• Sofya Benevolenskaya

Marrying Digital and Traditional media.

Updated: Aug 13, 2019

So, the other day I was preparing myself and thinking of what to draw for a competition and suddenly thought of a good way (that probably many people use). It stunned me how easy and relaxing the process of creating a piece had become, that I decided that I wanted to share. This particular process would be nice for people who are thinking of transferring into digital media or don't know where exactly to start, or who have trouble with digital. THIS will help you out sort some things out.

First, let me put a disclaimer.

All of this is my thoughts and experiences, the reader, you don't have to follow them, they are just here to perhaps give you an idea or broaden the views.

Now that this is out of the way, let's get into this interesting piece.

I also made a video where I rumble about this piece, please check it out.

The other side.

Having done different works both traditionally and digitally, I have always found it stressful and the outcomes, from my point of view, were all flat and missed something in them. I didn't have the patience to sit through the process, especially on the details, and for instance, deciding the source of light. But, all of this changed when I decided to combine the two techniques.

I know that many people use this, but for me, it was such an invention that has eased my process and quickened the pace that I completely and utterly fell in love.

Let's start with the thumbnail and mood boards. Drawing sketches is crucial and will help you improve with your art. Mood-board many people under-appreciate, but in reality, it is extremely important and can spike your imagination.

It took me some time to get to where I wanted to go and what to do (I got a little bit sidetracked but still).

In the end, I had settled on a fantastical environment setting that was inspired by many things. However, what stayed the same were the colours, I knew that I was aiming for a specific set of colours and I have achieved them at the end.

At the very start, it is normal to feel like you are drawing, and that's why it's important to do sketches and just trying all the different sketches. Sometimes, an idea can hit you and it will just come to you straight away without any additional thinking, and sometimes, it becomes a long process.

Nonetheless, in the piece, I combined a few things, like I loved an idea of a circular teleported, so I played with it.

Line work?


After sketching the idea, it's time to go big. I did the line drawing on A4 piece of paper. It is completely up to the artist to decide what kind of and size of paper to use.

Next comes traditional media of your choice. May that is anything your heart desires: acrylics, gouache, watercolour, pastels, anything that you are comfortable with will be okay.

I am drawn to watercolour and gouache because I love the texture.

When creating something it's important to understand how the certain media words and behaves (if you are a beginner in art, including traditional, then it would be useful if you learn more about the media you choose before diving into the hard stuff.)

And this is how the final traditional piece looks like. Depending on what your goal is it can be tweaked the way you want. I particularly was going for the texture that watercolour leaves behind because that is what my digital art needed- Texture.

Doing a piece with mixed media can give and will give more texture that will vary depending on the materials.

Getting into Photoshop.

There are many things that a person can do, especially when creating a piece that has to show all the different steps in its creation.

-Value studies

-Colour studies

-Contrast studies

But I will not be going into them and just skip to the last and biggest stage.

Photoshop, and I am sure many other drawing programs allow you easily place an image into the file (I set the file as A3, even though the original was A4).

After this, making a new layer on top and the magic begins.

Everything will depend on what you want to have in the end. In Photoshop there are endless possibilities of the outcomes. Play with different layer settings and brush settings, after all, learning new things are always healthy.

After perhaps a few hours of playing with the colours, settings and effects you finally get the end product. Many people are scared to blend the two media and techniques to this extent because in many ways it doesn't blend. However is done correctly, it will look magnificent, and the result would be worth all the hours spent on it.

Thank you for reading, if you like what you see and want to hear more from me and my innocent rumble about art follow me on:

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