Digital Painting and Narrative in the Fine Arts Context

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The Ohio State University

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The goal of this project was to develop a body of digital paintings that deal with the concept of narrative while exploring digital art’s place in a fine arts context. Digital art is any art created through the use of digital tools such as computers, and with the rise of technology it is becoming a more and more viable form of creation. Digital tablets act as a form of input that allows the user’s pen motions in the real world to translate into corresponding lines on the screen. Painting digitally provided me the unique opportunity to develop new techniques while incorporating methods I learned from traditional painting. All of the paintings I subsequently created were labor-intensive exercises based on stills I collected from various films, with each still being selected for narrative strengths. The goal was not to replicate the image, but rather to explore its implications. Through this exploration, I discovered relationships between the image’s sharpness, composition, palette, and cultural contexts that contributed to each of the narratives. As opposed to traditionally narrative paintings, my paintings do not explicitly represent the tale they are sourced from, but instead serve as separately functioning excisions that focus on implications rather than specifics. My work has resulted in eight digital paintings, with evaluative writings in progress. This project demonstrates digital painting’s potential in today’s art world, as well as its feasibility for traditionally trained artists. Additionally, it is a serious investigation of the elements of narrative in still images, and the broader implications of popular culture.



art, narrative, digital painting, painting, film, popular culture