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Digital Art or Real Art


Most people think art has to involve a brush, paint and a canvas. But today there are so many more forms of art. Practices that utilize digital technology for a range of artistic works are called Digital Art . Other names for this are new media art, computer art and multimedia art. This trend all began in the 70s with the use of personal computers for artistic creations.

This new media art has transformed traditional activities of painting, drawing and sculpture. To put it simply, a digital artist is anyone who uses the computer to enhance, embellish or create his or her art. Digital art is a contemporary art term used to create prints or other digital media.

Although I received my degree in 2-D Art, I also consider myself a digital artist. I have many oil paintings, watercolor, pastels, and drawings, but I truly enjoy the new ability to create art on the computer. In the past I have presented some of my digital creations to galleries, they said that people are slow to consider it as “art”.

If you saw the movie, A Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey, you will witness the 3-D effects of digital art, which produced the special effects. Mainstream media also extensively uses the techniques of digital art. As it took several years for acceptance of electronically produced music over the past three decades, a general acceptance of the value of digital art will eventually come.

Personally, I can draw a picture, scan it into the computer and then color it or put special filters onto it to create a unique masterpiece. Some critics argue that a computer program is the one that made the art, but I would like to submit that the artist is the one who decides when it has actually created a work of art, rather than the computer. I know this is still quite a controversial subject. Some digital artists can create a masterpiece created in a similar fashion to a non-digital painting on their computer, actually using digital brushes and digital paints and then printing it on canvas. Some people cannot tell the difference.

It is interesting that digital photography and digital printing is now an acceptable medium of creation and presentation by major museums and galleries. Some museums have begun to accept digital art printed on canvas. Perhaps one reason why the art community finds it difficult to accept digital art is the erroneous perception digital prints that can be reproduced endlessly. To appease the masses, some artists erase the image file after the first print so it is truly a unique artwork.

There are many different kinds of digital art.

* Algorithmic art – generated by an algorithm or arithmetic

* Generative art - many similarities with systems found in various areas of science

* Art software – Corel Painter, ArtRage, Studio Artist, ArtWeaver (free for Windows) http://www.artweaver.de/

* Computer art http://moca.virtual.museum/

* Cyberarts - produced through a process, any one of whose steps was influenced by such software or hardware

* Electronic art - makes use of electronic media or, more broadly, refers to technology and/or electronic media – video games

* Evolutionary art or Dynamic Painting - exploits the process of evolution to create an artwork which continually changes according to an evolutionary algorithm – fractals – screensavers

* Fractal art - created by calculating fractal objects and representing the calculation results as still images

* Video art - relies on moving pictures and comprises video and/or audio data

* Digital illustration and painting - use of digital tools to produce images under the direct manipulation of the artist, usually through a pointing device such as a tablet or a mouse

* Machinima - the use of real-time three-dimensional (3-D) graphics rendering engines to generate computer animation

* Digital photography - a form of photography that uses digital technology to make images of subjects

* Movie special effects - The illusions used in the film, television, theater, or entertainment industries to simulate the imagined events in a story are traditionally called special effects

* Photo manipulation - application of image editing techniques to photographs in order to create an illusion or deception through analog or digital means (Photoshop and many more)

There are plenty more but, I think you get the idea.


Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on August 08, 2012:

Thank you IntroduceCroatia! I am excited and hope I will still be around to see the new age art in ten years! Aloha!

Ante Rajic from Croatia on August 07, 2012:

Technology increases very rapidly who knows on what will art look for 10 years.

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on April 30, 2012:

Many feel just like you do Night Owl Art. Thanks for commenting.

Night Owl Art on April 27, 2012:

This is not art. If you have to use a means other than your own it is not art. PERIOD..........

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on March 14, 2012:

Thank you Kayness! You and I think alike. I appreciate your comments.

Kayness on March 14, 2012:

Thank you so much Elayne for saying this! I think digital art's gained more acceptance now but in the early '00's when it became more of a popular art medium as opposed to film and cartoon industry production technique, there was initially dissent, "but the computer is doing the work for you!" they'd say. IMO this is as absurd as saying, "the paint is doing the work for you!". Computer is merely a tool to achieve a vision, just like paints!

