The Sight & Insight Podcast

Episode 28 Is it Drawing First?

November 5, 2018

Greetings, art lovers, and welcome to another episode of the Sight & Insight Podcast with David and Judy Curtis, and Lorwen 'Connie' Nagle. This week we ask 'Is it Drawing or Painting First?

"Drawing is the artist's most direct and spontaneous expression, a species of writing: it reveals, better than does painting, his true personality." — Edgar Degas

In the beginning, Judy relates an anecdote about Boston painter, Polly Thayer Starr, who was talented from her childhood with graphite and charcoal. She spent her first year at the Boston Museum School studying anatomy and life drawing with Philip Leslie Hale, but when she began painting in her second year with Leslie Thompson, she found herself adrift, unable to understand the texture, viscosity and application of color and paint.

PTS_Sketching.jpg  Polly Thayer Starr, Sketching


Polly Thayer Starr, Flat Cat

David and Connie, as practicing artists and teachers have their own viewpoints on the subject and, for once, they differ in opinion. Will they come to blows, or agree to disagree? Is it different for individual students. Does drawing ability even matter? Join our intrepid trio to to hear what they have to say. And if you have other thoughts, don't hesitate to let them know! They always love to hear from fans....

Ingres_Preparatory_drawing_graphite_and_white_highlights_on_paper_1842_IMG_0165.jpg    Ingres_Portrait_of_Comtesse_d_Haussonville_1845_51_89_x_35_83_in_The_Frick_Collection_New_York_IMG_0166.jpg

Note how French Neoclassical painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867) made drawings before beginning to paint a larger work.

Left: Ingres, Preparatory drawing; graphite and white highlights on paper, 1842.

Right: Ingres, Portrait of Comtesse d'Haussonville, 1845, 51.89 x 35.83 in. The Frick Collection, New York

So what do you think? Is drawing with a brush too awkward? Can you paint a landscape, or still life, or interior, without a sense of perspective? Perhaps, as Cezanne says, we need a sense of both drawing and painting. 

"Drawing and colour are not separate at all; in so far as you paint, you draw. The more the colour harmonizes, the more exact the drawing becomes." — Paul Cezanne

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