What is drawing?

Tania Kovat’s book gives a comprehensive overview of drawing in relation to contemporary art. She investigates the status of drawing with regard to Painting, Space, Sculpture and drawing, and then considers it under five different headings- Measurement, Nature, City, Dreams and Body. There are wealth of examples of drawing in all it forms from Durer and Leonardo da Vinci to Paul Noble and Ellen Gallagher.

‘For me drawing is a form of thinking’ Anthony Gormley (p61)

‘Drawings have a featherlike quality’ Louise Borgeois (p63)

‘Drawing is the truest test of art’ J-A D Ingres (p82)

‘What drawings have in common is greater than their differences’ Michael Craig- Martin (p81)

‘My drawings are a diary of my work’ Rachel Whiteread (p193)

‘Drawing is a verb’ Richard Serra (p281)

‘With drawing you are in the present’ Kiki Smith (p250)

‘Drawing for me is about fluidity’ William Kentridge (p35)

These are just some of the quotes from the book, not necessarily in full, which illustrate in some measure the various way artists might think about drawing and what it might mean for them.

Some of the materials used to make drawing that are featured in the book-

Ink

Acrylic

Graphite

Watercolour

Thread

Indian ink

Pencil

Varnish

Cut-paper

Gouache

Crayon

Pigment

Casein

Linseed oil

Charcoal

Coloured pencil

Glitter

Self-adhesive vinyl

Oil paint

Wax

Correction fluid

Plasticine

Pastel

Transparent tape

Chalk

Mud/earth

Berry juice

Photos

Map pins

Carbon

Resin

Letraset

Rubber

Gold leaf

Biro

Plaster

Felt tip

Some of the grounds/surface used to make drawing on-

Newspaper

Lined writing paper

Squared paper

Metric graph paper

Office paper

Tracing paper

Matt acetate paper

All sorts of paper

Board

Linen

Cardboard

Wood (various sorts)

Perspex

Acrylic panel

Vellum

Paper bags

Sheet music

Rizla paper

This book illustrates the diverse nature of drawing. To try and pin it down to one definition would be futile, but you do get a sense that across time it has been and is still a crucial part of many artists practice, although the way they describe what it means for them may have changed slightly. I have found this is a book that I keep going back to. A reminder that drawing can be many things.

Kovats, Tania (Ed) The Drawing Book- a survey of drawing: The primary means of expression. London; Black Dog Publishing.

This entry was posted in Painting 3- Your own portfolio, Reading and Research and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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