Painting vs Drawing: Which One To Do?

Painting and drawing. Which one do I start with? Should I do both? Why should I try both? Which is better. The questions are endless! Bottom line, do both. However….start with drawing. Drawing is the main foundation to any art. Some artists can go right into a piece with not outline on their canvas and come out with an amazing piece of art. For the rest of us, we need a good starting outline. A strong correct drawing outline will help you beyond belief.

When I was about 8 years old, I really did fall in love with art. Specifically drawing. I loved being able to create something with my own hand from what I see with my own eyes. My skills have massively improved since than. Learning the basics of drawing helped when I went to art class after school. I can’t thank my mom enough for embracing my interest in art. Even though she was a cheerleader back in the day, she saw that I loved art and told me to go for it.

When it comes to painting, I painted a little in high school to try something different. Wasn’t my first love but it was worth a shoot. About 5 years ago, I started taking up painting more. My mind shifted to really come to enjoy painting. Way back when, I thought I wasn’t ‘talented enough to paint’. To me only really skilled artists painted and those artists made their pieces look like photographs. But later I realized to let those ideas and expectations of myself go and embrace something new.

I dove into it and haven’t looked back. I built up my book and video library and learned from my own experience and the teachings of others. Every since than it’s been an interesting journey. I let go of the goal to ‘find my style’ and let the style find me. Just enjoy the process!

Tiger Eye; 11.5x9; colored pencil on Stonehege paper
Tiger Eye; 11.5×9; colored pencil on Stonehege paper; $160.00

Drawing: The Foundation

First and foremost, always make a goal to draw. When doing art, having a basic understanding of drawing is key. And no I don’t mean how to hold a pencil but the way to sculpt a shape, shading an object, understanding light, playing with pressure, and oh so much more. Just remember, this takes time to grasp. You can do amazing things with one single pencil when it comes to drawing. The first step is just trying it out.

Also, I’d recommend starting with graphite. It’s extremely accessible and easy to work with. After that, play with charcoal, pen and ink, pastels, and of course colored pencils.

Take a basic drawing class. Or if you’re like me watch art videos and read books. Learn at your own pace. It doesn’t matter if you are a professional artist or a hobbyist, keeping art in your life is important. Let the creative side of your brain work out. It’s good for you!

Just Lion Around; 16x12 oil on canvas; $200.00
Just Lion Around; 16×12 oil on canvas; $200.00

Painting: The Jump

If you want to start jumping into painting once you have a good concept of drawing, again educate yourself a little. I’d recommend starting off with a simple small set of paints. And figure out if you want to try acrylic of oils. Oils require paint thinners vs water so ventilation is key here.

For me, painting is a little more challenging which I really like. The more I challenge myself the more I learn, push, and succeed at in the end. Just because one painting doesn’t turn out amazing, doesn’t mean the next one won’t. I tend to go hard on myself but I remind myself that it’s not my strongest medium and I am doing it because I enjoy it and I want to get better at it.

Color can be tricky with paint, which is something to keep in mind as well. As if there isn’t enough to keep in mind already. Books and videos, along with classes will be a great tool. Once you have a good grasp on the basics, everything else slowly falls into place. And, like everything else this is a process. So, enjoy the adventure!

Why Paint if it’s Not Your Best?

Paint because it’s new. Paint because you enjoy it. Paint because you are learning something. After all, we were all new a something more than once. It’s good for the soul to be a student again along with the mind. Why do I paint if it’s not my best medium? For all the reasons above and than some. I love the way paint feels on a bush against canvas and how the colors shift. Learning how paints react with one another, temperature, contrast, and heaviness is really fascinating. When I start beating myself up about it, nothing gets accomplished. Just remember you are further ahead of the game than someone else that isn’t trying. (This has been my motto lately)


In closing, try it! Work out your creativity. Share your thoughts, tips, and experiences. Inspire others, the world needs it 🙂


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