Original or Digital Edit

Doing digital artwork is fun.  It allows manipulation of the subject with form and color.  I’m not sure how I feel about it, just yet.  I was a little obsessed for awhile, but when I started back with Charcoals, paint and watercolors, I realized the benefits as well as the drawbacks.  There are times when I love a life drawing but it needs a little “something”.  Sometimes that little “something” has a way of destroying, or over working the original piece, which is then ruined.  This is all about experience, knowing when to stop.  

And with that being stated, it’s just nonsense!  I mean, every single artists has overworked a piece and does till the day they stop working on artwork. The task of stopping when you’re in a wildly enthusiastic mood, is daunting.  The discipline of how to work is key.  The general rule in art is to always keep your movements conservative, frugal, penurious, sparing. This keeps the concept clean.  Even Picasso changed and morphed to the cleanest expression.  His early work was no different than any other emerging or developing fine artist.  So the arrival of clean work isn’t as important as the journey of learning. 

Back to the original question.  I approach a digital the same way I approach artwork, with layers.  I’m not a fan of the graphic arts, because in colleges, they teach the technical applications but forget the composition, the color, the grace of line. Most graphic artwork is harsh to me.  As a glass carving artist many years ago, I gained a certain amount of notoriety, where as most of the glass carvers on the east coast were men.  Their artwork was graphic and hard.  My lines were soft, with great movement. My figures and florals were gentle.  Not all artwork needs to be gentle, some hard harsh looks reveal emotion.  So over the years, I see where I missed the mark and where I nailed it.  Do I love digital, not really, but as a tool I see it’s advantages. Therapeutically, when I’m in a spree of digital work and then get back to turpentine and oil paint, a great joy happens in my work.  It’s so nostalgic to smell paints or push that paint around the canvas.  The digital approach is too sterile sometimes and sitting at my drafting table feels boring and I’m less enthusiastic unless the subject is fun.

Below is a post I made to Instagram and FB page.  I received a very good response to the post.  People loved it, but didn’t respond to their preference. So if you have a minute, let me know what do you think?  Do you like the original charcoal or the digital edit?  

As always, keep smiling and stay in the moment,




This original charcoal?                                      ...or this digital adaptation?