Drawing is one of humanity’s greatest accomplishments. It is like playing music, where something very special is created out of the interplay between hearing, hand movements, the mind, and something else – the element that some call soul or heart, and others talent. The mysterious magic of visual art requires the same ingredients, with the difference that hearing is replaced by seeing. Drawing and paintings are real miracles: you can conjure up whole worlds and the illusion of three-dimensionality on a blank sheet of paper, using only a pencil or paintbrush.
As the famous cave paintings prove, even prehistoric people drew. Evidence is visual art from earlier times shows that drawing has always been present throughout human history. The murals in the Egyptian tomb chambers and the frescoes in Roman palaces were purely decorative, but with Leonardo da Vinci, Dürer, Rembrandt, and Goya drawing took a new life as the beginnings of graphic art.
Of course, aside from the great masters of painting there were also many creatively-minded people who were not deemed artists. People are not always aware in just how many professions the ability to draw is essential. These include the people who design our clothes, furniture, and houses, but it also goes for a vast array of other jobs.
Learning to draw takes time. You have to get used to a range of laws and rules in order to develop your skills. Some musicians practice eight hours a day in order to master their instrument perfectly. Visual artists are no different; only by really dedicating yourself to your craft and practicing it often will you be able to train your eye to notice all the details and enable your hand to render soft shapes. Even my tutor at art college would still shut himself away in his studio every day and spend an hour doing nothing but drawing.
The time needed in order to hone and develop this skill is different for everyone. Yet being able to draw does not make you an artist; art requires an extra element, and everyone must discover that for themselves. After all, art is the expression of thoughts, feelings, and passion within a picture or a sculpture – the creation of an individual visual language. Drawing is one of the components of this language.
Author – András Szunyoghy
The graphic artist, painter and stamp designer András Szunyoghy was educated at the University of visual Arts in Budapest, and is now a professor for artistic anatomy at the University of Applied Art, Budapest.