Tuesday, May 26, 2009

How do you draw? #2

How do you draw? - a chart of the results
My poll on How do you draw? last month occurred just before my computer malaise - hence I never got round to doing the posts about the results.

The poll looked at two quite different aspects of the mechanics of drawing
  • the angle of the support
  • whether the support is static or moved around
The Angle of Drawing
First there's the issue of the angle of your support and what tools or equipment you're using to help you draw. Most people probably assume that drawings can only be made using paper. However much contemporary drawing is done using digital tools or 'found' media in the environment.

How we draw also depends on the tools which are available and our very individual preferences. For me it's not a question of 'right' or 'wrong' responses to the question about how we draw - even if ergonomics suggest there are 'better' ways of drawing.
How do you draw? #1
101 people responded to the part of the poll which asked about the angle of drawing. You can see the results of how people favoured different options in the above chart.

Two thirds work flat or at a slight angle and around a quarter of respondents work with whatever is available (otherwise known by many as 'sketching on your knees'!)
  • 42% work on a flat surface where the paper is free to move around.
  • 22% work at a slight angle or have their paper fixed to a table top drawing board
  • 22% work in the environment and draw on whatever is available
  • just 11% work at a steep angle with their paper on a professional drawing board
  • 2% work with their paper fixed to a wall
  • and 2% work using a digital tablet
This suggests to me that
  • most people don't actually invest in drawing technology - such professional drawing boards or drawing tablets - to aid their drawing
  • at least around a quarter are happy to work in any environment - so long as they've got something to draw on
Static vs moving the paper around

I was next interested in the issue of whether people who draw keep their paper/support pinned down and static or whether it is moved around and the drawing is approached from different angles.

Whether or not you can move the drawing around greatly influences your approach to drawing.

Do you keep your drawing support static or do you move it around while drawing?
results of survey (April 2009)

As you can see
  • over a quarter of the 96 people who responded always move their support around
  • well over two thirds always or sometimes move their drawing around while drawing
  • just over a quarter of people (26%) always or usually keep their support static while drawing
  • just 3% of people move themselves (as opposed to the drawing) while drawing.
I often see photographs of people drawing at professional drawing boards with their paper attached to the board. It would seem that this isn't in fact the most popular way to draw.

Maybe we need to see more photos of people drawing - or maybe more drawings of people drawing.

This was the drawing I did of my favourite way of drawing - which some of you may remember from my blog post What increases your artistic productivity? (Click the image to see a larger version)
Drawing with ease
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

How about you? Do you have a drawing of you drawing? If you have a drawing of you drawing or do one this week, leave a link to your blog post as a comment below and I'll post the best one in 'who's made a mark this week' next Sunday.

Making a Mark reviews......


  1. I'm guilty of not investing in drawing technology, I'm afraid. I'd love a big tilting drawing table but have never found one I liked and/or could afford!

    I did a drawing of me drawing here


    I've invested in an easle since (big spender!), but still that's how I draw mostly, on a flat surface.

  2. looks comfortable :>)


    this is me in a book I made for my grandson :>)

  3. I've got the best drawing board money can't buy.
    A roll of bubble wrap, some rubber shelf liner around it for traction, and a board made of a sheet of metal from the Home Despot between two bits of foamcore. I attached a bit more rubber shelf liner to the bottom edge so it won't slip on the table when it's propped up at about 40 degrees.
    Magnets hold scrap/scripts in place but I hold my paper down so I can move it about.
    Wonderful drawing surface. It's how I make my living.


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