Let me say this before I say anything: digital drawing will never replace my love of traditional drawing and painting. However, there are some things that traditional painting and drawing can’t do that an iphone or ipad can. It is immediately accessible. It might interest you to know that when most artists see something beautiful and interesting, they don’t run to their studio to grab their easels, pallets, water cup, bundles of brushes, viewfinders, and-who knows what else- only to rush back to that spot to see that the interesting or beautiful sight has passed. We all pull out our phones to snap a picture to be analyzed and reproduced later. Or some will sketch a very quick drawing on a blank piece of paper provided by an app on our digital device.
This is what David Hockney did every day after he bought his first smart phone. If you research images of his show in Paris called Fresh Flowers, you will see the immediacy in his drawings. The light outside of the window hits a vase just so, a sun is setting, or a curtain is slightly flowing from an open window. All of these images were captured because he was always near his phone. The drawings are unique in their own right. The patterns and lines are beautifully applied and create textures that aren’t easily replicated in traditional drawing.
At first, I was skeptical when I heard of the digital drawings. I didn’t think they could be that interesting to look at. But after some exploration, I found myself somewhat addicted to digital sketching.
The apps I use are very user friendly and intuitive, so fumbling around with technology never interferes with my drawings. Most of what I draw is on my daughter’s daily life. Some things are so fleeting that they can only be captured in digital form, even though my studio is just one room over. Smart phones and tablets are very pricey, and this drawing phenomenon is still avant garde and not widely used. But it is safe to say that among my artist peers, working digital, in some form or another, is a part of the basic art-making process. Now is the time to learn it. With technology quickly becoming the norm in many aspects of life, artists should get familiar with the digital creative process before it is too late. Sign up for the Digital Drawing Workshop now!- Erica McCarrens, Artist and Children's Program Coordinator