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Traditional and Digital Mixed Media

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 3:50 PM


Fix That Miscat! is a series of articles aiming to  help you distinguish between galleries that are commonly confused or  abused in the category system here on deviantART. In this occasion we'll  talk about Mixed Media, both Traditional and Digital.

Mixed Media


Mixed  Media within deviantArt refers to artwork in the making of which more  than one medium has been employed. For example, a drawing that combines  color pencils, watercolors and inks in the same canvas.



hope by ryky
Music for my eyes by NekroXIII

To  be considered as Mixed Media, an artwork needs to combine 2 or more  traditional or digital mediums. However a big misconception is that  Mixed Media refers only to artworks combining digital AND traditional  and this is not entirely true. The combination can also be between traditional mediums only or digital mediums only and in fact, when you intend to submit to this category, you'll find that  you'll have to choose between one of the following:




Traditional Mixed Media


In Traditional Art, Mixed Media involves the combination of two or more traditional techniques such as oils, pastels, watercolors, charcoal, pencils, collage, acrylics, ink, etc.

 Stellar Horse by hontor Hyena by Skia
 Light bringer by AlviaAlcedo DOODLE: AWESOME MONSTERS!!! by vicenteteng




Digital Mixed Media


In Digital Art, Mixed Media involves the combination of two or more digital techniques such as digital painting, vector, vexel, 3D, photomanipulation, fractals, etc.

Reawakening by mOsk Plague Ship Sails into Korvosa by yanimator
Line-Dots-Seperate by YukoRabbit Inhale Exhale - The 7th Hour by emilieleger


One of the most common situations when it's difficult to determine if an artwork should go into one category or the other it's with Photomanipulations. To read more about the differences between Photomanipulations and Digital Mixed Media click here



So, what about combining both Digital and Traditional?


As explained earlier, Mixed Media is a combination of mediums, which can be between traditional only or digital only, so what about those that combine both?

deviantArt doesn't have a gallery dedicated to these pieces that combine both digital and traditional techniques, so it's up to you to determine which one is more predominant and then choose the more appropiate category. For example, a drawing done with pencils, scanned and then added other digital elements alongside other heavy edition should go to Digital Art.

Gift: The Fox and The Maiden by Edenized


If the traditional part of the artwork is more predominant, by adding just some minor digital elements and other minor adjustments, then it should go to Traditional Art

Sanve portrait by Nordeva


I hope this makes it more clear about what is and what isn't Mixed Media. Stay devious! - Thiefoworld & Astralseed


Who takes suggestions for these categories?



Digital Art > Mixed Media
Thiefoworld & mamiffer

Traditional Art > Mixed Media
Astralseed, STelari, deshrubber & SRudy



An in depth explanation of what is Digital Media and what should and shouldn't go in this category.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconsven-tu:
Sven-Tu Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2014  Student General Artist
Brilliant. Thanks.
Reply
:iconkalgraphics:
KALgraphics Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2014  Student General Artist
Thank you, you helped clarifying this issue for me
Reply
:icontenchuandanimeluver:
TenchuandAnimeluver Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
I wanna do both! I have a lot more to learn! ^^
Reply
:iconnekoluver15:
nekoluver15 Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013
this was so helpful!!
Reply
:iconartbycher:
ArtByCher Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2013   Traditional Artist
:clap:
Reply
:iconmagenta-fantasies:
Magenta-Fantasies Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Professional General Artist
That's very helpful; I've been wondering this for years. :D

