Sunday, May 13, 2007

"View From Below" --- SOLD

I was starting a painting once in my third year of college. It was a portrait of my cousin, Hannah, on a fairly large canvas, with just her face and head filling the frame. I was sketching in the proportions when my professor came by and said "Why are you doing that? You should just start painting and let the image emerge." Ever since then I've felt like that's a goal I should strive towards - not doing any sketching, just starting a painting and letting art happen.

Well, I've changed my mind. I was re-reading my Harley Brown book the other day and one of the first chapters is about how important it is to get the drawing right. It can really make or break a painting. We'll all run into "purists" now and again who feel like it's "cheating" or some such nonsense, but I now think it's fine to draw first. And not be afraid to wipe it off and try again until you get it right. Harley has some great tricks for measuring in his book, Eternal Truths for Every Artist, which I highly recommend. These flowers I've been doing, especially benifit from accurate drawing. I'm finding otherwise they're just big blobs...not cool.


Agnes said...

You've been tagged. If you feel like participating, please list seven little-known facts about yourself, and then tag seven blogs you find interesting. I'm a frequent visitor here, love your work.

natepaints said...

Sketching vs. not sketching. It is like who came first the chicken or the egg. I think that they both have merit. To me as long as the painting doesn't just become "filling in" the shapes, that sketching can really strengthen a painting. Either way, you are doing some really nice paintings here!

Todd Bonita said...

Hi carol,
Just stopped in to take a peak-see, looking good as usual. I agree with the above comment, I think both can work. I've always drawn first then painted. Last year I started doing plein air painting and just slapping down paint to get it on quickly before the light changes...Good cross training I think. I'm still personally partial to a good drawing first.

Katherine said...

I find Harley talks a great deal of sense

Kris Shanks said...

I was also taught not to sketch first, but my plein air work really led me to doing a light sketch on the panel first just to lay out some landmarks. I found without a preliminary sketch it was easy to get some proportions wrong, and then I'd spend a lot of time trying to correct them, and time is not something you have a lot of painting outside.