“Oh… you’re just drawing..”

“Oh… you’re just drawing..”

A minor rant about the importance of drawing in art.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

At art class the other day, a new member of the class decided to walk around and look at everyone’s artwork. I could hear the comments that she was making; glowing praise of oil paintings; nice, positive comments on watercolours… yet, when she came to my work, the comment I got was simply this: “Oh, you’re just drawing, are you?”


Being me, I just nodded and carried on working on my tiny mouse picture, but inside I was fuming. The cheek of it, if nothing else. There were no comments about the likeness to the reference picture. No general praise. Nothing. Just that remark, and then a case of moving on.

Am I wrong to be upset about this?

The last time I checked, drawing underpins any artwork. You can be the best painter in the world, but if you can’t get your drawing right first, then you will never produce a piece that is anything other than an abstract, at best.

In the class I go to, so many of the people only consider pieces made with oil, acrylic or watercolour paint to be ‘proper’ art, and it annoys me so much.

Drawing skills are essential, and unless you are prepared to trace every single little detail from a stock photo, then you will need to learn these skills to have any chance of an accurate picture.

So, yes. I was ‘just drawing’, and once I had finished ‘just drawing’, I began the process of applying the colour with coloured pencils.

I may not have been working on a ‘painting’ in the strictest sense of the word, but drawing and illustration are just as much art forms as any other mediums, and it is about time that some people learned to realise and accept that!

Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.


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