Sunday, December 13, 2009

Why Draw?

Tree Study 5 1/4 x 9 1/4
Vine charcoal on Twinrocker handmade paper


Landscape painters often think they don't need to draw. Or, if they do, they study life drawing but leave the drawing materials in the studio rather than taking them to the field. In the 19th century artists often used drawing as a way to record information which would later be used in studio paintings. Although we think of the 19th century as the time when droves of landscape painters headed outdoors, often they brought their sketchbooks rather than their paints.

Drawing lends itself to both the sketch -what John Constable called "that which you were at the time" -and the more considered study. In both cases the economical time and materials invested in a drawing can bear much fruit.

Study of Mangrove Trees
7 1/2 x 9 3/4
Vine charcoal on Strathmore paper

Thumbnail sketches help us explore compositional ideas, sketches can quickly record a fleeting effect, and studies provide raw material for studio work. I've also come to see recently that my drawings often help me work out the visual shorthand I need to describe something in a painterly way.

My new online class- Drawing & Painting Trees- filled so quickly that I've opened up a second section for those who missed out. Information and registration is here.
Update: 5 spots left!


Double "D" said...

Great information, even better trees!
I really enjoy your drawings

Anonymous said...

wonderful drawings!

Tina Steele Lindsey said...

Drawing is the foundation for all good work!

Deborah Paris said...

Thanks Doug- glad you do!

Thank you Rahina- more "chicken soup"!

I agree, Tina!

Suzanne McDermott said...

Good post! Thanks!

Werner said...

I love your drawings, Deborah.

Brian McGurgan said...

Beautiful drawings, Deborah. The top one looks great on the Twinrocker paper - how did you like working on it? I just received some new sheets myself and can't wait to work with them.

Deborah Paris said...

Thanks Suzanne and Werner!

Hi Brian. Thanks! I am loving the Twinrocker- the rougher surface takes some getting used to but it feels so beautiful in your hand.

Bruce Sherman said...

Hi Deborah!.... This is my first visit to your site! I love your drawings ...and the luminous landscapes... very beautiful work!

I totally agree with your comments re: the value of thumbnails in creating better paintings. It is my own "rule of thumb"... in my own painting process!

Good painting!

Bruce Sherman

Deborah Paris said...

Thanks Bruce and welcome!

Caroline said...

It is lovely to see your tree drawings here Deborah. They are beautiful. It is important to draw landscapes apparently JM William Turner had a massive collection of drawings, like John Constable he saw the importance of drawing on a daily basis. I find that if I draw even a sketch before a painting I find it very helpful in understanding my subject so much better.

Rebecca J. Dunn said...

Hi Deborah, great drawings. It truly shows your level of draftsmanship and I agree with your take on the necessity of regular sketching (which I need to do more of myself!). I remember watching Jamie (or it may have been Andrew) Wyeth years ago in an documentary discussing the importance of sketching, saying it's constant sketching that will prepare one for capturing 'that moment' in life which is so fleeting. Great post!

Deborah Paris said...

Hi Caroline. Yes, both Turner and Constable were constant sketchers- a habit worth getting into !

Hi Rebecca- thank you!

Jala Pfaff said...

Really love these two drawings.