Why Do I Paint Digitally?

I just want to play.

It’s like play. One of the amazing things about digital art creation is how much freedom there is to play. If I want to try out something new, a new paint brush, a new color palette, a new gesture line, I can. I can always go back to an earlier version if I make a mistake (as long as I’ve been saving drafts as I go).

So I play. I sling paint across my digital canvas. I twist, contort, reshape my digital medium. I lengthen, swirl, shorten and squash. I throw bright strokes down, hit undo and go back and throw a darker shade down. I look at both versions and choose the bright one. My instinct was right. I find my pup’s nose looking funky, so I dive into google, searching for reference images, looking for proper proportions and especially images that show light spilling across the dog’s muzzle.

I study them and go back to my piece. I think I can paint in the dog’s face planes, the different ways all the nuances of his muzzle catch the light.

I play again. I pull out some of the dark tones, spill in some brighter blue, add a single brush stroke of purple and a splash of yellow. I finish it with a thin line of pure white. Ah, there it is.

But this is just the dog’s muzzle. Now I must play with the shoulder, the ear, the topknot.

And I can’t wait. It’s play. I know there is a masterpiece here, and I must find it, must uncover it. There are bits and pieces shining through. The best part? I know I can’t ruin it.

It’s just play. I dance across my digital canvas, up and down, vertically, horizontally. Occasionally I interrupt my play with a dash over to google for more references. Then I’m back and losing myself in the work once more.

"Through the Storm"

Contemporary Media

Limited Edition - 24x36 inches

Copyright - Priscilla Cash 2021

In 2015, I brought home a Standard Poodle puppy named Seiko as my service dog prospect for my chronic illness. He grew into my stalwart partner, a furry shoulder to lean on, a comfort through my chronic illness storm. I remember one flight to grad school where we found ourselves waiting in the airport during a significant delay. Physically exhausted and emotionally drained, I laid a blanket on the floor, sat down and rested my head on my bag. Seiko curled up next to me, his head up, alert, watching. For a few moments, I could close my eyes and became a little girl again, safe and secure. My protector was watching through the storm.

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