The transition is not as smooth as I’d hope it will be. If you’ve tried to transition to digital drawing and discovered your drawing looked like a toddlers, or at least much worse than it did on paper, then you’re not alone.
I find digital drawing a lot harder. The point is that traditional drawing is highly tactile. You can feel the texture of the canvas beneath you as you draw and feedback is immediate. The drawing comes to life, not purely by virtue of your hand movements, or your hand-eye coordination, or some quality of the medium on which you are drawing, but by a combination of all of these.
It’s almost like you, your pencil or brush, and the paper or canvas are having some kind of conversation, and the result is the embodiment of that conversation. Sounds like a very vague and hand-wavy description, but that’s because it’s hard to describe traditional drawing in precise terms. A lot of it is about how it feels, rather than anything concrete that’s happening.
There’s probably also something more natural about it. Digital drawing is a little different. For starters, the hand-eye coordination is significantly different from what you have with paper. With paper, you can see the drawing beneath your hand. With a graphics tablet you can’t. You have to keep your eyes on the computer screen even as your hand moves around on the tablet. Drawing on a display tablet is just smooth surface on smooth surface. This is not the same as the distinct friction you feel when you put a pencil to paper. The tools available to you increase dramatically when you’re drawing digitally. You can undo, zoom, and even put different elements of your drawing on different layers in order to edit them individually. You also don’t have to worry about blending textures since you can do it perfectly in a digital medium. On paper, things are a lot rougher. And that’s why it takes a longer time to make traditional drawings than making the equivalent digitally.
The transition is still very challenging for me, every time I’m finished with something I worked hours on, it looks like crap. It feels like learning to draw all over again. As counterintuitive as it might seem, digital drawing can sometimes show you just how much you need to learn. The need for improvement is the driving force to my creativity, the constant dissatisfaction in my own work pushes me to do things better. I tell myself that If I’m satisfied, then I’ll never improve, because contentment is the enemy of progress. The key is balance. The balance I did not have. A strive to be better is great, but don’t ever press on so hard you break. I think the biggest challenge for this change is letting my handwork the tablet.
If your on the same boat, transitioning from traditional drawing to digital word of advice: practice fundamentals. Learn proper anatomy, shapes, values, composition, etc. Very boring but man, it’s really useful. I didn’t start with pure fundamentals so now I have to catch up, which explains the occasionally questionable anatomy in my drawings. I think it’s a common misconception among the art community. You don’t need a fancy tablet with a huge screen to produce good work, because your materials don’t define your skills they just enhance them.
Finding an art style is nice, it’s your comfort zone but all artists will change. So don’t ever place yourself in the idea that style > everything, style is something that develops over time and changes a lot too. Don’t pressure yourself and also, placing your worth on numbers is very detrimental to your mental well-being, don’t draw what you don’t want or whatever that’s trendy just because you “should”. I just want to say this because I have allowed my worth to be determined by said numbers, which caused a lot of anxiety.
Remind yourself that at the end of the day, you don’t owe anyone anything, you make art for you. That’s the most important.
The photos below are from a side project I hope to put more focus on soon 😅 the idea is “if anime villains toured”
I’ve updated tomura because I felt like I gave him a weak drum set.
There’s still a lot of work to be done and I need to figure out the remaining members. Aside from that I also started putting together ANOTHER project last night, this one involves an RPG themed corgi 😄