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5 Reasons to do it the traditional way

Sat Dec 14, 2013, 12:29 PM

5 Reasons to do it the traditional way

Traditional and Digital art are both completely different mediums, able to create the same product. It is possible to paint a beautiful, watercolor-like painting digitally, as well as achieve the cleanliness and color options of a digital piece traditionally. Therefore, using one or the other to express ourselves creatively is, just like many things in life, just an option. People may have personal, sometimes even illogical reasons for using one or the other and that's fine. Today, however, I'm a cheerleader for the "traditional side", and I offer you 5 reasons to do it traditionally!


Vase Painter by JeremyLeach

1. Oh the wonderful smell of art supplies > I'm not talking about the toxic smell that come painting techniques require, of course. Rather about the feeling you get when entering a huge art supply store, touching all those brand new pencils and tubes, canvases.. Personally, I could never get attached to a Photoshop brush the way it's possible with new Polychromos.

2. Easier on eyes > Painting traditionally never exhausts your eyes as much as working on a screen all the time.

3. Physical touch > Have you ever tried to apply the paint to a canvas with just your fingers? It's very exciting but a sort of therapy at the same time. You can paint spontaneously, at large and making your whole body to be part of the process.

4. Producing an original artwork > The result of painting or drawing traditionally is an original painting or drawing. It's a one of a kind object that has it's special value.

5. Your house looks great! > It does. Even a mess, consisting of various brushes, paint, papers and sketches lying around, has it's charm and can even support your creativity. Also, an art easel is a very sexy object to own.

painter by Klikkanan

Do you prefer the traditional or digital way? What are your reasons?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below ♥


Article written for Traditional Art Week at %projecteducate :heart:
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BlueNyx1321 Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I like going about everything in the traditional way. I like being able to manuipulate things through physical connection when it comes to art, like my love for music. I like being afraid to ink that picture that I had done weeks ago for in case I might ruin it. I like getting worked up about not having the best tools for the job, and end up using things that I rather not use and the art coming out seamlessly perfect.
Natnatnat72 Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I believe that art shouldn't be about what you use, but who you are. I don't mean your name, or being a famous person. I mean your creative mind. Art is about expressing yourself. I don't understand why someone would look down on an artist for wanting to express themselves in a new way. I have seen people saying digital art is cheating. That it is just pixels, not worthy of comparison to traditional. But I don't think there should be a comparison at all. It is simple. If you don't like using digital don't use it. But please stop thinking of mediums as a way to judge others art. I wish people would see them only as if they would work in their own art. 
I think I will pop in the definition of art as well
"The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power"
I know you aren't saying digital art isn't real art, but I thought I would mention that as it bothers me. 

To summarize what I have said, I believe art is about what you mentally put into it rather than physically. Thanks for reading. 

Btw I am a digital and traditional artist. I normally use digital to draw completed art that I would be happy to share, and traditional(I mainly use pencil) to practice and sometimes draw full pieces of art that I would be happy to share. One of the main reasons I draw digital is because I want to become an animator which I can do much better digitally. 
kansuo Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2015  Professional Writer
I work with traditional media, because it is easiest to me than the stupid tablet (anyway, I try), and faster.
Too, is in the way I learned.
It was difficult to me to learn to draw with the pencil, so I can't tell you with the tablet.
And Digital Art has so many inconveniences, one of them, is to forgot to save the artwork. I die when that happens to me.
TheLittleTomatoFairy Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I absolutely love the traditional media. I've tried digital several times and, yeah, it's fun to play with, but I don't like it as much. The colors are more vibrant and clean cut, too. Still...
I feel like people use digital because it's easier to work with and cover mistakes. You just have to sketch and scan; then color and refine. Traditional, though, you need to continuously strive to improve. Shading, inking, learning the tools.. It takes a lot of practice. And confidence. Which, I think, is another reason people keep with digital. You can edit out any mistake, but, with traditional, if you can't erase, you live with itt.

