drawing - Depiction of shapes and forms on a surface chiefly by means of lines. Color and shading may be included. A major fine art technique in itself, drawing is the basis of all pictorial representation, and an early step in most art activities. Though an integral part of most painting, drawing is generally differentiated from painting by the dominance of line over mass.
The artist's choices of drawing media — tools and surface — tend to determine whether a drawing will be more or less linear or painterly in quality.
There are many sorts of drawing techniques, varying according to the effect the artist wants, and depending on whether the drawing is an end in itself — an independent and finished work of art -- or a preliminary to some other medium or form — although distinct from the final product, such drawings also have intrinsic artistic value. Preliminary drawings include various exercises (e.g., contour drawing, gesture drawing, figure drawing, drawing from the flat), as well as sketches and studies, cartoons and underdrawings.
Drawing has been highly appreciated since the Renaissance, greatly because it implies spontaneity — an embodiment of the artist's ideas. This spontaneous idea has always been used to particular advantage in caricature.
The invention of printmaking techniques in the fifteenth century
made possible the duplication and dissemination of drawings, further
establishing drawing as a definitive art form.
Russia, Lake Onega, Carved Petroglyph (fragment), 4th-3rd millennium BCE, granite, 240 x 308 cm, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. See B.C., millennium, petroglyph, and Stone Age.
Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, 1452-1519), Study of proportions, from Vitruvius's De Architectura, pen and ink, 13 1/2 x 9 5/8 inches (34.3 x 24.5 cm), Accademia, Venice. See anatomy, nude, Renaissance, and study.
Leonardo da Vinci, Skull, 1489. This is a lateral cross-section view of a human skull — the left half of the calvaria has been removed to expose the interior. See vanitas.
Leonardo da Vinci, Womb, or "The Foetus in Utero," 1489, red crayon and pen and ink, Collection of Queen Elizabeth II, Windsor Castle. Skull and Womb are among the huge number of anatomical drawings Leonardo made, to most of which he added written notes. He said he had dissected over thirty human bodies — men and women of various ages.
Leonardo da Vinci, The Christ Child with a Lamb [(recto), with A Child with a Lamb, Head of an Old Man, and Studies of Machinery (verso)], about 1503-1506, pen and brown ink and black chalk, 8 1/4 x 5 9/16 inches (21 x 14.2 cm), J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA.
Leonardo da Vinci, Head of a Young Woman, Accademia, Venice.
Leonardo da Vinci, Head of the Virgin, 1507-1513, charcoal, black and red chalk; traces of framing line in pen and brown ink at upper right; repairs at right margin; lined; 8 x 6 1/8 inches (20.3 x 15.6 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Leonardo da Vinci, Virgin and Child with the Infant John the Baptist and St. Anne, National Gallery, London, sketch for the Madonna and Child with St. Anne and John the Baptist, often identified as the Burlington House Cartoon. Leonardo's later treatment of the same subject (without John the Baptist): The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, 1510, oil on wood, 5 1/2 x 4 1/2 feet (168 x 130 cm), Musée du Louvre, Paris. See Madonna.
Ercole de' Roberti (Italian, Ferrara, c.1456-1496), Group Portrait: Members of the Este Family, pen, brown ink, 20.5 x 21 cm, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. See Renaissance.
Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471-1528), The Rhinoceros, drawing and woodcut, 1515, British Museum, London.
"Dürer produced this drawing and woodcut from reports of the arrival in Lisbon of an Indian rhinoceros in May of 1515. No rhinoceros had been seen in Europe for over 1000 years, so Dürer had to work solely from these reports. He covered the creature's legs with scales and the body with hard, patterned plates. Perhaps these features interpret lost sketches, or even the text, which states, '[The rhinoceros] has the color of a speckled tortoise and it is covered with thick scales'. So convincing was Dürer's fanciful creation that for the next 300 years European illustrators borrowed from his woodcut, even after they had seen living rhinoceroses without plates and scales." See Northern Renaissance and texture.
