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​Digital vs. Traditional Art

by AlexNoelle


Digital vs. Traditional Art

Anne Taylor

In this day and age, more and more things are becoming digital, even art. Some people say that making art digitally is far easier than drawing or painting traditionally, while others would argue that it is just as difficult and time-consuming to draw digitally. While the digital possibilities are vast and tempting, there are still some advantages in the more traditional method of drawing on paper. So, does one require more talent than the other? Is one a better method? There are definitely pros and cons to both.

When it comes to the traditional style, art on paper or canvas has more monetary value. Files can’t be sold or auctioned like art on paper, although selling digital art is possible once some form of printout – like a poster or a framable piece – is made. However, this takes time. Traditional art, in contrast to digital, looks far more natural. It takes more effort to make a digital piece look that way. The traditional is also a cheaper method: paper, pencils, brushes, and inks are definitely much cheaper in contrast to a computer and tablet. A monitor at least 22 inches is needed, and drawing tablets of reputable brands are often highly priced. Traditional drawing is also possible when there’s no electricity and anywhere outside of the home. Traditional art, while it needs more materials, is portable.

There are definitely times when traditional art can be a struggle, especially when it comes to revisions. Erasing is often necessary, and sometimes the whole artwork has to be redone. If an eraser is used too much it could break through the paper, whereas digital art has a limitless undo button. Old-school methods of art can also be very messy. Things like paint, paint thinners, markers, and fixatives have a strong smell. With painting, cleaning up the workspace and tools used is necessary after working. Working with ink can be especially difficult, whereas working with digital tools doesn’t put your house or clothes in jeopardy. Storing original art takes up a lot of space. Delivering it is harder and more expensive than digital art, which is just a file on a computer, no hassle.

The more modern digital art has many advantages and is very efficient. No messy pencil, ink, or marker smudges, and erasing is very simple, which makes revising much easier. Since digital art is already on a computer, it doesn’t have to be scanned. When drawn or painted traditionally, art stays in the form it was originally created in, but digital art offers more possibilities. It is possible to change the size and shape to personal preference before printing. If the artist’s desire is to make a large piece of artwork, it is unnecessary to use up a bunch of tools and supplies because of the lack of physical materials used in digital art. Unless the tablet or computer breaks, no replacement of any supplies will be needed. Artists don’t need to worry about losing anything, or fear they won’t be able to mix paints to get the same color again. They won’t lose or run out of any digital supplies. Digital art won’t be damaged: spilled on, smudged, or eaten by termites. Storing is easier and safer on a computer, especially if the art is saved on a disc or a back-up drive.

Just as with traditional art, there are some downsides to creating art digitally. Digital supplies aren’t always reliable. If the electricity is off and there is a deadline for creating a piece, nothing can be done. Not only are computers expensive but the software used is expensive as well as sometimes unreliable. Paper will always be there, but some days the computer or tablet might not work well. The speed of creating an art piece is also dependent on the speed of the computer that day, since it is most likely running other programs like Facebook or Twitter at the same time. It is hard to make digital art look natural or hand drawn. There are techniques that can be used for that purpose, but they are difficult and still not perfect. The monitor and tablet used for creating digital art are not portable, whereas a sketchbook and pencil can go anywhere.

In conclusion, whether digital or traditional, art is art. Both styles are very different from each other, but both take time, effort, and talent. Some will choose not to start making art digitally given the price, low mobility, and having to rely on power and technology to create art, and instead choose the method that won’t ask for an update or need to be plugged in. Others find the efficiencies of making art digitally outweigh those factors, and choose the method that doesn’t require replacing materials or finding more storage space. Whichever method you choose, they are both real art.

Hullo, thanks for reading! All reviews are appreciated, be brutal with me! XD This was another english assignment I had to do, I got to pick the subject and this is what I chose. Let me know if you thought it was informative, my hope is that people can learn something when reading it and that it's easy enough to follow. Thx <3


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141 Reviews


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Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:52 pm
Junel wrote a review...



Hey there, Junel here for a review day review!

This is definitely an interesting topic and one I've spent a lot of time thinking about as I myself an a sorta artist. You bring up a lot of the different advantages, and disadvantages for both, some that not even I would have thought about.
The only recommendation that I have is back up some of these claims with more facts. Gives examples of artwork made from both, the general range of a program etc. That can take what you've already stated and give it just a touch more reliability.
Additionally, when you mention the pros of digital art you partially begin to restate the cons of traditional. Repetition to restate is ok, but you edging on it being bad.
Anyway, this was well written, with a strong vocabulary, and ideas, and it's made me think.
I hope this review is helpful to you in your writing endeavors.

Sláinte -Junel




AlexNoelle says...


Yes, I found your review very helpful, thank you!



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Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:55 pm
Capa002 says...



Hey, I enjoyed your essay very much. It was definitely informative and I liked both your writing style and the structure of the essay. I love the topic you've chosen because it's definitely something very relevant to our time but not something that's discussed often so your peace was enlightening.
I only have one minor criticism. It does get a little less formal here and there, I don't know what the criteria for your essays are, but I've always been taught to be formal, so maybe loose the "pros and cons" and instead say "advantages and disadvantages". It is very refreshing to see your own voice come through though, so unless it is part of your criteria to be formal, I wouldn't change that.
I really liked this, thanks and hope this helped :)




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18 Reviews


Points: 25
Reviews: 18

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Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:55 pm
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Capa002 wrote a review...



Hey, I enjoyed your essay very much. It was definitely informative and I liked both your writing style and the structure of the essay. I love the topic you've chosen because it's definitely something very relevant to our time but not something that's discussed often so your peace was enlightening.
I only have one minor criticism. It does get a little less formal here and there, I don't know what the criteria for your essays are, but I've always been taught to be formal, so maybe loose the "pros and cons" and instead say "advantages and disadvantages". It is very refreshing to see your own voice come through though, so unless it is part of your criteria to be formal, I wouldn't change that.
I really liked this, thanks and hope this helped :)




AlexNoelle says...


I'm glad it was informative, and I will definitely take your advice into account. Thank you very much for the review!




A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.
— Paul Simon