Roberts Gallery Blog
Roberts Gallery Blog

Artists on Drawing

A selection of quotes from artists throughout history on the importance of drawing to accompany THE DRAWN FIGURE exhibition.

“At one point everything was colour. There was no line, no division between colours. For a time I was frightened there was no form. But then I saw that form was coming from within, and the light was coming from within.”
Arthur Shilling

“It’s been said that the jazz improviser ‘plays himself.’ Just so the draughtsman; he ‘draws himself’ every day.”
John Gould

“Drawing is still basically the same as it has been since prehistoric times. It brings together man and the world. It lives through magic.”
Keith Haring

“Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad.”
Salvador Dali

“Drawing is the artist’s most direct and spontaneous expression, a species of writing: it reveals, better than does painting, his true personality.”
Edgar Degas

“It takes one hour to learn to paint, and 25 years to learn to draw.”
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

“It is often said that Leonardo da Vinci drew so well because he knew about things; it is truer to say that he knew about things because he drew so well.”
Sir Kenneth Clark

“It is not bright colors but good drawing that makes figures beautiful.”

“To draw, you must close your eyes and sing.”
Pablo Picasso

“Let whoever may have attained so much as to have the power of drawing know that he holds a great treasure.”

“Drawing makes you see things clearer, and clearer and clearer still, until your eyes ache.”
David Hockney

“Drawing is the simplest way of establishing a picture vocabulary because it is an instant, personal declaration of what is important and what is not.”
Betty Goodwin

“A critic at my house sees some paintings. Greatly perturbed, he asks for my drawings. My drawings! Never! They are my letters, my secrets.”
Paul Gauguin