What is a Digital-Original Painting

mood board of abstract floral artist Loretta BC Canada
Digital painting, planning & layering

Digital-painting, an art form that has been evolving since the first basic computer paint programs of the early 1980’s. Today there is an endless variety of software and hardware that takes advantage of the look of traditional mediums of watercolour, oils, impasto.  And with the advances of no-lag-time stylus (pencil like input device), the digital-painting process is as responsive as holding a brush in your hand. In addition, today’s software permits the artist to combine elements of traditional drawing, painting with digital painting and photography into unique collages of intersecting layers. 

In creating traditional works of art the techniques used in the painting process is secondary. But in digital-painting the process is primary. The tools used influence the final artwork. Digital-painting process offers the most flexible of creative work-flow. Work can be arranged in layers, re-coloured, altered in size and form with endless possibilities. Any step can be reversed, saved or altered again. This gives a seasoned artist the freedom to experiment and respond intuitively on all possible outcomes.

Integrated Digital Art – a Collage & Painting Process

Loretta’s digital-original paintings begins by combining layers of her photography, illustrations, and painting etc., into a mixed media montage of collaged digital art. Layers are then blended, altered, cut, paste, re-coloured and painted pixel by pixel, until the final cohesive artwork is complete.

“The process of creating a digital-original painting is fundamental to my  self-expression. Decisions and reactions to the collage I am creating are instantaneous. Nothing is precious. All can be undone, leaving me open to respond to new discoveries and change directions as the ideas present themselves. After four decades of traditional painting and print-making, digital-painting collage is the most fulfilling creative process I have found.”

Collecting Art – Terms to know.

Limited edition print – a digital-artist, photographer or digital-painter can choose to assign a limit to the print production of the digital-original artwork, this adds to the value of the artwork by making them uncommon and collectable.

Note that a traditional medium artist may also choose to offer a limited edition of their original artwork, but this is called a reproduction of an original work.

Giclée Printing Process (pronounced gee’clay) a French term meaning “to spray”, referring to how an inkjet printer works. A high quality image print with at least 300 DPI “dots per inch,” the more dots of colour, the finer the details in the final image. Epson K3 Ultrachrome or similar archival inks, along with acid free substrates, will last over 100 years. If the artwork is hung where there is no direct sunlight, it can last even longer.

Archival Print (100 years+ with proper care) – an image printed with archival inks on a surface, that is resistant to deterioration or loss of quality. Generally acid-free papers and poly-cotton canvas.

Non-archival prints have a shorter life-span, cheaper material and are mass-produced. Products include advertising, movie & celebrity posters, or box-store prints and wall-canvases.

“Digital-original artwork is created by artists who have mastery of the camera, computer/tablet, and stylus and add those skills to traditional art creation process.”

Digital Art Terms

DIGITAL ARTDigital art is a term used to describe art that is made or presented using digital technology.

Digital-Original – photography or digital paintings do not exist in a physical form. They are code. Pixels of coloured light. Only when the pixel information is forwarded to a printer and printed on paper or canvas does the work of art exist as a physical form.

Digital Reproduction – a print of an artwork that exists in a physical form and then a copy is made. 

All Kinds of Digital Art Processes.

Digital Painting using stylus/computer/tablet and software to paint an image. Learn more

Digital Photography use camera and software. Learn more

Photo Painting – combines photography and painting.

Digital Collage or Montage (also known as Composite) – combines and incorporates a variety of images to tell a new visual story. Learn more

Integrated Digital Art – is the mixed media of digital arts, combining all of the above methods and more.

3D Modelling – software is used to create objects that can be printed on a 3D printer or virtual world are designed for games and movies . Learn more

Vector drawing – bezier curves are used to draw graphic designs and illustrations, generally a flat two-dimensional style. Learn more

Algorithmic Fractals – manipulated mathematical formulas that are generated by a computer. Learn more