|(Photo swiped from Emily C.)|
The aesthetic of digital painting in illustration these days is fairly homogenous. It's differentiable from traditional media most of the time by a kind of slickness, lack of grit, and the way that everything looks like it's under stage lamps, but otherwise it does tend to look like painting. Artificial painting, perhaps, but it certainly doesn't look "computery". That's a good thing, sure -- the greatness in the potential of digital art is that it doesn't have to look like digital art -- but I happen to love digital art that looks digital. More generally, I love when the limitations or nature of any medium are exposed or exploited -- it adds richness and informational depth to a picture beyond what's being conveyed by the artist -- but I particularly like it in digital art.
The nature of digital art is exposed when we see two things: finiteness of information, and computation. By finiteness, I mean evidence of the individual quanta that make-up an image. This is most simply expressed when we see individual pixels, but also when we see copied-and-pasted arrays of pixels, or limited numbers of colours -- anything that makes us say "this information is being expressed within finite parameters, and we can express any part of it within those same parameters". Computation is exposed sometimes by things being "too perfect" -- geometry and gradients and so-on -- and sometimes by things being "too perfectly imperfect" -- glitches and artifacts and weird colour curves and other evidence of manipulation, corruption, etc..
|C33: DEGAS Elite drawing flipped and tweaked and layered in GIMP and Irfanview.|
|C33.1: A macro photo of a tiny pencil scribble smeared and painted into a face with GIMP, then palettized in Irfanview.|