Wikis > Drawing
Don Quixote c. 1955 drawing artwork by Pablo Picasso

Don Quixote c. 1955

Known Names Sketch
Influencers Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni
Pablo Ruiz y Picasso
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(Top Image: “Giant Catapult circa 1499” by Leonardo da Vinci)

Drawing is a type of visual art that consists in creating lines and curves to illustrate objects, scenes, or people. Among the most popular types of illustrations are sketches, caricatures, and cartoons, which are often done with crayons or pencils.


Drawing is one of the oldest forms of visual art. The oldest known illustrations are cave paintings, the most popular of which being the ones found in Lascaux, France. It is believed that this type of illustration conveys a hidden message. Similar cryptic messages can also be observed in Egyptian hieroglyphs. Paper was invented in the 1300s, and in the 1500s, a type of paper used specifically for illustrations was created. The invention of paper allowed artists to create sketches and artworks much more easily. It was during this time that the world experienced a dramatic change. This type of art played a significant role in the rediscovery of classical art and science. Artists used it to record what they saw in the natural world and express their views of the world. Among the famous Renaissance artists who created illustrations are Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci and Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni. Leonardo da Vinci’s works include Study of a Tuscan Landscape, View of a Skull, and Studies of Concave Mirrors of Differing Curvatures. Some of Michelangelo’s illustrations are Madonna and Child, Project for the Facade of San Lorenzoin Florence, and Cleopatra. These two artists are famous for having used illustrations to depict nature and anatomy. Another well-known artist is Filippo Brunelleschi. His works include Perspective drawing for Church of Santo Spirito in Florence, Sketches of the Machines, and Crucifixion. Unlike the other two artists mentioned earlier, Brunelleschi focused more on architecture and technical illustrations. Today, illustrations are used almost anywhere, such as in building plans, advertisements, and posters. The availability of materials, such as paper and pencils, allows virtually anyone with a passion for art to express create drawings and illustrations and gain popularity as artists.


  • Study of a Tuscan Landscape by Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci,c. 1473
  • Epifania by Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni, 1553
  • Les Demoiselles d’Avignon by Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, 1907
  • Crucifixion by Filippo Brunelleschi,c. 1410
  • An Elephant by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, 1637

Fun Facts

  • The discipline of drawing was established in the 16th century, when the first modern academies were being created.
  • In the 18th century, there was a rebellion against the rules set by the French academies.
  • The invention of photography had a huge effect on the illustrations of many artists.

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Some Examples of Drawing Artwork

Black Sketch drawing artwork by Henry Matisse

Black Sketch

Portrait of a Young Woman 1896-97 drawing artwork by Gustav Klimt

Portrait of a Young Woman 1896-97

Head of Christ circa 1890 drawing artwork by Franz von Stuck

Head of Christ circa 1890