What is Digital Art

Since the advent of home computers, digital art has seen an increasingly rapid rise in popularity. So, What is digital art? It’s becoming more and more used online as an alternative medium from traditional art.  Digital art is a new art form enabling artists to produce artworks that would be impossible in traditional media. Digital artists create or augment images and objects with the help of computer software.

In contrast, other artists use digital tools to develop their designs without making the final product digitally. Digital art is also used extensively in video games, animation, and special visual effects.  This article will discover what digital art is, the difference between it and traditional art, the types of digital art, and some history behind digital art.

What Is Digital Art?

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Computer art can be defined as any visual creation that an artist creates with the aid of a computer. As necessary for its creation and physical substance, science and technology play an integral role in its creation. Painting and sculpture, for instance, are visual arts that express human creativity and imagination. The goal is to enlighten and entertain, but it is subjective and stimulating. Art is art, no matter what form it takes. Today, we use computers instead of traditional tools to create art.

Various digital art forms can be displayed on a website, for instance, animations and drawings. Since it is only possible through digital technology, synthetic music is also considered a digital art form. Among the many forms of art available today, digital art quickly gains a reputation. The concept of this art form is based on traditional art forms, but it incorporates new technology. The exhibition of digital art in museums is a growing trend.

One of the reasons that art transcends all boundaries is that the viewer can solely define it. Advances in digital technology have enabled artists to create works that can now be viewed and appreciated everywhere. The digital age has expanded the definition of art as well as made it more accessible all over the world.

An artist’s vision, message, or emotion is what drives their art, not the tools or materials they use. Photographs are one medium in which artists can express themselves. Similarly, a computer is more than just an instrument that allows an artist to express his/her vision about line, form, color, composition, and rhythm. In spite of its radical newness, many of its aspects derive from traditional art practices.

Digital Art: The Beginnings

It would be impossible to create digital art without computers. Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, or the ENIAC, was made for military use in the 1940s, and it became the first true computer. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, artists began to explore the possibilities of art based on computers and connected technologies.

Around 1965, the first computer art experiments began. Frieder Nake (1938 – present), a German artist and mathematician, invented an algorithm that made the automatic drawing machine able to draw a series of shapes to make art. As a reminder, an algorithm is a programmed list of instructions on how to perform a task. A number of the earliest examples of computer-based art resulted from these computer-generated drawings.

In 1967, Leon Harmon and  Kenneth Knowlton created the first-ever digital piece of art. They transformed a photograph of a naked woman into a computer pixel image, called Computer Nude – Studies in Perception I. Pixels are small elements of an image; when many of them are combined, they form a large image. Digital art such as this nude was among the first.

Types of Digital Art

what is digital art

Digital art is an artistic work or practice that uses digital technology as an essential part of the creative or presentation process. Since the 1970s, various names have described the process, including computer art and multimedia art. In this section, we will examine various forms of digital art.

Digital Painting

The notion of digital art being at the core of what it is today could well be described as digital painting. Our time is characterized by the practice of digital art forms such as this. The various and ever-augmenting number of features that this type of art requires can be achieved with the aid of computers, with 2D and 3D digital paintings being the most common forms. The virtual computer environment is used to fully render images in 2D, using tools that mirror natural media styles. In virtual space, 2D creations can be used as a foundation for 3D modeling and rendering software.

Photo Painting

In the process of Photo Painting, a photograph is used as a source of inspiration for the painting. For digital artists who are interested in photos, painting must discard the traditional processes of photo development.

By combining paint and image editing software, photo painting allows artists to add more expression and details to their paintings. Photo painting is similar to photo-realism in that it reproduces photos as realistically as possible on canvas. A common photo painting program such as Adobe Photoshop or Corel Painter can be used.

Digital Collage

Digital collages can be created using any standard image editor or paint program and are common in digital art. Collage refers to the process of combining images from a variety of sources.

While hard copies of photographs work well to make a collage, digital collage can only be created using a digital tool. A computer helps accomplish the creative process. Before Picasa was discontinued in 2016, Google’s Picasa was among the most popular applications for creating digital collages.