I still think there should be a specific category for Mixed Media art that is both Traditional and Digital, though.
Reply
:iconyamcha-wolf:
Yamcha-Wolf Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Combining digital and traditional media is amazing and I commend anyone and everyone who can do. Fusing the primary human aspect behind art with today's modern capabilities is the best of both worlds. Why do one when you can have both. :)
Reply
:iconraph1966:
Raph1966 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Student General Artist
This is good to know. I recently did a pastel (traditional) work and retouched it in digital. Just a layer of Corel "pastels" to darken it. Otherwise it's still the same old traditional work. Thanks for clearing things up for us. :D
Reply
:iconrjonesdesign:
rjonesdesign Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
This is still confusing. In my case, I am told I should put all my vectors in mixed media (99% vector, 1% raster for outer glows or flares, which are non-destructive, as Illustrator redraws them when sized). You state here that using vector and a vexel technique in the same piece makes it mixed media. I don't think my work should be mixed media at all since it is all in Illustrator using vector elements, its the filter that I put ON the vector element that makes it not vector?
I was told to put my work in vector and hope the vector gm doesn't move all my work to mixed media. So am I a vectorist, vexelist, or a mixed media artist?
I have always considered myself a vectorist because I work primarily in Illustrator. Anytime I use a Photoshop raster effect, I call it vexel, and everyone was happy before. I'm tired of having to fight to stay in vector and vexel. :(
Reply
:iconthiefoworld:
Thiefoworld Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013
But you are talking about effects done IN illustrator aren't you? I'm not a vector expert, but those should count as vector elements :o I would ask ^ChewedKandi, the Vector CV about this though, but in my opinion, if they are scalable they should considered vectors.
Reply
:iconrjonesdesign:
rjonesdesign Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Ugh, she is the one that has always wanted my art out of the vector gallery in the first place. I'm so tired of this, I already moved most of my art to scraps and now this, so I don't really belong in ANY gallery at dA. Why can't I just be a vector artist?
Reply
:iconthiefoworld:
Thiefoworld Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013
If you consider your art to be vector, then go for it, keep your work in the vector category, don't mind what me or anyone say :)
Reply
:iconrjonesdesign:
rjonesdesign Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Doesn't feel much like dA support to just call myself something I already know the vector gm doesn't agree with and just hope I'm not removed.
dA should support artists.......not suppress creativity in my opinion. I don't even feel like drawing anything now.
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:iconeurekasfray:
eurekasfray Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013
"An in depht explanation"
Oops, you have a typo :)
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:iconthiefoworld:
Thiefoworld Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013
I dunno what you're talking about :shifty: thanks
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:iconeurekasfray:
eurekasfray Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2013
Suuure :D you're welcome
Reply
:icontvlookplay:
tvlookplay Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
so is my artwork mixed media since i only use one photo and a lot of brushes?? :P
Reply
:iconthiefoworld:
Thiefoworld Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013
According to [link] yes, because in order to be considered a photomanipulation, it needs to combine two or more photographs.
Reply
:icontvlookplay:
tvlookplay Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:crying: so i have to change all my dark,fantasy works into mixed media?? :cry:
Reply
:iconthiefoworld:
Thiefoworld Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013
You don't need to, but maybe you could consider it for your future submissions :)
Reply
:icontvlookplay:
tvlookplay Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
AWESOME! :D
Reply
:iconphoenixleo:
phoenixleo Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013
Aptly put.
Reply
:iconkronos-kirbi:
kronos-kirbi Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Has there been one like this for BeOS and MacOS?
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:iconthecures:
TheCures Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013
"digital painting" sounds like such a silly term to me
like calling 3d "digital sculpture"
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:iconthiefoworld:
Thiefoworld Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013
I consider both terms correct and they're not silly to me, but to each their own :) How would you call them then?
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:iconthecures:
TheCures Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013
well i might seem a bit bitchy but traditional art is waay too different from digital to share the same names. 3d has no real volume, isn't made by direct touch with materials, etc etc, and has nothing in common with sculpture. As for pictures done with a drawing software, I always called them digital art. I've also heard there's a difference between "digital drawing" and "digital painting", which is pointless because it's still the same thing, same virtual tools, the only thing that changes are the way the pixels are distributed. And still it's very far from painting and drawing.
Well I don't feel like this should be a debate, after all it's just a matter of terms. I just think they're poor.
Reply
:iconahkward:
Ahkward Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Professional General Artist
If you want to look at it that way, I think all traditional art is the same. I mean all it is, it is just colors on a canvas or paper. The only difference is how they were distributed there.

