An Introduction To Digital Art

Art has been an integral part of the human race. It is the application of human creative and technical skill to express an imaginative vision and conceptual idea in a visual form. The visual form is appreciated for its beauty or by its emotional power. Traditional art involves the use of tools like pencil, brush, and paints to create art. Due to the advent of the computer, which has paved way for exploring creativity, digital art evolved.
What Is Digital Art?
Digital art is the practice of employing digital technology to create artistic work or present artistic work on digital platforms. Digital art includes all the artworks created with the aid of digital software or tools, which are finished on a computer. These include the images created by using computer software, hand-drawn images scanned into the computer as well as the images captured by digital camera and finished by the computer software. It also encompasses animations, 3D virtual sculptures, and manipulated video images. Like the traditional art, the overall goal of digital art is to create admirable beauty and emotional effects, but in more creative and advanced forms. The computer digital software currently used in the digital art include CorelDraw, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Gimp, PaintoolSAI, Apophysis, Poser, Maya, and much more. There is an art store that just recently opened that hosts a variety of artists including some digital artists, if you would like to check them out here is the url to their website

The History of Digital Art

The following are the prime events that mark the evolution of digital art: The beginning of digital art can be traced back to the 1960s when artists began to experiment with the computer to generate artistic vision. John Whitney’s work was among the first computer-generated art. He employed mathematical functions in transforming visual to create one of the first digital art.
In 1965, Frieder Nake, while he was studying in Stuttgart, Germany, he entered an algorithm into an ER 56 computer that was up to a room size. The computer was able to process the algorithm and produced diverse varying images.
Robert Rauschenberg, an American artist, founded a non-profit group known as Experiments in Art and Technology (EAT). The group consisted of artists and engineers. EAT used infrared cameras with radio transmitters and video projections on tennis rackets to produce an EAT event called 9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering.
1967 marked the evolution of image scanning when two engineers, ken Knolton and Leon Harmon, who were performing experiments at the Bells Labs, scanned a photograph and republished the scanned image dubbed “Nude”. With an IBM 7040 punch card computer, they successfully converted a photograph’s grayscale values into varied ASCII symbols. Harmon presented the image at one of the EAT meetings and the New York Times published it on their front page.
In 1969, Manfred Mohr, while working at the Meteorology Insitute, Paris, started experimenting with computer algorithms to create computer graphics. In 1971, his graphic works were exhibited. After decades, Bitforms Gallery redisplayed Mohr’s banner in New York, in 2011.
Artistic experimenting with the computer using different imaging techniques in order to unlock the potential of the digital medium in advancing art continued through the 1970s and 1980s. But the potentials were not unlocked, and true technological breakthroughs did not occur until a team of scientists, artists with engineers at the computer division of Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), a company based in San Francisco, cracked the digital art code. In unprecedented ways, they started manipulating audio video and images and creating digital media through the computer. They were producing unusual digital images.
In 1985, a Commodore representative created digital artworks on the computer Amiga 1000 in order to help advertise the computer. He performed 28 experiments and his work nearly got lost. However, in 2014, an artist, Cory Arcangel, worked with the Carnegie Mellon University Computer Club and Warhol Museum and recovered the files.
The work of the New York artist, Cory Arcangel, was included in the 2004 Whitney Biennial inclusion. The work featured in the Nintendo game, Super Mario Clouds, which merged art with tech and pop culture.
Due to the advancing digital technology, with the proliferation of the affordable and portable computing devices, such as smartphones, iPhones, and tablets, digital artists are leveraging the opportunity to create landmarks in the evolution of digital art. Now, with your tablet, you can draw a picture or paint it, you can even create a film. Nowadays, these were pioneered by Digital Art, Digital art is being used in diverse forms, such as Photography, Sculpture, Illustration, Fine Art etc. The Art and Heirloom Shoppe carries art in all these mediums.

