You Can Paint even if You Cannot Draw
There are so many people in the world that just want to paint a pretty picture. They assume that they need to spend many hours learning to draw before they can do this so they never dip their toe in the water. The truth is that if you can draw a stick figure, you can paint!
Added to this is the mystique of art, the unknown. The confusion over what to do, what to buy, where to start makes it even less palatable.
Firmly entrenched in people’s minds is that only gifted people paint. They really believe it is for a select few and that they were only born with the gift of being able to draw a stick figure.
Art education is like a 10 course meal. If you really want to become an expert you need to study the basics. Drawing and seeing like an artist is the beginning.
Not everyone wants to eat a full meal. They want to skip straight to dessert. It is not good for them in the long run but it tastes delicious at the time.
I encourage my students to eat a full meal that has the appetizers and main courses hidden in the dessert. Along the way I teach them professional techniques to bypass drawing to speed up the painting process.
We are not skipping the foundational skills, but dropping in some sweet tasting treats along the way.
This technique is also used with my classes that are filled with adults that just want to have fun. The same techniques can be implemented with either audience.
If you do not want to avoid drawing by just sticking to abstract and collage pieces, you can trace an image rather than draw it. Bypassing the drawing part of painting is in many circles considered cheating. Certain people think that the image has to be drawn by hand. I am not sure where they are getting their rule book from. There is no right or wrong in art. There is copyright law though. Using a photograph or image produced by someone else is fine but you cannot sell that piece as your own. Do not do it. Take your own photographs as a reference or ask for permission to use someone else’s.
Would it surprise you to know that artists have been using tracing techniques for hundreds of years. A trained artist has nothing to prove to anyone about their drawing skills. To make a living from painting you need to produce as much work as possible. Does a bakery grind its own flour? Time is money. The beautiful paintings that you see in museums that are done by people considered masters were likely traced using a Camera Lucida or other similar method.
This and similar methods speed up the process to get to a finished painting. For young artists it is very encouraging to be able to paint a picture that looks realistic before they have fine tuned their drawing skills with years of practice. It is even more exciting for adults that want to rekindle that passion for art. Their eyes get teary as they hold up their new piece. Years of hurt from bad experiences fall away as they realize that they can paint. My goal is to never let my students lose that fire. Yes, you should learn to draw but, don’t let your lack of technical skill get in the way of trying to paint.
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