Digital Photography

Artists use digital cameras to capture the shot they would not otherwise have been able to capture using traditional cameras. These photographs become digital images, which are then scanned and entered into the computer. An image-editing program and special effects help the digital photographer create darkroom-like effects. Most digital photographers believe half the work is done once the shot has been taken. Lightroom from the Adobe Suite is one of the most popular apps to perform such delicate editing.

Perhaps the most popular type of digital art today is photography, and it’s easy to see why! Digital cameras typically come with an SD card for storing the images, while the old cameras used a photo reel to store the negatives. Digitalization has transformed the photographic industry. Learning how to operate digital cameras requires some practice, so you may need some time to master it.

Raster Painting

The raster format, like Vector, is a format for storing images and a popular type of painting that uses this format. The closest alternative to traditional art on canvas is also called bitmap or grid painting. A pixel-by-pixel representation of the colors and lines appears on the digital canvas.

The original painting is copied digitally in a stroke-by-stroke manner, encompassing all of the characteristics of the original. We have only encountered one drawback of raster painting: the inability to enlarge it.

Computer Graphics

Two-dimensional and three-dimensional computer graphics belong to the digital art form. A two-dimensional computer graphic consists of two-dimensional sources such as text and images. By converting conventional forms of art into digital art, the film and television industries can make use of it for their animation efforts. 2D graphics derive from conventional graphics, such as cartography, typography, scientific illustration, advertisements, etc.

As an alternate approach, 3D computer graphics allows you to create animated figures in a three-dimensional space, such as those found in video games and animated films. As their use grows and expands beyond artistic practice, TV commercials and communications deployments generally make extensive use of them.

Data Moshing

Using data-moshing techniques, video clips can generate an effect that does not change as expected. These effects are particularly apparent when moving between cuts and along a straight path. This is a process in which corrupted, erased, or changed I-frames are applied to a wrong image via P-frames.

Several viral videos feature data moshing, such as “Wrecking Ball by Miley Cyrus.” Video data-mashing has become a trendy technique that makes videos stand out regardless of how they were produced.

Vector Drawing

Vector art is a popular digital art type that uses an image format in which the images are stored. With vector painting, all lines and shapes will be captured according to geometrical formulas. The fact that it offers one-click operations like flipping, embossing, casting shadows, grouping, making transparent, changing colors, and so on is what makes it interesting.

The sharpness of vector paintings will not be compromised when they are enlarged. You can create a manual vector painting using a basic geometric shape or draw it by hand using hand tools.

Algorithmic & Fractals

In algorithmic art, computers are used autonomously to create art. Kate Compton’s Flowers is perhaps the most famous example of generative art. Digital artists who create algorithmic art are called algorists. How would you contribute to the process of creating art?

As an algorithmic artist, it is your job to create the algorithms that become the art. Expressions, functions, computer code, and other input types can be used to generate, compute, or formulate these algorithms.

There are deterministic algorithms and random algorithms available to artists. Upon each iteration, deterministic algorithms will always produce identical images. It is possible to add variety to the art created by algorithms by incorporating some external data streams or random number generators. Jack Ox’s visualization of Ursonate is widely recognized as the most famous work of algorithmic art.

Projection Mapping

An example of projection mapping is video mapping, similar to augmented spatial reality. In both cases, objects with irregular shapes become display surfaces for video projection. Many different scenarios can be seen as evidence of this. It is both monumental and insignificant. Projection mapping appears in fashion shows and company workshops. It is displayed in many pop-up exhibitions and permanently displayed in countless locations. Its most famous application is undoubtedly in the mapping of buildings, yet the majority of people have seen its application without even realizing it or knowing the term.

Pixel Art

Pixel art is not simply pixel art. Instead, it is an art that resembles early computer and video game graphics. For example, virtual reality games often feature 3D images. As a result, pixel art developed due to the difficulty of hiding the small rectangles that made up early computer games, such as Space Invaders and Donkey Kong.

