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Drawing is a form of visual expression and is one of the major forms within the visual arts. There are a number of subcategories of drawing, includingÂ cartooning. Certain drawing methods or approaches, such as "doodling" and other informal kinds of drawing such as drawing on a foggy mirror caused by the steam from a shower, or the surrealist method of "entoptic graphomania", in which dots are made at the sites of impurities in a blank sheet of paper, and lines are then made between the dots, may or may not be considered as part of "drawing" as a "fine art." Likewise tracing, drawing on a thin piece of paper, sometimes designed for that purpose (tracing paper), around the outline of pre-existing shapes that show through this paper, is also not considered fine art, although it may be part of the draughtsman's preparation.
Drawing is generally concerned with the marking of lines and areas of tone onto paper. Traditional drawings were monochrome, or at least had little colour,Â while modern coloured-pencil drawings may approach or cross a boundary between drawing and painting. In Western terminology, however, drawing is distinct from painting despite that similarÂ mediaÂ are often employed in both tasks. Dry media, normally associated with drawing, such as chalk, may be used inÂ pastelÂ paintings. Drawing may be done with a liquid medium, applied with brushes or pens. Similar supports likewise can serve both: painting generally involves the application of liquid paint onto prepared canvas or panels, but sometimes an underdrawingÂ is drawn first on that same support. Drawing is often exploratory, with considerable emphasis on observation, problem solving and composition. Drawing is also regularly employed in preparation for a painting, further obfuscating their distinction.
People have made rock andÂ caveÂ drawingsÂ sinceÂ prehistoricÂ times. By the 12th-13th centuries AD, monks were preparing illuminated manuscripts on vellum or parchment in monasteries throughout Europe were using lead styli to draw lines for their writings and for the outlines for their illuminations. Soon artists generally were usingÂ silverÂ to make drawings and underdrawings. Initially they used and re-used wooden tablets with prepared ground for these drawings. WhenÂ paperÂ became generally available from the 14th century onwards, artists' drawings, both preparatory studies and finished works, became increasingly common.
The medium is the means by which ink, pigment or color are delivered onto the drawing surface. Most drawing media are either dry (e.g.Â graphite,Â charcoal,Â pastels,Â Conté,Â silverpoint), or water-based (marker, pen and ink).Â Watercolor pencils can be used dry like ordinary pencils, then moistened with a wet brush to get various painterly effects. Very rarely, artists have drawn with (usually decoded)Â invisible ink.Â Metalpoint drawing usually employs either of two metals: silver or lead.Â More rarely used are gold, platinum, copper, brass, bronze and tinpoint.
A special kind of drawing is the so calledÂ paintbrush-drawing, drawings only done withÂ paintbrushesÂ instead of pencil or pen. This kind of drawing descends in the origin from the Asian culture.
Prior to working on an image, the artist will likely want to gain an understanding of how the various media will work. The different drawing implements can be tried on practice sheets in order to determine value and texture, and how to apply the implement in order to produce various effects.
The stroke of the drawing implement can be used to control the appearance of the image. Ink drawings typically useÂ hatching, which consists of groups of parallel lines.]Â Cross-hatching uses hatching in two or more different directions to create a darker tone. Broken hatching, or lines with intermittent breaks, is used to form lighter tones, and by controlling the density of the breaks a graduation of tone can be achieved.Â Stippling, uses dots to produce tone,Â textureÂ orÂ shade.
SketchÂ drawings use similar techniques, although with pencils and drawing sticks continuous variations in tone can be achieved. For best results the lines in a sketch are typically drawn to follow the contour curves of the surface, thus producing a depth effect. When drawing hair, the lines of the sketch follow the direction of the hair growth.
Typically a drawing will be filled in based on which hand the artist favors. A right-handed artist will want to draw from left to right in order to avoid smearing the image. Sometimes the artist will want to leave a section of the image blank while filling in the remainder of the picture. A frisket can be used for this purpose. The shape of the area to be preserved is cut out of theÂ frisket, and the resulting shape is then applied to the drawing surface. This will protect the surface from receiving any stray marks before it is ready to be filled in.
