art book reviews by Aisling D'Art

Digital Art Studio

book review © 2005 Aisling D'Art
Digital Art Studio: Techniques for Combining Inkjet Printing and Traditional Artist's Materials by Schminke, Krause, and Lhotka is an informative, inspiring book for advanced digital artists.

Digital Art Studio is a book that you will either love or hate.

If you are comfortable working with your inkjet or laser printer and aspire to create gallery-quality digital art, this book can be ideal. It covers materials, processes, surfaces, transfer techniques, and more in a detailed how-to text.

The artists represented in this book work with surface pre treatments, specialized inkjet printers, and other materials and techniques that will thrill you if you are planning to create fine art using your computer and digital techniques.

While many of the projects demonstrated in this book may use equipment that you are not ready to purchase, if you are an experienced artist and comfortable with your existing tools, you can adapt many of these techniques for immediate use.

Or, as an alternative, if your local print shop or pre-press business has specialized inkjet printers that you can use, you may be able to replicate the exact techniques outlined this inspiring book.

In most cases, the results shown are nothing less than breathtaking.

As the book title suggests, many of the advanced methods described in this book mix inkjet printing with traditional art materials.

The first section of this book teaches you to prepare commercially available fine-art surfaces--as well as unusual materials--for permanent inkjet applications. This includes precoats, underprinting, masking, the creation of supports, and overprinting. The traditional art materials include pastels, watercolor, oil painting, acrylics, and fine art photography.

The second section of this book focuses on specialized printing and transfer techniques, including gelatin transfers, dry emulsion transfers, and applying images to three-dimensional and highly textured surfaces.

While I would never recommend this book for a beginner or even an intermediate artist, if your goal is to create fine digital art, Digital Art Studio will be a must-own book for your studio reference library.

PROS: Complete and detailed how-to directions, lavish and inspiring color illustrations, innovative concepts, and an exceptionally generous number of tips from a variety of artists working in this field.

CONS: Specialized supplies and some unusual, expensive equipment that will overwhelm all but the most experienced fine digital artists.

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