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the production approach vs the painting approach when it comes to digital painting.

i would like to dedicate this post to emphasize the importance of both these areas. In my opinion an artists should be very clear about practicing and dedicating time to both approaches. But most importantly to keep two different approaches separate. When your in production you do things what ever makes the shot work.When your at home you practice your painting skills to improve as a painter.

So here is how i see these 2 approaches.

Production way
1. time, fast paced work for fast moving production
2. realism is achieved easily because you use the element straight  away
3.its easier to convey specifics and "WOW" people  with a digital image that has a high factor of realism. The viewer sees more detail in context.

1.the skill is not in the painting its about integrating elements and balancing.So it has a lower artistic painters integrity. bypass practice of certain artistic requirements(complete understanding of perspectives, material work, light)
3. the mainstream of viewers think you "painted" everything, personally i think an artist should be honest on this point and mention the approach.
4. industry is flooded with "same" type looking images because the limitation are the elements them selves.
5. to practice this approach only you will be dependent on it and find yourself in an embarrassing spot when you paint something without elements and realize your image doesn't hold up to your other work.
6. its easy to be tempted to do this approach most of the time because once exposure kicks in it becomes a drug

Painting way
1. it's a complete, free and utterly personal creation, no elements no quick tricks. Just you and your skill as a painter. Even though you use reference on the side to study and understand what you are painting.
2.It helps understanding a lot about visuals when you do it thoroughly.Visual language, interpretations and narratives will be skills that will make you stand out in a jungle of similar level rendered images that lack that understanding.
3. this impacts hugely on your production approach to painting, you can control light/shapes better. However the production approach has no benefits to your painting approach whatsoever.
4.this approach has a high artistic integrity. You can create anything without depending on anything.Then you are truly a free creator.

1. it's a slower process forces you to go and understand things you don't have time for or want to understand.
3. in terms of exposure to mainstream viewers unfortunately this approach is almost always trumped by the production approach because most people are rather impressed by render quality and details. However a truly great painting will still grasp viewers because the painter has mastered something very unique and difficult.

This post is not about choosing between these two over the other, it's more about understanding what they are and where to use it wisely .Lastly to be honest and true about your approach, the denial of using photos when it's clearly used only hurts you in the end.

if you find this post useful or helpful or would like to voice your opinions please share and comment.

Once again this is not about choosing one over the other, its about practicing both in their own environments.
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HEARTZMD Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014
You forgot one last thing 

Painting Way


4. Mainstream audiences don't care about how long it took you to come up the finished painting. They don't care if it took days, weeks, months, blood, sweat, tears none of it. They only care about the finished product. Only your artistic peers, art students, and art c
onnoisseurs care and even then there are still times when they dont.
wahay Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2014  Professional Traditional Artist
I shared this on Facebook a few weeks ago, and didn't realize you were the source.

You rendered these ideas succinctly, not unlike your expert handling of art!
chinagami Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Cool post. I like the painting approach a lot more as I just like art a lot. It's strange too that whenever I look at art on CGHub for example, I always question whether they used photos or not. It's quite hard to tell at times if they have put effort in making it seamless. I will personally stick to the all painted approach.
gregory-mack Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks, great post I have struggled with this concept for quite a while. I have always created my environments from scratch but as a few months ago have started using photographs and textures, it's been pretty eye opening on how diverse a tool Photoshop is.
rohtie Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Do you consider the "destruction-of-photo-painting-forms" technique a production or a painting method? Ie:…
With this method there will always be traces of texture and color from the original photo left, but it still encourages painting form, light and values.
Does this mean this is something inbetween which can be used both for quick production and a more free-form approach?
leventep Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2013  Professional Filmographer
that's actually a previous painting that i started from not a photo. If you approach painting more production based then you dont distort or re-shape the object to something completely new.You keep as much of that object intact as possible. The only thing you do is to balance it well with the rest of the painting.
rohtie Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
It does not really matter if the starting point was a photo or not, it is still a photo/picture in digital context.
My point was that this approach is maybe a bit more production oriented than standard painting, because you automatically get colors and texture.
Though as you said production is basicly a photo arrangement, which is far from what this technique is and I will therefore consider it a painting approach.
Ghalithegreat Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2013  Student Interface Designer
Great post
fenrysk-art Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
thank you for this post
Padder Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2013  Professional General Artist
I pretty much agree with what you say.  At the same time I understand that some people might feel more creative with photo manipulation and setting "restrictions" on how to approach art might anger them.  The fact that it hides behind a veil of "painting" sadly makes it hard to distinguish both approaches for most people and seriously undervalues true creative strength and mastery.  I'm still struggling accepting the "production" approach as a valid art form considering it feels like it's lying about what the "painter's" skill level truly is.
phiq Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2013
Very good post, thanks for your thoughts. This affirms something for me.
Andes-Sudo Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2013   Digital Artist
You should be allowed to report someone to DA for being dishonest if they post a HEAVY photo-montage work in "Drawings and Paintings". I'm tired of seeing comments on this type of work that say "WOW! IT LOOKS SOOO REAL!!"... Of course it looks real, it's a PHOTO!!

