It’s all about time: Pencil drawings trump acrylic painting

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I have always had a tumultuous relationship with art. It’s fun to do but takes forever and a day to do a detailed drawing or painting. At least, it takes me forever; maybe, other people are faster.

I don’t think I was always slow. In high school art classes, I got to paint in acrylics and oils. When I painted in oils, I blended all the paint together and could finish a painting in an hour. (I’m not saying it was good.)

The teacher always encouraged my “quick” painting sessions, which also included “quick” brush cleaning sessions. She did not encourage the quick cleaning sessions. I got in trouble. My brushes never were properly cleaned and traces of the paint were nestled in them. I did not know how to clean them properly.

It was not until I bought my own supplies that I choose good acrylic paint over oils. For some reason, I thought that acrylics were a “lesser” paint so I never wanted to use them. When I did, I found them better from a practical standpoint. They dry faster than oils, and they don’t have a smell to them like oils and solvent.

Despite drying faster, it still took a long time to make a painting and it was still messy. I moved on to drawing.

Drawing can be quick. I do a lot of shading. My drawings take quite a while to do because of that. It is a little less expensive than painting I think. Good drawing paper and pencils do not cost a lot compared to buying paint, canvas, and brushes.

Why does time matter?

Aside from being finite, time was important to me when creating paintings. When I draw, I can switch my brain into art mode really quick. With painting, it took forever for me to do so. I think with drawing the shading part seems slightly hypnotic to me, which is why I can “get in the zone” quicker. I think being in the zone makes me feel better.

This brings me to why I like creating drawings / paintings but don’t like it. It makes me feel better while being creative but it takes so long when there is so much other stuff that I should be doing but don’t really want to do — i.e., clean out the garage.

I know you are thinking, why not just set X amount of time available for each project such as drawing or cleaning out the garage?

By the way, I did clean out the garage not too long ago and found a whole roll of butcher paper up on a storage shelf in the rafters. Guess that means I can doodle and do a few sketches now, eh?

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