Originally Posted by DickHutchings
Questions like this is one of the reasons I put my tablet down and went back to canvas. After mentioning to a friend, good artist in my opinion, that I was painting in digital, he said; that doesn't count. I've had another mention how my digital painting was too good!! And I see his point.
In digital we tend to zoom in and get details that we probably wouldn't in paint. So, if you zoom in on a digital piece, you might see all the spokes on a little tiny wagon wheel where in analog, we would leave more for the imagination.
I see the ability to incorporate extreme detail in a "painting" as a benefit of the digital medium, not a disadvantage. Oil paints take longer to dry than acrylic paints do; should I forego painting with acrylics just because they dry faster than their oil based counterpart? Should I feel guilty that it's easier to achieve a smooth gradient with an airbrush when compared to a regular paint brush? Should I stop painting all together because my artist ancestors crafted their own pigments and mediums whereas I can just pick up a new tube at the local store? Each medium an artist uses has it's own set of unique pluses and minuses. The negatives of digital may or may not be the same as acrylic or graphite but rest assured, the digital medium has very real disadvantages that must be addressed before anything worthwhile can be produced.
For example, with digital I have to worry about pixel resolution because a low resolution file will look bad when printed. Resolution can be affected by processor power as well as onboard RAM so the quest for higher spec'ed hardware is never ending. Better hardware means bigger and faster performance.
Two, I have to worry about color calibration on my PC, on my tablet and how those two devices compare to each other. I invested in a professional quality light meter so I could create an accurate color profile to send to my printer. This is a very important step and EVERY digital artist that wants to go to print should own a light meter and know how to calibrate their display.
Third, file management is a big issue with the digital medium. If you're a smart digital artist then you have several back ups of your work in the event of a disaster. Remember, when it comes to digital, it's not necessarily the safety of the physical print we should hyper focus on but rather the digital file itself. If a physical print gets damaged I can always print another but if I lose the digital file then I'm screwed.
Fourth, digital files and their assets can be very large so over time they can fill up a decent sized hard drive. As a result, I spend a fair amount of time managing my external hard drives and their back ups. This is a very crucial stage if you're at all interested in archiving your work.
Fifth, a qualified digital artist needs to know and understand general computer processes. Copying/pasting files, zipping files, emailing files, collecting assets for printers, etc... An analog artist can get by with the most basic of these skills but a digital artist NEEDS to be highly proficient at them.
And sixth, the list of necessary skills required to create decent digital work is both long and difficult. From being comfortable with drawing "on glass" (iPad Pro) to knowing how to effectively use your software of choice, a digital artist is extremely skilled and should be given credit for those skills.
To summarize, I think you are doing yourself a disservice if you stop using a medium because other people don't understand it. Analog painters will never understand the digital process so generally speaking, they will always criticize it.
To the critics of the digital medium I say this... If you like digital use digital but if you like analog mediums then use analog mediums. Believe it or not, but there is enough room in the world for both mediums to exist.