Painting and Drawing

When discussing art and art skills, I prefer a practical and pragmatic approach using language and concepts with intuitive meaning and understanding. I think that most art students can easily understand that they cannot actually draw, paint or even sculpt a “thing”. As an artist creating graphic art you can only make shapes (“marks”) on a surface that are lighter, darker or of a different hue or color saturation than the surrounding surface. If you make a mark that is the same color as a adjoining shape, it becomes, visually, part of that adjoining shape, no matter how much the intention or understanding is otherwise.

When considering images produced by human rather than technical processes (such as photography), most people would call an image made with a collection of long, narrow, interconnecting shapes (commonly called “lines”) that describe the perceived boundaries of objects, a “drawing”, even if the precision and sensitivity of those lines is not effective as art or communication. An image created with conjoining, but distinctive shapes, that cover almost all of the image surface is commonly referred to as a “painting”. Now that is about as pedantic as I hope to get when describing art skills. There is a glossary page as part of this website with automatic links for terms with specific or uncommon meanings.

Except for the purposes of classifying artwork entered in local art competitions, art sales catalogues or art history works, distinguishing between works of art as to painting and drawing is a rather pointless exercise. There are, however, certain skills that seem to naturally be more strongly with one type of image or the other.



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