Art and technology used to be considered as utterly separate magisteria. But, if you think about it, even the very first cave paintings were a manifestation of improving technology. Cave painters realized that if they mixed some water with powdered rock, they could get colored paint out the other end that they could then use.
Now modern technology is the servant of artists once again. So what’s out there?
The first thing that springs to my mind these days are graphics tablets. That’s probably because they resemble the old-fashioned way of doing art; like with a brush and paper. But if you’ve never used a tablet before, it’s probably time to try. Thanks to upgrades on the software side, artists now have even more scope to make amazing visual images, even 3D models.
A graphics tablet represents a major improvement over using a mouse to do art on the computer. Technically, you should be able to attain the same dexterity with a mouse as with pen and paper, but in reality, it’s rarely the case. Having a tablet with a stylus returns the artist to a situation that feels more natural. It’s closer to what we’re used to.
Budget models start from around $70 dollars, but you can go all the way up the range. Better tablets tend to have much larger drawing areas and more features.
The discussion around 3D printers has been notoriously protracted. Yes, they have amazing potential for producing great art, but right now, they’re simply not versatile enough for many artists.
That might be where a low cost 3D pen comes in. 3D pens allow you to do exactly what you’d expect; draw in 3D. They work by melting a filament that rapidly cools on contact with the air. What’s more, unlike 3D printers, 3D pens don’t require any software support. You just plug them in and off you go.
pics via pixabay.com
One impediment for artists to go digital is the lack of character of the canvas. Sometimes an old-fashioned backdrop to our work can be just as important as the foreground. Now, though, you can have both. Companies have started to develop what they call smart notebooks.
You use these notebooks, just as you usually would. When inspiration strikes you grab your pen and start drawing. But the benefit of smart notebooks is that they can be paired with companion apps on iOS devices.
This means that you can take your work from your notebook back to the studio. Sketches drawn in your notebook can be synced to Adobe Creative Cloud. Then, later, they can be edited on your Photoshop or Illustrator CC software.
Lastly, when you’re out and about you never know when you might come across a scene you want to capture. Since mobile phone cameras are so good these days, we can capture scenes wherever we go. The problem is that often we can’t quite get the right angle. This is where selfie-stick can really help. Just remember to point them away from your face.