Does Drawing Matter in a Loose Painting?
|"The Channel" Oil on 16" x 20" panel|
When teaching I've been asked if a painter can hide the fact that they can't draw if they paint really loosely. Immediately an image of a magician doing a card trick pops into my head as I imagine how a painter might employ that same type of visual slight of hand.
The student asking the question is usually disappointed with my answer and they then proceed to try to prove me wrong my slapping as much paint as possible onto their canvas.
What do I tell my class when this question comes up? No, you can't hide a weak drawing by painting loosely.
The structural framework of a piece is absolutely critical even in a painterly painting. The best artists are the ones who know which edges they can obliterate and which edges are important to keep intact so that the form is readable to the viewer. Nicolai Fechin was a master at painting both loosely and accurately.
While I'm not the most painterly painter around I've been pushing into that territory a bit more with my Los Angeles River Bridge series. The painting above was inspired by the small plein air painting below.
|"L.A. River Bridge" Oil on 9" x 12" panel|