The Why

Last month I wrote about why I love digital media, and I ended off with some skeptic’s typical
comments. Doubters like to point out that a lot of traditional media artists do not use
computer programs…


Ah, but they do.


Nevertheless, I’m not a name dropper, so I won’t bother going down that trail. Instead, I will tell
you the two reasons many traditional artists don’t use a computer program like Corel Painter.


First, they like getting their hands dirty. As great as Painter is, you don’t have the art smell. A lot
of people like this. As great as Painter is, your hands stay clean. Some artists love the aspect
of paint all over their clothes and hands. I’m not one of them. To me, it was frustrating to wear
a smock, yet still, find paint on my clothes.


Second, and this is the biggest reason more artists don’t work in Painter. It has a huge learning curve. It is
hard to learn on your own, and it makes people frustrated. Instead of painting, which artists know,
they have to relearn how to make the strokes they want. Typically their artwork looks horrible in
this process. It is like starting at the beginning of their career. Plus, you have to learn how to use
a Wacom, which is a different hand eye coordination skill.


When someone comes to digital media, they think it will be quick and easy. It isn’t. To get good, takes
a lot of time. A lot of time. I have been working with Painter for close to five years now. I have spent
thousands of hours in it, and I have spent a lot of money taking lessons. I still don’t know it all. Some
people find this frustrating, but, for me, it is satisfying because it never gets boring. Painter is always
evolving and growing. This year Corel introduced thick paint. Wowzers, it is complicated. With this
new technology, I can’t fathom where it will be in a couple of years.


It is becoming more difficult to know what is a completely digital creation compared to something that
has been done traditionally, and I think if you hunt around you will be amazed at how many artists now
work (at least partially) in digital media.



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