I’ve been taken with The New Yorker’s covers for 40 years. The March 22, 2010 cover by Jorge Colombo of a woman walking her dog at night in Manhattan reminded me of the beautiful covers I admired in the 1970‘s. When I read the fine print about the Colombo cover and learned it was a digital finger-painting, my reaction was: “I’ve got to try this!”
I do these drawings with my index finger, using the Brushes app on my iPad. Brushes is an exciting, accessible new medium for artists. You can create a drawing anywhere you can use an iPhone or iPad. You can import a photo or start from scratch (as I did with these). You can choose from endless options for brushstrokes and colors. I personally think this is one of the most exciting technical advances for painters since they figured out how to put oil paints in a tube over a hundred years ago.
As with any medium there are advantages and disadvantages. I love the texture and handling of oil paint, and the way it looks on the canvas. With digital work, the finished piece is ink on paper, so the artist loses some control there. But high quality inks and printers allow for beautiful art. Such work is less expensive than an original oil painting and therefore available to more people. I like the democracy of it.
Will I give up oils for digital work? Not a chance! I plan to do both.