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Let my tell you why this argument is meaningless by way of comparison. Comparing Traditional against Digital is like comparing Paintings and Oil Paintings. It doesn’t make a lot of sense because one sort of encompasses the other. They’re also not really separate form each other, they both require the same core skills.

Look, when you learn Traditional Art, you learn to paint, use pencils, charcoal, pastels, you learn a bit of everything and then go use what you like. You also have to learn certain fundamentals like colour, proportion, and anatomy.

When you learn Digital Art, you learn photoshop, Corel Painter, Clip, Kritia, or if you’re zealous like me, Gimp, and MS Paint. You also have to learn certain fundamentals like colour, proportion, and anatomy.

Notice that in both cases you need the fundamentals of art. They’re core in both cases! The point I’m sort of failing to make here is that it really should be divided by what tools you use, not weather those tools are on a computer or not. You shouldn’t really decide if you’re going to go Digital or Traditional, you instead learn your fundamentals and try out everything, and then use what you like.

Personally, I think if you have a choice between learning Traditional or Digital, say you have a big high school with lots of options, or one extra slot on a collage timetable. (Maybe you’re even a mature student taking a single course on the side!) If I had to choose one between Digital or Traditional, I would go with Traditional. It’s not because I’m old fashioned, although I sort of am. It’s really because it’s easier to learn Digital if you already know Traditional than the other way around.

Now things are a little different if you’re a professional. In that case you’d probably want to become familiar with everything, especially the most popular tools (Paint and Photoshop.) That way you can fulfil any offer or commission you get. Or maybe you’ll specialize on something like burnished colouring pencils and when people want something done in that way, they’ll find out about you. Honestly, I’m not a professional visual artist, I’m a writer who likes to draw, and neither of those things is the final mission for me. So, I can’t comment too well on professionals.

At the end of the day the most important thing is to learn your fundamentals! You should also try not to lock yourself into only one type of art, but also to do the one thing that you like most, the most. That’s how you avoid getting bored after all.

Daniel Triumph.
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