View Full Version : Do All Artists Draw?

04-21-2003, 07:13 PM
Okay --

I have a question: Do most artists draw their way to a career? What if you start backwards and never learned (or even thought!) to draw but just painted off of photos that you transfer?

The reason I ask is because someone told me I was not an artist due to the fact I don't draw.

I'm wondering if I'm not starting to agree with that sentiment.

I'm also interested in taking some painting workshops (equine ones) and it looks as if there is definitely the need to be a drawing "artist" for sketches, work-ups, etc.

Thanks for your opinions,

04-21-2003, 09:14 PM
It's a sticky question for some. The answer is of course NO. There is a whole slew of artists out there that can paint beautifully, but are happy to tell everyone they can't draw a line worth... um... well.. you know :D and there are just as many working their butts off to improve their drawing skills - many times to improve their painting skills. The sticky part comes when people start defining "ART" vs art (btw, that's the same word in case you missed it ;) ) Realism, impressionism, abstract, the crayon drawings stuck to the refridgerator... who are we to judge what is "ART" or art or whatever and what is not? :rolleyes: There is also a whole slew of people out there that truly think unless you've crapped it yourself then scribbled in it with your own fingers it's not art either (I prefer a pencil and a sheet of paper myself :D but hay that's just me ) We can only state our personal preferance <-subject to change without notice! and MY opinion is that anyone working with an artistic goal in mind is a true and actual artist (and they also don't have to have internet access to prove it :p ) I like what I like and don't what I don't - but I can only judge myself.

*hops off her soapbox*

:o Oops! I'm not a "career" artist, so I'm not qualified to answer :(

(forget I said anything)

04-21-2003, 09:20 PM
my mother claims she can't draw a straight circle, but paints very well. I transfer sometimes just because I'm very lazy. I don't think it's all that relavant. After all, you're the one putting the paint on. There's no way I know of that you can do it effectively without being an artist. So you are. So there.:evil:

04-22-2003, 01:07 AM
I absolutely agree with everything that Wingnut wrote. I draw AND I have used the transfer method. Does that make one of my pieces less "Artistic" than the other?

In my opinion anyone who paints, or draws, using whatever medium/method (and there are lots of them) is an artist. Anyone who can create music, write books and poetry, is also an artist, but they probably can't draw anymore than I can write a song.:D

04-22-2003, 06:44 AM
While I agree with what everyone's said so far, I think there's one more distinction to make. The difference between artist and hobbyist can be a very fine line. I'm a hobbyist, hoping to be able to consider myself an artist at some point. I think the distinction between the two is whether you feel your work is of high enough quality, with enough heart and soul in it, to be art that speaks on it's own without anyone knowing who did it or why; or whether the work is nice, but without that love, even with hard work and effort put in, and therefore just a hobby. And of course, while some people make very beautiful pieces with everything exactly so, IMHO I don't think it's art unless the one who creates the pieces considers it as such. And of course, I think the method of getting to the final end of your painting is of your own choosing (wheter you draw, transfer, or just start painting!), and if you feel the final piece is art, then it is!

But, how am I supposed to know? I'm just a scientist. :)



04-22-2003, 12:46 PM
think of it the other way around- what if a person could draw and sketch out the most perfect scenes, but couldn't paint or use color worth a damn. is that person an artist? i think most people would agree on that one, and if that works, why not the other way around?!? don't let others discourage you from doing what you want. if art is something that you enjoy, then that should be enough.

04-22-2003, 12:54 PM
Draw or transfer, it really doesn't matter if that's what makes you happy. You don't have to draw well to be an artist. Many can't draw anything, but make beautiful pieces of art using their trusty projector.
I will say this though, IMHO if you don't acquire good drawing skills you are limiting youself to whatever your camera has captured. I believe that learning good drawing skills will make you a better artist than you already are.

04-22-2003, 01:49 PM
I personally dont know squat about color, or paint. I love black and white and love the scratchboard. Does this make me less of an artist than those who do use color in whatever medium they chose? I would tend to think not. Personally I think my work speaks for itself loud and clear. I am jealous of those who can handle a paintbrush. I will however someday soon tackle colored pencil and see where it takes me.
I can draw freehand very well. I use grids at times, and I do transfers too to save time when schedules and deadlines are close. Most times they are a very crude outline so I know I will not go off the board where I dont want to as this medium is not one that is easily fixable but it can be fixed to an extent.

