Drawing versus painting

When I think about drawing versus painting, I lean heavily towards drawing as the core of my artistic expression, particularly in the realm of wildlife art.

To me, the distinction between drawing and painting isn't just about the materials or techniques used; it's about the immediacy and simplicity that drawing offers. Drawing allows me to connect with my subject matter on a spontaneous level, capturing the essence of wildlife with a few swift strokes.

This contrasts with painting, which, while capable of conveying depth and emotion, often involves a more tedious process that doesn't quite suit my need for direct expression.

Key points

  • Drawing offers a direct and spontaneous way to capture the essence of wildlife, allowing for immediate connection and expression with minimal supplies.
  • Emphasizing drawing as a complete form of art in itself, it enables you to make finished works, anywhere and at any time.
  • The simplicity and immediacy of drawing are key to democratizing art, proving that anyone can express be an artist with just a few basic tools.

Embracing the simplicity of drawing

While I recognize the beauty and depth that painting can bring to a piece of art, I find the process more tedious compared to the straightforward nature of drawing.

With just a pencil and paper, I can immerse myself in my surroundings, whether I'm sitting in the dense forests of Borneo or the back of a safari Jeep in Sri Lanka, and translate those experiences onto paper almost instantaneously. This directness is crucial for me, especially when drawing animals from life in the back of a jeep.

My approach to wildlife art through drawing allows me to connect with my subjects in a way that feels genuine and unfiltered. It's not just about creating a likeness but about sharing the story and the spirit of these animals with others.

This process is intimate and personal, requiring minimal supplies and offering the freedom to create anywhere, anytime. It's this simplicity and immediacy that make drawing not only my preferred medium but also a final form of art in its own right. Through my sketches, I aim to share these encounters and stories, hoping to inspire others to appreciate and advocate for the conservation of our planet's incredible wildlife.

Drawings are final

This belief in drawing as a standalone art form shapes not only my creative process but also how I teach and share my passion with others. On my YouTube channel, I emphasize the accessibility and immediacy of drawing, especially when it comes to filling my sketchbooks with wildlife.

I aim to show that with a few simple tools and techniques, anyone can start expressing their love for nature through art. It's a way to democratize the creative process, making it clear that you don't need a studio full of expensive paints and brushes to start making art that matters.

In my tutorials, I focus on the basics of observing, understanding, and sketching. These skills are fundamental, not just for creating art, but for developing a deeper connection with the world around you.

How to know if you should draw or paint

Deciding whether drawing or painting suits you better as an artist often comes down to personal preference, style, and what you hope to express through your art.

Both mediums offer unique ways to capture and convey your artistic vision, but they cater to different sensibilities, techniques, and approaches. If you're on the fence about which path to pursue, consider the following points to help guide your decision.

  • Consider your patience and pace: Painting often requires more setup and drying time, making it a slower process than drawing. If you prefer quicker results or enjoy working in short bursts, drawing might be more your speed.
  • Evaluate your preferred level of detail and control: Drawing, particularly with pencil or ink, allows for precise control over details. If you revel in creating finely detailed artwork, drawing might suit you better.
  • Think about color versus monochrome: Are you drawn to the vibrant world of colors, or do you find beauty in the simplicity of black and white? Painters usually thrive on color, while drawing can be more about mastering shades and tones.
  • Assess your mobility and workspace constraints: Drawing is generally more portable and requires less space. If you travel often or have limited room, drawing could be more practical.
  • Reflect on your desired textures and effects: Painting allows for a variety of textures and layering effects that are difficult to achieve with drawing. If you're fascinated by the depth and texture in art, painting might appeal to you.
  • Examine your thematic interests: Some themes and subjects might lend themselves better to the fluidity and broad strokes of painting, while others are more suited to the detailed approach of drawing.
  • Consider your willingness to invest in materials: Painting typically requires a larger initial investment in supplies than drawing. If budget is a concern, starting with drawing might be more economical.

Ultimately, the choice between drawing and painting isn't mutually exclusive. Many artists find joy and fulfillment in exploring both mediums, sometimes even combining them in their work. It's all about finding what best allows you to express your artistic vision and connect with your audience.