I don’t spend a lot of time checking blog statistics. Those kinds of numbers can be an addictive habit for me, and not a very productive one.
But I do track things like search engine terms (the words and phrases people use that lead them to the blog), and the places they come from. That information is helpful in developing new content and updating old.
I mention those things only because of the topic for today’s post and this week’s article on EmptyEasel. Namely, repeated inquiries asking the same essential question: what are the disadvantages of drawing.
Some version of that search term appears regularly on the list of most used search terms. Today (Tuesday, April 11), seventeen of the most frequently used search terms over the last 30 days use the words “advantages” or “disadvantages.” One form of the question is the second most frequently used search term.
Some of the searches are specific. Disadvantages of drawing lines, sketches, or still life drawings, for example.
Others are much more general. It all leads to the same conclusion: A lot of readers wanting to know why they should draw.
So lets take a look at some of the questions being asked.
What are the Disadvantages of Drawing? The Questions
Please keep in mind that the answers I’m about to share are my personal opinion. You may very well see other disadvantages to drawing. Indeed, you may think my answers are pretty flimsy! So be it! Drawing—and all art—is very subjective and personal.
Having said that, let me jump into the fray.
1: Disadvantages of the Drawing Process
This question appeared a couple of times in different forms. The phrase used here was the second-most often used key word phrase over the last few weeks.
I find no easy answer to this question beyond the matter of time. It quite simply takes a long time to do a complex and detailed drawing, even if you use modern shortcuts. Some of the line drawings for my large works have taken a couple of weeks to work out. Do enough revisions of the same subject and it can get tiring.
Then there’s the shading, usually with further fine tuning.
If your end goal is the drawing itself, that’s one thing. But if the drawing is only the first step in the process, it’s quite another matter.
2: Disadvantages of Line Drawing
There is something almost magical about setting up an easel, putting a canvas or paper on it, and just producing a finished piece without going through all the preliminaries.
For this type of artist, taking time to do a line drawing not only takes valuable time away from painting, but it may even quench the creative fires. By the time they’ve worked through a line drawing—even a simple one—there’s no longer a desire do the “real piece of art.”
I can understand that, though my empathy comes by way of writing. My second love is writing stories, but I’ve discovered that my brain thinks the story has been written when the story summary is finished. I can’t tell you how many fully developed summaries have gone no further.
If you’re that type of artist, then line drawing may indeed be a disadvantage.
3: Disadvantages to Sketching
To my way of thinking, the primary disadvantages to sketching are all personal—the excuses I give myself for not sketching. In my case, they are:
- I don’t want to take the time
- There are too many paid and therefore “more important” pieces to work on
- I don’t know what to draw or don’t want to draw whatever happens to be nearby
- It doesn’t contribute directly to my current project (whatever that project may be)
I still struggle with those “disadvantages”, but I also try to sketch frequently (I can’t yet say “regularly”.)
4. Advantages and Disadvantages of Drawing
I wrote specifically on this subject for EmptyEasel this week.
You see, once I got started, my thoughts on the subject went in several different directions. For a few more of those ideas, read What are the Advantages (or Disadvantages) of Drawing?
Whether or not I’ve answered the questions posed above I cannot at present say. Since some variation of the term appears regularly on the list of most popular search terms, it’s entirely likely that some of you also have thoughts on the subject. If so, I invite you to share them below. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.
So, what are the disadvantages of drawing for you?