Drawing Meets Painting
I feel like sometimes drawing it's a bad rap. Uh and I feel like integrating the drawn line into a painterly surface or starting with drawing and then making it painterly is a really beautiful dance. So in this painting here, which I call a color scape, this was actually done from a small part of another painting. And when I was working on it I started to work with brushwork in oil, but then simultaneously with my other hand, I started to draw in and start to kind of outline the shapes ambidextrous lee. So I was painting with one hand and I was outlining the shapes with the other. And it's a place where drawing and painting star to activate the process. So it might be something that you'd like to try if you work in a medium like oil paint or even acrylic. This is done on a hard board. I like drawing on a board because it has a doesn't really have a lot of give to it so that the drawn line tends to be a little bolder. So this is a possibility sort of the tandem aspect of paint and line ...
and a lot of artists work in this way. Another possibility which I often do and actually I think it's a really wonderful option, particularly if you're hm maybe more of a drawer and you're not really sure about painting or you're not really sure about, you know how you might segue from drawing to painting and so there are these water soluble pencils pencils that dissolve in water, I'm going to show you what that looks like. So you can take water soluble pencil and you can make a little mark with it. And then you know that just looks like your regular old colored pencil, like a blue colored pencil. But then you can take a little bit of water in a brush and you can hydrate it. And it actually turns into paint quite beautifully too. And a lot of these water soluble pencils when you do put the color down and then add the water, the water activates the color, it pumps it up and it makes it boulder. So I love using these when I'm drawing landscape, when I'm drawing abstract, li when I'm drawing objects. And this morning I went out into my garden and I picked this amazing pne which smells heavenly. And I thought what a great subject for a drawing. And then I thought what a great subject for a drawing. And then what would happen if I added water to those lines and made a bit of an abstract dance out of it. So I want to show you my process around that. I want to show you the possibilities of that working from an organic motif like this. So I'm gonna take the flower out of the water. So, and I'm doing that because if I if I take it out of the water, what happens is I can hold it in different positions and in doing that, if I make a couple of drawings from it, then there'll be a bit of variety and I can fill the page in different ways. You can do that by turning the vase around as well. But I think that this, this method for me feels a little more tactile and connects me to my subject and also smelling the flower. I'm just, you know, again connected on a sensory level, which helps my process. So I've chosen this blue. I know the flowers not blue, but I love this blue. So sometimes the color choice doesn't have to be paired with exactly what you're looking at. But I'm just gonna start by holding the flower. This is a very, actually quite a complicated flower. So I'm just going to start by holding it in front of me here and doing some sort of soft marks that resemble some of the pedals and just sort of see how it unfolds. Peonies are quite honestly my absolute favorite flower. So the opportunity to draw it again as a connective act. Now these lines are quite innocent, right? You would never know that there might be something coming up where they might turn into something more painfully. But we're gonna draw for a while first with this water soluble media, you know, you can color in certain sections and dissolve them. The more pressure you put down on the pencil and the more pigment that ends up going down on the page. Um really the more impact the dissolve is going to have in terms of color. So I might end up coloring in some sections, but for now I'm actually mostly interested in just this petal dance, This dance of pedals and how they're just sort of spilling out from the center of the flower. And you can see that, you know, it's, I'm not working on a photo realistic rendition, but it's starting to resemble the flower a little bit. And I'm I'm you also notice as I'm drawing that I'm using, I'm not holding the pencil like, dear mom, you know, I'm drawing with the pencil held this way, which allows my wrist to turn and it allows me to use my arm a little bit more. So that gives again, more organic kind of line possibilities. Alright, so there's pne and I'm gonna just turn it in space and do one more short. Oh, the underside is kind of gorgeous. Just do one more short study. So sometimes turning an object multiple times, even if it's the same object can give rise to beautiful abstract shapes. And again, I'm I'm aware that I want to press hard enough because I want there to be some kind of drama when ultimately I add water and bring this from linear to painterly and notice where I draw the potential of where drawing might meet painting. And again, if you're more of a drawer and a little less of a painter. This is again, just like a really great way to build the bravery to paint. Starting with something familiar, starting with something, you know. And now I'm gonna just put this back in the water and I'm gonna add in just a little bit more pigment here and there just to sort of ensure that I have a little pigment to move around when I'm working with the water aspect of this. So, already has a looseness, already has a bit of abstraction to it. But now is the fun part. Now is the part where we might just see what happens by adding water. Now when I add water, I tend to not put a ton on it first. I might wipe my brush against the jar and get a little bit of the extra off to start with. And then I'm gonna dive in and start working into some of these darker areas first. So hydrating. Look at that blue, It's amazing hydrating some of these darker crevices. You can see how quickly it moves from line to shape. And even the areas that were a little bit more, just linear. Also start to pick up some kind of wonderful pigment and on the edges where the flower was, you should see if you like tickle the edge with the brush. Just a little tiny bit. It starts to bleed into the open sections and actually creates this sort of wonderful soft, actually kind of a petal like effect. And since we're working with pedals, that's not a bad thing. So I'm picking and choosing sections, I might leave some of it just the color of the paper. I might come into some of these other areas and actually work on sort of darkening them a little bit, getting into some of the darker pigments so that you can create variety. You can create variety within the effects that you're making by how much water you end up adding in, but how much pigment you have down. I really want to get into these white petals over here. Actually think the blue is kind of a nice color for the white petals because sometimes white has a bluish tint to it. So you can see how this is really, I mean, I love doing this and you know, there's also the danger of maybe overworking it, but you can see how this has great potential for activating this segue between drawing and painting and you can even go back in once you're sort of at this point. And if there's areas where you feel like, oh, you know, I really want to um work in and darken up certain sections like the under layer a little bit or work in with some darker lines while it's still damp, you can see like while the paper's damp, you can actually draw into it and because it's damp, it actually the lines get really painterly and dark. So that's the benefit to of drawing into something that's been painted, Is that you can activate the pigment in different ways. And then if I come in and you know, maybe hydrate this again a little bit, there's a little bit of a darker effect that can happen. So I encourage you to play with maybe drawing into a wet painting made of oil or acrylic. And if you do that, choosing a pencil that really has some impact, you know, black or dark color. But also if that's not your media, you know, go out and find a few water soluble pencils, maybe a dark blue, dark red, maybe a yellow, maybe some primary colors. And do some loose sketches maybe from a subject like a flower and do multiple sketches, put the line down and then add in the water so that you really transition that linear drawing into something beautiful and painterly.