Deliberately chose the title to indicate a difference between the two and many of you who have followed me on the various forums will know I have spouted forth many times on this subject.
Now I find myself in a bit of a dilemma with my own spouting!!!!!
I have always felt that painting and drawing are completely separate skills... still do in fact. I have never seen anything wrong in using aids for getting a drawing onto the paper allowing someone to then get on with painting. I drew a lot as a child but painted very little so developed reasonable drawing skills and absolutely no painting skills. So did the ability to draw help my ability to paint? Not one bit other than being able to get a credible drawing on the paper which I invariably ruined the minute I touched it with any paint!!!!
I started to get precious about the drawing and the whole thing put me off painting anything which was remotely difficult to draw as I knew I was likely to have to do the drawing again and again and again. I ruined so many beautiful drawings as soon as I hit the paint and it all took too long, keep having to draw things again to be painted. I found painting to be a much more difficult skill to learn than drawing but how was I to learn to paint if the thought of keep having to do the drawings was holding me back?
So, I started to paint without drawing something which is a fundamental feature of Jean Haines work, work as you will all know I love and has been an inspiration to me. This process really works for me, not because it allows me to be more spontaneous and to be less constrained by the lines ( I know Jean if you are reading those should be my main reasons!!!) but simply because it lets me paint as soon as possible and I can never wait to start painting!!!
So what's the problem then!!!
Well my problem is that although my drawing skills are ok..... am beginning to realise they could be a lot better so that I am struggling with certain things when just going in with the paint and this is where the dilemma arises.....
When I used to go to art classes and did very little practise during the summer break I used to find my drawing skills deteriorated and needed a bit of work to bring them back to standard. I have done very little drawing recently but have now realised I really do need to brush up on my skills so that I can continue to work without the use of a sketch in my painting.
Painting without drawing needs spot on drawing skills and while I can
get away with a lot of subjects, flowers, landscapes, nudes, they don't
really seem to test my drawing skills, other subjects I struggle with,
face profiles, some animals and other subjects where I maybe just
haven't paid attention to the finer points of the drawing (Jean's door
for example)..... and with this image there is a tricky angle, so am
finding I need a few guidelines and therefore think it is back to the
drawing board quite literally for me!!!
So it isn't really a dilemma but it is something I need to address. It doesn't shake my belief that drawing and painting are two separate skills but what do I now think about people using aids to get the drawing on the paper? I think I still believe that to be a good thing for those who struggle with drawing and spend hours trying to get something to look half decent to then allow them to paint. I have always advocated that people practice drawing for the sake of drawing and painting for the sake of painting.
However, having encouraged people to use other means of getting an image on the paper, doesn't mean I would not encourage them to improve their drawing skills. Drawing is a fundamental but what I am trying to say is that I don't want lack of drawing skills to stop people painting. Try and learn to draw as a skill in itself and likewise learn to paint as a separate skill. Learning to draw means learning to draw "what you see not what you think you see" and just as you can be taught to paint you can be taught how to draw. I do have the book "Drawing wth the Right Side of the Brain" a bit of a drawing teaching bible and as yet haven't really checked it out... maybe now is the time!!!
So, you might see one or two charcoal sketches appearing on my blog over the next few weeks as I try to polish up my drawing skills so that I no longer need to draw on my paper and can just paint!!!!