Another method to preserve a section of the image is to apply a spray-onÂ fixativeÂ to the surface. This will hold loose material more firmly to the sheet and prevent it from smearing. However the fixative spray typically uses chemicals that can negatively affect the respiratory system, so it should be employed in a well-ventilated area such as outdoors.
Paper comes in a variety of different sizes and qualities, ranging from newspaper grade up to high quality and relatively expensive paper sold as individual sheets.Â Papers can vary in texture, hue, acidity, and strength when wet. Smooth paper is good for rendering fine detail, but a more "toothy" paper will hold the drawing material better. Thus a coarser material is useful for producing deeper contrast.
Newsprint and typing paper may be useful for practice and rough sketches. Tracing paper is used to experiment over a half-finished drawing, and to transfer a design from one sheet to another. Cartridge paper is the basic type of drawing paper sold in pads. Bristol board and even heavier acid-free boards, frequently with smooth finishes, are used for drawing fine detail and do not distort when wet media (ink, washes) are applied. Vellum is extremely smooth and suitable for very fine detail. Coldpressed watercolor paper may be favored for ink drawing due to its texture.
The basic tools are aÂ drawing boardÂ or table,Â pencil sharpenerÂ andÂ eraser, and for ink drawing,Â blotting paper. Other tools used areÂ circle compass,Â ruler, andÂ set square.Â FixativeÂ is used to prevent pencil and crayon marks from smudging.Â Drafting tapeÂ is used to secure paper to drawing surface, and also to mask an area to keep it free of accidental marks sprayed or spattered materials and washes. An easel or slanted table is used to keep the drawing surface in a suitable position, which is generally more horizontal than the position used in painting.
Blending uses an implement to soften or spread the original drawing strokes. Blending is most easily done with a medium that does not immediatelyÂ fixÂ itself, such as graphite, chalk, or charcoal, although freshly applied ink can be smudged, wet or dry, for some effects. For shading and blending, the artist can use aÂ blending stump,Â tissue, aÂ kneaded eraser, a fingertip, or any combination of them. A piece ofÂ chamoisÂ is useful for creating smooth textures, and for removing material to lighten the tone. Continuous tone can be achieved with graphite on a smooth surface without blending, but the technique is laborious, involving small circular or oval strokes with a somewhat blunt point.
Shading techniques that also introduce texture to the drawing includeÂ hatchingÂ andÂ stippling. There are a number of other methods for producing texture in the picture: in addition to choosing a suitable paper, the type of drawing material and the drawing technique will result in different textures. Texture can be made to appear more realistic when it is drawn next to a contrasting texture; a coarse texture will be more obvious when placed next to a smoothly blended area. A similar effect can be achieved by drawing different tones close together; a light edge next to a dark background will stand out to the eye, and almost appear to float above the surface.
Linear perspectiveÂ is a method of portraying objects on a flat surface so that the dimensions shrink with distance. The parallel, straight edges of any object, whether a building or a table, will follow lines that eventually converge at infinity. Typically this point of convergence will be along the horizon, as buildings are built level with the flat surface. When multiple structures are aligned with each other, such as buildings along a street, the horizontal tops and bottoms of the structures will all typically converge at a vanishing point.
Depth can also be portrayed by several techniques in addition to the perspective approach above. Objects of similarÂ sizeÂ should appear ever smaller the further they are from the viewer. Thus the back wheel of a cart will appear slightly smaller than the front wheel. Depth can be portrayed through the use ofÂ texture. As the texture of an object gets further away it becomes more compressed and busy, taking on an entirely different character than if it was close. Depth can also be portrayed by reducing the amount of contrast of more distant objects, and also by making the colors more pale. This will reproduce the effect ofÂ atmosphericÂ haze, and cause the eye to focus primarily on objects drawn in the foreground.
Technical drawing, also known as drafting, is the academic discipline of creating standardized technical drawings by architects, interior designers, drafters, design engineers, and related professionals. Standards and conventions for layout, line thickness, text size, symbols, view projections, descriptive geometry, dimensioning, and notation are used to create drawings that are ideally interpreted in only one way.
