“My goal has always been to create artwork that has every bit the look and feel of ones done by traditional mediums”

Steven Friedman is a talented artist who started his professional career as a traditional photographer. He begins experimenting with digital imagery in 1990 and has been studying different software and developing beautiful techniques which he later called Digital Natural Media.

Friedman recently started to paint with oils and watercolors which has allowed him to deepen and polish his digital work. He enjoys teaching and shares videos on his Youtube channel and tutorials on his website. From realistic watercolor effects to details of the use of programs and photography, any artist interested in this craft can find valuable content on his platforms.

In this Q&A, artist Steven Friedman shares with PoseSpace how developed his artistic techniques, which software he uses to create his work, what he recommends to artists interested in digital art and more:

You started your artistic career as a traditional photographer. What made you want to experiment with digital fine art?

I have always been a wanna-be artist. Photography gave me a chance to be creative, but I longed for the subtle nuances of painting. While I had made several attempts at painting,  I was just too ADHD to master it. When computers came along I started playing around with some early graphics software and the light went on in my head.

What are your favorite software and why?

I’ve often compared Digital Artistry to composing music. In that respect I like to use an entire orchestra. So to your question what are my favorite software programs, it is like asking a composer what are their favorite instruments. I find each program lends their own special capabilities. For the most part, I tend to start with the actual photograph rather than try to recreate the scenes on a blank “canvas”.  But here are a few programs that I particularly like:

  • Fotosketcher
  • Redfield Plugins for Windows
  • Topaz Studio
  • Rebelle 4 Digital Paint program

Do you have a favorite digital artist, whether famous or completely unknown?

It’s a pretty small community. Many of those that I really like are only known by their FB or social media names. The ones who I most admire are the ones that really try to push the envelope with their creations but still stay within the boundaries of traditional art. My goal has always been to create artwork that has every bit the look and feel of ones done by traditional mediums.

What do you think of PoseSpace? Do you have a favorite model? 

Posespace has been a fantastic find for me! For years I have longed to do artwork from Nude models. Being somewhat “North” of 50 (well 60 for that matter) I can’t exactly call up my old girl friends (not to mention their granddaughters) and ask them to pose for me. Life drawing classes are expensive and not easily accessible – not to mention photography is verboten. Hiring a model and trying to pose and light them is well beyond my financial abilities. Pose space has solved this problem offering a huge selection of beautiful nudes, well posed and lit, and taken at high resolutions. The cost per pose is less than 1/30th of what I might pay to hire a private model. It is also a lot less risky. Best of all the stuff on Posespace is not cheesecake or porno stuff.

What life experiences have influenced your work?

Being in the company of other traditional artists like portrait painters and the like. Not so much photographers. Artists have to develop a way of seeing that transcends the original scene. That has been the challenge for me.

What’s been your greatest artistic success?

It may surprise you but the greatest success of this has been to gain an appreciation for art – especially painting. Before I started doing this art was just something to “look at and appreciate”. Now I look at paintings with a microscopic lens to try to see how did they do that? What colors? What techniques? How can I re-create that digitally?

Do you have any shows or activities on the horizon that you’d like to tell our readers about?

I’m happily retired now and no longer have the energy or stamina nor funds to do the summer art shows. I lead a Digital Art group and teach class here in the community I live in. I love to teach, and I will often do video tutorials on “How Did I do that” that are posted on YouTube. I have WEB site that I confess I’ve neglected for some time, and am a regular poster to The Photo2Paint facebook page and Fotosketcher FB page.

What advice do you have for artists who are interested in Digital Natural Media?

Digital Artists today really have a wealth of tools, tutorials and associations to help them compared to 20 years ago when I started doing this. I’d say look on YouTube and Facebook.

Anything else you would like to mention?

I’d like to give a special appreciation to software developers who provide an incredible array of  programs at very little cost or even free. It is because of them that I am able to stay inspired and creative.

Steve Friedman’s Website: http://digitalartmasterworks.weebly.com/

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/sfriedman451/videos 

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