Tuesday, July 04, 2006
The Importance of Drawing.
A while ago I was asked to create a tutorial on how to start painting with watercolour. I asked what experience I should assume the pupil had. The answer was none at all. I said, "Sorry, I can't do what you are asking". The annoying thing is, there are many people out there who will write some form of tutorial which some enthusiastic amateur is going to pick up, and it will send them in the wrong direction, right from the very start.
I can't stress highly enough to any one who wants to learn to paint with watercolour that the very first thing you must do is learn to draw. You can't paint, if you can't draw. A lot of amateurs try to get away with it by trying to create a form of abstract art, but they soon get found out.
A lot of the blame must also lie with the art material manufacturers. I mean, what's the point of producing a paint set with thirty half pans of student grade paint and a single number three synthetic brush? What message does this convey to the enthusiastic amateur who buys this and struggles to produce an acceptable picture?
Watercolour is the most difficult medium to master. The fact it is cheap and compact gives the impression it is also easy to learn which is far from true.
So lesson No1. Fill a dozen sketch books with drawings and sketches. When you think you can draw, you can start to think about watercolour painting.
Here is a drawing that I did back in 1990 when I was honing my artistic skills. There were enough problems to solve on this without having to worry about colours or technique.