Make it a Drawing or Painting : You Are Not a Camera

So many people try to draw or paint and they stop because they can’t seem to get it to Hood River at Copper Damlook exactly like the photo or what they see in real life.  This is a major cause of why people abandoning drawing and painting do it.  You could say it’s a form of perfectionism, but I say it’s because they were never told that it’s okay to make it look like it was drawn, not snapped with a camera.

Take my photo of Hood River at Copper Dam, near the town of Hood River, Oregon.  This photo was taken on an uber-cloudy day, and it doesn’t have a whole lot of intrinsic light and color in it.  If I had shot for making the pastel drawing I did look like that, it would be a sad, lonesome place, and no one would want to look at it.

> Related Article: What is the Best Media for Drawing on Black Paper?

For my pastel drawing, though, I imagined the sun shining on the water and reflecting that through the trees, giving everything a sense of brightness.  It’s not how the photo looks, but I like it much better than that dismal scene.

Hood River pastel

Hood River pastel drawing

On a side note: for this drawing, I chose to do it on a piece of light green pastel paper (it has a good texture that “grabs” the pastels) to give it some earthy undertones and not be so glaringly white.  Let some of that green shine through and be as much a part of the drawing as the pastel.

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Jason Sipe Jason Sipe (68 Posts)

Jason Sipe is an artist, craftsman and writer. He has spent the last 20 years working in the art and media fields. He now turns to this blog and helping others learn about creating art as his main focus.