Breaking tradition

For years I’ve illustrated in the traditional way: pen and ink on paper, paintbrushes etcetera. I was trained to use my hands when I create a piece of art. I’ve always had an aversion to using digital media to create art, because in a way, it felt like I was cheating myself. I saw digitally-produced art being published and it felt well, not fake, but not true. I’m not setting out to disparage digital artists. There are many stellar digital artists out there doing fantastic work.

Until recently I felt that using a computer program like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator would be to dishonour my own artistic style. Using a drawing tablet and wireless pen, seemed like sacrilege. Then I bought one. A small Wacom tablet. To be honest I was afraid to even contemplate using it, but like any artist, I wanted to challenge myself. To “have a go”, as we Aussies like to say. Now I have used Photoshop and programs like to enhance or colour my art, but drawing on a tablet, not at all.

Over the past few months I’ve been giving it a shot and it’s kind of like making a new friend or getting a new pet. You have to grow on each other. Just getting used to the wireless pen was a lesson in frustration, but I stuck with it. Below are some drawings I’ve done using the Wacom.

There is one thing I will say about drawing tablets. They sure allow you to work fast when you need to, but I’m not ready to give up the hands-on illustration just yet 🙂

Let me know what you think:


All images © Greg Chapman

About darkscrybe

Two-time international Bram Stoker Award-nominee®*, Greg Chapman is a horror author and artist based in Queensland, Australia. Greg is the author of several novels, novellas and short stories, including his award-nominated debut novel, Hollow House (Omnium Gatherum) and collections, Vaudeville and Other Nightmares (Specul8 Publishing) and This Sublime Darkness and Other Dark Stories (Things in the Well Publications). He is also a horror artist and his first graphic novel Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times, (McFarland & Company) written by authors Rocky Wood and Lisa Morton, won the Superior Achievement in a Graphic Novel category at the Bram Stoker Awards® in 2013. He is also the current President of the Australasian Horror Writers Association. Greg lives in Rockhampton with his wife and their two daughters. * Superior Achievement in a First Novel for Hollow House (2016) and Superior Achievement in Short Fiction, for “The Book of Last Words” (2019)
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4 Responses to Breaking tradition

  1. It's always good to have a piece of paper and a pencil handy. I paint digitally with a wacom cintiq, but regardless of being able to paint right on the screen, I often start with a few quick sketches on paper to get my visual firmed up.

  2. Greg Chapman says:

    Of course Thomas. These drawings were very raw, unplanned. I was just trying it out. I guess it comes down to whether the project suits the tablet or not. But as you say some planning might be in order 😉

  3. Doug Roos says:

    Very cool. I've been thinking about getting a Wacom tablet myself.

  4. Greg Chapman says:

    I put it off for years Doug, but they're a great little device

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