New medium:

Computer painting -

handmade digital painting

(no reproduction, no photo, no camera)

Transparency and immateriality

by Wolfgang Hock

Most who use photos for painting do this in order that pictures look like photography, i.e. they want to imitate the “realism” of the photo to fake something what they don’t know how to do, what you can see in many paintings of the so-called "Photorealism" of the 70s until today.

Exactly this I don’t do.

Further, the use of computers with Photoshop is intended to polish photographs by the use of effect-filters, how you can see in those dreary magazines and TV programs where everybody and everything looks the same.
If somebody looks at those pictures in twenty years, he won’t see anything more. They will tell him something about our shallow age only. These all are dead ends necessary to combat them.


One new technique is the painting and drawing by hand directly in the computer and in a second step, the print on paper or canvas. The machines have improved, they now enables one to work freely and fast with colors and lines. In this way, you don’t paint anymore on real paper or real canvas, you paint on virtual paper in the computer.

This is not about to fake, imitate or to reproduce other mediums or materials (e.g. oil or watercolor painting), but to explore and practice the peculiarity of the new medium.

In doing so you meet with advantages and disadvantages as always in any medium. One important advantage is the speed swapping brushes, adjusting and drying (here is no drying) what aids the intuitive and spontaneous handling of the paintings.

Speed here in a positive sense, not as nervous trying around. This needs time, highest concentration, makes o lot of work and like any traditional art medium requires great skill.

For certain things this medium is simply perfect. You can work very subtly with transparent color layers and generate certan color shadings which are not possible in other mediums.

You can compare this new technique with traditional intaglio printing: The worked out copper plate is the virtually created image in the computer of which you make, after a lot of state proofs, original prints in a certain edition. So they are not reproductions.

For me, this is an important expansion, but doesn’t mean to lose sight of the traditional mediums like oil or watercolor painting. Quite the contrary: Things developed in the new mediums fecund the work with oil painting and vice versa. The creative possibilities broaden all mediums and for me it is a surprise again and again what is coming out of it. Absolutely fascinating.  

by Wolfgang Hock