|Bar Patron at Chili's|
5 x 5 inches
Her frustration showed in her comment, "But, they're paintings! Just because they're on a page in a sketchbook makes them no less of a painting."
We started out by talking about time and speed first. Did the amount of time you spent on a piece of art make it a sketch or painting? No. What about speed? We've all seen paintings that have "come together" and nearly painted themselves in no time while a sketch got out of hand and took three times as long as it should have. But in the end, remained a sketch.
The we talked about paper and materials....did doing the work on a loose piece of paper rather than putting it into a sketchbook make it a painting? No. I have plenty of loose sketches floating about the studio and what started this discussion was paintings in a sketchbook. Did watercolor make it a sketch and oils make it a painting? What about pen and ink combined with watercolor? No, we had both seen evidence to the contrary. It seems you can make a sketch with any materials. Same goes for a painting.
We started to talk about size, and then quickly realized that size wasn't going to work as a determining factor as there are sketchbooks out there that are 11 x 14 inches (and possibly larger) all the way to the smallest of smalls.
Next up, we discussed planning....was a sketch an unplanned, spontaneous piece of artwork? Hmmmm, since I teach the idea of planning your artwork, regardless of whether it is a sketch or a painting, before your brush or pencil ever hits the paper, that argument sunk quickly.
From there, the discussion turned to intent....and this is where the discussion became murky. How could one ascertain an artist's intention when looking at a piece of art? No matter if the art was in a sketchbook, on a loose piece of paper, regardless of the materials used or the size, nor how much planning the piece did or did not show, it wasn't always possible to tell if it was a sketch or a painting.
So, dear readers, it's your turn to weigh in with your thoughts and opinions.
Mind you, this discussion is not about "labeling" or "categorizing." It is merely to see if there is any consensus about what makes a sketch a sketch and a painting a painting.