Digital Art Is Pretty Good… Certainly.


An ink and watercolor drawing, complete with dust and cobwebs, that has been hanging in my hall for maybe 15 years. And I get more out of it every time I look at it.

This morning things were happening. It wasn’t exactly morning wood but that is certainly a renewed possibility considering recent dreams.

What seized me this morning was the idea of going out and buying some art supplies. A little background might be helpful here.

I have been doing all my art digitally for maybe fifteen years now. After several decades of doing art with pen and brush on paper, I discovered the Macintosh computer and various art programs and never looked back. Until now.

I have had a defining new perception of digital art. My fancy iPad Pro with the Apple pencil and all the amazing apps has never been as comfortable as a pad of paper and a nice pen or brush.

What struck me for the first time is that this has actually affected the quality of my artistic productions. I miss the glory of a pen or loaded brush meandering salaciously over paper.

To be sure, we have created a lot of lovely digital art but it always felt a bit like cheating. Not getting down to the nitty-gritty and doing the necessary.

Great effects and powerful tools, no doubt, but there is something visceral and revelatory about a pen or brush hitting paper and starting to flow that just doesn’t seem to happen for me on the various digital platforms.

An actual drawing or painting that exists as a physical object is somehow a participant in the realities we are experiencing in a way that digital stuff just isn’t, for me.

Digital stuff is just ones and zeros really, and everybody sees it differently according to their equipment, lighting, gamma, settings, resolution and etc.

An actual drawing on an actual piece of paper participates in my reality in a very different manner. The gamma and lighting and resolution it experiences are the same as my own. We’re in this together and I can’t just twiddle the knobs.

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