Why Choose the Medium of Digital Airbrushing

Posted: 20th August 2018-Likes: 0-Comments: 0-Categories: News, Work-Tags: fetus, foetal, foetus
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Why Choose the Medium of Digital Airbrushing?

So why are there choices such as artist’s mediums and why are they offered to potential customers seeking medical art work? Why should anyone choose the medium of digital airbrushing or painting over and above other mediums?

These are the questions often asked and it is understandable because not everyone knows an artist’s techniques or the differences between the mediums.

The reason why they are asked is that different mediums produce different results. From pencil, watercolour paint, digital airbrushing they all are mediums that an artist can use but the final painting or illustrations look very different from each other. What this can prompt is some mediums may be better suited to a client’s project than others.

Here are some examples. The pencil medium was requested by client Frontera London because they wanted a soft and feminine look and feel to their illustrations as their illustrations conveyed the sexual anatomy of the female body and instructions how to insert an inter uterine device.  They did not want severe looking illustration but one sympathetic to the audience they were targeting. In this case nurses and females often in sensitive, vulnerable positions.

The watercolour medium was chosen by client British Dental Journal for their 12 covers of their journal because of its unique qualities and subtle hues of colour and where an artist can depict anatomy in intricate detail. Their objective was to emulate the traditional style of medical illustration and watercolour fitted this aim perfectly.

For example, digital illustrations were perfect for our client project called Stroller Life who wanted high realism depictions of foetal development for a digital sphere, an app. It was therefore agreed that a painting created with an airbrush using Photoshop would produce the best results. Its’ also very easy to re-use the same background using a digital method because of the layering set up in Photoshop, giving the sequence a uniformity across many illustrations which is exactly what the client wanted.

Digital Illustrations Created for Client Stroller Life

The Digital Medium

When creating a painting using whats termed a digital medium, the artist will use computer software called Adobe Photoshop. Adobe Photoshop is most well known as photo editing and manipulation software, but this software has so many powerful editing tools, that when combined, are capable of just about anything that an artist desires, from palette colour choices, to brushes, rubbers, canvases, pens, layering, the list is lengthy.

Adobe Photoshop has most commonly been used for the editing of large batches of photos but as its developed over the years as a graphics programme, artist have learnt to utilise the many art tools to create intricate digital paintings and drawings that mimic those done by hand on traditional paper. This is done not only with the software, but the artist must use a digital canvas and pen that emulates a pad and a brush. Using a mouse is not suitable.

The Tools for Digital Airbrushing

The Digital airbrush is one of the painting tools found within Photoshop and it is used in conjunction with a canvas and pen called a Wacom tablet and Wacom grip pen. These connect to the computer screen, so effectively whilst you draw and paint on the Wacom tablet the artists brush strokes will appear on the screen.

So How is Digital Artwork Completed?

As a commercial artist a frequent query from clients is about how the production of digital artwork is carried out and whether the client can have an illustration the next day because surely all it takes is the press of a button. This however is a myth.  The method Joanna uses to create her illustrations are exactly the same as any illustration would be produced. The artist simply uses a brush (digital grip pen) that is set to mimic an airbrush spraying a fine mist of paint instead of a brush that uses watercolour.

The canvas (Wacom tablet) mimics a canvas and is even sensitive to the artist’s hand pressures and nuances and reacts so quickly that when an artist paints with it, it feels very natural. The artist will have drawn in pencil the project outline, so the airbrushing technique is a way of painting but digitally. The result (after many days and hours!) are paintings that look very realistic if that’s what the artist intended and suitable for client projects where realism was the key objective.

Examples of Illustrations Painted using a Digital Airbrush

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