Albrecht Dürer, Portrait of Erasmus, 1520, black chalk, 14 3/5 x 10 1/2 inches (37.1 x 26.7 cm), Louvre.
Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475-1564), Sheet of Studies for the Libyan Sibyl, 1508-12, red chalk (recto); black chalk (verso); spots of brown wash at lower right of recto; triangular section at right margin replaced, 11 3/8 x 8 7/16 inches (28.9 x 21.4 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. Like Raphael and Leonardo, Michelangelo typifies the concept of the Renaissance artist. Sculptor, painter, architect, draftsman, and poet, he redefined the parameters of each field through his own individual genius. Michelangelo made these studies from a nude male model for the figure of the Libyan sibyl in the ceiling frescoes of the Sistine Chapel, commissioned in 1508 and unveiled in 1512. Here he studies the contours of the sibyl's twisting back as she turns to close what will in the fresco become a large book on the ledge behind her. Also on the sheet are sketches of the figure's profiled head, hands, and feet. Although drawn on the flat surface of a sheet of paper, Michelangelo's figure has been drawn with the force and volume of a piece of sculpture. Through the motion of a body, the artist expresses the human spirit. See study.
Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475-1564), Deploration over the Dead Christ, c. 1530-1532/33, red chalk, 0.111 x 0.013 m, Louvre.
Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio) (Italian, 1483-1520), Lucretia, pen and brown ink over black chalk, partially incised with a stylus, 15 5/8 x 11 1/2 inches (39.7 x 29.2 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Rosso Fiorentino (Giovanni Battista di Jacopo di Guasparre) (Italy, Florence, 1494-1540), Judith with the Head of Holofernes, c 1538-40, red chalk, 9 1/8 x 7 3/4 inches (23.2 x 19.7 cm), Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Hans Holbein the Younger (German, 1497-1543), Portrait of a Scholar or Cleric, about 1535, black and red chalk and pen and brush and black ink on pink prepared paper, 8 5/8 x 7 1/4 inches (21.9 x 18.5 cm), J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA. See Northern Renaissance.
Attributed to Shaykh Muhammad (Persian, active second half of 16th century), Weeping Man Drying His Eyes, third quarter of 16th century, ink drawing on paper, signature of Bihzad and date 892 A.H. (1486 CE) added later, Worcester Art Museum, MA. See Islamic art.
Turkey, c. 1575, Dragons Entwined On A Spray of Foliage, ink, color washes, and gold on paper, 7 1/8 x 3 3/4 inches (18.1 x 9.4 cm), Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Turkish (Istanbul), Ottoman dynasty, Bayezid I, "The Thunderbolt," Routs the Crusaders at the Battle of Nicopolis, from the Hunernama of Loqman, 1584, opaque watercolor and ink on paper, single page, Worcester Art Museum, MA.
Jan Brueghel, the Elder (Flemish, 1568-1625), View of Heidelberg, 1588-89, pen and brown ink, brush and blue and brown washes, heightened with white, framing lines in pen and brown ink, 7 7/8 x 12 inches (20.0 x 30.5 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
India, Mughal dynasty, Performers and Animals at an Impromptu Circus in the Countryside, c. 1590, drawing in brush, washes, and color on paper; Persian nastaliq calligraphy on verso attributed to Mir Ali, Worcester Art Museum, MA. See Mughal dynasty.
Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577-1640), Portrait of the Daughter of Balthasar Gerbier d'Ouvilly, 1629, black, red and white chalk, with touches of pen with brown ink, on yellowish-grey paper, 33.5 x 23 cm, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Matteo Rosselli (Italian, 1578-1650), Henri IV Entering Nantes, 1610, pen and brown ink, brown wash over black chalk and sanguine, 27.8 x 42.4 cm, Louvre.
Nicolas Poussin (French, 1594-1665), Bacchanal, c. 1635-6, pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, over faint black chalk underdrawing, 5 1/4 x 8 1/8 inches (13.3 x 20.6 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Persian, Safavid dynasty, Flowering Plant beside a Pond, first half of 17th century, silk: cut, voided satin, velvet, brocaded, Worcester Art Museum, MA. See textile.
