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Help, I can't draw!
 
Canal ChalfordI believe that drawing skills are important, but not something to get bogged down in at the beginning of a painting holiday or course. Rather, I like to begin by enjoying a freer expression by drawing with brushes; exploring the potential of the variety of marks you can make with a single brush, combined with the use of just three vibrant colours. It's much simpler, revealing and more satisfying this way and much more fun. Any course or holiday should be relaxing and enjoyable and boost your confidence. 
 
Drawing skills are important, especially if you regard the use of lines as subordinate to identifying rather the shapes in your subject and their differing range of tones - the darkest, lightest and intermediate 'grey' areas - the 'tonal range' to use the jargon (which I avoid using). 

Drawing lines around things is just a habit we have grown up with. Look at the world around you objectively and you will see very few actual lines, more shapes; check it out. If you also ignore the actual colour of objects, be they clouds, trees or buildings in the landscape, you will then see them as interlocking shapes, like pieces of a jigsaw, grading in tone from the darkest to the lightest.  Look with half closed eyes at your subject and it will appear like a jigsaw of contrasting shapes varying from light to dark.

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