Reading this reminded me of something that American sculptor, David Smith said, although I can't quite remember what it was. And got me thinking about the difference between painting and drawing.
None of these points is strictly true (they can be disproved with counter-examples), but generally;
- Drawing is provisional, unfinished, not a finished product.
- Drawing is linear, or has a strong linear element (I'm probably thinking of Auerbach here) Or, is not just tonal.
- Drawing is less historically fixed to a time or tradition. For example, drawing predates oil painting, tempera, etc. Drawing predates everything. It's the first art.
- Colour is not foremost in drawing, more focused on black and white
- Drawing is quick - this ties in with it's linear quality - This speed suggests that it is an approach which can access deeper areas, it has less artifice, or can just create surprise. Philip Guston talked about the long preparation for a few minutes of innocence (something like that). Auerbach says that although he spends a long time working on a painting, most of that time is spent scraping paint off, the final image is made quickly. Freshness, not overworked.
- Drawing uses the colour of the paper, canvas, base
- Drawing doesn't achieve levels of realism that painting can. In the same way that a black and white photo is not as real as a colour photo.