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Drawing is a form of visual art in which one uses various drawing instruments to mark paper or another two-dimensional support. Instruments include graphite pencils, pen and ink, various kinds of paints, inked brushes, colored pencils, crayons, charcoal, chalk, pastels, various kinds of erasers, markers, styluses, and various 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, may be used. Temporary drawings may be made on a blackboard or whiteboard or indeed almost anything. The medium 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 visual 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 a draughtsman.

Drawing Media

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The Battery, New York - outside of barge office - landing of the emigrant passed from the ferry-boat which brings them from Ellis Island to the Battery

The Battery, New York - outside of barge office - landing of the emigr...

Illus. in: Quarantine sketches. The Maltine Company, [1902], [p. 23].

Immigrants going aboard Ellis Island barge

Immigrants going aboard Ellis Island barge

Title and other information transcribed from caption card and item. George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress).

Immigrants from "Prinzess Irene" going to Ellis Island

Immigrants from "Prinzess Irene" going to Ellis Island

Title and other information transcribed from caption card and item. Photo by George G. Bain. George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress).

The door to the bathroom in the old Ellis Island Hospital building describes the types of diseases that were prevelent. Jersey City, New Jersey

The door to the bathroom in the old Ellis Island Hospital building des...

Digital image produced by Carol M. Highsmith to represent her original film transparency; some details may differ between the film and the digital images. Title, date, and keywords provided by the photographer.... more

Immigration processing reenactment inside the Ellis Island immigration station, Jersey City, New Jersey

Immigration processing reenactment inside the Ellis Island immigration...

Digital image produced by Carol M. Highsmith to represent her original film transparency; some details may differ between the film and the digital images. Title, date, and keywords provided by the photographer.... more

View of the World Trade Center, New York, New York, from Ellis Island

View of the World Trade Center, New York, New York, from Ellis Island

Digital image produced by Carol M. Highsmith to represent her original film transparency; some details may differ between the film and the digital images. This image was taken in 2001. Title, date, subject note... more

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