Drawing is a form of visual art in which an artist uses instruments to mark paper or other two-dimensional surface. Drawing instruments include graphite pencils, pen and ink, various kinds of paints, inked brushes, colored pencils, crayons, charcoal, chalk, pastels, erasers, markers, styluses, and metals (such as silverpoint). Digital drawing is the act of using a computer to draw. Common methods of digital drawing include a stylus or finger on a touchscreen device, stylus– or finger-to-touchpad, or in some cases, a mouse. There are many digital art programs and devices.
A drawing instrument releases a small amount of material onto a surface, leaving a visible mark. The most common support for drawing is paper, although other materials, such as cardboard, wood, plastic, leather, canvas, and board, have been used. Temporary drawings may be made on a blackboard or whiteboard. Drawing has been a popular and fundamental means of public expression throughout human history. It is one of the simplest and most efficient means of communicating ideas. The wide availability of drawing instruments makes drawing one of the most common artistic activities.
In addition to its more artistic forms, drawing is frequently used in commercial illustration, animation, architecture, engineering, and technical drawing. A quick, freehand drawing, usually not intended as a finished work, is sometimes called a sketch. An artist who practices or works in technical drawing may be called a drafter, draftsman, or draughtsman.
The drawing art suppliesmedium is the means by which ink, pigment or color are delivered onto the drawing surface. Most drawing media are either dry (e.g. graphite, charcoal, pastels, Conté, silverpoint), or use a fluid solvent or carrier (marker, pen and ink). 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) invisible ink. Metalpoint drawing usually employs either of two metals: silver or lead. More rarely used are gold, platinum, copper, brass, bronze, and tinpoint.
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. Papers vary in texture, hue, acidity, and strength when wet. Smooth paper is good for rendering fine detail, but a more “toothy” paper holds the drawing material better. Thus a coarser material is useful for producing deeper contrast.