Using digital painting software like Artrage or Procreate allows me to paint when I would otherwise not be able to. Digital painting is like traditional painting but done on a computer or tablet instead of using physical paint and canvas. Instead of brushes and paint, I use an Apple Pencil to draw directly onto a digital canvas displayed on a screen. The art is painted one brushstroke at a time and can take many hours. It is NOT the same as AI. It’s created by a human (namely me), it’s just that the screen is my canvas. Prints from a digital painting are akin to prints from an oil painting that has been scanned for reproduction, or prints from a digital camera’s image file (or even an old school negative). 

I start with a sketch, although to be totally honest, drawing is really hard on my brain, so I often do trace this part (I CAN draw, but it takes a lot of brain energy which leaves less energy for painting). The rest is done usually on a single layer, in the same manner as I would paint with oils on a canvas. I tend not to use a lot of the digital tools, as I would rather it was as close as it can be to the real thing. I block out the main areas, establish lights and darks, and gradually add detail. Basically the same exact artistic process but with an Apple Pencil instead of a brush. The great thing is that if the painting doesn’t turn out, I haven’t wasted paint. The downside is if it does turn out, I have to shell out a ton of money to have a canvas on my wall, so most of my work has never been printed :(; it exists only in the digital realm. It’s as real as a digital photograph in that regard, but I’d still rather have a canvas on the wall. One day I plan to purchase a large format printer to create high quality prints of my work, but until then they remain as pixels.

You can see how a painting progresses from sketch to finished stage in the images below. I can usually tell at the sketch stage if the painting will work. That’s what sketches are for, after all.

Stages of a painting