Pietro da Cortona (Italian, 1596-1669), Christ on the Cross with the Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene, and Saint John, about 1661, pen and brown ink, with gray-brown wash, heightened with white body color over black chalk, 15 7/8 x 10 7/16 inches (40.3 x 26.5 cm), J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA.
Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (Dutch, 1606-1669), Nude Woman with a Snake, about 1637, red chalk heightened with white body color, 9 11/16 x 5 7/16 inches (24.7 x 13.7 cm), J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA.
Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, Cottage among Trees, 1648-50, pen and brown ink, brush and brown washes, on paper washed with brown, 6 3/4 x 10 7/8 inches (17.1 x 27.6 cm), vertical strip 6 3/4 x 1 1/4 inches (17.2 x 3.2 cm) added by artist to the sheet at right, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, Landscape with a Horseman, 1656, pen, India ink, 16.8 x 23.4 cm, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, Two Studies of a Bird of Paradise, c. 1635-40, pen and sepia ink and wash, white highlights, 0.181 x 0.155 m, Louvre. See line and nature.
Job Berckheyde (Dutch, 1630-1693), Man Pulling a Rope, black and red chalk heightened with sanguine, 9 3/4 x 6 3/4 inches (24.6 x 17 cm), Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory U, Atlanta, GA.
Jean-Antoine Watteau (French, 1684-1721), Two Studies of a Flutist and a Study of the Head of a Boy, about 1716-1719, red, black, and white chalk on buff-colored paper, 8 7/16 x 13 3/16 inches (21.4 x 33.6 cm), J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA. See Baroque, Rococo, and trois crayons.
Antoine Watteau, Head of a Man, c. 1718, red and black chalk, 5 7/8 x 5 3/16 inches (14.9 x 13.1 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Francesco Guardi (Italian, 1712-1793), Triumphal Arch on the Embankment, Venice, pen and brown ink with brown wash, watercolor, heightened with white, 28 x 19.1 cm, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Giovanni Battista Piranesi (Italian, 1720-1778), An Ancient Port, 1749-1750, red and black chalk and brown and reddish wash, squared in black chalk, 15 1/8 x 20 13/16 inches (38.5 x 52.8 cm), J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA.
Thomas Gainsborough (English, 1727-1788), London, A Lady Walking in a Garden with a Child, about 1785, black chalk with stumping on light brown paper, heightened with white pastel, 20 x 8 11/16 inches (50.5 x 22.1 cm), J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA.
Hubert Robert (France, 1733-1808), Landscape with Steps, 1770s, red chalk, 17 1/2 x 12 5/8 inches (44.5 x 32.1 cm), Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Henry Fuseli (English, born Switzerland, 1741-1825), Self-Portrait as a Faun [verso: Head of a Woman Three-Quarters to Left ], pencil and chalk on paper, 32.2 x 42.7 cm, Tate Gallery, London. See Romanticism and self-portrait.
Caspar David Friedrich (German, 1774-1840), Moonrise, 1835-1837, sepia wash over a pencil sketch, bordered with India ink, 24.5 x 34.5 cm, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia. See Romanticism.
Joseph Mallord William Turner (English, 1775-1851), Conway Castle, North Wales, 1798, watercolor and gum arabic with graphite underdrawing, 21 1/8 inches x 30 1/8 inches (53.6 x 76.7 cm), J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA.
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (French, 1780-1867), Studies of Female Nudes, charcoal and black crayon, 0.620 x 0.450 m, Louvre. See nude and study.
Honoré-Victorin Daumier (French, 1808-1879), The Connoisseur, c. 1860-65, pen and ink, wash, watercolor, lithographic crayon, and gouache over black chalk, wove paper; sheet: 17 1/4 x 14 inches (43.8 x 35.5cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See connoisseur.
Gustave Courbet (French, 1819-1877), Portrait of Juliette Courbet as a Sleeping Child, 1841, graphite on paper, Musée d'Orsay. See Realism.
