Painting with technology?

I’m apart  of the minority Generation Y, that still uses a mobile phone to make phone calls and not much else. For me, advances in technology are foreign ground, and when digital techniques are integrated into visual art, I’m out of my depth.

I agree that advances in technology these days have dramatically changed the way we create. Visual images are more often than not reworked in Photoshop or other software. A lot of the work on show for the Semi Permanent is a good example of that.

How far can we go with this technologies before we loose our analog skills.

‘ Communication media influences the relationship between sense and bodily skill, and they alter the way in which artists and designers reason to feel about time and space’. (In W. Mitchell, A. Inouye, S. Blumenthal, 2003)

Do digital techniques allow us to move into that meditative zone that  analog visual arts can help us experience?

I know for me that, creating an image on a computer doesn’t bring the same sense of joy that hand paintings does.

For a small exercise I thought it would be appropriate to mix both digital and analog skills. This ‘simple’ exercise really come out of necessity to change some horrid designs on WordPress interfaces and for the sake of promoting my own work.

This was my first image hand drawn and painted with watercolour

Ironically, I was inspired by two images I found on the net.

After I took a photograph of the image I transferred it via an old computer and a hard drive, then on to Photoshop where I started having fun. Yes I can say that the magic of having so many ‘tools’ at you disposal is rather entertaining. But I still prefer getting my hands dirty by real paint and not a crusty computer keyboard.

With the magic of adding words, adjusting colours and smearing smudges my image become this

I still find it physically difficult to use technology based tools. Computer sketch-pads don’t allow me to express ‘my’ movement of hand in each line the way a paintbrush would.  I guess the paintbrush was considered a “new” tool back in the days.

” Magnificent advances in research on human creativity have occurred, yet today’s tools often contain interface elements that stymie creative efforts. A discontinuity exists between technology tools and our ability to interact with them in natural, beneficial and most importantly for this discussion, creative ways’ (In W. Mitchell, A. Inouye, S. Blumenthal, 2003)

Technology has allowed those shy artists to promote their work while hiding behind ‘mother’ Internet. Virtual Portfolios have become the way for potential buyers and companies to search for the best designers and illustrators. You can even pick and choose from websites that are like a candy store of all the latest and best ‘creatives’ a good example of this is . The human to human interaction is becoming less and less.

We don’t even need go outside our houses to take a look around some of the worlds best galleries. Virtual galleries are all on go.

On a more positive side technology in visual art has become not just the tool but the main subject of the art. A virtual sculpture experience can be like no other, it still may simulate a natural idea but it takes it to a futuristic level.

These guys from France are a good example

Multi-disciplinary illumination specialists by Pierre Rodière, Julien Sappa, Joel Rodière

Creative disciplines tend to merge at greater levels with digital techniques. Art works can be created in groups without everybody having to be in the same room. Automation processes are guided by new software programs and it’s lucky we have a periodical to keep us in check of all the latest and greatest new techniques.

I do believe that for anybody to create the tools for digital creativity, they still need to understand original  techniques to be able to achieve greater results.

Know your domain backward and forwards. I better get wriggle on then.


In W. Mitchell, A. Inouye, S. Blumenthal (2003). Beyond Productivity: Information Technology, Innovation Creativity.( pg 66-67) Washington: The National Academies Press.

MacMohan M.(2011), pdf / 607.67 kb lecture Creative design and Digital media, cmm1108 Edith Cowan University. Retrieved from

This entry was published on June 8, 2011 at 3:56 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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