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Drawing

Manga drawing techniqueManga drawing techniqueDrawing is the art of making a picture with a mark. The earliest drawings were made around 30,000 years ago on the walls of caves by our ancestors. Drawing first became popular as an art form during the Renaissance period, when it was part of every artist’s training. A drawing is usually made up of different lines and tones (areas of light and dark) which together build up an image. Drawing tools include graphite pencils, charcoal and pen and ink. Today, drawings can also be made using computer software. Drawing is used in illustration, architecture and graphic design, and to make animations. It often forms part of planning a painting or sculpture. But it also may be simply a way of recording what we see.


Drawings from the El Castillo caves in SpainDrawings from the El Castillo caves in Spain

Early drawings

People used drawings to communicate before writing developed. During the Stone Age, people sketched the outlines of animals into the walls of caves using sharp stones. The El Castillo caves in Spain show drawings of horses and bison as well as symbols and hand stencils—made around 30,000 years ago by placing a hand on the rock and blowing paint over it.

Large amounts of the mineral graphite (a soft form of carbon) were discovered underground in Cumbria, England, in the mid-1500s. At the time, the substance was thought to be a form of lead, which is why graphite in pencils is still called "lead" today. The graphite was initially used for creating moulds for the production of cannonballs, so it was difficult to get hold of for use in drawing. The first graphite pencil was invented in Italy in around 1560.

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