Friday, May 8, 2009

May 6th Meeting

Last meeting was a pleasant evening in Copenhagen, where we looked at mostly digital art tools.

The picture above shows a digital image created in Corel Painter and Adobe Photoshop. Done with a mouse.

Some art tools I recommend:

Autodesk 3ds Max 2010
For creating 3d art, sculpting and animating. This is a complex program but in theory you could make a whole movie with it.

Corel Painter 11
The best natural painting tool available. The bristles captures paint, the paint dry out, water colors pour down the canvas. 

Advantages with Digital Art
By painting on the computer you have several advantages compared to traditional media:
- You can undo!! It's super easy to test strange things because you can always go back to the previous state
- You can zoom in. For details you just zoom in to see more.
- You can copy. Copy flowers, mountains and then do variations. In my towers picture I copied hundreds of windows and then painted individual differences on top of them. This made it much faster to create the image.
- Colors can be changed. What often happens in oil or other media is that the colors are not quite right. This is very hard to correct afterwards, but with the computer its very easy. You can even create different variations of your painting, one that is dark, one that is light.
- Mixing media. You can mix media. Oil and airbrush are common to mix, but they would be hard to mix in real life. You paint nature with oil and then add the sun and sunrays with airbrush as an example.
- Computer brushes. Painter has brushes and methods that only exist on the computer. Such as fire brushes, grass brushes, leaves brushes. This makes it easier to create fx such as explosions, lightning and fires.
- A computer screen shines. On a canvas ist not possible to make the sun really shine, but on the computer it really does. The white pixels are in fact shining.
- Images can be combined with sound, music and movies. If you done a cool image it can be animated. The birds can fly, the trees move in the wind, the ocean is gently rising...
- You can print images many times. An image can easily be printed over and over.
- It's cheaper to paint many images since no oil or canvas has to be bought.
- It's not toxic like oil. Oil is toxic both for you and the environment, it also smells a lot. With oil you also have a lot of cleaning and waiting to do.
- In general the digital art will look much better than with traditional. It's simply easier to get good results but the competition is also harder.

Disadvantages with digital paint
There are some big disadvantages with digital art. Some of the problems can be overcome but it is often costly.
- The texture does not have a 3d feeling. When you paint with oil the canvas actually has depth too it. Also with water color the canvas has texture. Normally when you print digital art it will look as a painted photo and not like a painting. Some ways to avoid this problem is 1)Print on real canvas. This can look great and it looks much like a real oil painting but its expensive. Expect to pay 50$ for a medium sized print. 2) Print with a 3d printers. Printers can print giving the 3d feeling, but they are VERY expensive. In the future I'm sure we will see more solutions.
- People appreciate traditional art more than digital art. Most people will not "get" how complicated it is to create a good digital picture. This also means that its much harder to sell digital art in a traditional way. Digital art is probably easier to make a living of though, just like I'm doing. Commercials, movies, posters, computer games etc.
- It can be more fun to play with real oils. You can slab and dab all you want. Digital is fun and experimental in another way though.
- You can paint outside easier. A computer screen is not that suited for outside when the sun is shining, oil works fine though.

A Wacom Intous 4 board is the best one you can get for drawing. You can draw ok with the mouse, but with a pencil you have much more power because you have pressure. This means when you paint you can adjust the size or strength of the color with the pencil. You can also tilt the brush which will rotate the brush tip, super useful in Corel Painter. I'm always rotating my brush when I'm painting. There are cheaper drawing pencils but they do not have the tilt functionality which is very important for my work.

Good luck with digital paint and happy creating!!
See ya soon


  1. Hi Andreas!

    Thank you for a very good post :) I've just downloaded a free trial for Corel Painter 11. It is the program I fell in love with hehe. I can see that I can use it to create samples of paintings. I alwas wanted to be able to "scetch" a painting before I get started with real paint, brushes etc. I used to make little studies, but those are well time consuming, especially if you work with oil (unless you do wet on wet... but again, it is not something i would always want, I also like to paint in layers). So to get to the point - with CP 11, I can actually "model" my future painting, play with the concept as much as I want, without messing up the actual painting. This is a big advantage for me, because I usually tend to go astray while painting. Sometimes it brings good results, but for the most part, it takes a whole lot of my precious nervs and time to make the mess look good again :P

    For those of you who want to get a free trial of CP 11, visit


  2. That is a good idea Natalie. Its easy to scetch in Corel, in any medium. If I do a serious painting I do first a pen scetch and then I do a color test in Painter. Right now I'm digging into filming though, super interesting!

  3. Thanks for great post. That is very usefull information you gave os. Thanks Nataly for trial link.
    I am looking forward to se you and to creat a new art :-)