I have an early appointment tomorrow so I think I will field a few questions from the comments. Like the following
"I've been struggling with this concept of rather tight drawing being a good foundation for painting, I admire the calligraphy of the bold dash of a brushstroke, and would think a detailed prep drawing would inhibit it. Like maybe one would be afraid to 'paint over' the lines. Also to me a good drawing has lots of accurate detail, and we are always told to not look at detail when painting, at least in general. So it's tough for me to reconcile it."
A drawing that is good is not necessarily highly detailed any more than a painting might be. It may not even be accurate in the simplest sense. Drawing is an art and contains all of the niceties, like design form etc. that a painting does except for color. Generally drawings are not colored. Most artists who work in bold strokes do not put fixed drawings on their canvas before painting. They draw with their brush. But the best of them could draw very well with a pencil or charcoal. Sargent is a good example here.
An artist with the moniker b commented;
"I think you might be confusing details with good drawing instead of accuracy. An accurate drawing does not necessarily have to have tons of details, but the shapes and lines that are there should be precise and correct for the subject being drawn. Obviously there are other things beside accuracy that make good drawing, but in my opinion accuracy should be the first goal, since everything else is built upon it.
And to reconcile them to paint, if you can see and draw something accurately, then when you lay that bold brush stroke down it will be in the correct place, and be the correct shape for the area you are trying to describe.
Drawing is the physical manifestation of a well trained eye. If you can consistently see accurately then, even if the drawing is obscured, you will be able to recreate the obscured parts by referring to your reference or subject."
I think that covers it pretty well too. Well said, I should have written that!
Karla asked me "Also, if you can squeeze in a post on the different types of white oils and why you prefer one over the other that would be great!"
I have written on that before here. There are three basic whites. They are titanium, zinc and lead.
- Lead white is poisonous, handles beautifully and can be made in a variety of consistencies from stiff to very loose. Lead is rather transparent and warm.Few major manufacturers offer it these days but the smaller boutique paint houses all seem to make one. Unless you are a seasoned pro and willing to accept the poisonous nature of the lead, this is not for you.
- Zinc white is a transparent and nonpoisonous paint with a reputation for being brittle. Some restorers and paint experts caution against it. The people who use it like it because it affects their colors less. They feel they get more colored less chalky notes.
- Most artists today use Titanium white. It is a very opaque very white nonpoisonous color. Every manufacturers is different I prefer the Lefranc Bourgeois Titanium, because it handles beautifully, it is also very inexpensive. But I would still use it if it cost a lot more.... Jerrys carries it as do several other online retailers. For most of you, almost all of you, this is the white you will use. Winsor Newton makes a nice titanium. I think Rembrandt is too fluffy. Old Holland is extremely concentrated and too expensive for this artist.If you buy student grade whites they will generally handle poorly.
- Permalba is a titanium-zinc mixture that has a bizarre handling quality.It covers well and is permanent. Some well known artists like Waugh have used it, I used it myself for several years. It comes in a dreadful plastic tube and is sort of a novelty act. But if you like it, it is inexpensive and reliable.
- Titanium-alkyd whites will give you fast drying. They tend to have a little less pigmenting strength than the straight titanium. If you want guaranteed fast drying try the Griffin alkyd white.