Bright Beginnings - Digital Painting

Discover the world of digital art in an AI era. This article covers a seasoned artist's journey, emphasizing the joy and value of manual creation, the impact of AI on art, and the personal connection to their craft. Art by Meelie.

Bright Beginnings - Digital Painting "Bright Beginnings - Digital Painting and Digital Drawing. Custom art.

In an era where artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various industries, including the art world, it can be both challenging and rewarding to adhere to traditional digital art practices. Despite the rapid advancement and increasing popularity of AI-generated art, many artists, including myself, continue to find solace and joy in creating art manually. This article delves into my personal journey as a digital artist, exploring the challenges and motivations behind my commitment to traditional digital artistry in the face of AI's growing influence.

The Challenge of Staying Motivated Amidst AI Art

Artist vs. AI generated art

Over the past year, staying motivated to create art has been an uphill battle. As an artist with a deep-rooted love for digital painting and drawing, I've watched AI-generated art rapidly evolve, often feeling overshadowed by its capabilities. The hours dedicated to each piece seem to conflict with the efficiency and growing acceptance of AI in art creation. Despite this, my passion for digital art as a form of personal expression and hobby persists.

The Joy and Challenge of Manual Creation

Creating art manually is more than a task; it's a journey filled with intricate details and personal touches that AI cannot replicate. Each artwork, such as my recent bunny painting, is a labor of love, reflecting hours of dedication. Although AI art's proficiency is undeniable, the manual process of creating art is an irreplaceable and fulfilling experience for me.

A Nostalgic Connection: Why a Bunny?

My choice to paint a bunny stems from a deeply personal and nostalgic place. Growing up, my adoptive father was a rabbit breeder and judge, immersing me in a world where rabbits were a significant part of my daily life. With nearly a thousand rabbits in our backyard and memories of feeding them with my sister, rabbits hold a special place in my heart. This unique upbringing influences my art choices, making each bunny painting a homage to my childhood.

Adobe and Sketchbook: Tools of the Trade

In my artistic process, tools like Adobe and Sketchbook are indispensable. With over 20 years of experience, I've grown to appreciate the nuances and capabilities of these platforms. Although recent AI integrations in Adobe hint at a shift towards automation, I find more value in the hands-on approach that these tools facilitate. This preference extends to my day job, where creating content quickly for clients is essential. Even there, the allure of AI doesn't tempt me; the experience and expertise I bring to the table through these traditional tools are invaluable.

The Dilemma: AI in Art and Its Impact

As AI continues to permeate the digital art space, I often ponder its impact on the value and perception of digital paintings and drawings. Is AI diluting the essence of what makes digital art so unique? This question led me to temporarily take down my website, as I noticed variations of my work appearing, possibly influenced by AI. However, the love for my craft keeps me going, driving me to continue creating and sharing my art, irrespective of the changing landscape.

Manual Art Creation: A Puzzle-Solving Joy

Beyond being an artist, I have a passion for making custom applications, a pursuit that satisfies my puzzle-solving nature. This love for challenges and creativity is evident in my art. Each piece is a puzzle, with every stroke and color choice bringing me closer to the final picture. This process, intricate and time-consuming, is a testament to the joy I find in manual creation.

Embracing the Journey

The journey of a traditional digital artist in an AI-dominated world is not without its challenges. However, it's a path I choose to walk with pride and passion. The hours spent on each piece, the personal stories behind them, and the joy of manual creation are irreplaceable facets of my artistic identity. As AI continues to evolve, I remain steadfast in my commitment to traditional digital art, cherishing every moment of this artistic adventure.

Tips from Meelie

Learn how to make a custom grass brush with these simple steps.

Making a Custom Brush in Adobe Photoshop | Art by Meelie

Creating a custom grass brush in Adobe Photoshop can be a transformative experience for any digital artist, especially when working on nature-themed paintings. In this detailed 5000-character description, we'll walk through the process of how I crafted a bespoke grass brush, tailored specifically for a recent painting project. This tutorial is perfect for artists seeking to enhance their digital toolkit and bring a touch of realism to their landscapes.

Step 1: Understanding the Basics
The journey began with understanding the fundamentals of brush creation in Photoshop. Knowing how to navigate the Brush Settings panel is crucial. Here, you can tweak aspects like shape dynamics, scattering, and texture to mimic the natural look of grass. Familiarizing yourself with these options is the first step towards creating a brush that not only looks realistic but also feels intuitive to paint with.

Step 2: Designing the Brush Tip
The core of any custom brush is its tip. I started by drawing individual blades of grass on a new canvas. The key here is variation - each blade should have its unique curve and length, imitating how grass grows in the wild. Once satisfied with the design, I defined this as the brush tip by selecting Edit > Define Brush Preset.

Step 3: Customizing Brush Dynamics
With the brush tip set, the next phase was fine-tuning the brush dynamics. I focused on Shape Dynamics to give each stroke a natural, varied look. Adjusting the size jitter and angle jitter ensures that each blade of grass doesn't look uniform, closely resembling a natural grassy texture.

Step 4: Adding Texture and Scattering
To add depth and realism, I incorporated texture into the brush. Using Photoshop's built-in textures or creating a custom one can add that extra layer of authenticity. The scattering setting was also crucial. By increasing the scatter, the blades of grass spread out more naturally, avoiding a repetitive pattern that can break the illusion of real grass.

Step 5: Testing and Refining
The true test of any brush is in its application. I experimented with my new grass brush on different backgrounds, adjusting settings on the fly to match the desired effect. This iterative process of testing and refining is essential to creating a brush that's versatile across various painting projects.