For years, people asked me why I wasn’t dabbling more in the world of digital art. My answer was always that while I appreciated the art form itself, to me, it always felt a bit like ‘cheating’. There’s just something about the struggle to work with actual materials, the raw feeling of a touch upon a canvas, that held some sort of honor for me. A pride in the struggle, if you will.

But. I’ve evolved, you could say… as the world inevitably does.

My love for ‘traditional’ art forms will never die. However, being a fairly impatient artist, my first painting on my iPad with the program Procreate was somehow cathartic and revolutionary for me.

I won’t lie to you – I want things to unfold QUICKLY when I’m drawing or painting, and they seldom do. But with a program like this, you can make a plethora of mistakes and recover from them with ease. This forgiving quality ultimately gives way into more freedom in experimentation, especially for a realism artist like myself.

There’s also a broader advantage in digital art when it comes to employing layers. For example, where I would have used tracing paper and a COMPASS to create a perfect circle (honestly – how often do you see people using one of those anymore?!) – now, I can just have a layer which guides me and can disappear with a tap of a button.

I drew this portrait for roughly 4 hours of an 11 hour flight from Copenhagen to Oakland. It was so enthralling that I don’t think I actually looked beyond my screen for the first 3 hours. I was completely enveloped in the flow of getting to know the application’s brushes, the tools textures, and just learning more about the program itself. And I’ve barely scratched the surface of its capabilities.

My favorite thing about Procreate is its video feature, where you can see your own process of trial and error in a time lapse. Super cool to watch the piece you create unfolding as your strokes bounce around from place to place. If you’d like to see the hyper lapse for this piece, check out my Instagram post here.

So to all artists out there who haven’t tried out a digital drawing app before… give it a try! It’s fascinating to feel how the haptics of drawing or painting are translated into the digital realm. Maybe you’ll like it more than you think, or you won’t like it at all. But I’m sure it’ll be amusing nonetheless!

xo,
R