Many artists can’t wait to start painting. However, the success of your painting will depend on the quality of your drawing. Think of your drawing as a framework or scaffolding that you hang your colors on. The scaffolding has to hold together or the entire thing will fall down.
Many times, I get half way through a painting and can’t figure out why something looks off – it doesn’t work. I know I need to get out my pencil and start measuring. Inevitability, something is off in my drawing. I find it is so important throughout my painting process to continually check my drawing.
A good drawing provides a quality framework for any painting. If you have a good drawing, you can start painting loosely, connecting colors and letting them blend on the paper, knowing that your dark and light marks will be effective, and that your colors laid down next to each other will blend beautifully.
The Last Painting of Ana was created at the end of a life drawing session, when I had 1 hour left on the pose. After I got my drawing down, I could place colors next to each other, letting them mix on the page. I had the assurance that I had a good framework. The result is a very effective and loose painting that asks the viewer to use his/her eye to see the darks and lights and interpret the painting.