Hey, did you have a go at doing some sketches using standard round brushes? :)
KevinBrownArt Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2013
good post man. I definitely think this is a pertinent issue in the digital painting realm as I see so many digital painting videos where the artist uses so many "tricks" to achieve instant detail from a photo or something which draws away from the artists integrity side of things. I am by no means a master painter. Far from it, but I believe art should be real, and it somewhat pains me to see so many people gain recognition for applying photo textures to something and people think that they hand painted everything. Non artists who know nothing about the process will automatically believe the person hand painted everything in the picture.
DmitryGrebenkov Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Interesting post, thank you.
I think it's also something like 3 approach, that kinda in the middle between what you described (at least as i understood them). For me it seems logical to make a let's say different sections for PS images using textured brushes to create feeling of the material. It's also way too mainstream, and all images most of the time looks alike because everybody use same brushes. Tree brush, bird brush, stone texture brush etc. And as a other, more learning and painting like is create images using simple brushes, it can be some texture in them like a real media, but if you need to paint a tree you pain it, by all means trying to avoid using texture brushes that can be recognized. Or just use simple round or square brush. I think it is the best way to learn, but this really gives you a freedom cos everybody will understand and create lets say stone wall in a different ways. Or leaves on trees. Not same range of brushes but actually thinking about how to show the tree and how to show leaves and all that details. Like an classic oil painting.
MathiasZamecki Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Great post Levi thanks for share :)
blandman42 Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2013  Student Traditional Artist

Wow this really makes me feel better about how slow I am because I try to paint everything as a new aspiring artist. I have not tried this 'production' approach because I don't yet have any of my own photos and I'm always afraid to use photos I didn't take myself hence the reason I have been trying to paint everything. Also, being an amateur artist I do not yet have a sound understanding of the fundamentals, elements, and principals of art and design and It seems that in order for the 'production' approach to really shine I would need to master those things first or else it would just look like a big blob of poorly used photography.

Thank you for your insight leventep. It was a great read and makes me feel like even though I am very slow at the moment, that I at least think I started off on the right track and should let speed come with practice and not elements yet. Also I have been watching your gallery for quite a while and your work has been a great inspiration for me to keep practicing. Thank you so much!

vaara02 Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
styles only seems to repeating around the final ends.
seeing how much there is tutorials on internet would only make me believe that learning would be easier, leading to higher level of skill and new styles. 
to me it seems, painters aim to follow the style of art that gets you easily payed, on top of the fact that the community feels like only supporting the easy way which is rendering details.
afterall the way of the new painters is highly controlled by the pro painters, which, most of them stick to their style, and why not, it's hard to change anyway.
leventep Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2013  Professional Filmographer
adaption in production is crucial, that's why a painter can't stick to same approach for a long time.But he can use that style and knowledge to some advantage in production approach. Say he is really good with colors in his paintings. He can notice what wont work colorwise in a production approached painting
vaara02 Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
just thinking about the surreal aspect of the things, (what looks goods) vs (what people paint) obviously what the majority of the people are occupied to do. sounds harsh but that's how i think it is.
leventep Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2013  Professional Filmographer
can you explain? not sure i got your point
vaara02 Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i'm just figuring out the whole industry; like pros makes stuff that companies like.
 unless they are main illustratiors  then they most likely decide whole outfit, but apart from that, would you say that 
painting is pretty much converting something new.
the bad thin about thing about i see in this whole is the lack of bringing out new things rather than just pointing out that this type of lighting doesnt work here.

the whole progress of painting converstation actually interests me quite much. instead of having group of people who draw their facts about beaty,
from books "had their own opinion".

umm truly i have no idea what i'm tryin to say, but atleast i tried to have point XD

Spex84 Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2013
I was just thinking about this, like, 30 seconds ago. Great post!

  Yesterday I showed some art that made use of photo-bashing techniques and some 3D to a non-artist friend, who replied "wow! Your painting skills have really come along!"  Haha, nope, I just cheated :P

  I know that when I try to integrate something that I've painted by hand, it's difficult to make it look right, because my traditional painting skills are not up to that same level.  Maciej Kuciera is one of my other favorites right now...he combines what I consider great painting skills with a production mindset in order to make images.

I tend to think of the production mindset as being similar to what Syd Mead describes as "making a picture". It's all about the image, and not specifically about technique...but good technique will help immeasurably.
leventep Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2013  Professional Filmographer
indeed, i know maciej and i know the approach. But since i worked in this industry the only thing that jumps out at me is if the image has good narrative and that "special" thing about it which is hard to describe. I never look at rendering because how quick and easy that can be done these days.Even if overall it's well done and balanced if it doesn't have that key important thing that makes it stand out then i just move on.
leventep Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2013  Professional Filmographer
so when viewing highly polished images, look for lots of story and function and subtle artistic touches. Not detail
spiffyart Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
yeah, in todays art world I think design, story, mood, composition, all of those take precedent over actual rendering style / level of detail. Whatever techniques used become just part of the image process, but are not the keys to what makes the image good. What makes the image good is the stuff that matters e.g. fundamentals. No tricks or techniques inject those into a canvas digital or otherwise.
JRettberg Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Great post as always Levente. 
leventep Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2013  Professional Filmographer
cheers man, thanks for reading
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December 13, 2013


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