For video game artists in the 1970s and 1980s, it was necessary to go beyond the box and distill visuals to their essence. Some red pixels would be used for Mario’s headgear and one or two pixels for his hands.

Dynamic Painting

Digital art forms such as dynamic painting are controversial. Computers can create vivid paintings that look like organic works of art using artificial intelligence and human data. However, it doesn’t always work that way. The state of artificial intelligence is far from perfect, and computer software is prone to more than its fair share of errors. Some paintings are not quite like the great masters, while others resemble them.

In recent years, an AI art gallery has been founded to highlight the best of the best in software. In addition to classical pieces from various periods, the machines have been trained using the works of some of the most famous artists. They look stunning and authentic.

However, the portraits are hit or miss. Part of what makes these paintings appealing is the uncanny valley that appears in them. A dynamic painting seems to play off the idea that art is open for interpretation. The dynamic painting genre is perfect for those who are looking for a unique and unimaginable work of art (or are interested in owning one they won’t find anywhere else).

Mixed Media

Integrated art is an extension of mixed media. The art form combines multiple mediums and blends them together. A variety of media can be used, such as ceramics, pottery, glass, and photography. 3D models can be combined with paint for digital artwork to create mixed media pieces.

The addition of paint to 3D models makes them appear more realistic. There are special brushes that can be used to add textures, shadows, and lighting to a model. With mixed media, a piece of digital art would not have the depth or the realism it would have without it. Because it combines both traditional and digital elements, it is one of the more interesting aspects of digital art.

Pros and Cons of Digital Art

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There are many advantages and disadvantages of digital art. Among the advantages of digital art is that it requires far less setup and requires fewer tools than traditional art because you do not need to gather tools like brushes, paints, etc. Because most mistakes can be undone with the click of a button, it is more forgiving than traditional art.

Because digital art is stored digitally, it is much easier to store and deliver than traditional art forms. A few mouse clicks are all it takes for artists to send their prints digitally. In this way, digital art becomes more accessible, global, and influential worldwide. Unlike actual pencils or brushes on paper, digital art lacks the tactile part and feels impersonal.

Digital Art Hardware Requirements

You may only be able to create certain types of digital paintings, depending on your hardware. A budget-friendly laptop or mobile device can serve as an illustration tool, but doing so may force you to work with smaller canvas sizes. Creating work for social media and small printing for smaller real-world applications like stickers can be perfectly acceptable if you’re planning to display your work primarily online at low resolutions. As long as your laptop meets the minimum specifications for your favorite creative software, even a standard budget laptop can do the trick.

In order to produce large prints, you’ll have to consider a workstation build or a higher-end laptop if you plan to work with larger digital canvases at higher resolution. You may want to allocate a larger portion of your budget to your graphics card and SSD storage, regardless of whether you assemble your own computer or buy one prebuilt.

Many digital art programs perform their rendering functions by accessing RAM and VRAM, rather than relying heavily on the CPU. Digital art software makes use of high-speed SSDs to help offload some of the computer’s memory load if it runs out of RAM or VRAM. A minimum of 8GB of RAM,  256 GB SSD, HD Display, and powerful latest generation processor is required.

Final Words

There are so many things we can do when it comes to digital art. With the correct tools, we can draw using paintbrushes or pencils. We can create pictures from scratch or use different editing software to add our own creative twist. Digital art can be defined in many ways. It can be pretty, it can be controversial, it can be ugly, and it can even be humorous. Digital art is a form of expression which allows you to create highly detailed pieces of artwork. It is a piece of art that uses technology as an instrument to perform artistically. Digital art is any work of art created using digital technology. Thank you for reading this article about what is digital art.

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About Tom

Tom is a blogger and artist who also loves technology. He spends his days blogging about the latest developments in the world of art, and he enjoys sharing his thoughts with readers on what it means to be an artist today. Tom has always been interested in technology - but it wasn't until he was 13 years old that he discovered how much fun making websites could be! Tom is a fun-loving, adventure seeking creative type. He enjoys reviewing art products and technology gadgets on his blog and has been doing so for over 5 years now! He spends most of his time in the studio, at the beach, or out exploring new places.

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