But you can always, always improve your traditional skills and styles. And that's probably what I love most about it. :heart:
twelvex Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2013
i enjoy both... Sometimes when I get tired of photoshop i grab my watercolors and paint .. i might Not be really Good at it but I still love it and like to learn this Medium
Lucis7 Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2013
I agree with this so much! I use both mediums, traditional and digital, and each one has their own advantages, but not even the most modern graphic tablet can give you the infinite amount of pressure levels and movement your real hand already has :)
Rssfim Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Altough I've been trying digital art, traditional is still my favourite. Tha 5 reasons you mentioned demonstrate you really feel the magic of painting traditionally.
I personally love to handle papers and watercolour brushes. The effect they produce on rough textures is sometimes unpredictable, but at the same time surprisingly good! :D

I believe traditional painting forces me to be more confident on my decisions. As there are no layers to adjust (to a brighter, more translucent, noisy levels), no "undo" buttons and no zoom to improve details, I have to focus on the right dose of contrast, saturation and brush strokes. No corrections, no overwork...

Maybe if I were an ultrarealistic painter, I'd be a bigger fan of digital. The truth is I like those little imperfections of traditional art.

Lovely article! :)

P.S. Mind if I share my last artwork (it's a traditional, btw!! :D

Dancer 2 by Rssfim
Halasaar01 Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2013  Student Artist
I love traditional for the noise it makes when I paint or draw that little scratching gives me goose bumps every time I hear or do it where in digital I don't get it. I also love the feel of textured paper. I know this sounds a bit weird but that's the way I am and I also use my fingers to blend my pencils out I get pretty messy at the end but it how I like to do it. It should matter how you do it just as long as your enjoying yourself that's what art is about at least for me!!! Cheers!
kampfly Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2013  Student Artisan Crafter
I like traditional because digital would give me headaches, lol! Plus I watch Netflix on my computer while painting, and I feel like an extra device would be a bit much. I like having a physical product when I'm done! Right now though I'm not liking how difficult it is to get prints made :( My local kinkos can't print off of a canvas to save their business, I swear
ITAFTRS Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Traditional is the one medium for me. Though I occasionally make some digital art, I don't feel as comfortable with it as I to with traditional. I think I have to feel that I'm holding a real pencil/pen/marker and drawing something on a physical surface, paper for instance. No tablet can give you the same feeling, in my opinion. And I totally agree with you on the beauty of the mess in your house. What was supposed to be my dining table has now turned into my "art corner" and it's covered with papers, drawings, pens, books, my scanner etc. And I just love it! Not to mention that my traditional art looks way better than the digital:D
nanodroid Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I think it is a endless arguing like the egg and the chicken...:)
LimLam Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Digital all the way.
hinomars19 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Professional General Artist
I agree with all this completely, but sadly due to time I work Digitally most of the time as an occupation-however this allows me to keep the joy of traditional methods as a hobby and thus a clean divide between art for work and art for pleasure ;)
davhiedom Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Perfect reason that's why I never choose digital art ^^
TheHollster Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Student General Artist
I do actually prefer traditional =]
Kingmertel Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Student Digital Artist
until you make a mistake and screw up your art work :[
AlbeVallon Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ahah, I really do like both !! ♥ The only thing that would make me chose traditional over digital is the fact that... Well, just today one of my friend asked me "but you're in digital, why do you draw stars one by one ?... Same for the grass, you could do it way faster with brushes !"
But the thing is, I don't want to use brushes. Cool textures, why not ?... But seriously, if I can do the stars one by one, well I just do it. Because in traditional, you just have to !! If you only use brushes and textures, then it's not a drawing anymore ! >///<

