ChatGPT on Photorealism in the Digital Medium

I wanted to find out what all the fuss was about the ChatGPT AI (artificial intelligent chat bot) that everyone has been talking about.

Out of interest, I have submitted some questions through the ChatGPT and was impressed by it’s immersive and detailed responses to the questions. It was almost like talking to a professor from my old university.

The responses were articulate, clear and offered new information to the subject. This makes the whole application highly usable and possibly addictive.

Immersive content on Digital Drawing with Paintology

I decided to ask some questions on the subject of Photorealism where I have a good knowledge and understanding of. In addition to this knowledge, some of you will know that I am a practitioner of the photorealism art form in the digital medium. So I decided to pose the below question to ChatGPT.

Why is there little content in photorealism using the digital medium?

Chat GPT Response

I discovered that the response was typical of what is found online and the ‘majority’ people’s understanding of this subject. However, it needed some further dissecting and correcting since my approach to digital photorealistic drawing is different to the majority. The approach to my digital drawing is far less complicated than the Chat GPT makes out as will explain below.

The response to this question was bulleted with 5 points and a faithful summary of the topic.

I decided to provide my views on each point, in particular the bulleted points that was not in alignment with my experience and potentially erroneous. Naturally, the kind of responses that the AI replies with has been taken with much weight and hence the big fuss on this AI bot.

If you look at the responses to the above question, the Chat GPT was surprisingly good in most of the areas but a few that were relevant and needed to be modified.

2. Technical Challenges

The response from the Chat GPT was that it required a high degree of technical proficiency and a steep learning curve to make photorealistic drawing on the digital medium. This completely contradicts to my method of drawing and painting phot realistically. It also tells me that the predominant method of photorealistic drawing using the digital medium has been the focus on tools. This is understandable, since the main approach of making digital drawing is a heavy reliance on the digital tools. My approach is different to the majority and the drawings are reliant on a handful of tools. There is no technical challenges in the method of drawing in the digital medium but the challenges of developing the fundamental and inherent drawing and painting skills through practice. Effectively, the same approach that has been taken with the traditional materials can be applied to the digital medium.

This is something sorely missed in the world of digital art. My aim is to correct this thinking through actual drawings that you can see on my Youtube channel and bridge this big divide between traditional and digital mediums.

This difference is highlighted by the Chat GPT when comparing the two mediums.

You can read the article I wrote on the differences between traditional and digital artists, and why they don’t see eye to eye.

Why traditional and digital artists do not see eye to eye.

3. Perception and Acceptance:

The main points made by Chat GPT were perfectly valid. It mentions that there is resistance from the traditional artists in migrating to the digital for various reasons. Also, the viewpoints of many consider traditional materials to be more authentic and valuable than digital art. This may discourage traditional artists from pursuing the digital mediums.

The points are all valid, but I wanted to add a few of my own findings.

The perception of the digital medium with hundreds of digital tools can deter many traditional artists. Traditional artists are used to a few simple tools and they need to learn the blending, and all the corrections by hand. It gives them greater control over their drawing tools, paints and brushes. In the digital medium there are many shortcuts to overcome the skills that are well established by traditional artists. For example blending, this is done by hand in traditional, but in the digital there are shortcut tools for this. Instead of manual blending by picking up the right shade, they simply select two points where they want to blend and let the computer do the actual grading.

The ramifications of drawing this way in digital leads to artwork that appears ‘computer’ generated. Most importantly, in my personal opinion, it removes the need to learn techniques and art skills that have been the mainstay of traditional artists for centuries.

Ideally, the traditional artists want to continue or carry their learnt skills to the digital medium.

Coming from a traditional art background, I have successfully transferred those learnt skills to the digital medium. I make drawings with only one or two brushes just like with pencil and paper. This is the approach I use to make digital photorealistic drawings. You could say that I have successfully transferred these inherent art skills from traditional to digital. This implies any traditional artists should remove their present thinking of the digital medium and see the artworks that I create with the Paintology drawing app (Google play store). However, I find myself to be the only person in the world who seems to draw like this with the digital medium. This obviously opens up opportunities and possibilities for others to follow suit and thus open up digital to a far bigger audience than now.

You can read more on this subject from my previous post below.

Digital drawing the ‘traditional’ way!

4. Time-Consuming Process:

The thinking behind Chat GPT’s response to this stems from it’s points mentioned in 2. Technical Challenges. Since it is emphasizing the tools to create photo realistic drawings, it automatically assumes a much longer time to create the final painting. However, with the approach that I have demonstrated time and time again, the time consuming process is not a factor at all. This implies that more people will generate a larger pool of photorealistic drawings, the way it was meant to be! You can see the drawing that I have made on my Samsung phone using just one brush. It took me around 3 hours to do.

A photorealistic drawing (Paintology approach) made on the phone.

5. Uniqueness and Originality:

Uniqueness and originality is a matter of opinion and mainly driven by non-practitioners in the field, ie. the viewers of art and their interpretation of art. It would be incorrect to judge a piece of art on how it was created. After all, when you walk into an art gallery, the last thing on your mind is the process behind the creation of art. The skills required to do photorealism is exceptionally high. and I will explain with an example.

The art teacher provides the students with a bowl of fruit to draw.

When examining the bowl of fruit drawings, she comes across a drawing that looks photorealistic. Naturally, everyone is gob smacked by the skills of this student.

The point I am making is that anyone who starts drawing strives to reproduce the realities of the world around them. If someone can reproduce the drawing at a photorealistic level, it will always be held at high esteem.

The Chat GPT’s argument is that many artists consider the perspective of art and it’s creation process. Art has always been a very subjective field and the visuals that move a particular viewer can dictates its value and worth.

An anime portrait drawing made on and Android tablet using Paintology.

The final points:

I was impressed with Chat GPT’s final summary of this question.

It understands that the art landscape is changing and evolving rapidly and the points made here could change. I particularly liked the point it made, ‘...artists who have successfully embraced photorealism in the digital medium and are producing remarkable work...’.

I personally feel that I belong to this last category. Expect to see a bigger move to photorealism by traditional artists, before the AI takes over -:)

Please check out more on the subject of photorealism from the resources below.

Paintology Resources:

Paintology app link:



Free Paintology Online Classes:



Paintology – Bringing back the fun of the real thing!

Happy Drawing & Painting!

#portraitdrawing #shading #drawlips #tones #pencildrawing #paintbynumber #graytones #paintology #learndrawing #drawingapp #blockcoloring #realisticdrawing #photorealism

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