Scott, being a pro photographer does not shoot digital. 36 images per roll suggests that he is using a 35 mm camera rather than a medium format roll film camera with less images per roll.

Depends on the subject and what the client needs/wants. I also use a vintage Voigtlander 6x6 120 camera and a Graflex 4x5 camera. 

BTW, I do not do weddings or "events". I mainly do automotive (35mm) or family portraits (mainly 120 or 4x5) and sell fine art BW darkroom prints (35mm, 120, 4x5). 

As my main job is working in the last camera/lab store in St. Louis my picture taking is a side job. Oh and I process all the BW film for the camera store at home, by hand about 100-180 rolls a month.  

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The thing that's been freaking me out lately is AI-generated "art". There are tools like Dall-E and MidJourney that can produce stuff that, while nonsense upon close inspection, is acceptably "epic" and art-like to the casual observer.  In creating concept art for games and film, I'd read somewhere that the "formula" for arresting artwork is 85% familiar subject matter, 10% mixing in something a little different or interesting, and then a 5% "wild card" that adds a little spice to the mix. Programmers have apparently now leveraged a similar formula that allows users to type a text prompt and get art-like images back. Some of the stuff I'm seeing is junk, but some of it is actually pretty darn cool and does a fairly staggering job of emulating the look and feel of various artists' styles, at least if you squint a little.

When so much of art for entertainment design is "combine X with Y with a dash of Z"...I see this tool being employed heavily. What that means for individual talented artists, I don't know. I do think it's going to drive us further towards the notion that ideas are cheap and a dime a dozen. Now even the execution of the idea is going to be cheap. Even the most artless person can now type: "horde of zombies attacking an airport in a rainstorm in the style of Christopher Nolan film" and get a dramatic but vague pitch image for their latest script. Yikes.

Here's my "painting" created by the prompt "red spacecraft parked on Los Angeles street, in style of John Berkey":

 

 

 

 

Spex84_red_spacecraft_parked_on_Los_Angeles_street_in_style_of__4a4e3332-d8c4-4945-96e7-738e845163d3.png

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4 hours ago, Spex84 said:

The thing that's been freaking me out lately is AI-generated "art"... but some of it is actually pretty darn cool and does a fairly staggering job of emulating the look and feel of various artists' styles, at least if you squint a little.

...I do think it's going to drive us further towards the notion that ideas are cheap and a dime a dozen. Now even the execution of the idea is going to be cheap. Even the most artless person can now type: "horde of zombies attacking an airport in a rainstorm in the style of Christopher Nolan film" and get a dramatic but vague pitch image for their latest script. Yikes...

Pretty cool and a blight simultaneously.  

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14 hours ago, Ace-Garageguy said:

Pretty cool and a blight simultaneously.  

Yes. It's one of those "we didn't stop to think if we should have done it" situations, IMHO. Somewhat of a race to the bottom.

It will save artists time when it comes to defeating the struggle of the blank canvas...but it will harm them overall if compensation is driven downward by management types who think "why should I pay you when your results are almost the same as this AI and the AI is 10000 times faster?"

I do see an oddly freeing characteristic of this, though: when I was working as a digital artist I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to match styles and combine elements of different styles, in order to generate work that was essentially more "art-like content" as opposed to "real" art, that is, art that forms as an organic result of an artists' deep interrogation and articulation of the subject matter, self, and materials.

If I could hit a button and just instantly solve the question "what does Batman look like in the style of a Hanna Barbera cartoon?" then I don't need to waste brainpower or labor on it. I can focus on art that is more personal and reflective of my individual relationship with the world, whatever that turns out to be.
 

I hope AI-generated  "art" becomes just another tool in the toolbox, once people get over their initial infatuation with the shiny and weird results.

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Would Jurassic park been better with hand painted dinosaurs?  The same "is it art" controversy that has raged for eons.  New tools new styles.  Are 3D printed models less viable than hand mastered or mass produced kits?

 

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4 minutes ago, Big John said:

Would Jurassic park been better with hand painted dinosaurs?  The same "is it art" controversy that has raged for eons.  New tools new styles.  Are 3D printed models less viable than hand mastered or mass produced kits?

 

from making of jurassic park, sure looks like hand painting to me

maxresdefault.jpg

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I posted some of my car illustrations in this thread.

They are all created digitally by me. 

Kindly take a peek and let me know if I obtain my goal to make them look like they were created with traditional media.

Thanks muchly...

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/31/2022 at 3:46 PM, Spex84 said:

The thing that's been freaking me out lately is AI-generated "art". There are tools like Dall-E and MidJourney that can produce stuff that, while nonsense upon close inspection, is acceptably "epic" and art-like to the casual observer.  In creating concept art for games and film, I'd read somewhere that the "formula" for arresting artwork is 85% familiar subject matter, 10% mixing in something a little different or interesting, and then a 5% "wild card" that adds a little spice to the mix. Programmers have apparently now leveraged a similar formula that allows users to type a text prompt and get art-like images back. Some of the stuff I'm seeing is junk, but some of it is actually pretty darn cool and does a fairly staggering job of emulating the look and feel of various artists' styles, at least if you squint a little.

When so much of art for entertainment design is "combine X with Y with a dash of Z"...I see this tool being employed heavily. What that means for individual talented artists, I don't know. I do think it's going to drive us further towards the notion that ideas are cheap and a dime a dozen. Now even the execution of the idea is going to be cheap. Even the most artless person can now type: "horde of zombies attacking an airport in a rainstorm in the style of Christopher Nolan film" and get a dramatic but vague pitch image for their latest script. Yikes.

Here's my "painting" created by the prompt "red spacecraft parked on Los Angeles street, in style of John Berkey":

 

 

 

 

Spex84_red_spacecraft_parked_on_Los_Angeles_street_in_style_of__4a4e3332-d8c4-4945-96e7-738e845163d3.png

This is staggering. I enjoy your discourse on this. While I've been analyzing this style of art across a few genres, I had no idea it can merely be requested of a program to give us identifiable, abstract art like this. It's as exciting as it is disquieting.

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