Is Digital Art Cheating Or Not – Our Breakdown!

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With more and more people starting to switch over to digital art either in addition to or instead of traditional art, the number of questions that we have noticed being asked on a monthly basis has spiked over and over again. We have noticed that a huge number of people are starting to ask a wide range of questions about digital art and drawing on a tablet but a number of people have specifically reached out to ask if digital art is cheating or not.

Due to this, we have decided to publish our own dedicated article sharing our thoughts and opinions on it in the hope that we will be able to help any of our readers who are looking to start drawing digitally. Questions about if digital art is cheating or not are almost always paired with people asking if digital art is easier and we already have an article going over that which kind of goes hand in hand with this article.

This does tend to be a controversial de-bait with valid points on both sides of the argument and in our opinion, much of it will come down to your own personal preferences. Art in general is largely based around your own creativity, expression, and preferences and this is no different but it is undeniable that digital art is only becoming more and more popular with each passing year and its growth is increasing at an exponential rate right now.

Is There Cheating In Art?

In our opinion, there is no cheating in art as it is a form of expression and just like the majority of other things, as we move into a digital age, more and more art-related tasks are becoming digital. As the various drawing tablets and software become more and more advanced, they become easier and easier to not only use but also learn and this is one of the reasons that more artists are moving over to using a drawing tablet.

There will always be purists and traditionalists who hate digital art but this does tend to be a generational thing with the younger crowd being more open to drawing digitally than the older crowd. This is evident in many niches outside of art work and is a sign of the times with humans usually being resistant to change. As younger people have grown up with smartphones and tablets, it is only natural that they will be the first adopters and look to move over to the digital versions faster than the older generations who are set in their ways.

Is Digital Art Cheating?

The majority of the digital art controversy that tends to follow any artwork that is tablet based is almost always down to the undo button that allows you to quickly and easily undo any mistakes that you make while drawing. That said though, there are a number of ways to also remove mistakes with traditional art kind of balancing this out and making it a null point in many peoples opinions.

Although the ways to remove any mistakes that you may make with traditional art are no where near as quick or as easy as the undo button on a drawing tablet or on drawing software, they do still exist. The core argument of people who do prefer digital art is that we are living in a time sensitive worlds and anything that allows artists to complete their commissions faster is a better deal and the undo button allows you to make corrections within seconds rather than minutes.

Another common criticism of digital art that some people class as cheating is the layer tools that all tablets and drawing software apps offer their user. Not only do they allow you to work on individual layers without having any effect on the other layers in your artwork that is no available in traditional art, they also offer various manipulation effects that are not possible with paper or canvas.

Again though, the counter argument for this is that the layer tools that is offered by digitial tablets allows an artist to complete their commissions faster and get on with the next task at hand. With traditional art, you may have to potentially wait days for a layer to dry depending on the type of artwork and the mediums used where as this is instant in digital art.

Although a weaker argument that some people do often tout to try and back up their opinion that digital art is cheating is the brush’s tools that allow you to change the brush effect that you are using at the touch of a button. Now, you may be thinking that this is available in traditional art as you switch out your brushes as required and to some extend this is true but you are able to program a single brush to instantly do a task that would take considerably longer with traditional art and require multiple brushes.

As you may expect at this stage of the article though, the counter argument is that we live in a fast paced society and anything that helps an artist complete their work at a faster page is good. Although an argument can be made that these custom brush styles are a way for an artist to show their skill in traditional art, digital art has its own unique features for a digital artist to show their skills too.

The final and probably strongest argument that digital art is cheating is that it allows you to get the effects of different mediums in a single commission that are very difficult to get in traditional art. Things like mixing alcohol, oil, and water-based paints in traditional art are a total pain but you are able to get their effects with a drawing tablet all in the same commission at the touch of a button.

In our opinion, this is the strongest argument that people who prefer traditional art have when it comes to saying that digital art is cheating. There is no denying that combining the effects of different mediums is very difficult in traditional art but the counter-argument usually is that very few people even want this effect so just because you are able to do it easily with digital art does not mean that you will be using it.

Is Digital Art Really Art?

In our opinion and the opinion of most, digital art is really art in its purist definition as it is a form of expression and interpretation that produces an end result. Although your own personal definition of art will come into play for this one, the vast majority of people do tend to share this opinion. The people who tend to try and claim that digital art is not really art are usually just trying to troll or cause arguments rather than a constructive discussion.

Is Digital Art More Popular?

At the time of writing, digital art is booming and although it already has a huge customer base, more and more people are making the switch over each and everyday. This is why companies such as Wacom with their excellent drawing tablet range is seeing very strong sales and growth with each passing year never mind each passing month.

As our society moves deeper into being a digitally dominated society, we only expect digital art to become more and more popular and dominate the space. Although at the time of writing, traditional art is still way more popular than traditional art, we can see this changing over the coming decades, potentially to a level where digital art is at least as popular as traditional art if not more so.

Is Digital Art Respected?

Although digital art is respected amongst the vast majority of the arts and crafts community, it does tend to be less respected than traditional art. This is due to the points that we covered earlier in the article that many people argue makes digital art easier than traditional art to get a similar level of results. In our opinion, art is art and you are able to get some outstanding pieces using a drawing tablet that definitely deserve to be respected.

There are people who put just as much time, effort, and dedication into their digital artwork as people do with traditional artwork and that definitely deserves respect. As demographics change and the people who have grown up with digital art become more and more established, we can only see digital artwork becoming more and more respected as new techniques are developed.

Will Digital Art Replace Traditional Art?

We doubt that digital art will ever truly replace traditional art due to traditional art being so established and offering a more unique feeling of accomplishment than digital art. As time goes on, we do feel that traditional artwork will become more popular though and at least become as popular as traditional art and over the span of a few decades it may become more popular as traditional art but not replace it fully.


That brings our article going over if digital art is cheating to a close. In our opinion, digital art is not cheating and it deserves respect as you can produce some excellent pieces of digital art once you hone your skills. At the time of writing, there is still some push back on this from the community but more and more people are switching over to this way of thinking and digital artwork keeps growing in popularity.