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Jane Conner-ziser points out the similarities in technique but also the differences in the final products  in her article @ breathingColor

Digital artists have the advantage of being able to erase or start over as many times as they want without fear of over-smudging the canvas.

Traditional artists loosely draw their idea onto the canvas, developing the project idea during the Sketching process. Supporting compositional objects are positioned, the depth and perspective are lined out, and the initial vision is created. There are several options – some painters use a soft pencil or stick of charcoal and others use narrow brushes and diluted paint to whisk in the general layout.

Traditional painters must create highlights and shadows “from scratch” using lighter, darker and complimentary colors. Digital artists may rely upon those from the original photograph or add to them and enhance them as desired.

Digital artists have the advantage of being able to erase…

or start over as many times as they want without fear of over-smudging the canvas”.
Author: Jane Conner-ziser @  |  (Image credit: Jane Conner-ziser)

If the painter is working from a photograph, they use their trained eyes and math skills to position objects proportionately within the composition. It has been known that some project the photograph onto a blank canvas to use as a guide in order to save time. This Sketch eventually disappears during most painting processes as more and more layers of paint are added. The artist will complete the painting using their imagination.

If photographic likeness is required, a photograph of the subject will be taped to the easel to be used as a visual reference. This requires a very good comparative eye and artistic techniques, all of which Master painters have been well respected for centuries. Digital painters have a variety of options for getting a painting started.

Photo painters tend to bypass the Sketch altogether and just use a pre-composed photograph for continual reference throughout the painting process. Corel Painters use Clone Sources and Tracing Paper to turn the photo’s visibility on and off as desired.

Photoshop painters may reserve the photograph on a layer, and use layer visibility to view or not view the original image. There are other shortcuts available for digital painters. Digital Photo painters also have a time advantage by having used photography as the base for the Under Painting in that the photograph already contains gradient color and value.

Softwares/apps takes another big step forward, thereby offering brush categories and variants that traditional artists just don’t have access to – like Corel Painter’s Image Hoses, Distortion Brushes, Pattern Pens and new Particle Brush technology.

Author: Jim McCauley @ | (Image credit: Paramount)