Paintings and drawings have historically maintained two completely different perceptions both in the eyes of the public and for collectors. This perception has played an instrumental roll in their pricing as well as desirability. Today, we'll discuss how those notions came to be and what it means, in today's terms, when unpacking their desirable qualities.
Time & Experience
When it comes to the value and pricing of artwork, there are several things to consider. First of all, much of what determines the price of a work has to do with the difficulty of the piece, and the experience of the artist. An accomplished artist with a lot of time invested in their talent is deserving of a high price. You’re paying or admiring years of hard work and learning.
Also keep in mind, the cost of the supplies and the skill required. Oil paintings will alway demand higher pricing because oil is a very difficult medium to become proficient with, and usually it will take the artist much longer to complete a piece. Also, the cost of paints, brushes and canvas is quite an investment. Brushes and oil paint can run into the hundreds of dollars. However, longevity of oil is unsurpassed, for it’s a medium that will endure and deteriorate very little over time.
When you get into the drawing mediums, the price will go down. The materials cost less, and the time investment often goes down as well.
A lot of the attitude about different mediums stems from the Old Masters. Back in the 15th century, drawings were often looked at as a preliminary study for future paintings. The drawings were where the artist sketched out the ideas, worked out the problems, and then moved on to paint. They were just concept pieces. This gave drawings a stigma of being “less” than paintings, because they were looked at as mere stepping stones to the real art coming up.
Experienced collectors preferred the expensively done oils because they were so highly regarded. Their value was always much higher due to the demand, and the fact that it was a purchase made only by the upper-class.
To Each Their Own
Paintings and drawings (and any medium for that matter) have their own uniqueness. Some collectors prefer the immediacy of drawing as it is, by some, considered to be the purest expression of an artist's intention. Others may prefer paintings for their added polish and prestige.
Today, little has changed in the perceptions. A higher price makes any art purchase an investment and a proud heirloom. People value their things by the amount they sacrifice to have them. It really just depends on your tastes and preferences as to which would be most suitable for you and your collection.