The preliminary drawing

Close-ups Drawing 1      Drawing 2 Close-ups2 close-ups

For me, the drawing is very much part of the watercolor painting! I don’t try to hide my lines. In fact, I find it quite nice to see them through most washes (except the dark ones) It gives my work more movement and life.
Some artists are obsessed with getting rid of pencil lines. I don’t understand it, but, as I always say: to each their own!

Drawing skills are the foundation for good painting. It’s a bit like building a house. If your foundation is faulty, your house probably won’t be great in the end, no matter how well some of it is done!
Most students greatly underestimate drawing skills and many a drawing looks stiff, contrived and has perspective problems. That’s because they only draw when they paint. Never for the sake of drawing!

I keep a sketch book with me most times, so when there’s no opportunity to paint I can at least do a quick pencil sketch. I use 2B and 3B leads in a mechanical pencil and a simple eraser. Not much to lug around at all. Good times to sketch are while watching TV, when waiting for someone or in a café while enjoying a cup of coffee.
It is so hard to capture moving shapes! Nobody poses for you and even if they did, it wouldn’t be the same! It would feel staged, because that’s what it is. Simply no better teacher than real life!

You can see that my lines are pretty loose, just squiggles here and there. These are close-ups of a bigger street scene and I took the time to snap a few pics before painting. Once an accomplished artist with lots of hours of drawing under your belt, you will develop what we call a ‘strich’ in German. I think the English equivalent is ‘your own hand’. A very distinctive way of drawing which translates right into your painting work. The better you draw, the better you paint. End of story!

8 thoughts on “The preliminary drawing

  1. Judith Farnworth Art

    I couldn’t agree more… I have found that painting and drawing are two completely different skills and need practising each in their own right, so I also think we need to draw just for the sake of drawing. Drawing is a skill and can be learned and practice makes perfect!! Painting on the other hand I find trickier but it doesn’t matter how much I might improve my painting if the drawing isn’t right in the first place the painting will never work!!

  2. Carol King

    Oh wise one….thanks for your post. I agree with you 100%, even if I don’t draw or paint as much as I’d like. I really enjoyed reading your wise and knowledgeable words. I’m still waiting to develop my strich.

    1. frankeber Post author

      Wise one? You’re not talking about me, are you? No wise one here!! JUst passing on a few painting tips…
      Thank you for your comment, Carol! Really appreciate your visits!

  3. Nick

    but it’s no guarantee of anything. I’ve seen plenty of people who can draw, but can’t paint, and vice versa. I liken it to a musician who can’t read or knows little or nothing of harmony. usually, those skills enhance a musician’s abilities, but there are those who are deficient in those areas and make great music anyway. In some cases, those skills might even be a hinderance. re pencil lines, they don’t usually bother me.

    1. frankeber Post author

      YOu certainly have a point! But you’re talking raw talent which is always best. All these ‘rules’ mean nothing when it comes to the gifted, I totally agree. I just find it strange that students with mediocre talent actually think they are great painters and can’t draw a darn thing, don’t even wanna put the effort in…it’s this instant gratification society we live in…
      thanks for a good, thoughtful comment!

Comments are closed.