Well, that's my opinion :3
aegiandyad Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013
I loved the art shop atmosphere. I used to imagine all the things I could do with the kit if only I were an artist. Sadly, I had not the patience for real fine art, and not quite enough of the necessary skill or talent, either. I want to make photography and digital editing do for me what I couldn't do for myself. My respect for real traditional art of all kings is enormous.
kupieckorzenny Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Student Digital Artist
I love traditional media, even though I work a lot digitally.
First of all, with digital art I started working more often, because it doesn't make mess and I don't have to worry about missing supplies (which are expensive) or paint drying. 
Hopefully what I learned when drawing digitally helps me improve my traditional art :)
arbhin Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013   Artist
As much as I like digital art, because of the clean work, it can never be anything without traditional art in any way. 
A digital masterpiece first had to had a design, made in a traditional way, before it could have been added to the screen. Even as small as a doodle, or little sketch, first created traditional, pen or pencil on paper, before the artist is clear about the displays measurements and use of technics. I love digital, but Im a big fan of traditional.
KorsonOraakkeli Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the inspiring journal article! I never thought of an easel as sexy object to own :D

For me, making traditional art is very relaxing as it engages your whole body in the process. I love the unexpected results of just letting your intuition guide you; the hands take over and the analytical brain steps aside :) I was trained as a sculptor and ceramist so that may explain my delight in the physical side of it.

Nevertheless, digital art also has its advantages: it never gets that messy, and it rarely poses any health hazards...
neokasey82 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I love both digital and traditional art. I enjoy digital more right now because it's the most convenient to me, and it's easier for me to add a background digitally rather than traditionally. However, that being said, I draw a lot of my characters out traditionally first and then go over them digitally. A lot of my digital stuff is traced over some of my traditional stuff. I guess my art is a bit of a combinaton of the two.
ladybugotaku Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
i'm in love with traditional art because it takes more skill to draw something so detailed and vivid instead of using a computer. Everyone knows how to use one so it's not so impressive unless you're making 3d designs or something. Other than that you just seem like a fake artist to me. Don't get me wrong digital art is cool, but it's not as appealing to me.:-)
Netbug009 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Student Writer
It's alright if digital art doesn't appeal to you, but I'd encourage you to try creating digital artwork before saying it doesn't require talent. :/
ladybugotaku Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
It takes computer smarts, but not talent. If you're awesome with computers like a lot of people than yeah it would be super easy, but come on, using your hands for real is the way to go. You don't see digital art at museums do you?:-)
Netbug009 Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2013  Student Writer
Actually, many museums offer digital art, mainly in the form of graphic design. 

