Just like everything has changed over the years, decades, and centuries, so has the art of drawing. So, before you look around a museum or collector’s art gallery, like Charles Saatchi, make sure you get the picture by taking a look at these 5 ways the art of drawing has transformed over the years.
The most drastic way that art has transformed within the last decade has much to do with the evolution of technology. As tablet computers, desktops and smartphones have become touch screen, this has allowed drawings to be completed without using pen and paper.
This might also have led to more uniformity as digital drawings can be completed using templates, pre-configured shapes, and by digitally tracing and enhancing an existing photograph. In this sense, the art of drawing – to some purists at least – might require less technical skill, and more skill with technology.
Traditionally, art served as a kind of visible religion, communicating religious beliefs, customs, and values through depictions of the human body. Their interconnectedness, according to Encyclopedia.com, is due to the reciprocity between image making and meaning making as creative correspondence of humanity with divinity.
However, over the years, the purpose of art and drawing has changed. Though religious drawing is still a valid art form, the art of drawing might also commemorate an important event, record visual data, serve as propaganda or social commentary, create beauty, convey intense emotion, or tell a story.
- Beauty standards
In line with social standards changing over the years, as have beauty standards. This is reflected in the different ways that people have drawn their subjects over time, in their contemporary style most perceived to be beautiful.
In times gone past, a drawing might be limited to a part of the artistic process, or as an illustration in a scientific or scholarly work. For example, some drawings may be seen as scientific as opposed to works of art, or as unfinished sketch or draft that led towards a finished painting.
For this reason, drawing might be seen as a training process for prospective artists, teaching them the main principles of the human anatomy for when they could turn their hand to paint. However, in the modern day and age, all forms of art are valid and celebrated.
Whether your preferred art form is drawing, painting, sculpting, or more conceptual, drawing is seen as an equal mode of art.
- Methods and Tools
Over time, every artist has preferred one tool over another for creating their art. Each artist chooses their tool based on the characteristics, and how that might compliment the method and style of drawing that they had.
As new materials were made and invented, methods and tools therefore adapted. For example, graphite was not discovered until 1560s, and so before then the term ‘pencil’ referred to a thin metal stick or thin camel hair paintbrush. The term ‘pencil’ meaning a graphite writing implement didn’t evolve until the late 16th century.
However, one thing that has stayed the same over the years is that the artist’s hand is their most essential tool. The hand is what marks the page, creates the vision in your head, and translates it for others to see.
And there you have it – 5 ways that the art of drawing has changed over the years, and one way that it hasn’t – the artist’s hand and creativity.