I've always believed in lifelong learning - and many of the artists I've worked with are certainly shining examples of this. They are always looking at new ways to develop their art - new skills, new materials and new ideas - as well as learning more about how they promote and sell their work. I really didn't know much about digital art, so I asked Martyn Dymott and Jen Haddrell to tell me about why and how they have started to create using digital tools. I'm delighted to share their views on making art using digital tools.
Jen Haddrell - hanging her work for the first time at Parabola Arts Centre 19 - 23 October
About one and a half years ago I picked up an iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil and dove into the waters of digital art. This new field of creativity offers it’s users the ability to display more colour, depth, and shape in a quicker time than traditional art. This is probably why so many people are switching to this computer-age medium.
As a lover of traditional Renaissance and someone who has mainly focused on portraits, I was hesitant to dip my toes in. But after some time of internal conflict, I decided to dive fully in… and what a decision!
In the past year and a half I have fallen in love with my Procreate digital art app. It has helped me to explore my style, skills, and creativity, as well as challenge my use of colour and composition. I still make portraits from time to time (mainly digitally), however I enjoy spending most of my time creating unique prints full of wildlife and it’s wonders.
Procreate allows me to not only build up layers but also “paint” with various texture brushes. These include, but are far from limited to, acrylic, oil, pencil, canvas texture, light brushes, and my go-to gauche. It has various photoshop-type features (that I rarely use) as well as mirroring features that allow me to make intricate patterns in the background of my prints.
Once I have finished a design I print it onto fine art paper using a high quality inkjet “giclée” printer. From there I can sell them packaged securely, or mount them straight into a frame. Because of the nature of digital art I don’t have to stick to one-time sales: I can print as many as needed and can therefore keep the prices low.
All this being said, I’m still relatively new to the wonders of digital art and still have so very much to learn. I am still discovering my style, and still stretching my ability to create interesting pieces. (I hope to one day experiment with my previously mentioned favourite genre: Renaissance, exploring some of my favourites, such as Botticelli, Raphael, or Michelangelo.) Until then I explore the wonderful beauties of simpler things like bumblebees and daffodils.
I hope you enjoy the work. Please do contact me if you have any questions. Thank you!
Website: JenHaddrell.art Instagram: jenhaddrellart
Martyn Dymott - exhibiting both digital art and acrylic original portraits and landscapes at Parabola Arts Centre 19 - 23 October
You will be able to see at this exhibition some examples of my recent digital paintings printed as fine art giclée prints, framed and mounted, or printed straight onto aluminium dibond.
Inspired by David Hockney and others I have started producing these alongside my more traditional work in acrylics.
I use my Samung Galaxy TS3 tablet with a reasonably priced application called Infinite Painter. This allows me to select from a broad range of painting brushes, pastels, pencils, pens, chalks, sprays and watercolour methods to create an image.
Like my acrylic painting the software allows me to work in layers, but also giving me a chance to combine different styles and types of paints, which isn’t always possible in the real world.
A lot of these have been painted at home in the studio, but with the tablet I can paint outside plein air or just for sketching, along as I can see the screen, so finding a shady spot is very helpful.
I’m still learning and I am still experimenting and trying out new brushes, pens etc., for example, the watercolour element has probably taught me more about how different washes work on papers than I have ever learned using my real watercolours.
I will tell you a secret...
It also has an eraser, so mistakes are not a problem.
I hope you enjoy them and please get in contact if you would like a demonstration or further details.
Website: martyndymott.art Instagram: martyndymott
Thank you to Jen and Martyn for talking about their digital art. I'm looking forward to seeing it - and a wonderful variety of other work from all 13 Living from Art members who are exhibiting at Parabola Arts Centre 19 - 23 October.
We do hope you will pay us a visit. Anna
Exhibition details at www.livingfromart.co.uk/events-training