Digital art is like any other art. It just is created using different tools than the more traditional arts. Art is not about the tools used to create it. It is about the vision, message, or emotion of the artist. Photography is a medium through which artist’s may create art. Likewise, a computer is just a medium or tool through which an artist can express his/her vision of line, form, color, composition and rhythm.
An artist chooses the medium (oils, watercolors, or pixels) she wants to use. When the digital artist, has mastery over the tools and technologies [software, equipment, etc.], she can go beyond “taking a digital picture” or “applying an effect” and create art – an individual expression of her vision.
Digital Art falls into three basic categories: digital painting, digital photography & darkroom, and fractals. There are several subcategories and, of course, the artist can combine any and all to create their own unique vision.
Below are descriptions from the Digital Fine Arts Society of New Mexico which accurately describes the various types of Digital Fine Art. Digital Photography, Photopainting, and Integrated Digital Art which characterize my work are, of course, discussed first.
The artist uses a digital or conventional camera. The photographs are digitized and translated to the computer environment where the artist uses image editing and special effects software to perform darkroom type manipulations.
This combines the disciplines of photography and painting. The artist uses image editing and paint software to go beyond dark room techniques to add further expression to the image.
This is a technique of combining many images from varying sources into one image. This is most commonly achieved by the use of layering techniques in image editing and paint software. The artist may also use images from x-rays or radar to produce images that the eye does not normally see, which expands the realm of human perception.
Integrated Digital Art
This is the “mixed media” of the digital art world. Artists combine any number of the techniques to achieve unique results. The digital environment is much less restricted than conventional mediums in this type of integration and manipulation.
2D: The artist creates 2D images totally in the computer virtual environment with the use of painting tools that emulate natural media styles. Sometimes referred to as “Natural Media”. 3D: The artist uses 3D modeling and rendering software to essentially sculpt in virtual space. This method also makes use of all of the other methods.
The artist uses vector drawing software and creates the image totally in the virtual environment. This makes use of shapes which are outlined and can be filled with various colors and patterns. This tends to produce a harder edged or graphic look.
This is art produced exclusively by mathematical manipulations. This is the so-called “computer generated” art. The art here lies in the invention of the mathematical formulas themselves and the way the programs are written to take advantage of the display capabilities of the hardware. The art also lies in the creative intentions and subsequent selections of the artist/mathematician.