History of Drawing

I did this drawing in England using a Faber-Castell artist pen.

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In writing a history of drawing, well, there is an awful lot of information to set down for you here, I have become very conscious of the fact that over the course of the centuries and especially today, artists have an absolute wealth of media they have turned to to draw.  Whether you are a seasoned artist looking for new ideas to explore or a curious beginner, history has given us a lot to try out in our search for the best way to make a beautiful drawing!

I spent a fair bit of time scratching my head and trying to come up with a great idea for categorizing drawing media and making the history of drawing a little simpler to understand - there really is a dizzying range of stuff - until I recalled something from some years ago when I studied early drawing techniques with an artist.  

He was a small, stringy little man who was showing me how to take a goosefeather and cut it to turn it into a pen for ink drawing.  As he was bearing the blade down on the tip of the feather to split it, he told me that to his mind there were two broad categories of drawing supplies:  "direct" media and "indirect" media.

When I asked him to explain what he meant by that, he gave me pretty much the following explanation:

Direct media:  this including all “self-drawing” materials, such as chalk, graphite, charcoal, metal points; in other words, it’s the pressure of the artist’s hand that produces a continuous line;

Indirect media: this means an implement that that artist’s hand uses to create lines that must stop and start, such as a pen or a brush; the tool “relays” the media indirectly.

Great breakdown, and very useful for our purposes. 

Let’s take a closer look at the kinds of media that have existed over the centuries in each of these categories.

Go here to read about pencil drawing and other direct media; and go here to read about pen and ink drawing and other indirect media.


Go from "History of Drawing" to "How to Be Creative".

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