Drawing and Painting: Two Sides of One Coin

    There seems to be a strange phenomenon among artists to think that drawing and painting are two very different media, when in fact they couldn’t be more similar. While there are many different types of drawing and painting for today let’s just think about acrylics and graphite pencils.     
    I have to admit that I didn’t always see things this way. I used to treat the two forms of art as very different both in execution and in the initial thought process. That being said I can understand the slight controversy that comes up from time to time. Of course they are different in media, but the same basic principles apply to each. For example a drawing without textures is flat, as is a painting without detail. Unfortunately for me, it took until just a few years ago to start making this connection and bringing more life into my paintings. So let’s take a look at some examples:

1. http://cinderblockstudios.deviantart.com/art/Untitled-Fire-Side-149826839

2. http://cinderblockstudios.deviantart.com/art/Rebirthing-412964503

    First we have an old but popular piece from 2010. While the color and composition are there, the detail and lighting are both significantly lacking. What I did with reds in the piece was heavily unfulfilled with the near solid black surroundings. Where’s the reflective light? The Detail? Well, there isn’t any (mainly since I didn’t really know any better). The second piece is a fairly recent one of a pleasant valley. Tons of detail, texture, shadows, etc., most of which can be seen in the making of video that accompanies the image.


    So when and how did I first make the connection between drawing and painting? Well a major player in understanding detail was getting my first liner brush. A liner (if you are unfamiliar with them) creates a thin line similar to that of standard sharpie marker. Essentially a thin for paint, but what would be a thick one for drawing. This allowed me to bring in a hatching technique that I previously could only do digitally or with an ink pen.


    Then in late 2012 I painted “The Source” http://cinderblockstudios.deviantart.com/art/The-Source-394479801 which paved the way for my recent line of paintings. High detail and a solid composition built from the ground up with ink techniques applied to the acrylic medium. Ever since that piece, I’ve pushed for the same (or greater) level of technique I captured with that piece. Sometimes you just need to find the right tool that works for you. For me, the liner is certainly my special touch to each painting.


    So in short painting is just a colorful extension of everything you learn when drawing. Knowing this, a drawer looking to paint for the first time shouldn’t see the new medium as different, but instead as a continuation of what they already know. Then, as you paint and learn new techniques you can find ways to reinterpret them into your drawings as well. Maybe your layering techniques with acrylics or oils will let you dive into colored pencils faster. Or your blending with chalk pastels will open new doors with wet media.