Secret #28 Drawing, Perfection and vocabulary

Some thoughts on drawing for the artist: 8524583280?profile=RESIZE_584x

Drawing skills are essential.

Shapes must be good - note I didn't say "perfect".

"Good" can also mean interesting, unique or beautiful.

Design your artwork with design principles in mind.

Accomplished drawers/designers/artists can and do paint without drawing on their paper BUT 99.9% will have mapped out their design idea as a sketch first and will have spent much time studying and researching and planning.

Some watercolour tutors disagree with this, it shows in their work.

Drawing can become a 5 minute exercise in order to create a good painting (oil, acrylic, watercolour, sculpture, pastel), it doesn't matter the medium, art is art.

It takes skill and practice - draw everyday, start simple.

an eraser is not an essential tool but your sharpening device is.

"wrong" marks are full of character and shouldn't be erased.

there are many different purposes for drawing, some for me are:

  • thumbnail design sketch
  • thumbnail value sketch
  • observational study
  • full formal value drawing/design
  • a map onto my watercolour paper

the word "perfect" must be stricken from your vocabulary - it is meaningless because it can't be articulated, is subjective and stops us from doing what we really want to do!


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  • I totally agree, a good drawing and plan makes a better painting and alleviates the pitfalls of can I say, painting yourself into a corner. It's a road map for the painting that follows. Do not miss this important step, you will find mishaps follow.

    • and boy haven't we all had a go atpainting ourselves into that horrible corner - feels like no way out. somethimes it's taken me week to work it out! Big planning = little mistakes and little planning = big mistakes (or summat similar!!)

  • It's really helped me to do better paintings by doing better thumbnails xx

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