Hilaire Germain Edgar Degas (French, 1834-1917), Self-Portrait, about 1857-1858, oil on paper, laid down on canvas, 8 1/8 x 6 1/2 inches (20.6 x 15.9 cm), J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA. See Impressionism and self-portrait.
Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Seated, 1866-68, portrait of Édouard Manet (French, 1832-1883), black chalk on off-white wove paper; sheet: 13 1/16 x 9 1/16 inches (33.1 x 23 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Paul Cézanne (French, 1839-1906), Still Life, about 1900, watercolor and graphite, 18 15/16 x 24 7/8 inches (48 x 63.1 cm), J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA. See still life and Post-Impressionism.
Edwin Austin Abbey (American, 1852-1911), Harvest Home, 1887, pen and ink on paperboard, sheet: 21 x 14 1/4 inches (53.3 x 36.2 cm), National Museum of American Art.
Vincent van Gogh (Dutch, 1853-1891), Road in Etten, 1881, chalk, pencil, pastel, watercolor, 15 1/2 x 22 3/4 inches (39.4 x 57.8 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Vincent van Gogh, Portrait of Joseph Roulin, 1888, reed quill pens and brown ink and black chalk, 12 5/8 x 9 5/8 inches (32 x 24.4 cm), J. Paul Getty Museum, Malibu, CA.
Vincent van Gogh, Tree with Ivy in the Asylum Garden, May 1889 (Saint-Rémy), pencil, chalk, reed pen, and brown ink on Ingres paper, 24 x 18 1/4 inches (61 x 47 cm), Rijksmuseum Vincent Van Gogh, Amsterdam, F 1532. Also see Post-Impressionism.
Vincent van Gogh, Wheat Field with Sun and Cloud, May 1889 (Saint-Rémy), black chalk, reed pen and brown ink, heightened with white chalk, on Ingres paper, 18 3/4 x 22 inches (47.5 x 56 cm), Rijksmuseum Kroller-Muller, Otterlo, F 1728.
Vincent van Gogh, Old Vineyard with Peasant Woman, end of May 1890 (Auvers-sur-Oise), pencil, brush, watercolor, and gouache, 17 1/4 x 21 1/4 inches (43.5 x 54 cm), Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, Amsterdam, F 1624.
Henri-Edmond Cross (French, 1856-1910), Landscape with Stars, watercolor over pencil on paper, 9 5/8 x 12 5/8 inches (20.5 x 32.5 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See landscape and Neo-Impressionism.
Paul Klee (German, 1879-1940), Birds Making Scientific Experiments in Sex, pen and black ink, signed and dated 1915 and numbered 28 on the mount, 7 6/16 x 4 5/8 inches (18.8 x 11.9 cm), Michael C. Carlos Museum. Also see Bauhaus and Swiss art.
Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973), Boy with a Dog, 1905, gouache on cardboard, 57 x 41 cm, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
Robert Minor (American, 1884-1952), Pittsburgh, 1916, lithographic crayon and India ink, published in The Masses, no. 8, August 1916. Robert Minor produced this drawing as an editorial cartoon, commenting on a 1916 steel workers' strike. He was among the first American editorial cartoonists to employ crayon and ink brush, when most were using pen and ink. Minor drew inspiration for this approach from such European masters as Francisco Goya and Honoré Daumier, coming to produce such spare, forceful drawings as this. See emphasis, movement, and social realism.
Maurits Cornelis Escher (Dutch, 1898-1972), Drawing Hands, 1948, lithograph. See optical illusion.
Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956), Untitled (Number 37), about 1939-40, pen and brown and black ink, graphite, and orange colored pencil on smooth coated paper, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, NH.
Robert Smithson (American, 1938-1973), Spirals, no date, c. 1970, graphite drawing on paper, 9 x 12 inches. See earth art, landscape, and volute.
Also see abbozzo, bin, brush, ink, chalk, charcoal, comparison, computer graphics, conté crayon, crayon, cross-section, diagram, elevation, épure, exhibit, feather, freehand, fusain, hatching, interdisciplinary, mechanical drawing, pastel, pen, pencil, plan, portfolio, quotations, sinopia, wash, and watercolor.