As somebody with 20 years of computer experience, I must say I can't create digital art worth crap. There really is artistic talent and knowledge required and I encourage you to attempt digital artwork before digging yourself deeper into a hole, no disrespect intended. ^^;
ladybugotaku Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
No prob dude. I'm just all about natural stuff so i really hate doing digital art. My hands work best by themselves than using a keyboard.:-)
Netbug009 Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2013  Student Writer
Well hey, whatever you like to do is fine. I'm just saying not enjoying a hobby doesn't mean said hobby doesn't require talent. :B
ladybugotaku Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Of course. No one is naturally good at singing right?:-)
hetaliadutch Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I'm sure digital art requires just as much talent as traditional, I don't think I could pull it off. The main thing different is correcting mistakes? While a mistake with traditional art might force you to redo everything, an digital artist can undo an action or redo one layer.
Netbug009 Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2013  Student Writer
It's true that this is a nice advantage, and so is the lack of physical supplies required, but working with a computer has troubles of it's own. :)
hetaliadutch Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Like I said: I don't think I could pull it off. Respect for all those digital masterpieces.
Nineveh03 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013
Well, I agree to all those points BUT one - "easier on the eyes". For me, it's not. My eyes get tired after a few hours of work (sometimes they'll get bloodshot, too), but when I do it digitally, I can spent all day and night on it without any effect on me. Weird, huh?
brew07 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
or both ??!!! i only do traditionnal but i really love both, after all, that's what art is all about, "different styles". 
HouseofBalloons Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I agree with all these reasons. I admire works that are done traditionally more so anyway...I think i will always be this way. Digital is good for some people though. 
kaichi1342 Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Traditional Art is like a meditation for me. It is my stress reliever alongside my hugging my cat.
I think I draw better with traditional art, color better and understand light better.
There is this something of not careless abandonment to it yet you are very careful not to have lots of mistake and then embracing the mistakes you made. I am fine even I don't have CTRL+Z in real life, afterall real life does not have undo only throw to trashbin lol.
I don't experience this kind of nature into digital that much (I do both 3d and 2d) and that is even though I also do programming from time to time. Whatever I learn in traditional I put it to use to digital.  
EchizensGirl Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013  Student General Artist
I do both. I feel the only way I can be well rounded is to do both, otherwise you are leaving out two parts of one world, which would not be a good thing for me.
OverLapingLeafs Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Or we could stop trying to tell people what to do (passive aggressively suggesting things is no different) and just let people do things however they please.
KaizokuShojo Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013   Traditional Artist
I just don't enjoy digital work the same way that I do traditional.  I like very fine details, and I'm not fond of keystrokes/etc. it takes just to zoom in when I can just lower my head closer to the paper.  I don't like having to hunt for effects brushes, swapping out palates or any of that, when I could just be using that which is always at my fingertips while at my drafting table.  That's all just me, but, it's just annoying.  Digital does afford the ease of no-mess 'watercolours' and other effects, and ease of colour-mixing, but...I like the messy aspects (except charcoal dust, I hate that XD).  I like the challenge of trying to get a great colour mix (on the rare occasions I paint) or making do with what I have.  Getting inventive with coffee or kool-aid to paint something.  It's just...neat.
NaroKusanagi Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Using traditional mediums is more fun than using digital means of creating art. It just feels so good when you know you're done with your piece, and art theft/loss of an art piece is less likely to happen. At least that's my opinion :3
Besides, if it wasn't for traditional mediums, I wouldn't even be commenting on this journal, and probably I won't even be here in dA :D
pinballwitch Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013
I've noticed some comments about digital being cheaper than traditional -- but I think in many ways it all depends on your mindset. With a little creativity, traditional becomes a lot cheaper (and sometimes that makes it more interesting). I use mostly scrap paper to do rough sketches -- backsides of essays, bottom halves of notebook pages, etc. -- which can be nicely bound together as a sketchpad. As for digital, high quality software and hardware is expensive. The same is true of high quality paints etc. You can however still accomplish cool and beautiful things with not-quite-professional software/hardware, and the same applies for paints/pens/pencils/what have you. Sometimes to make up for somewhat crappy paint or whatever, you might add to the work in unusual ways -- throw in a crayon or do a little collaging or break out a different medium to add some finishing touches. I've had somewhat suspect watercolors dry and not look like your normal watercolors -- very powdery-looking instead -- and now that I know, I can deliberately use this set to get that dusty effect. I think it is somewhat analogous to not-so-professional software that might have some tacky-looking filter or whatever -- maybe not what you were looking for, but has some potential when used in a different way.

But traditional is a mess :) that I cannot refute.
fe-fantasy93 Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013
Fun response! So many people have noted that digital art is cheaper that it's easy to forget that either medium can be more expensive depending on the artist's mindset.
kaihidou Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013
Traditional is where I grew at, and proud to get my hands smeared in color and pencil lead!
Ro-BAWT Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I agree with all of this pretty much. These are all the reasons I enjoy working in traditional mediums, being part of the mess is great, and walking around with paint on your pants lets the rest of the world know you are making some art! becoming consumed by your work and the tactile sensations. Makes it much more personal and it's a great way to work through something in my head. 

Still enjoy post processing and some design work in PS but there's little emotion attached to a computer.
neurotype Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:lol: Read the title and the first thing I thought of was the smell. Tactility is so important!
SavageFrog Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
The scent of Gouache kinda makes me wanna throw up at times but I keep thinking "it's the result that counts!" XD
(but I see what u did thar :eyes: )
neurotype Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
miontre Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Great article :heart:
karibous-boutique Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
For professionals and people with formal art education, you certainly make good points.  However, as an amateur digital artist, I've only managed to develop any real skill with traditional media by learning the intricacies of light and shadow involved in digital photography and rendering.  We are not all as fortunate as you in our innate "traditional media" talents.  :)
riniwuzhere Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013  Student General Artist
I combine the two, digital and traditional. Its like creating two different pieces of artwork at the same time :)
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