Do You consider a painting more important than a drawing? Why?


11″ x 14″ acrylic on paper

click on image to see detail

Willie with the Curly Horns

9″ x 12″ charcoal on paper

click on image to see detail

I consider my drawings to be stronger than my paintings. I prefer to draw. Participating in discussions during my college years, my idea of a drawing as being the primary art piece was always shot down. “Great drawing. Now take your sketch and paint it bigger.” Why???? What makes a painting more valuable as an art piece? Why paint big? I’m not talking about a Rembrandt. I’m talking about visual arts now. Write to me. Let’s have a conversation.

19 thoughts on “Do You consider a painting more important than a drawing? Why?

  1. I feel like there’s a definite bias against drawing, maybe because so many painters in the past did “sketches” that then served as studies for paintings. But I never went to art school, so I could just be internalizing prejudices from years and years ago that have nothing to do with what people think now.

    With my own work I think it’s time. I feel like my paintings that take hours do somehow count for more than my drawings that take minutes, but I also do a lot of quick paintings and some longer drawings, and time spent doesn’t necessarily indicate how good something is. So who knows!

    I really love your painting in this post, though. 😉 To me it has a power that the drawing doesn’t, though the drawing is more articulated and has a peaceful feel. 🙂


    • “Drawing is form without color” I don’t know if this has anything to do with what we are talking about but I read it in a wonderful new book I have on drawing The Art of Drawing by Bernard Chaet. Yes I can do a drawing that takes hours and a painting that I like that came very easily and quickly. I think drawings can be as important or more important than a painting. Some pieces work and some don’t!


  2. I get all mixed up in thinking I have to do something IMPORTANT in the first place. My drawings are a lot better than most of my paintings because they are not important. Sometimes I want to work on my drawings with paint, and that can either take them to another level, or it can kill them. I still get hung up in wanting to make something “good” even if I get over “important”. I wish I could let all of that go. I have to remember that none of it matters.


    • That’s the thing. I think many of my drawings are more important than my paintings. And I think that is OK. I think in the “olden” days we thought of drawings were sketches for the old master paintings- just studies. I think now anything goes. Right. I have to remember that bit of advice. It doesn’t matter!


    • Actually, I think there is drawing in all my paintings. I think drawing is the bare bones of a painting even if the painting is totally abstract you are still drawing in your head. Yes, I think of drawing that way, too.


  3. Carla, I enjoy following your blog. I consider drawing a more direct expression of the artist. Line carries a simple liveliness. A sketch helps to construct the composition of the painting, but once color is added, the conversation changes and it is about color relationships and form. Drawing within a painting combines the two.


  4. Pingback: The Art Object: Drawing and Painting « Portia Placino

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