What does painting 1

Draw or paint? What is the difference?

Painting or drawing? Doesn't it matter?

Draw: eye

Again and again people confuse the artistic techniques of drawing and painting. But this is usually not because the boundaries are fluid. Much more often they do not even know the fundamental difference. This is not only the case with students, but also with adults. Hence here a crystal clear one definition:

  • At the To draw an image emerges from Lines. Drawing tools have a tip that can be used to apply paint as lines or dots. A drawing is usually one Image from gray values.
  • At the To paint an image emerges from Surfaces. Painting tools are more or less wide brushes that create two-dimensional lines or structures. A painted picture is usually colored.

The decisive difference is ultimately how the paint (pigments) is applied to the image carrier (paper, cardboard, canvas, etc.), whether as lines or as surfaces.

Difference between painting and drawing: left: drawing; right: painting


Some will rightly object: yes, but there are very, very fine brushes whose lines can be compared with those of a pen. That's right, more on that below ...

Tools for painting and drawing

Pencil drawing lion

The distinction with regard to the application of paint can also be found in the tools with which one paints or draws the picture:

  • Drawing tools to have a punctiform tip, for example a pencil, a drawing pen, a ballpoint pen or a fineliner. Depending on the tool, the line has almost the same line width (e.g. fineliner) or the line thickness can vary (e.g. pencil or drawing pen).
  • Tools for painting on the other hand have one clearly wider tipe.g. brush, painting knife or spatula. The paint application is therefore much larger and wider and, in principle, is more like a surface.

The same applies here: the boundaries are fluid. There are, for example, very wide touch-up pens (Edding) that can be up to 2 cm thick. And as mentioned, brushes can be very pointy.

Ultimately, the properties "wide"or"narrow" or. "pointed" always in relation to the overall size of the image to see. On a format of 3 x 4 meters, the trace of a 6-inch brush with an approx. 1 cm wide painting surface looks like a line. The same line looks like a wide area on a format of 15 x 18 cm.

Techniques of paint application

With regard to the methods of applying the paint with the tool, a distinction is made between different painting and drawing techniques.

  • When drawing one primarily uses that Hatching (drawing lines next to each other) and the Cross hatch (several hatchings drawn at different angles on top of each other), but also that Blend (several layers delicately applied one on top of the other).
  • In painting become the colors painted side by side or on top of each other. The time it takes for the paint to dry plays a decisive role: with many painting techniques, the paint is mixed directly on the image carrier (e.g. oil painting, but also watercolor painting, see wash).

You see: however clear the definitions of drawing and painting may be: there are numerous borderline cases in which one cannot clearly say whether it is painting or drawing.

It becomes even more difficult when you look at digital painting: here you usually use a graphics tablet or a pen display, in which a signal is transmitted to a PC with a (always identical) pen. With the help of the graphics software, however, you can "imitate" different types of pens and brushes. So you can digitally paint a very wide brush line with frayed edges with a normal (ballpoint pen-like) digital pen. All very confusing - for the language theorists.

Painting or drawing? difference

The result: drawing or picture or painting?

Drawing cassette

When it comes to the outcome of a creative process, things get even more complicated. One thing is certain: the finished product is a picture. But that doesn't say much, because basically everything is an image that is somehow two-dimensional.

  • A drawing is the result of a drawing process in which recognizable lines have been drawn with the help of drawing tools.
  • A picture is the result of a painting process in which recognizable areas have been applied with the help of painting tools.
  • A work is then called painting denotes - from an artistic point of view - if the artist does not focus on What is represented, but how it was painted. So if the Painting process is more important than that motive.

How little the artists care about the linguists is shown by the fact that there are countless Mixed media images there in which painting and drawing techniques are taken for granted mixed together become.

By the way: the terms add to the problem not only in an artistic context, but also (must) be used in others: this is how a photo often referred to as "picture", someone who paints house walls names himself in the business directory "painter", and patterns or computer-generated architectural designs are of course also drawings.

Ultimately, from all the considerations, it only becomes clear that we are in the German language far too few really clear and sound terms to express all the different possibilities of artistic production.

But you can roughly say: Drawing is with single-colored lines, painting with multicolored surfaces.

Painting: Landscape in Berlin (S-Bahn area Großgörschenstraße)

Learn to draw

Learn to draw

More on this in my new book: "Learn to draw realistically": 97 pages, with numerous illustrations, step-by-step instructions and concrete drawing exercises. The book is suitable for beginners and offers all those who have not yet dealt intensively with the study of nature with many helpful tips and tricks .. "Realistic" and "Drawing" aretwo things. On the one hand, the basics of drawing are taught, from materials and tools to basic drawing techniques (e.g. hatching) to effective preliminary drawing and the 4 phases of the drawing process: emphasizing, blending, blurring, erasing. On the other hand, the basics of observation are explained, which one needs for every kind of realistic picture. In the end, numerous inspirations help you to find your own artistic path.

Web links on the subject of drawings

Drawing (oldtimer)