A person who does drafting is known as a drafter. In some areas this person may be referred to as a drafting technician, draftsperson, or draughtsman. This person creates technical drawings which are a form of specialized graphic communication. A technical drawing differs from a common drawing by how it is interpreted. A common drawing can hold many purposes and meanings, while a technical drawing is intended to concisely and clearly communicate all needed specifications to transform an idea into physical form.
AnÂ architectural drawingÂ orÂ architect's drawingÂ is aÂ technical drawingÂ of a building (or building project) that falls within the definition ofÂ architecture. Architectural drawings are used byÂ architectsÂ and others for a number of purposes: to develop a design idea into a coherent proposal, to communicate ideas and concepts, to convince clients of the merits of a design, to enable aÂ building contractorÂ to construct it, as a record of the completed work, and to make a record of a building that already exists.
Architectural drawings are drawn according to a set ofÂ conventions, which include particular views (floor plan, section etc.), sheet sizes, units of measurement and scales, annotation and cross referencing. Conventionally, drawings were made in ink on paper or a similar material, and any copies required had to be laboriously made by hand. The twentieth century saw a shift to drawing on tracing paper, so that mechanical copies could be run off efficiently.
The drawings are still often referred to as "blueprints" or "bluelines", although those terms areÂ anachronisticÂ from a literal perspective, since most copies of engineering drawings that were formerly made using a chemical-printing process that yielded graphics on blue-colored paper or, alternatively, of blue-lines on white paper, have been superseded by more modern reproduction processes that yield black or multicolour lines on white paper. The more generic term "print" is now in common usage in the U.S. to mean any paper copy of an engineering drawing.
The process of producing engineering drawings, and the skill of producing them, is often referred to as technical drawing or drafting, although technical drawings are also required for disciplines that would not ordinarily be thought of as parts of engineering.
The drawing must show every feature of the inventionÂ specifiedÂ in the claims, and is required by theÂ patent officeÂ rules to be in a particular form. The Office specifies the size of the sheet on which the drawing is made, the type of paper, the margins, and other details relating to the making of the drawing. The reason for specifying the standards in detail is that the drawings are printed and published in a uniform style when the patent issues, and the drawings must also be such that they can be readily understood by persons using the patent descriptions.
The human figure is one of the most enduring themes in the visual arts, and figure drawing can be applied toÂ portraiture,Â cartooningÂ andÂ comic bookÂ illustration,Â sculpture,Â medical illustration, and other fields that use depictions of the human form. Figure drawing can be done very simply, as inÂ gesture drawing, or in greater detail, usingÂ charcoal,Â pencilÂ or other drawing tools. If pigment is used, the process may be called figure painting.
Their purpose in these disciplines is to accurately and unambiguously capture all the geometric features of a site, building, product or component. Plans can also be for presentation or orientation purposes, and as such are often less detailed versions of the former. The end goal of plans is either to portray an existing place or object, or to convey enough information to allow a builder or manufacturer to realize a design.
A shop drawing is a drawing or set of drawings produced by the contractor, supplier, manufacturer, subcontractor, or fabricator. Shop drawings are typically required for pre-fabricated components. Examples of these include: elevators, structural steel, trusses, pre-cast, windows, appliances, cabinets, air handling units, and millwork. Also critical are the installation and coordination shop drawings of the MEP trades of Divisions 15 and 16 such as sheet metal ductwork, piping, plumbing, fire protection, and electrical. Shop drawings are not produced by architects and engineers under their contract with the owner. The shop drawing is the manufacturer's or the contractor's drawn version of information shown in the construction documents. The shop drawing normally shows more detail than the construction documents. It is drawn to explain the fabrication and/or installation of the items to the manufacturer's production crew or contractor's installation crews. The style of the shop drawing is usually very different from that of the architect's drawing. The shop drawing's primary emphasis is on the particular product or installation and excludes notation concerning other products and installations, unless integration with the subject product is necessary.