Structural Support For Painting

PineQuarry cliff under drawing

When I was in elementary school, my art teacher corrected me for having pushed down too hard on my pencil to draw. I spent something like the next 10 years trying to do something that was counter intuitive. In college I was corrected for not putting down values correctly for my green pepper drawings.

The path toward building structural support for a painting is not always easy. In fact, some times I fore go the process altogether, because it is so  cumbersome.

A couple of notes on how to make your painting stay together in the drawing process.

A. Always start with a small thumbnail sketch. Do one for directional lines and one with just black and white values.

B. Translate your 2 thumbnail sketches to the board as best as you can.

C. Worry about the details after you have put in the values on your painting’s under drawing.

D. Always think in terms of light and dark over color.

E. Color will come in handy when you want to distinguish between complex values on your painting. Your under drawing need not be as complex.

Drawing is core of every great representational painting and most abstract painting. Even if you do not draw on the paper that you will paint over, it will help you discover the composition.

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