Traditional Art VS Digital Art

When it comes to traditional art vs digital art, there are so many different opinions. Especially now that technology has developed very far and is easy to be accessed by almost everyone, art has begun to evolve and as a result, more artists are making digital art. But of course, traditional art still has a lot of fans.

This is because traditional art also has advantages and uniqueness that are different from digital art. Although there are also some drawbacks. In my opinion, here are some advantages and disadvantages of traditional and digital art.

Digital Art


1. More cost effective

Digital art does not require real materials, everything is done directly on hardware such as computers or mobile devices like tablets or even smartphones. So digital artists do not need to spend money to buy materials such as canvas and paint. It is enough to only pay the electricity bill which is relatively cheaper.

2. Easy to carry anywhere

The type of hardware that can support programs for digital art is now easier to carry and portable. It’s even enough with a mini tablet. Data storage can also be saved to the cloud so there is no need to copy files on other devices. If you want to open it from another device, you just need to access the cloud account.

3. Easy to share

The life of an artist in today’s information age cannot be separated from social media. Some artists regularly share their work in progress or updating their portfolios. Digital art also makes this process easier because it is already in the form of a digital file. Sometimes certain digital art programs also provide features to share it directly, simply by logging in to the social media account inside the program.

4. Quality can be adjusted easily

Digital Art can be set with high or low resolution as needed so that the quality can also be maintained. Long storage is not a problem because as long as the original file remains, the same quality can be maintained.

5. Tools are many and varied

With a wide variety of tools that can be used, artists can experiment with other mediums as often as possible. As in programs for digital drawing, there are a wide variety of brushes, patterns, and textures that can be downloaded and installed. Some artists also like to customize their own brushes.


1. The undo and redo features can be a bad habit and sometimes time-consuming

Being able to repeat what has been done is sometimes very helpful. But it can also lead to developing bad habits. Being indecisive when making art is one of them. Since we know we can go back to the previous action, we hit undo and redo many times and it ends up taking longer to finish the art.

2. The art that is made can look stiff

Something as perfect as a sharp, straight line does look neat. But on the other hand, it looks very stiff and difficult to bring out the sentimental sense. One of the factors that make a work of art desirable is the sentimental feeling it creates. Too perfect sometimes can make us feel uncomfortable. Although there are also people who love neat artworks.

3. Easy to reproduce and share making it easier to piracy

Ease of access also has a not-so-good impact because it opens up opportunities for art piracy and only benefits pirates. Although this can also be an opportunity for artists to popularize their names and works without having to pay marketing fees. Therefore, it is highly recommended to at least include the artist’s name if we distribute or use their work.

Traditional Art


1. Great for training muscle memory and reducing hesitation when creating art

Making art traditionally tends to force us to be more daring when drawing a line. Unlike the undo and redo features, traditional erasing will leave marks on the canvas or we can’t completely remove the lines. So it requires us to be able to make a line with one pull.

2. Has a unique texture that is not the same from each other

Textures produced by digital programs tend to be the same. This is useful if we want to produce art that is identical to one another. But if you want the texture to look authentic and different, traditional art is great for creating it. With a little effort, sometimes the paint or material used will form a texture on its own. We can also learn techniques for directing the paint to form a certain texture.

3. Not easy to imitate

Having a unique texture is one of the factors that make traditional art difficult to imitate. Moreover, if the media that’s used is like a canvas, it will add more uniqueness to its individuality.

4. Stress level is not that high compared to digital art

Too often looking at the computer screen can cause the eyes to feel tired faster. That’s why the stress level when making traditional art is lower than when making digital art. To overcome this, it could be handled by taking periodic breaks from staring at the monitor or by adjusting the position to work better.


1. The quality can change if it is digitized

Digitizing traditional art can be a bit tricky especially if you don’t have the tools to scan it or the photography skills. Along with the times, the need to digitize data and images also increases. In addition for marketing purposes in the digital era, there are many clients or companies who want the receive the works in digital form. If you are not careful when scanning traditional art into digital form, the quality will change from the original work.

2. The materials used are sometimes not cheap and require special storage

Making quality traditional art requires quality materials and mediums as well. And sometimes we need to pay a good amount of money to buy it. Depending on the type of material used, its storage also requires more attention to make it more durable.

3. Sometimes in the process of making traditional art, the workspace inevitably becomes messy

My art teacher told me not to be afraid to get dirty when making traditional art. You need to wear comfortable clothes that are okay to get dirty because it’s unavoidable. Splashes of paint or flakes of the materials used will definitely be scattered around. That’s why sometimes traditional artists separate workspaces such as studios with space for other activities.

As we discussed, traditional art and digital art each have their own advantages and disadvantages. So I think this goes back to the artist’s personal taste. Which method is more suitable for you?

Combining traditional and digital techniques

In addition, you can also combine the two methods. Like making a design or sketch of the work before transferring the data and finalizing it digitally. Or vice versa do the design and sketch digitally and then proceed with the traditional. I often sketch the idea first in a sketchbook and then transfer it into digital form so that I can finish it on the computer.

So, it doesn’t matter if you choose traditional art or digital art. Each one has a different and attractive charm. It must be nice to see the variety of art created by different methods.



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