Why Can I Draw But Not Paint (With Fixes )

Many fledgling artists find the route from drawing to painting a difficult one, as they find that the skills demanded in painting are more challenging. If you are skilled at drawing but find painting tests you, may need to modify the techniques you are applying.

Is it Harder to Draw or Paint?

Why can I draw but not paint? Many artists recognize that the skillset that serves them well for drawing does not achieve the same results when paining. Drawing and painting require different skills and procedures for creating artwork.

This post will present why people who can draw experience difficulty when painting and offer some tips for remedying the problem. Before you do this, you may want to read my post, Do You Have to be Good at Drawing To Paint?

Why Do Some Artists Find Painting Difficult?

Why Can I Draw But Not Paint
Why Can I Draw But Not Paint

Many people select the traditional art school route and learn to draw before painting. Multiple artists also begin pictures through drawing, and many different artists will learn to draw something before they attempt to paint it. This predicament can present some difficulties.

Drawing for many people is a fundamental skill that underpins many advanced painting skills. Plus, many traditionalists and liberals will agree that skilled drawers have a good foundation for developing painting skills.

To understand drawing as a craft, it is best to understand painting as a skill.

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Painting as a Skill.

Painting, like drawing, is a skill that can be developed and acquired. Through practice. One of the most common questions the traditional artist Tim Gargon is asked is what he does for a living. His reply is simple. He is an artist who paints and draws. The typical response to this reply is I can't paint. 

Painting is no different from any other cultured activity, it can be studied and learned. It doesn't matter what level of ability you process. A committed amateur painter can develop the necessary skills in painting.

How this does mean that we are all capable of producing magnificent painting? But we can all produce a drawing, paintings, and artworks that are unique, and ultimately, this is an excellent way for 

Tips to Progress from Drawing to Painting.

For many artists, the journey from drawing to painting can be difficult. However, here are some tips to help that transition be more comfortable.

Many drawing techniques can be adapted and used with a paintbrush, such as watercolor or pen and ink.

  1. Watercolor Pencils. Watercolor pencils are probably one of the most accessible mediums that an artist who is experiencing difficulties when beginning paintings could choose. The transition from drawing to painting can easily be adapted to painting with soluble color. To use watercolor pencils it is easy to draw out a basic underlying composition and then apply the colors of your choice on top of your outlines. Water can then be added to the pencil in the process of painting. This is also an excellent method to use if you need to combine colors layers of colors on top of each other to create different combinations of value uncle in your life. Therefore, using water-soluble and watercolourPencils is one of the first techniques you should consider apprehensive about the beginning of a painting.
  2. Pen and ink. The next technique I want to talk about is pen and ink. Other people find painting difficult. It may be an idea for you to draw in ink initially and then add water. Here is an excellent way to loosen up your drawing skills and introduce a brush when drawing, and it can be a great transition into painting. Because Inc is water-soluble, it allows you to paint and draw more fluidly and freely.
  3. Drawing with watercolors. For many answers to find drawing difficult and challenging, the transition to watercolor can be a good one to try. Here you can use a pencil to sketch the main features of your subject. Take a watercolor set mix range of colors, and apply the color fluidly with water onto your drawing. Again this is an excellent technique to attempt if you find the process of painting challenging because you can.
  4. Flat color. For the hobbyist who is apprehensive about starting the first painting drawing out your composition for your subjects first only in pencil is an excellent way to get the beginnings of an image down on the paper. Water-soluble poster colors can then be mixed and applied directly from the palate onto the paper. This is an excellent method to begin with if you are an amateur because you will just be applying color to individual shapes, and the complexities of tone and value can be omitted.
  5. Painting outlines. To begin an and outline drawing is a simple process. A pencil or pen can be applied to create simple images onto which color and paint can be applied with a brush. Again, this is a simple and basic method and approach that can be used to gain familiarity with applying paint to an image’s surface. Painting outlines onto an image is an excellent way to create a range of painted marks onto a surface using different painted lines' thicknesses and qualities.
  6. Abstracts. Another idea that is good for beginners who were apprehensive about painting complex realistic shapes is the abstract. Again painting flat colors onto simple shapes.

What are Good Painting Ideas?

You can try masking the surface of your painting to create an abstract design for simple techniques. Colorful designs can very quickly be created through the overlaid of masking tape onto a sheet of paper. Think carefully about color schemes that you can create into these designs. This is an effective way to introduce color and combine different color schemes into your paintings if you are a beginner. Washes can also be applied with water-soluble paints such as post the colors or colors or even acrylic washers.

What is the Easiest Type of Painting?

Water-soluble paints are typically seen as one of the most accessible painting mediums. If you are a beginner, cheap, non-toxic paints such as school paint or easy to clean and wash off. If you tend to spell or have an accident when working, they only require a small amount of pigment.

Artist-quality paints are more expensive and contain more past content depending on which brand you choose. These will produce better results if you are looking to produce finish finished work for display purposes.

For a beginner, I would recommend an expensive student grade eight, to begin with, as you can produce at work quickly and cheaply without fear of wasting materials and money.

Do You Have to be Good at Drawing to be Good at Painting?

Do you have to be good at drawing is a question we discussed earlier in the post but possibly requires further explanation. Do you have to be good at drawing to paint? Not necessary, but having a solid grounding in the fundamentals of drawing will enable you to confidently approach the subject of painting.

Drawing allows you to explore line, shape, form, and tone fundamentals. Once you become accustomed to working with these basic elements of drawing and understand how to combine them successfully in the artwork, you should be able to translate these basic principles into a painted image.

Painting is a varied art form, and many different styles of painting exist. Some paintings are highly gestural and expressive and require that type of approach when being developed. However, some artists prefer to work in a more restrained, organize, and technical passion for creating paintings that focus on form and tone, and value.


Ian Walsh is the creator and author of improvedrawing.com and an Art teacher based in Merseyside in the United Kingdom. He holds a BA in Fine Art and a PGCE in teaching Art and Design. He has been teaching Art for over 24 Years in different parts of the UK. When not teaching Ian spending his time developing this website and creating content for the improvedrawing channel.

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