by cheri sabraw
Although it seems obvious, the importance of drawing images that will appear in your paintings cannot be overstated.
I suppose if one is an abstract artist this statement is not true, but for those of us trying to paint realistic images, especially animals, making sure that the proportions and the anatomy are correct is tantamount.
How many times have you ruined a perfectly good (and expensive) canvas or linen board because you just jumped in and started painting?
I can count at least 10 paintings that are tucked in the back of my closet because I didn’t spend the time drawing.
Now, I draw all my horses first.
I use charcoal and a sketch pad. When I am satisfied that the animal’s anatomy and proportions are accurate, then I draw the figure right on the canvas in light charcoal. Oh I know. Experienced painters say to use a light wash of raw sienna or burnt umber to draw but I’d rather use a light charcoal and my hand rather than an extension of my hand–the brush.
Whether you are painting a landscape with an olive, redwood, or pine tree, it helps to draw first.
That way, you can also see the composition you have created and make changes before commiting to the use of paint.
Oil paint is expensive. Why waste it?