Friday, November 16, 2012

Watery Dragon digital hybrid

Here's a return visit from the watery dragon I depicted some posts ago. Now you can see the whole beast as well as some of its bubbly environment. Even though this is an air-breathing creature its home is in the waters so it is adapted to that world, with features of both crustaceans and reptiles.

Now here's the technical question: is it digital or is it traditional? You know the answer if you look at the title, or the post from a few days ago on November 13. I completed my portrait of the creature in Photoshop. I scanned the original, imported it into Photoshop, and drew the rest of it digitally. But can you tell which parts were done in Photoshop and which were done in markers? Of course if you look at a comparison between the two pictures finished and unfinished, you can tell. But if you couldn't see the unfinished picture, only this one, would it be so evident? If you were familiar with Photoshop, you'd be able to tell, but only by looking closely. If you know Photoshop well enough, you can simulate all sorts of "traditional" media.

Some of my fellow artists simply reject digital media outright, as it is an "imitation" and not a "real" art medium. And some clients won't buy a print of a digital piece since no matter how beautiful the art is, it is still a print and always will be, and not unique. I can show and sell multiple copies. So I might have to charge print prices, which are lower, for a digital piece, even if I spent as much time on the artwork as if I had done it in markers or watercolor. Time spent on a piece is a factor though not always for the client. Anyway some of you will see this piece at Darkovercon and appreciate it as it is. 

Finished piece around 8 1/2" x 11", markers and Photoshop, November 2012. Click on the picture for a larger view where you might be able to see evidence of digital artwork.

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