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on December 12, 2011:

Glad you are back doing the thing you love bill yon - art - keep it up!!

bill yon from sourcewall on December 12, 2011:

Piss Christ PiSSED ME OFF! I feel the image is totally disrepecting the christain faith! But the project succeeded in doing what the artist intended which is getting a reaction. Funny thing is If this guy would have made piss_muhummad the gallery would have been blown up along with everyone in it and the artist would have been tracked down and killed! In high school I was a Superstar when it came to art even had a scholarship, a chance to go off to college to study art. I opted to go in the ARMY instead. Once I entered the military I just stopped working on my craft and through out the last twenty something years I neglected my gift.I have only recently rediscovered my love for art and I am now trying my best to get my hand back!! And trust me it is not easy! That is why I do not respect this digital art thing the computer does the work for you! It does not take any real skill! It is like BRITANY SPEARS a person goes in the studio and makes a song then uses the computer to make her voice sound great, but she can not sing live onstage because she can't sing, so she has to lip sync everything! That is the way I see digital art! If you are an artist and you decide to use the computer to enhance your work, cool. But if you can't even draw a stick figure but you want to be respected as a REAL artist, Come ON! Stop playing!

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on December 09, 2011:

Thanks for your comments bill yon. I am sure that you are right, to a point. It takes a certain eye to see what is art, and the same goes for computer artists. I know that there are some artists whose work I would not call "art", but they somehow get away with it including:


but then many artists feel they just have to be "different" to stand out. I agree to an extent that some digital artists may not be able to draw anything, but they have learned and in some cases, mastered the image editing software to the extend where you can get images that are outstanding and could be made no other way. You are welcome to your opinion, just as I am. Thanks.

bill yon from sourcewall on December 09, 2011:

Well it looks like I am a couple of years late on this one. I am currently working on a hub about digital comics and motion comics, thats how I got here. I do not accept digital art as a form of art because all one has to do is have basic programing skills and the computer will do the rest. I am a artist/writer myself and I have no love for digital anything when it comes to artwork. Artist are talented people who spend years perfecting their craft. You can be a substandard artist and the computer will enhance your artwork and make you look like picasso. So NO I am not a fan of digital art.

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on September 23, 2010:

That is unfortunate M.T. Dremer. I agree with you that there are some people who can create great digital art even if they can't draw. It is a field of art that not all drawing/painting artists can do. Thanks for your comments and I guess you can think of writing as painting with words, right.

M. T. Dremer from United States on September 23, 2010:

This in an interesting topic. I remember a long while ago when I first wanted to go to college, my desired career path was art, specifically graphic design. However when I applied to my school of choice, their selection process was determined almost exclusively on drawing/painting ability. I think I can draw okay, not great, but I can do a heck of a lot more with photoshop. So it seemed unfair that an art college would only accept applicants who could create physical works of art, passing over many candidates who could create art with a computer.

Needless to say I was rejected and became a writer. Though I often wonder where I would be now if they had accepted digital art for submission.

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on August 04, 2010:

Thanks heart4theword - I totally agree - there are many ways to express art. I do draw, paint in watercolors, and oil, and have dabbled in pastels, colored pencil and a few other things like collage and tissue paper. It is fun to see what you can make out of other mediums. Digital art is the newest form of art that artists can use to express themselves.

heart4theword from hub on August 04, 2010:

Great job! I believe even digital art can be very artistic:) A person, even if they can not draw...you have to have a good eye, to put together a nice piece of art! It doesn't matter, if it is digital, drawn, painted or photographed...the person with the eye, is what makes the art! Having a natural ability, that gives them this God given talent:)

HubCrafter from Arizona on July 07, 2010:

Lol. " a nice surprise".

Yes. My wife let's me out sometimes.

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on July 06, 2010:

What a nice surprise to see you here HubCrafter. Thanks for your comments regarding my digital art. Aloha!

