Introduction

As defined by Webster, drawing is "the act or art of making a figure, plan or sketch by means of lines." In fact, all successful visual ideas manifest as drawings on their way to becoming objects, buildings, townscapes and works of art. How well we understand this process governs how well our build environment is created and used. In 1850 most educated Americans could practice penmanship and drawing just as they studied the classics in Greek and Latin, spoke a modern language and played a musical instrument. In many ways they were better prepared for the world than we are. Targeting amateur and professional alike, John Gadbsy Chapman wrote: "Anyone who can learn to write, can learn to draw." Having an audience that understands drawing gave artists, architects and designers of the past a distinct advantage. During the twentieth century mainstream arts institutions abandoned traditional training methods as outmoded and miscalculated the impact of information technology on the arts. Today, digital animators, game designers and graphic novelists have become unexpected allies with fine arts practitioners working in realist and classical styles. This Website venue will present work of premier draftsmen and writings that address pedagogy and the history of drawing. We will also explore the role of drawing in architecture, science, and artistic practice, as a vehicle for promoting the humane values of reason, beauty and improving the public realm.

James McElhinney