Drawing is the simplest and most efficient way to communicate visual ideas, and for centuries charcoal, chalk, graphite and paper have been adequate enough tools to launch some of the most profound images in art. The traditional role of drawing was to make sketches for larger compositions to be manifest as paintings, sculpture or even architecture.
Drawings can be produced onto just about any surface from stone, soft clay (as sculptors’ outline), metal plates (as in graphic printing, where sheets of for example, copper or zinc are engraved or etched to create a printing plate) to fabric. In fact, drawing can be considered to form the basis for all visual art. Drawing is also said to be the most personal art form due to the artists personality showing through their strokes and flow of lines.
Drawing includes different kinds of medias such as dry media (includes charcoal, graphite, chalks and pastels), Graphite media (pencils, powder or compressed sticks), Charcoal (perhaps the oldest form of drawing media, charring wooden sticks or small branches, called vine charcoal, but is also available in a mechanically compressed form), pastels (essentially coloured chalks usually compressed into stick form for better handling), wet media (Ink, felt tips, other liquids) and even diamonds.
The media are chosen according to certain needs and desired effects. Drawing offers a multitude of possibilities of artistic expression. It can be used to convey living creatures, nature, space, three-dimensionality, architecture, movement and almost anything an artist desires to create or reproduce on a chosen surface.
Drawing is considered as graphic art in that it concentrates on producing shape and form rather than large, colourful areas of paint. Even though drawing can produce a similar result as graphic printing, each drawing, even if it is a copy of another, is an individual and unique piece of art. Drawing was considered to be nothing but a preliminary design for painting or sculpture and thus, a decidedly less worthy as an art form until the Italian Reneissance in the 1400s, when it became appreciated as an independent art form. This was brought about by artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo and also increased availability of paper had an effect to its popularity.
In addition to the two previously mentioned, artists that are considered to have exceptional drawing skills are Albrecht Durer, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt as well as Edgar Degas, David Hockney, Honore Daumier, Egon Schiele and Max Beckmann.