I can draw but I can’t paint – and vice versa

It is interesting to me how many of my painting students feel that they can’t draw, and how many people that draw feel that painting is something they really don’t feel very confident with.

I firmly believe that if we can do one, then we can most certainly do the other! Yes, they are a little different, but they aren’t as different as drawing and sculpture for example.

We often build this difference up in our heads, to the point that we believe we can do one but not the other.

My advice – just give it a go! What is the worst that can happen? Maybe you might have to start at the beginning with it – but you have evidence that you can already make art, and can learn to get better at making art too.

You never know, you might even like it! And it will open up a whole world of possibilities for combining painting and drawing together too.

Here are a couple of suggestions for trying out painting or drawing

Sketching with a paintbrush

If you paint already, why not try drawing with your paintbrush? Often when we paint we aim to fill the whole page will colour, but by using one colour (black for example like the painting below) you can work quickly with your brush to create a sketch. Why not experiment with using thin or thick brushes and working quite quickly too – so your inner critic doesn’t have as much of a chance to get involved! It can be from a photo or from life, or maybe try something abstract first to practice the technique.

Painting using pencils

If your thing is drawing, watercolour pencils are a brilliant transitional medium if you would like to explore painting. All you need is a small brush and some water. Draw with your pencils on some paper, make some brush strokes over it with a wet brush – and voila, you have watercolour painting! Play around with the effects you can make to start with rather than worrying about it having to be anything in particular.