The bridge between traditional & digital drawing

Many traditional artists are ok to try out all the different mediums such as watercolor, acrylics, pastels, charcoal etc. but are hesitant to move to the digital medium. I have asked myself this question many times since I went through the same experience. Hopefully, I can provide you with some answers to bridge the gap between traditional & digital drawing and painting.

Why the hesitancy in moving to Digital Drawing?

There maybe several core reasons why this big hesitancy towards digital drawing by traditional artists.

I would recommend that you read my previous articles below on the subjects of digital and traditional drawing.

Comparing Traditional & Digital Painting – A brief History

How to get over the challenges in Digital Drawing & Painting

Right off the bat, I can provide some reasons for the hesitancy in traditional artists in trying out the digital medium.

  • All of us are wired to do well in repetitive tasks and changing can be hard
  • Our own personality can stand in the way of trying and doing new things
  • Digital medium is for techies and is a low grade entrance to the real thing

In addition to these articles, you can visit some of my Quora answers on this subject

Quora is a good way to get some of the answers on this subject but they are usually short whereas I try to explain in more details on that topic. You can find out more by visiting the links below.

You can go directly to the answers that are appropriate to this post:

See in real time from the Paintology YouTube Channel

The Paintology and Ferdouse YouTube channels are dedicated to people who enjoy drawing and painting as a pastime. Only when you embark on this hobby that you can truly appreciate it the joy and feeling that it brings and unfortunately many people miss that opportunity.

Paintology YouTube Channel for Artists
Ferdouse YouTube Channel for Artists

One of the major successes of YouTube is that users can find out information on any subject that comes to mind. This has resulted in many artists, hobbyists, experts all leveraging this channel to educate the end users to get views and subscribers. The idea is to get more users to buy into their products and services or simply the video ads to generate income for them.

The YouTube channel is a huge source of information when it comes to finding more about your hobby such as drawing & painting. The above two channels cover a range of video demos that show you the step by step process of drawing and painting on traditional and more recently digital drawing.

Compare the two formats of Digital Drawing vs Traditional Drawing

As mentioned earlier, I have come from a traditional painting & drawing background and I wanted to share my experience with the new Digital medium.

In the Ferdouse YouTube channel, you will find both a charcoal drawing that I did of a tiger and the equivalent digital drawing that I did using the Paintology app available from the Google play store.

Below is the Charcoal version video drawing demonstration of a Tiger in black and white

A charcoal drawing on black paper of a Tiger – Ferdouse YouTube channel

The same subject drawn on the Paintology app (Android tablet)

A tiger drawn in the digital medium – Paintology drawing app

If you compare the two drawings, you will be hard pushed to tell whether the digital medium is in fact digital but done with traditional materials.

This is the first point I wanted to make when drawing in the digital medium. Depending on how you envision digital drawing to be and if you have never done it before, then you won’t fully appreciate the basics of digital drawing. Some may think that I strived to get a ‘traditional’ look from the digital drawing. This is a myth and I will explain why.

Digital drawing is like drawing with traditional materials

You may find this hard to believe, but in actual fact the techniques required in digital drawing is the same as traditional drawing. In particular, digital drawing lends itself to the skills that you have learnt in drawing with traditional pens and pencils, there is nothing uniquely different between the two.

You might ask the following questions without having tried to work with the digital mediums:-

  1. I don’t like the idea of having to draw on a glass surface, I won’t get the same feeling as with pencil and paper
  2. I need to train myself to be more technical and there will be a steep learning curve
  3. I don’t think I will be able to produce the same types of drawings like the traditional methods

I will try to answer these lingering questions that may have impeded you from trying out the digital medium based on my personal experience.

To be honest I had my reservations when I was deep into charcoal and pastel drawing on paper and decided to give digital drawing a try on my Samsung tablet. After all, it’s a new medium and like many other people there is always some apprehension and hesitation when investigating a new medium. This may equally apply when you are say comfortable with Acrylics and you want to give Oil painting a try. The important point to remember is when you are an accomplished artist in one medium, you pocket yourself in that medium and not step outside of it. However, we all know that for an artist to tap into their real creativity, they must always feel that they are learning and stretching their skill sets.

Learning from Great Masters

The famous Pablo Picasso was a master in many mediums and throughout his life emphasized the importance of ‘unlearning’ and thinking like a child. Check out the interesting article below.

A Master of Many Mediums: Pablo Picasso’s Work in Ceramics

The practice of painting like a child implies that you need to have ‘no fear’ on anything new to discover. A child will have no ‘reservations’ on tackling anything new, they just jump into it. This is vitally important to understand, what Picasso was trying to say, we as adults have a habit of pre-judging some new events or actions that we want to embark. We like to feel that we have some semblance of foresight on anything that comes up in life, it is the natural mechanism to keep as safe and secure. However, this can impede us on what we can truly achieve if we fall short of taking something further. It applies very well in the domain of art.

To be truly creative and understand the nature of art, we need to always experiment like a child and leave the shadows of our doubt behind us. As Picasso explained in his own words many times during his illustrious life…

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”

— Pablo Picasso

Experimenting is the key

Based on my personal experience, I can honestly say that experimenting in different mediums is the key to attaining greater awareness and creativity in art. After all, why would you think that digital medium is any different to other forms of art, they are also mediums to creating great art.

You should not feel nervous about venturing into other art forms, it will only enlighten you and give you more armaments to your skillsets that can only translate into greater creativity.

I hope I have given you sufficient reasons why you should not feel hampered by any new mediums and as I said in reality the digital medium is not that hard at all.

How digital drawing becomes easier

With the advances in technology, the maturity of drawing apps for phones and tablets have come a long way. We can be grateful of these advances which has made artwork in the digital medium more mainstream. Take a look at the many NFTs which work towards driving the digital art form even further. Have a look at the following article below on NFTs (non fungible tokens). NFTs are shaking up the art world

Like switching from one traditional medium to another medium, you should not think of the digital medium any different. Once you have mastered the basic skills in that medium, you can experiment and create the art form you desire.

Based on our understanding so far, we are going to examine the Paintology drawing app which is already creating a buzz in the drawing and painting world. With this app, there is little learning curve to get you up to speed. The aim is not to be bogged by the technicalities of the app but to refine your skillsets to produce artwork in the digital medium.

If you have examined the YouTube video of the tiger, you will see that the artwork has been created with only one brush tool and setting the brush sizes for each stroke. Another myth of the digital medium is that you need all the fancy tools such as blending, line curves, transparency, fill color etc. to make any kinds of drawings or paintings. This is simply not true, as you can see from following many of the videos found in the Paintology YouTube channel.

Digital painting & drawing resources

Another myth that I wanted to break down in the area of digital drawing with phones or tablet is do not worry about an app that has the most tools. As explained above, the tools do not define your ability to produce great artwork but the individual that has acquired the skillsets. As such, the Paintology drawing app provides ample video tutorials that will help you acquire these important skills required in painting and drawing in the digital medium.

Below are links to the resources on the Paintology Drawing App.

Download the free Paintology app from the Google play store.

water mark for Paintology on Google play store

App links:









Happy Drawing & Painting!

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