How Digital Art Is Made

In order to make a digital art, you need a computer, digital drawing software, and a tablet. The steps you will take to make your first digital art are divided into 3 sections:
Section One: Prepare Your Illustration
1. Get Your Idea or Imagination Down on a Paper
The best way to start is to make your idea or imagination real by sketching it on a paper. Try to get the subject matter straight and present it on a paper. Nonetheless, you don’t have to be hankering and you don’t need to add too many details because you can make adjustments later. So use a pencil so that you will be able to fix any ensuing mistakes.
2. Scan the Sketch into Your Computer
The next step is to scan your sketch into the computer by using a scanner. Open the scanner, place the paper face down in the scanner, and close the scanner. Open the scanner program on your computer, select the file type (PNG or JPEG), select the folder you want to save it in and start scanning. Once the scanning is complete, click “Finish.” Alternatively, if you don’t have a scanner, you may use your smartphone to the sketch and connect your phone to the computer via the phone cable so as to copy the image into the computer.
3. Open the File on Your Computer
Open the graphics program you want to use, such as Adobe Photoshop, and then open the sketch image in it.
Section Two: Outlining and Colouring the Drawing
1. Make Layers
Your sketch is the only layer in the file you open on the program, you need to create a background layer. Then use the fill-in tool to make the transparent background layer white and drag the layer to the bottom. You will have to create a new layer for each of the major parts of your sketch so as to provide the room for more detail as well as flexibility and avoid the risk of making mistakes and messing mess up the whole piece.
2. Outline Your Drawing
Open each layer and begin to outline the sketch with the tool brush. In order to achieve the best outlining, set the brush to about 2 to 4 pixels. Outlining makes adding colors and fixing mistakes you made in the sketch easier.
3. Add the Basic Colors
After outlining, the next thing is to add colors to the different sections of your drawing based on your conceptualized idea. You will have to use brushes of varying sizes depending on the size of the area you are filling in.
Section 3: Finishing the Art
1. Add Details
Now you need to make your image well-defined by adding details to different sections of the drawing in order to make them real or portray your desired imagination or idea. However, the details you can add depends on the level of your skills in art or with the software.
2. Shade Your Drawing
In order to shade, select the eyedropper tool and use it on the areas you intend to shade. After this, go to the color picker choose the color hue you desire. Use the color tool with the brush tool to improve the shading.
3. Save Your Work
Once shading is done, save your work to the desired directory such that you can still come back and work on it later. If you will save in PNG or JPEG format, merge all the layers before do so because these file formats cannot handle them.

If you would like to talk to a working digital artist that sells digital paintings to understand this process a bit more.

Stories About Digital Artists

The following are brief stories of some notable digital artists:
1. Jeszika Le Vye
JesZIka Le Vye, as she described herself, is an “imaginative realistic painter.” She combines her loves for Classical Realism with her passion for science fiction and fantasy. Her artwork explores the themes of philosophy and psychology. She grew up with her artist mother, who encouraged her to choose a career in a STEM. She resisted her parent’s notion and became an artist.
2. Kaya Oldaker
Kayar Oldaker is a British artist. Her area of specialization is visual storytelling. What majorly influence her work is nature and rural life coupled with the absurd and surrealist fantasy. Base on the story she is working on, she creates extravagant, colourful and strange designs of creatures.
3. David Villegas
David Villegas, alias Deiv Calviz, is a well-acclaimed digital concept artist, who based in the Philippines. His area of specialization is hyper-realistic and stylish illustrations. He was born in 1989. With the aim of becoming a graphic designer, he studied multimedia arts; but he later started delving more into illustration. He won the second position in a contest featured by Blizzard Entertainment.
4. Alyn Spiller
Alyn Spiller is an illustrator, a concept artist, who specializes in environment art. He has been in the digital art industry for over 6 years, and he worked with clients like Fantasy Flight Games and Cryptozoic Entertainment. He created his artwork, Nother Lights, by the inspiration he took from the color scheme of his painting, Nothern Kingdom.
5. Alayna Danner
Alayna Danner is a digital artist, who base in Seattle, Washington. She works mainly on video games, CCGs, and board games. She loves painting environment, loves drawing people and characters. Her inspirations come from the wispy clouds, Puget Sound, and gorgeous mountains of the Seattle area. to talk to and learn more about the experience that a digital artist goes through.


As you can see, digital art is making waves. Furthermore, the new technological advancements are paving new opportunities for whoever desires to make a career in digital art. The upturn in the digital technology and digital devices is giving this field a real buzz.

A Digital Art Time Lapse Video