Traditional Art versus Digital Art

about 5 years ago
product By Priya Ronald

Traditional art has evolved and changed for millennia. Not every change has been permanent. Nor have all been welcome. But all of them have had an influence, in the art world, which will last forever.

Every new technology invented is reflected in the arts of its time. For the past few decades, people have tried to utilize the advances in computer technology to create art. 

With the advent of digital art, the debate of Traditional art versus Digital art has plagued the creative minds of this century. So, let\'s take a look at the differences and similarities between the two.


Traditional Art

Arts created using media that is considered classical are Traditional Arts. The development in these art spans centuries and they have often played a role in social and cultural revolutions across the globe.

People always have an affinity for traditional things. That is evident in the fact that no matter what new changes are welcomed in the art world, people do not let go of the older approaches completely.


The Bucket Of Flowers by Abhik Mahanti

From the media preferred to the surface used, everything has changed. Watercolors, oil paints, and acrylic paints are all used till date by painters. Even the cave paintings from early ages are a part of our recorded history.


Mother And Baby by Anish Halder

Graphite and charcoal are the most commonly used materials for sketching. Now, colored pencils, crayons, and pastels are used to add color to the drawings. Furthermore, pens can add an effect to the drawings.


The sculptures are made by carving marble or molding clay; even metals and glasses are used to create sculptures which often entail manual labor and human skills to carve out a perfect piece. Besides, stone and wood are also used in this realm.

Digital Art

The Digital world does not suffer from the constraints of the physical world. But still, some people prefer traditional art and consider digital art as "not real art". The belief exists, at least in part, due to a lack of understanding about the process behind digital art. There are various styles of digital art and each has a specific effect.

Digital Painting:

Digital Artwork by Shinoj K Bangalore

Painting tools in from software are used to emulate painting with media like watercolor, oil paints, etc.

Vector Drawing:

Misty Valley by Matthew Grissam

This art has a more graphic look at it. Vector drawing supports the illustration of shapes and lines with a solid color or gradient. It could further be drawn using an array of vector drawing software such as Adobe Illustrator, CorelDRAW or Inkspace.

Digital Photography:

Digital photography is the process of using electronic equipment to click the photos. Artists can also use a traditional camera to click the photographs. And that’s not enough. In fact, a majority of the people in today’s generation do not hesitate to use their Smartphone cameras to capture the photographs. Once the picture is clicked, an artist, using Photo editing software like Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom and more, can edit the same.

Digital Photopainting:

Digital art software is used to give painting-like effect to a photograph or to create a painting from scratch. Brushes in software’s are used to modify the feel of the image.

Fractal Art:

Fractal art is an algorithmic art, created by calculating fractal objects and then showing these objects as the subject of an artwork. In this style, instead of carving out actual drawing or painting work, the focus stays limited to the creation of mathematical formulae.

Digital Sculpting:

Also known as 3D sculpting, this specific art uses software to mold an object virtually. Like clay, the objects are pulled and pressed and shaped into anything we wish. A 3D printer is used to print such a sculpture. It requires less manual skill, but the artist visualizes the possible outcomes and set parameters for the object to look realistic.

If you wish to give digital painting a try, here are a few tips:

·         Start with drawing first

This is the basic format for your artwork. In order to get the finer details in the process, an artist should aim at starting off the artwork with sketches in the first place.

·         Choose perspectives for the final product

Perspective helps you focus on the subject of the artwork. It also helps the viewer to gain a clear point of view while looking at it.


·         Choose the right brush

You should experiment with brushes to determine which one works best in any particular painting. However, try to use only a couple of brushes in a painting unless you become a pro in this field.

·         Start with simpler silhouettes

Convert the sketch into a painting by starting with the basic shapes and backgrounds.

  • Look out for details: Adding details to your sculpture makes it look realistic, and it gives a better visual appeal to the folks.


As competitive as the art world is, it has a place for both genres. Thanks to this world of internet where artists with different styles can now exchange ideas and even support one another. However, the artwork isn’t a piece of cake, in fact, artists spend years modifying and perfecting their technique and even learning advanced level techniques.

Traditional art requires more physical space than its digital counterpart. Digital art allows a greater scope for correcting errors but, it still requires deep consideration.

Understanding the composition and the use of pressure in art is required in both styles of the art. Even in digital art, no one becomes an expert without hard work and practice. All artists have their own vision that they need to translate onto the canvas, be it a physical one or a virtual one and that requires dedication.

The development of digital media has also been a boon for traditional artists. Digital prints of Painting are sold by the artists along with their original artwork. Artists can promote their work online and get more people to appreciate it. What’s more? no one is limited by their location anymore.

Many online art galleries help artists sell their artwork online, be it digital art or traditional art.  These websites also provide a community of like-minded people who can share their works and ideas with each other. You can read more about digital art and it's different types here.

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