Word usage: Rendering versus digital painting

I’m just curious, in which situations would you use the term “rendering” and when would you use the term “digital painting?”

1 Like

I tend to think of rendering in digital art as a computer/programmatic process

Rendering in digital painting for me is manually painting the image to mirror reality or maybe even just finishing/finalizing

From: what is artistic rendering? – ArtRadarJournal.com

What does it mean to render your art?

With rendering software, a computer program generates an image that is photorealistic or non-photorealistic, based on a 2D or 3D model. Rendering is the process of creating the final image. Renderings are similar to the concept of the impression of a scene that an artist creates.

What is rendering in 2d art?

To render a surface in 2D, values must be used to create the illusion of form.

1 Like

The ‘Computing’ paragraph of the Wikipedia entry seems to cover everything:


That is a good question. I don’t know if there are any real answers, but this is how I use the words:
For me rendering is the act of polishing, taking something from point A to Point B. A journey
Meanwhile digital painting is to paint digitally. Doing something in the program that is similar to painting. Something you do

Rendering: A process to make something you have look more “finished”
Digital Painting: Everything in the act of painting digitally, mimicking brushes
Digital Drawing: Everything in the act of drawing digitally, mimicking pencils/charcoal


Rendering is not limited to digital painting it’s usually the transition to the finished piece by working out details, shading, texturing and cleaning. More general: Since the painting process is iterative and could be considered finished by the artist at any point, It’s the transition between any two phases of an artwork. For example you can render a sketch by removing guides, clean lines and add details before doing a lineart. Or render a lineart by changing line weight and colors to define points of interest or guide the view, or prepare it for coloring. Basically the things you always do before moving on with the next step of the artwork’s creation.

And digital painting/drawing is just using painting/drawing techniques digitally.


Thank you for your thoughts and the linked info.

1 Like

for me Digital Painting is like the whole process while Rendering is when you place the right color on the right spot which means it is the final stage of the painting process. After that you still have post comp as always.