There are, just like traditional, a wide variety if tools. Vectors and rasters are the main ones. Then you have pen tools, brushes, fills, gradients. Then there are "brands" that all offer similar "tool" packages, each a little different, ie: Pant tool sai, photoshop, Corel, Illustrator, Flash, etc.

3D sculptures can be made real through 3D printers now, no, not entirely not real, but I can see a partial validity in your point.


I am going to art school and there is quite the difference in a painting or drawing of either traditional or digital. I do feel this could be debatable.

As far as my overal opinion, I use both traditional and digital regularly. If I had the option, I would rather be 100% traditional. There is something magic about being able to feel the paint and see it shimmer. However, my field of Illustration (looking to concept art and comic), it is required ti be good at digital. I do not have a choice in the matter.
Reply
:iconthecures:
TheCures Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013
thanks, i'll assume your first phrase wasn't serious. i also go to art school (even though it's crappy)
about digital drawing and painting, i think they shouldn't be called that because they're different etc etc. also while real drawing and painting are completely different, from the surface to the tools, aspect, technique. digital sketches and digital detailed pictures are done with the same main tool.
If i do a really fast painting as if i was sketching with the brush, it would still be a painting and not a drawing. so just because the aspect is different it doesn't mean they need different terms, and even if they did, why should they have he honour of such glorious terms as painting, drawings, sculpture? these forms of arts are historical and their name shouldn't be neglected.
I admire digital art when it does what traditional art can't do, like animation, 3d, holograms, and pixel art cause it's so cute •∩•
but yea we're poor on terms, like the fact that everyone on this site is called an artist, derr
Reply
:iconahkward:
Ahkward Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Professional General Artist
Congrats. You caught me.

Anyway, you misunderstand. Not everyone uses tools the same way. I actually use the brush tool fordrawing. A plain circular brush. Much like the shape of a pencil lead. If I want to paint, i use bushes that work in similar ways to real brushes, tilt, smoothness, shape like filberts or fans, etc.

They were given to be able to give a sense of familiarity to the new tools and styles. I see many digital arts that look like traditional, because the same overall method was used. Sketch, linework, shading, color in that order. You can not say you think we should give them different names when the process behind them and of making them are the same! Just a different medium. It makes no sense to change digital "drawing" to digital " word of choice".

I agree, the names of the tools are odd. But for one, knowing most artist I talk to about digital agree, the pencil tool sucks. It is not the same type of tool and often thr brush tool is favored more. I completely understand that aspect of your arguement. But I think you are out stretching it a little.

Glorious? Really? The terms are not bring neglected, simply edited to fit modern times. It is quite normal. I can assure you 50 years ago, the term phone meant something different. So are you saying phones now a days should not be called that since they have a completely different use now? They act like computers, and phones, so they must be renamed. Same logic.

And everyone is an artist. Everyone interperets the terms art and artist differently. Some use it with little to no morals. Some are just like you and me. Frankly, I am appalled at your use of artistic te
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:iconthecures:
TheCures Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013
that's okay, I don't mind that others see it differently
Reply
:iconthiefoworld:
Thiefoworld Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013
In fact I think it could be a good debate, maybe just not here, but in another journal dedicated to it perhaps, but thanks for sharing your views! :)
Reply
:iconthecures:
TheCures Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013
thank you too! (:
Reply
:iconfarewell-spring:
Farewell-Spring Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you very much for this article, I think is really well explained and straight to the point.

Another thing, would it be possible to do one (if it isn't done yet and I just missed it) on Traditional art> Printing?
Reply
:iconastralseed:
Astralseed Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Professional General Artist
That is a good idea, the Traditional Art> Printing> galleries do seem to have a lot of miscats and there appears to be quite a bit of confusion around some of them.
Reply
:iconleomon32:
leomon32 Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Should be only Digital (computer) / Traditional (paper)

If people decide to do both that's their problem xB
Reply
:iconpica-ae:
pica-ae Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
I think there is also the chance that someone started in digital media, printed the result out and finished the artwork traditionally :)
I would sort my Tradigital (yes, that word exists…) works depending on the last step towards the finished products: aka is the final work something physical I can hold in my hands, it's traditional; but is it a digital file, it would be digital.
Of course, that is my personal choice.

