I have been teaching drawing since about 1999. All I did during the first seven years of my art career was in black and white; drawing houses, historic buildings and animals in pen & ink on canvas. I became known for using that unusual method. In the year 2000, I started painting in color and was surprised at how easily it came to me. I wouldn't have been surprised if I had realized that working exclusively in black and white for so long, I had learned how to use the 'value scale' in a practical way, not even knowing what it was!
By 2002, my classes included all mediums. I start all my students, whether adults or children, with drawing. It has rapidly become nearly a lost art as technology and expediency have led too many artists to trace, project and paint over printed images. If you learn the concepts and skills of drawing in pencil at first, all of your painting will improve because you are really 'drawing with your brush'.
You often hear people say that painting is fun and drawing is work….. but AU CONTRAIRE! It is so much more than that! Drawing the 'Suzy Way Way' (as my students call it), is easy, logical and fun. Nobody flunks in my drawing classes. Drawing and painting are not two separate things. You draw with a pencil, charcoal or a brush and the better you can do this, the more improved your finished paintings will be. Drawing is not about the tool your are using. It IS about training your 'eye' (both of them!). If you don't train your 'eye', may paint over an incorrect drawing, and you will likely even make a mess of painting over a printed image.
What makes it correct?
One test is if you can make it look the way you, the creative artist, want it to look. BUT, remember that if you are accepting commissions to paint a client's much-loved pet poodle, it had better look like that particular dog and not just any poodle, . There are no shortcuts to honest, enduring, original art, whether you are in this to please yourself and/or to please a paying client.