Drawing uses lines, dots, or similar marks to create pictures and designs. Artists often use drawings as preparations for paintings and sculptures, but drawings can also be finished works of art in their own right.
Artists draw with many different tools, including pencils, pen and ink, fiber-tip pens, chalk, charcoal, crayons, and pastels. In Western art, before graphite (lead) pencils were introduced in the 17th century, artists drew in silverpoint, using a silver-tipped rod on specially prepared paper.
Drawing pencils are coded according to how hard and how dark they are. HB, for example, is medium-hard and creates a thin line, while 6B is softer and darker—good for SHADING.
Artists draw in a variety of colored media, including colored pencils, wax cryons, inks, chalks, and pastels. Some artists, such as Degas, are as famous for their pastels as for their paintings.
Shading is the way tone—the lightness or darkness in a picture—is created. There are many shading techniques in drawing. Hatching uses a series of parallel or roughly parallel lines to create shading. An artist can also rub charcoal with his finger to make lighter or darker effects on paper.
In hatching, varying the width, weight, and closeness of parallel lines can create depth in a shadow. In cross-hatching, an artist draws a set of closely spaced parallel lines and then applies another set over the top at a different angle. This technique is often used in printmaking, where a design is cut on metal or wood.