Digital art is art created on a computer in digital form. Digital art can be purely computer-generated, such as fractals, or taken from another source, such as a scanned photograph, or an image drawn using vector graphics software using a mouse or graphics tablet. The term is usually reserved for art that has been non-trivially modifed by a computing process (such as a computer program, microcontroller or any electronic system capable of interpreting an input to create an output); digitized text data and raw audio and video recordings are not usually considered digital art in themselves, but can be part of a larger project.

The availability and popularity of photograph manipulation software has spawned a vast and creative library of highly modified images, many bearing little or no hint of the original image. Using electronic versions of brushes, filters and enlargers, these "Neographers" produce images unattainable through conventional photographic tools. In addition, digital artists may manipulate scanned drawings, paintings, collages or lithographs, as well as using any of the above-mentioned techniques in combination. Artists also use many other sources of information and programs to create their work.

3D graphics are created via the process of designing complex imagery from geometric shapes, polygons or NURBS curves to create realistic 3 dimensional shapes, objects and scenes for use in various media such as film, television, print and special visual effects. There are many software programs for doing this.

The technology can enable collaboration, lending itself to sharing and augumenting by a creative effort similar to the open source movement, and the creative commons in which users can collaborate in a project to create unique pieces of art.

The mainstream media uses a lot of digital art in advertisements, and computers are used extensively in film to produce special effects. Desktop publishing has had a huge impact on the publishing world, although that is more related to graphic design.

Nonetheless, digital art is yet to gain the acceptance and regard reserved for "serious" artforms such as sculpture, painting and drawing, perhaps due to the erroneous impression of many that "the computer does it for you" and the suggestion that the image created could be infinitly repeatable.

Computers are also commonly used to make music, especially electronic music, since they present an easy and powerful way to arrange and create sound samples. It is possible that general acceptance of the value of digital art will progress in much the same way as the increased acceptance of electronically produced music over the last three decades.

Some say we are now in a postdigital era, where digital technologies are no longer a novelty in the art world, and "the medium is no longer the message." [1] Digital tools have now become an integral part of the process of making art.

Digital Photography and digital printing is now an acceptable medium of creation and presentation by major museums and galleries, and the work of digital artists is gaining ground, through net art and software art. But the work of digital painters and printmakers is still not widely accepted by the established art community. It is not represented or collected by any major institution. Only the Victoria and Albert Museum print department has a reasonable but small collection of digital art. One reason why the established art community finds it difficult to accept digital art is the erroneous perception of digital prints being endlessly reproducible. Many artists though are errasing the relevant imagefile after the first print, thus making it an unique artwork. Another reason is longevity. With today's digital printing technology though, fading of colours will not occur for 60 to 100 years(

See also New media, New media art

Fields of digital artEdit

Computer GeneratedEdit

Artwork rendered from models created by the artist.


Artwork created using, generally, vector-based tools.

Photography/Cinematography RelatedEdit

Artwork created through a camera which may then be manipulated.


Artwork created in similar fashion to non-digital paintings by means of software.

Game RelatedEdit

Artwork that relates to computer games.


Aside from visual digital art, there are also other forms of digital art.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit


Museums & Non Commercial galleriesEdit Cache] Not a museum as such, but an organisation which is researching the history of the British Computer Arts Society, and will soon have an online archive

Online galleries Edit

  • computer fine arts netart collection and archive.
  • Digital Art Source Digital Art Source is a guide for students & professionals interested in art-related websites utilizing or exploring digital media & computers.
  • The Raster Group one of the world's best international Art groups
  • Digital Medium - Digital Art, Digital art galleries and useful info.
  • digital salon, Virtual gallery of fine art
  • deluxe gallery,site is a good reference to many new media exhibitions. Contact can also be made through the site to many digital artists.
  •, Internet art
  • Free images, website content
  • IMCexpo, Online galleries for the Interactive Multimedia Culture Expo, an interactive new media art show and trade show
  • Oxygenetic, Another Digital Art Group that shut down on January 10th 2006. The site and it's ten high quality exhibitions still remain.

Communities Edit

Festivals Edit


Further readingEdit

This really needs building up, anyone fancy doing it? Please add more

  • Paul, Christiane (2003). Digital Art (World of Art series). London: Thames & Hudson. ISBN 0500203679.
  • EXPOSÉ annual showcase of the world's best digital art. Adelaide: Ballistic Publishing.