Are Drawing & Painting Related?

Are drawing and painting related? What does drawing have to do with painting? After all one is in color and one is not, right? And painting is using a brush and not something pointy, right?

My answers are: Yes, Everything, wrong and wrong.

Drawing has everything to do with painting. It helps artists work out the shapes, sizes and values of the color of paint we daub on canvas, paper or where ever we paint. Using black and white helps define and commit to the values of our composition as well as lay it out in a pleasing manner. Artists can use lines the same way we use brush strokes.

I recently got some gray markers for sketching in values in a drawing before I started painting. I took them to the life drawing sessions that meet weekly at the local art center and planned to try them out. They are great! I really enjoyed working with them.


Next I used them to do a value drawing of a little study I wanted to do.IMG_0009

Here is the photo I used:


I think it really helped me to see the shapes of the horse, trees and ground and the values I wanted to use. I also used it to set up my composition.

Here is the little 6″ x 6″ oil painting so far:


Its part of a few I plan to do as studies for a larger composition. I like it so far and think its working well for me.

Drawing and painting are related the same way as toast and jam or cornbread and beans! One without the other is just plain lonely.



Plein Air Paintings from around Taos, NM

Chamisa & Sage, plein air oil, 6" x 8", $100

Chamisa & Sage, plein air oil, 6″ x 8″, $100

Here are some of the paintings I did en plein air in the Taos, NM area the middle of March. Almost all of them have a bit of the landscape in them, ha ha ha. I like the way this painting above captures the light of the morning I painted it. That is one of the great things about plein air painting. It can’t be beat.

"Seco Church", plein air oil, 8" x 10", $150

“Seco Church”, plein air oil, 8″ x 10″, $150

This is my rendition of the La Santisima Trinidad adobe church in Arroyo Seco. Its really a great building, built in the 1830’s. The sun was coming in and out of the clouds and the sky was undecided, occasionally spitting rain. The frost had not yet melted on the grass as I sat inside the cab of my truck wearing my ski pants, wool socks & cap, fingerless fleece gloves and warm jacket. Did I mention my mug of hot tea? Finally the day’s weather tanked and I drove into Taos, about 5 miles to see if it wasn’t raining there.

Cholla & Rocks, plein air oil, 6" x 8", $100

Cholla & Rocks, plein air oil, 6″ x 8″, $100

This painting was done near Pilar, NM. My new artist friend, Shelia O’Malley and I went there and painted early Sunday morning. The weather was great! Warm enough not to wear a jacket or cap or even wool socks. The rocks are so beautiful down there. The cholla was just starting to bloom. For those of you who are not familiar with cholla catus (pronounced Choy-Ya), its a tough branching plant that is prolific in the right environment. It was everywhere. The light was coming from behind making the top stems seem alight with gold.

I also shot lots of good photos for studio inspiration. I can’t wait to start painting some of those!