HubCrafter from Arizona on July 05, 2010:

What a wonderful resource for the art lovers here. I love the gentle richness of your color palette. Just an amateur myself, I use my own digital photos in my hubs.

Thanks for sharing all these wonderful insights!

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on June 30, 2010:

Thanks Chad. I agree - the computer is a tool, but it can make art that cannot be made easily any other way.

Digital Painting with Chad on June 29, 2010:

Since I create all of my cartoon illustrations onto the computer. Sketch to final rendering of the painting I would have to say, Digital painting using a software program is just a tool. I still do all of the drawing and all of the painting however I use the computer and the digital medium as a tool. So I would have to say digital art is art!


Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on February 25, 2010:

Thanks _cheryl_. I love experimenting too. It is always surprising what you can do with the new technology.

_cheryl_ from California on February 25, 2010:

These are awesome elayne001! I'm really lovin your "lacey leaves" piece. I'm gonna have to experiment with digital art myself!

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on December 14, 2009:

that's great agvulpes. Maybe you can post some of your creations here to share with us.

Peter from Australia on December 13, 2009:

elayne artists use tools, to create their art masterpieces and I think that a computer should be regarded as just another tool to have in your 'toolbox'.

I am using 'photoshop' to edit images and as yet I have not ventured into the artistic side of the program.

I love your images and you have inspired me to 'have a go'

Thumbs up on this Hub :-)

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on December 06, 2009:

thanks blabak - I have been doing it for a few years now. I try to go thru the tutorials online for photoshop and just play around with the softward and get to know it better. I'd love to see your creations when you get going.

blabak on December 06, 2009:

wonderful hub.. since im new in this digital art stuff.. can i ask, how long does it took to learn this.. i mean how to edit stuffs n do a awesome work like yours.. thanks..

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on December 01, 2009:

Thanks quesea. Yes, my husband is still trying to figure out what goes on in my head. LOL

quesea on December 01, 2009:

I'm a fan. As an amateur photographer, I trained on 35mm slr cameras. Now with digital, my range has expanded dramatically.

I'm also a fan of digital artists. The work that goes on inside their heads is fascinating.

Chin chin from Philippines on November 18, 2009:

Those are wonderful digital artworks. I don't think it is just the computer. It's an artists great talent that made that. Congratulations for such a great job.

contentmaster on November 17, 2009:

I am a fan of digital art, especially latest usage in animations and Japanese anime is awesome.

Holle Abee from Georgia on November 16, 2009:

My daughter just studied this in her college art class. Thanks for the info!

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on November 16, 2009:

Thanks to all for your comments. It is great to know that your work is appreciated.

LianaK on November 16, 2009:

Great hub, and yes, I believe digital art is art. I love your work--you are a wonderful, talented artist!

Sherri from Southeastern Pennsylvania on November 16, 2009:

Your images are outstanding. A real joy to experience. And thanks for publishing so many useful links and the list of terms. That link to MOCA is going to get me into trouble...it's too easy to spend a great deal of time there looking at all the incredible images.

breakfastpop on November 16, 2009:

The pictures are beautiful. Yes, it's art..

wrenfrost56 from U.K. on November 16, 2009:

I love art and digital art is no execption, great hub and beautiful pics.

diogenes on November 16, 2009:

I love this when I can take time and look at a piece. But I get so tired of being bombarded on TV by all the noise, color and frantic movement of the filler coming out of their high-tech labs. Bob

2uesday on November 16, 2009:

Wonderful hub elayne, you are so artistic and talented and the images you have created are lovely.

Elayne (author) from Rocky Mountains on November 16, 2009:

Thank you jill and hello. I sure enjoy making them. Glad you appreciate them too.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on November 16, 2009:

It must be really fascinating and interesting. It is amazing what you can do on the computer. It looks great, thank you for sharing.

jill of alltrades from Philippines on November 16, 2009:

I'm happy to be the first one here elayne. I love your digital art! They're fantastic!

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