With few exceptions, my paintings start with a preliminary drawing. Usually very basic, a simple line drawing just to keep me reminded of what is going where in the painting. The piece I’m currently working on also started with a drawing, one that I keep finding myself returning to, adding more and more detail which I know will be lost in the painting.
Somewhere along the line, the drawing became at least as important to me as the painting. It was only today that I realized that drawing is where my artistic journey began and just perhaps, it is a path on my journey that needs to be revisited.
I began drawing with purpose when I was about 14. I’ve always doodled but it was about that time that my sister remarked that some of my doodles were good, rough but good. I didn’t think that much about it, but I did actually put some effort into my drawings. I got better. Then I began visiting the local library and checking out books on art. I began to study the drawings of other artists and tried to duplicate them. I learned about proportion, light and later, color.
Painting became my primary focus. Drawing became part of the process of painting instead of a means unto itself. My drawings became simpler because they didn’t need to be that detailed. All I was doing with drawing is setting the stage for the painting to come.
Drawing can and should stand on its own. That isn’t to say that I will or have any intention of abandoning painting. But I do think that drawing as an art form deserves more attention than it gets.