Introduction to Drawing

Introducing the art of drawing

Dorcas Boamah (2020) by Sarah HarveyPaintings in Hospitals

Drawing is perhaps the most immediate form of mark-making, and something pretty much everybody has some experience of doing. Without getting into reductive argument about what drawing actually is, versus for example, painting or bending wire to make a line, here I'm talking about using a tool that inscribes a line, when drawn across a surface.

This could be an ink pen, a pencil, a finger in wet clay, a piece of charcoal, an oxidising silver stylus or digital drawing on a tablet.

Maggie (2020) by Kevin HaywardPaintings in Hospitals

A burnt stick is arguably the first kind of art medium to have ever been developed, and at least thirty thousand years ago people were drawing in charcoal on cave walls and rocks. I say 'developed' here because charcoal is an advance in art technology from simply using a finger in mud or a stick in the sand.

In memory of nurse Elsie Chafulumira (2020) by Peter O. StalderPaintings in Hospitals

Drawing perhaps represents the shortest conceptual distance between the creative impulse and the surface upon which the artwork is made. 

Untitled (Rome [Wall]) (1961) ([1961]) by Cy TwonblyGalleria Civica di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea Torino

It can be highly refined and technical, demonstrating the observational skill of the draftsperson, like Hans Holbein, but can also be utterly primal and intuitive in the hands of an expressive artist, like Cy Twombly.

Wall drawing #1091: arcs, circles and bands (room) (2003) by Sol LeWittArt Gallery of New South Wales

I can't think of any artist who hasn’t used drawing as part of their expressive toolkit. Even conceptualists like Sol le Witt, and artists best known for performance, like Marina Abramovich also draw.

Argentine Painters Quinquella Martin And Molino Campos (1941) by Hart PrestonLIFE Photo Collection

Some of the artists for whom drawings are central to their practice, who I admire and everyone should look at are: Martin Campos, Paola Rego and Tacita Dean.

Safya (2020) by Phoebe CrippsPaintings in Hospitals

For me at least, it is the medium I am most comfortable with. I draw every day. It's easy to whip out a pencil or pen and my sketchbook. I use drawing to express and test ideas, get things down quickly and as an aid to 'seeing': drawing forces you to observe closely the thing you are looking at.

Michael Sugden (2020) by Geoffrey HarrisonPaintings in Hospitals

 I enjoy drawing tremendously and find it therapeutic. I also use drawing as what I might call a 'final' medium in that the drawing is the finished piece and not merely the study for an eventual painting.

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