Painting Process - Drawing

Anne drawing on canvas
Sometimes I think there is nothing so delightful as drawing.
— Vincent Van Gogh

I'm finishing up the last details of my drawing for my next large painting... With a simple HB pencil I'm sketching out a story on canvas. I love this part of the process... 

It's as if I'm a conduit bringing the vision from my mind's eye, down through my arm, into my hand and out through the pencil onto canvas. Drawing helps me really connect to what I'm creating in a tangible way.

The drawing is the artist's signature... Each line and shape expresses the essence of the vision and is unique to each artist. This is why I draw freehand... no grids; no tracing... I allow my hand to interpret what my mind sees.

It's also very therapeutic. When I'm drawing I'm in a meditative state; I am "in the zone" where time disappears, worries fade away... Nothing else really matters than this moment. 

And in a practical sense, drawing is the foundation of the painting where I map it all out. If the painting were a person, the drawing would be the bones. This is step one in my painting process.

In the next step I'll begin painting in tones of grey and defining the shapes (this would be the muscles of the person!) and slowly begin to bring the painting and vision to life...