Drawing vs Painting: What Differences Are Valuable-5 FAQs


Investing in a new skill is always a worthwhile endeavor, especially when it’s not just for pleasure but also profit. Art is a creative outlet that many people find satisfying and even therapeutic. Your creative output may also become an investment. When it comes to getting started, you might wonder about the differences between drawing and painting when it comes to their value.

When choosing drawing versus painting, consider the merits of each. Drawing is well suited for beginners while also satisfying advanced artists. Painting requires study and practice, with experienced painters accessing a larger array of materials and techniques, leading to higher values when sold.

Generally, the main difference is the medium and the ease of achieving a desired level of detail. Additionally, many people find a progression from drawing to painting the most natural. Experiment with both and keep in mind what you want to get out of creating art. Let’s compare the two techniques and their mediums.

Woman holding a pencil in art class in front of an easel deciding between drawing vs painting

Why is painting better than drawing?

Painting uses a wet medium, allowing for higher degrees of adjustability after placement on the solid surface. Painting is such a versatile medium, able to be applied to almost any surface. Depending on both the type of paint and surface medium, the variations and results are endless.

The style of art is often derived from the materials and different skills required to use them. For example, the classic oil painting on canvas yields a different aesthetic than spray paint on metal. Watercolor painting spreads and lightens depending on the paper and mixture.

Painting is an activity that has multiple psychological and emotional benefitsIt can help with stress and anxiety, as well as improve memory and motor skills. Painting is often a process that changes and develops as you explore it, requiring mental and physical stimulation. By trying to match the image in your head to your paper, you are fully engaged during the painting process. Here is an excellent explanation of a few of the health benefits of painting.

Drawing, on the other hand, is a firmer medium, possibly less vibrant than painting. However, drawing is still a satisfying activity and is often needed first as a foundation before using paint.

Why is drawing better than painting?

Drawing is better than painting in producing detail more easily. Drawings generally use dry media like a graphite pencil (having less drawing carry), chalk, or charcoal. However, some wet media like ink and oil pastels produce exquisitely detailed drawings.

Pencil drawings are often considered the starting point of art. Many artists prefer to sketch out their ideas and plans in line drawings before finalizing their subject matter into an art medium of their choosing.

Art can also be completed in pencil, not just begun that way. Many artists find that pencil is their favorite medium, as it is one of the most easily controlled and refined materials. With various colored pencil formulations like graphite, wax, and oils, artists have an array of technical drawing techniques to create stunning drawings and illustrations.

Even if you plan to progress to other mediums, classic lead is the best starter medium for beginners. Because pencil is erasable, it gives the artist plenty of opportunities to remove mistakes and try again. Pencil allows you to learn and explore, changing things quickly and adjusting them as you go. The more you practice drawing, the better you will begin to understand art and try it in different materials in the future like acrylic paint on 

Drawing also has many of the same health benefits as paintingHere is a good explanation of these benefits. Drawing is known to relieve stress and anxiety, as well as boost cognitive thinking skills. It requires engagement in problem-solving and encourages you to think. How do you apply your pencil to achieve the result you want? If that way doesn’t work, can you try another? The more you engage in drawing, the better your creativity and artistic understanding will grow.

Drawing is better than painting for the beginner artist because it allows for this initial learning phase. It is less messy and permanent, and by practicing, you will find other mediums easier to work with later.

Man sketching in a notebook.

Should I learn to draw before painting?

Sharpening your drawing skills is often an excellent first step to take before you attempt painting, regardless of the subject matter.

Practicing drawing will give you a better understanding of shape, form, texture, and perspective. As you practice simple line drawing, you will find many methods to bring your ideas to life through illustration.

It all depends on the kind of art you want to make. There are a lot of styles within art, some of which don’t include making drawings seem realistic. In general, having a good understanding of drawing’s basic principles will bolster the quality of your art, no matter the style.

Understanding the basic techniques and how to apply them will also help you a lot if you want to recreate the same methods in paint. The rules for drawing and painting are notably different, but many rely on the same founding methods.

Once you learn how to draw, you will have a solid base to build off. Painting requires an understanding of color, light, and texture heightened from what you will learn from drawing. Wet mediums are more freeform than dry ones and are also tricker to control.

Drawing needs to be your starting place if you want to try art, whether as a casual hobby or a serious one.

Is it better to draw or paint?

It is best to start with learning to draw and then progress to painting. You may even find that drawing is so satisfying you’re happy with it as a medium and don’t want to try painting.

However, consider drawing your foundation if you want to attempt both or even just painting. Once you are well-practiced in it, you will find painting is much easier! Mapping out what you intend to paint in pencil first will help you stick to your initial form and dimensions and plan what you want your end result to look like.

The methods you pick up through drawing will definitely help you achieve the kind of painting you want. Drawing is also the foundation of almost every other medium if you decide to branch out further than painting. If you’re going to discover more about yourself as an artist, get comfortable with drawing first and then do as much exploring as you want!

Many people like to progress to painting and master it after drawing. In contrast, others feel fine working in pencil and choose to perfect their skills in drawing instead. Once you have tried both techniques, it is up to you to decide which you prefer.

Every artist has their own style and preferences, which will grow and develop as you explore art. You may find you love the colorful and freeing nature of paint, or you may be happy to stick with more easily controlled mediums like pencils. The only way to find out is to try!

Professional woman using a electronic sketch pad in front of a computer appreciating her knowledge of drawing vs painting

Are drawing and painting still valuable in the age of technology?

Drawing and painting are skills that continue to be valuable in an age of technology. Drawing skills transfer easily into digital art, design, and works with foundations in visual art forms. Painting is less precise, but these artists bring unique qualities not usually found in digital media.

Traditional drawing and painting are still valued art forms, taught in schools from a young age and carried through to university and into the workforce. Classic art is still considered an icon of culture worldwide, and these artists fund spaces to create and sell their works.

Art has begun to take new forms, such as digital art, a version of conventional art created through an app or digital screen. But many digital artists themselves learn traditional drawing first, then progressing into digital drawing and illustration.

Note:

With the rise in non-fungible tokens (NFT), digital art has been popularized into the mainstream bringing both painters and illustrators new audiences.

Drawing and painting are still socially relevant and likely will be for a long time. If you are considering making a career as an artist, the internet can, in fact, help you in your venture.

The internet is a comprehensive source of information on art techniques. It can be turned to for knowledge about art and inspiration. The internet can also help you advertise your work and spread awareness of it, strengthening your opportunity for success in an artistic field.

Traditional art is often the founding point of all other forms of art. If you are considering a career in something that requires a knowledge of art, such as design or architecture, drawing and painting are invaluable skills.

In short, there’s no need to worry about drawing and painting becoming useless in the age of technology for a long time to come. Most importantly, drawing and painting will always have personal psychological, and emotional benefits that will make them a positive skill for you to have in your life. If art is something you are interested in, there’s no better time to learn it than now.

Mandy Chu

Mandy and Mike are digital nomads and avid travelers. Art brings us joy whether in museums, galleries, or our home. Join us as we learn about the art world as down-to-earth admirers, collectors, and investors.

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