And of course "fixing" a scan or photograph of a traditional piece does NOT make it digital. Sometimes you just have to edit them to make them enjoyable for digital viewing :lol:
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:iconthiefoworld:
Thiefoworld Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2013
That's also a good point! :lol: Some artworks might start being digital and then finished traditionally :nod:
Reply
:iconpica-ae:
pica-ae Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
I think it's rare, but you never know :)
Reply
:iconnualtsnaairi:
NualtsnaAiri Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013
Thank you so much for explaining this! I love the 'Fix That Miscat!' series and was hoping this topic would be explained. So happy! Much Thanks! :thanks:
Reply
:iconthiefoworld:
Thiefoworld Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013
Thanks to you for reading! :D
Reply
:iconrydi1689:
rydi1689 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Also, good job ^Astralseed

I didn't notice you too :iconlazepoolplz: *for shame*
Reply
:iconrydi1689:
rydi1689 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wonderful article Thiefis! <333

However... I don't really agree with this to be honest:

"For example, a drawing done with pencils, scanned and then added other digital elements alongside other heavy edition should go to Digital Art."

I see where you're coming from but if I consider that the "soul" of my piece is the drawing I did with pencil, the post-edition work is only a complement of my original creation, my drawing can stand alone without the editing but the editing is nothing without the drawing, therefore I consider that those should be placed in the traditional category, not the digital. It is ultimately a decision from the artist whether to place it on digital or traditional.
I'll illustrate my point of view with a sample: [link] vs [link] As you can see, the original artwork was done traditionally, with pens and markers. Afterwards I decided it would be a good idea to completely destroy it with filters and textures (:XD:)... still, I consider that the soul of my piece is the traditional part of it, the drawing and colouring made with traditional mediums.

If the case was that the drawing is traditional but the colouring and the editing are digital, then it would be better suited in the digital category, most likely. But, I still believe that the one to judge which media weights more in making the decision is the artist.

I also believe that we should have a mixed media (digital + traditional) gallery, I'm preparing some articles to explain why we need a mixed media gallery at least in the manga and anime category (We currently have a mixed media one, just in the traditional subcategory).
Reply
:iconthiefoworld:
Thiefoworld Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013
Mmm... I see your point, but we are talking about what is more predominant, more visible, not what's behind it. You can't deny that you greatly edited the original, and changed its appareance significantly, even if they're only textures and filters, the final product is very different from the original, you can't even see the original colors and most of the textures you achieved with the markers completely got lost. Maybe it's "soul" is traditional, and you as the artist consider it that way because it was you who made it, but that's not what I see, as the appreciator, for me the digital side of it is more visible, it's in fact literally on top of it.

But yeah, at the end of the day, it's up to the artist to decide which category is the best for it, so you have your right to keep it in traditional. :)
Reply
:iconrydi1689:
rydi1689 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, as long as the artist is the one to decide it's fine with me :hug:.
Reply
:iconhouse03:
House03 Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I'll have to keep this in mind for when I learn how to use a scanner!
Reply
:iconpurpleamhariccoffee:
PurpleAmharicCoffee Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013
Good idea for the series, hopefully people will take notice and fix their miscats :icontabbycatplz:
Reply
:icontouchedvenus:
TouchedVenus Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
For some reason my brain never really registered that we could submit to mixed media all digital or all traditional. Thank you for enlightening me! :XD:
Reply
:iconthiefoworld:
Thiefoworld Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2013
Possibly because when we hear "mixed" we automatically think of digital and traditional :P at least that's the first thing that came to my mind :P but yeah, that was the purpose of the article ;P to clear that up!
Reply
:icontouchedvenus:
TouchedVenus Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Haha, of course. ;P
Reply
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