Drawings, they can be as simple as a single line on a piece of paper or as complex as entire animals drawn on books. This art category is a must for the modern collector. In every style, size or theme an extraordinary drawing can be found.
Drawing might just be the oldest and most important art category there is. Even though a drawing can be as simple as a single line or a string puppet drawn on paper, it’s impact and value can be enormous. Drawings are mostly concerned with lines and pencil drizzle, but they come in all shapes and sizes, colours, mediums and more. Let’s dig a little deeper into this wonderful art category.
Drawing is recognized as the oldest form of human expression. It's a popular belief that drawing outdated all other forms of written communication. The first known drawings have been found in caves and are estimated to be around 40.000 to 30.000 years old. They are often referred to as the ‘Art of the Upper Paleolithic’ and are the oldest known form of art. These drawings depict objects and items that were important to how people lived back then. But abstract concepts are found in these works or art as well. Who knew that our prehistoric ancestors are the founding fathers of abstract art!
Besides the fact that it is absolutely extraordinary that art from 40.000 years ago can still be admired to this day, the lessons we can learn from it are even more important. These early drawings are the only man-made forms of communication we have from that period of time and provide us vital information about that period.
But the importance of drawing doesn’t end there. Through the past centuries the art of drawings has been deeply immersed into our cultures. In the 12th century Monks drew entire manuscripts to copy the Bible and other important scripture. Important scientists like Galileo Galilei used drawings to visualize his discoveries. And even today, for example in the military, operational sketches are of vital importance to quickly visualize an operation.
There are numerous drawing techniques and mediums. Below you can read about some of the most important for today’s art world.
Let’s start with the basics; point and line. This technique is the foundation of drawing. It comes down to drawing lines. It’s that simple, but yet so essential. This technique is the basis of most complex paintings. Artists use pencil lines to outline the area that they will later fill with paint. The most common medium used with this technique are pencils. This is due to the fact that they are very ‘clean’ and precise. By clean we mean that you can easily paint over the lines without them showing.
This technique is used to draw larger areas to fill them with colour. You’ve probably used this technique yourself, but didn’t know you were using it. When hatching you hold your pencil in an angle and create lines close to each other by quickly moving your pencil up and down. The pencil only gently touches the paper. This technique can be applied in parallel lines, but also in lines that cross each other. However, when drawing crossed lines you should be careful not to create chaos.
Hatching can be done with a variety of mediums. However it’s best to choose one that is soft, because the technique requires you to gently touch upon your paper to create your drawing. When you use a pencil that is very hard you will notice that the area you hatch isn't as evenly filled compared to a hatched field with a softer medium, like charcoal.
This technique is like a ‘level up’ from hatching. Smudging is done by blurring a hatched area. You can use this technique to create very smooth and evenly filled areas. Areas where you can’t see the different lines anymore. That said, you do have to use a medium that can be smudged. Charcoal is an excellent medium to smudge. But others can work as well. Just try a neutral area first. Preferably on a different piece of paper.
A whole new way of drawing art has been given to us thanks to modern technology. Especially now that tablet computers have become so sophisticated you can create excellent and very detailed drawings using digital mediums. This art of digital drawing is great if you want to experiment with different techniques and see what you can come up with. You can switch seamlessly between different colours, thickness, pencils and so on. We highly recommend getting a proper drawing pencil if you want to take digital drawing seriously. It allows you to get tremendous detail into your digital creations and it feels almost the same as drawing the old-fashioned way.
Drawings come in all shapes, sizes, colours, compositions and so on. In other words, if you take the time to search for a drawing you enjoy you will find one. So, how do you make sure you don’t have to go through hundreds of drawings before you find the right one?
The first question you should ask yourself is where you want to place your new drawing. This question is important to see which size is best for you. Is it a large empty white wall? Go for a large or even huge drawing. That said, most drawings tend to be smaller compared to paintings or prints. But if you are looking for an awesome work of art to place on top of your night stand or a bookshelf a medium, small or even tiny drawing would be excellent. The second question to answer to see if your new drawing will fit into your décor is which colour and style. A modern decor can handle almost all colours and styles, but a classical one might be less forgiving. If this is the case you might be best off with a black and white drawing.
But maybe more important than size, colour or style is the theme; the message the artist is trying to express through the drawing. Selecting a theme that fits your personality and interests will greatly improve the way you experience the drawing.
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