View Full Version : Cheating

09-27-2004, 12:16 PM
I don't know how many people feel this way, but since I have been painting I feel as though using pencils is cheating. Seems too easy :wave:

09-27-2004, 01:34 PM
I discovered a few weeks ago that I no longer own a pencil. Not even one. No conte, no graphite, no charcoal, no drawing tools at all, other than the black brush pens I use for sketching. Looking back, I guess it's been twenty years or so since I worked in pencil. I admire the work I see other artists do in pencil, but when it comes to my own work, I just can't get excited if I can't play with color. It can be a nerve wracking challenge to draw with paint, but satisfying. :)


Lady Carol
09-27-2004, 03:01 PM
What is there to cheat about?

I use pencil to draw with all the time. I do not view this as a cheat. I suspect you want to draw with a brush. I prefer to draw with a brush in art class only because the time is limited and that is usually done with raw umber of burnt umber depending on whether I want to start out warm or not.

09-27-2004, 04:35 PM
I don't think it's cheating to use pencils...In fact, I've always thought that it's much harder to get good results with pencils than it is with paint. And it definately takes a lot more time and patience. I don't draw much, but that's just because it's so time consuming and difficult, and I guess I've never really had the patience to learn to use pencils properly. I really admire people who are good at drawing :).

Charlie's Mum
09-27-2004, 05:41 PM
Not cheating at all!
Some like to use pencils for a whole host of reasons, others prefer paint......neither one is 'better' than the other.
I use pencil, pen, charcoal, whatever when I feel like drawing and paint when I want to paint...........Leonardo et al didn't feel they were cheating I'm sure! :D :wink2:

09-27-2004, 07:27 PM
Art supplies are tools of our craft. It seems to me that suggesting "using pencils is cheating" is a lot like stating that using a hammer to build a house is cheating. If you prefer paint, use paint. If pencils seem easy, that's cool too. Art isn't "wrong" because it's "easy". It's only easy because you've made an investment of your time and talent to make it seem easy.

HRH Goldie
09-27-2004, 09:00 PM
I'm definately curious as to why you would feel or think it were cheating if you used pencil??
Surely the fact that using for example graphite is far harder in achieving tone and texture. In a detailed painting it is almost advisable to 'sketch' in your basic composition layout before diving in with paint.
Of course if you're talking about plein air perhaps then mood is key and painting quickly is very important.
I think all of the fine artists out there who choose to work with pencils, charcoal etc will be reeling at the suggestion of them cheating in their creation of art.
Finally having been recently working in charcoal it has brought me out in a cold sweat of panic. Being comfortable with paint the flow and colours being a comfort blanket to me - the raw nakedness of charcoal and all its new problems it brings makes me really appreciate those who choose to work in this medium.
This is all merely my opinion of course but respect is a big word in this game and without it we are nothing :wink2:


09-28-2004, 07:48 AM
I know its not cheating, I was just saying thet right now painting is posing such a challenge that it would seem too easy to use a pencil. :wave:

09-28-2004, 07:54 AM
I think all of the fine artists out there who choose to work with pencils, charcoal etc will be reeling at the suggestion of them cheating in their creation of art.

Although as yet I wouldn't state myself to be one of those fine artists out there reeling... I do use pencil to black out my basic shapes and a bit of shading. Sometimes I even use biro to make sure I can still see some of my lines under the paint!

I think it's hard to call anything done during the creation of art cheating. For example people that produce (more or less) exact copies of other peoples work could be called cheats... but I believe they must still possess alot of skill to do so.


09-28-2004, 10:20 AM
I think I am misunderstood, I mean pencil as a medium not as an under drawing. Sketching is nessisary in all art. :wave:

09-28-2004, 10:56 AM
I understood what you meant. I've seen your pencil work on your website, and it's obvious you're very comfortable with that media. Which is a good, solid foundation for learning to paint. When I was in school, we didn't get to use color much in the first few semesters. It was all about learning to render in B&W media. For example, a year of life drawing was required before we were allowed to paint from a model. With that kind of foundation, the process seems VERY complicated when we introduce color. We're not only drawing, but trying to get the colors right, too. It's another way of thinking, a 3-dimensional chess game where we're trying to plan moves several steps ahead on multiple levels. It can be overwhelming in the beginning, but - as I think you're discovering - it gets easier with practice. And yes, when we go back to the old media where we feel some comfort, it feels like cheating, because it's no longer the challenge it once was.


09-28-2004, 11:12 AM
I use pastel pencils (Drewent is the brand I have) to draw with on Gessoed canvas or on applied acrylic paint, I like them for two main reasons

1. if you don't like what you draw, you can wash it away.

2. they are pigments, so use a color close to what you gonna use later, and when you paint over it, you will not notice it at all unlike charcoal that somewhat smudges.

09-28-2004, 04:17 PM
I have always been a rebel!! So cheating has always been my friend. But I do understand when you wonder if this is ok. I wonder the same thing too, on my "off" days. I think I feel that way, because like you say, it's too easy. "I must be doing something wrong, or cheating because this is too easy". I choose to think of it as "an adventure and anything goes" then I try not to listen to the little voice in the back of my mind that says, eh, eh, eh your not doing it right!!!" remember my mantra. ANYTHING GOES. and we will both try to live by it. Good luck


Richard Saylor
09-28-2004, 08:49 PM
".....To avoid drawing is to miss one of the most satisfying activities in art." --Dale Laitinen, The Artist's Magazine, June 2004, p. 49

To feel that drawing is cheating because it's too easy is like a Puritan hangup. It is similar to other superstitions: something that's too much fun (like sex) must be sinful; food that tastes too good must be unhealthy. :rolleyes: I know that Puritanism and its associated guilt trips are as American as apple pie, but some of it is irrational.

Get yourself some good, really sinful black pencils (like Wolff's carbon pencils), and start having some fun.

HRH Goldie
09-29-2004, 01:25 PM
I like your philosophy Richard :clap: