Greetings...I have had a tremendous desire to paint for years and I am at a point in life that I can. I am very interested in figure painting. I am excited to recreate on canvas what I see in my head.
Is it best to improve my drawing skills and then paint or do both? What would be the best path? What has worked best for you?
In my experience you can never draw or paint to much. Both go hand in hand and they compliment each other. If you are not painting then you should be sketching, and visa versa. I started out watching videos of other artists I liked from the web or from videos I purchased. Personal instruction is also a big help. Usually you can start a composition with pencil and paper and then when you find one that works for you, you create it in another medium.
I do not know how advanced are your drawing skills, but I have to say that if you decide to paint with Oils then the sketch that you make is not the essential part. The drawing can be very simple and gestural. After that you can start putting paint on the canvas and work out the shapes with color and value. However, if you do paint in watercolor or use glazing technique with Acrylics then you might want to polish up those rusty drawing skills, because here the drawing becomes more of an essential part of your work, almost as much as the color and values that you will use. I suggest that you try and practice a few sketches, do a value sketch, or even better complete a whole drawing to the tiny detail. If that will make you feel good about your drawing, then you will feel good about drawing on the canvas or whatever surface your are using to paint on.
But most of all don't worry too much, just have fun with it!
Thank you for the info. I am confused on what you are saying about drawing. I am planning on using oils. I have been messing around with acrylics and the drying time is too fast (or I am too slow). When I put my fiqure on the canvas are you saying that I just outline the the basic shapes?
Thanks for your help, I truly appreciate it.
I think that a good drawing, complete with details, is ESSENTIAL to a successful painting, especially when one is first starting out. It's the road map to what you will be painting.
Perhaps after your first 1000 paintings, you may find yourself doing quick gestural sketches...depending on your 'style'...but good art instructors and ateliers concentrate heavily on drawing before painting.
If you wish to drown, do not torture yourself with shallow water. (Bulgarian Proverb)
Hi Bellamango. Just thought I'd throw my two cents in. And first and foremost: There are no rules in art. That said, I think drawing is a HUGE part of painting. John Singer Sargent said, "you draw with your brush". But you can't do that if you don't learn how to draw with your pencil first. So draw and sketch everything around you. Look out the window and draw. If you can't find someone to pose for you, draw people from photos. (I have learned from my own experience that if you draw people from your imagination, you have a tendency to make everyone look alike). Before you know it, drawing and painting will be second nature. Good luck, and have fun!
It really depands how you what to paint. Pissarro, for example, was a big believer that when painting the drawing skill should be put aside. For him a painting based on a drawing logique was flat. He rather encourage to paint according to color and light by using small brush strokes.
Personnaly I would say that for painting a good lively sketching skill is more important that for example a realistic drawing. But it sincerely depends on what style of painting you want to realize.
Great discussion that you all have going here.
I am trying to get myself to work a little on each area each day or at least once a week. It is kind of like different pieces to the same puzzle. They are all important.
Take some advice from Nike, and "just do it"!
I'd sign up for a figure drawing class first.
Out of all of the things I learned in art school, I think drawing from the figure every day was the most important tool for me to learn how to see.
Learning to see what your eyes see instead of what your brain tells you it is, is one of the most important fundamentals that an artist needs to learn.
Nature knows no borders
i paint abstract, i never really think about anything....i just paint
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Pick up the brush and paint. I think you can get too bogged down in the drawing, and worrying too much, fussing too much may take away the pleasure. Paint what is in your head and your heart. Yes go to classes and practice drawing but the painting is the vital part, surely? One will lead to the other. Most of all ENJOY IT!
As to acrylics drying to fast, you can add water to the paint or try misting with a spray bottle or there are mediums you can add to the paints to slow drying times
Drawing, draw all the time you have available
Yeah I agree with Rick. It goes hand and hand. You can improve your paintings or sketching by practice and practice drawing. If you don't want to paint, then do sketching then vice versa.