I identify most of my work as "digital paintings," and I never gave a thought to the term's ubiquity (or lack thereof.) I figured everyone knew what I was talking about when I said I make my paintings on the computer. But you might be surprised, as I was, to learn that not everyone is entirely fluent in the latest raster graphics street lingo. A shocking number of my acquaintances thought that Photoshop (get this) was used for editing photographs!
I have been asked by a number of these cave-dwelling chuckleheads (a.k.a. "my friends") what I mean by "digital painting" and how "it" is done. And though I am the first to admit that I am by no means a master of the art, I have at least gleaned enough from my time in the field that I feel I can adequately address these tough questions:
Digital painting is an art form that utilizes one or more image editing programs (i.e. Photoshop, Corel, Gimp, MS Paint, etc.) on an internet machine (a.k.a. "computer") to create a finished piece that resembles something that artists of traditional mediums sometimes call "a picture".
Let me know if I'm going too fast for you.
No, seriously, it's just that easy. I start with a blank virtual canvas on my computator, choose brushes and colors, and with my mouse or (rarely) my Wacom tablet, I arrange a whole lot of little colored pixel-type things in (hopefully) an aesthetically pleasing configuration that makes people want to willingly and gleefully part with their hard earned Benjamins. (Or at least the nice crisp Abrahams they got in their birthday card from Nana.)
And that's it. No icky mess to clean up, no pesky original to sell for millions. Just a beautiful bunch of ones and zeroes in computer gobble-de-gook and a numb posterior to show for my time.
So, how does that translate in visual parlance, you ask? Here is a time-lapse example of my latest binary marvel, "White Owl," a digital speed painting I created for a one-hour art challenge I will be hosting starting July 5th on Fine Art America:
Notice the conspicuous lack of actual paint in my digital paintings. Call me a maverick, but I found they tended to gum up the works.
One final note: some people call photographs with applied "painterly effects" or "filters" that mimic the look and feel of traditional methods "digital paintings". But those people are wrong and they should feel bad about themselves.
I kid. I kid.
But seriously, they're terrible, horrible people.