This was a great question and I have enjoyed hearing what has been said about it!! Thanks!


04-22-2003, 02:27 PM
I have talked to several artist's and art teacher, they have one thing in common about this very question.

Their answer has always been, drawing is an essential step in painting, the reason for this is (and I quote verbatum) "If you don't know how or don't learn how to draw you will only be able to paint as well as you can draw."

I don't know anything about this though, because I've always drawn with graphite, until I came to the WC and then I tried to do colored pencils. So this is not really my opinion since I really don't know anything about painting, but I do think it's interesting.:D

04-22-2003, 02:47 PM
I think that every artist (well ever person!) has strengths and weaknesses. Some of these things we can work on, to improve, but even if you never do it doesn't make you more or less of an artist. Even though people will tell you that things have to be done a certain way, the next person will tell you they have to be done a different way! Art is an individual activity...no one can tell you that what you do is wrong or right, because it is personal and your own style.

04-22-2003, 04:16 PM
I find the transfer method quick and easy. I have spent many painful hours drafting a sketch from a small photo. Then I got a projector, and life began anew.

Just transferring from a projector or with a scan an photo shop also takes skill. The projector gives you with fuzzy lines to sort out. A scan leaves you with the work of maybe deleting the back ground and drawing in something else. If you are working on the paper that you have printed, you have to be careful to lighten sufficiently or the pencil or pastel may not adhere because the ink has filled the paper.

I like to take out as much as I can, leaving the bare essentials, eys, lips, nose basic shadows and hair line. Lightening as much as possible, but leaving enough to still see the details. Being able to draw is helpful because you can open eyes that are not open enough, you can move arms and hands, fix hair. I did a portrait of a friend from a photo and could not see how here hair was, so I gave her a whole new hair do. She liked it . Also you can make some people look younger, which they really like. You can turn frowns to smiles.

On photos that are heavily shadowed, you really need to know what's in there so you can show at least some of it, and you have to be able to put it in the right place.

My dogs don't always have their legs well positioned. Their ears are folded on otherwise good photos etc.

04-22-2003, 06:32 PM
My art teachers have always stressed values & proportions in drawing as a basic step. I guess it's to get you ready for more complicated color paintings. It is a lot quicker to sketch & learn than to paint & learn (materials). But people should do whatever suits them. I don't think it makes someone any less of an artist just because they don't or "can't" draw. They are still creating something original from their mind, guided by their hand.

04-22-2003, 09:37 PM
Its seems obvious to me..that being able to draw..is very helpfull!!
You certainly can get along with transfers etc..most artists use these..myself included. I have been drawing since an early age..and now that I am doing this more as a career..I have used some of these methods to speed things along. I still use drawings as a basis for some of the more complicated paintings..to get a feel for where I am going with it..values..position etc. If you take a painting workshop..you will have to learn to draw! Ahhh..but suck it up!! it will make you a better artist in the end!!
easy for me to say ..eh??

04-23-2003, 12:11 PM
Thank you all so much for your replies. I'm really and truly interested in this subject and I knew there would be a lot of opinions on it. In a way I suppose I do draw a bit because even when I transfer a shape -- that's all I take from it. I sketch in the details that make the end painting what it ends up.

I know I could progress further, however, if I had more equine drawing skills. The problem with that is so far I haven't seen any "How to draw a DARN GOOD Horse" classes being offered.

I have the books and I do practice with those but I'm one of those "bad" learners that needs someone in front of me or looking over my shoulder screaming about what I'm doing wrong.

I like to see things in person I guess.

Anyway, I guess I just need to keep practicing to the point where I feel skilled enough that I could actually go to one of those equine art workshops in Kentucky and not feel like the girl with the drawing DUNCE hat on:-)

Thanks again everyone!


04-23-2003, 04:04 PM
Kentucky is too far away :p try Taos, New Mexico (http://www.taosartschool.org/equine.html) (I'm hoping to get down there some day)