Personally, I never liked to paint. Painting is punishing when you are unsure of your finished image. This is the reason I think most paintings are portraits, landscapes or still life; they are usually based on reality and what the artist physically sees.
|Pirate Dreams: Originally created with color pencils + watercolors, then I digitally recolored the night sky|
Growing up, I was always more driven toward things that weren't real. The mysteries and unknown. Imagining what could be out there but never found. When I started drawing, a pencil and eraser were the only way I could explore my imagination; So much more forgiving to changes than using crayons, ink or paints. Because of this, I became an Illustrator/Cartoonist and not a Painter.
Then came the digital world. Programs like Photoshop/Painter allowed one to paint with an eraser. Layers allowed one to experiment. As time went on, these programs became more and more expressive at mimicking mediums with Wacom tablets and other technological advances.
|Pirate Dreams: The original pencil sketch|
Today, I find myself mostly creating pencil sketches and then finishing digitally. (If I need physical coloring, I always go to alcohol based markers because they provided great color blends and control.) I strive to change my heavy cartoony line style to something more painterly and loose, to better fit the picture book market. When painting digitally today, I still struggle to "see" what that final image will be. (Oh, it's easier to paint now, but my traditional methods still get in the way.)
One thing I'm sure of: a physical piece is more challenging, a better representation of an artist's process and therefore more rewarding since there is an actual finished piece of artwork. The same can not be said of digital art.