Things Can Be Otherwise 4/8

Theory of Drawing

How you build your knowledge in constellation:

  1. Ideas and questions from seminars and from reading each week
  2. Ideas and questions of your own
  3. How you apply ideas and questions from 1&2 to each other and studio interests
  4. How you might explain and explore ideas and quesitons for reader and audience

During the morning session, the group took part in indexical drawing – I did not attend because I was ill. Within the afternoon session we discussed what some people had done for their indexical drawing and whether we think indexical drawing as a process is significant or silly.

What does drawing try to achieve?

How can you express emotion through drawing?

Abstract/expressive – conceptual quality through mark and line

Network of different terms – kinds of drawing

Symbols – suggest we’ve already got an image for it: why do a drawing?

Technology: in the broadest sense – what is it?

Indexical drawing:

  • expressive element of drawing
  • doesn’t conform to appearance to the object
  • changes our relationship with the image

Questions to answer:

  • Indexical drawing is significant because…
  • Indexical drawing is silly because…
  • Or a question of your own relating to the option so far…

My Ideas

  • I don’t it silly or necessarily significant
  • to me personally it isn’t significant as I don’t feel it would help with my practise
  • for fine art students it would be valuable because it is concept based
  • allows you to look at an object differently – see it in a way other that what it is
  • could be relevant for me to help with layout:
    • creating a shape for typography to sit in – could work with some weird shapes and give a direction to the type I wouldn’t have thought off
    • shapes for a logo could be interesting
    • wouldn’t really work if needed to use it for images of a poster/something descriptive – wouldn’t communicate the idea of meaning I would be communicating within the poster; too abstract, could be confusing for the reader

Is indexical drawing significant?

Indexical drawing is about drawing an object in a way that doesn’t directly symbolise what you’re drawing. For example, rubbing chalk on paper over a textured concrete; rather than drawing the object for what you see it to be, you are left with a representation [abstract form] of concrete. In my opinion, indexical drawing can be significant but it depends what context you use it in. For a fine artist, indexical drawing would be significant for their practise as their work is very concept based so using this form of drawing could help them represent certain ideas. For myself as a graphic designer, this form of drawing could be useful to help create shapes and layouts for positioning typography or creating a logo. It would be an interesting way to shape the position of typography by taking an indexical drawing I had done, – e.g. a leaf cut into  – scanning that into the computer then using the outline of it to shape my typography into it. However, there are many ways I can think of where indexical drawing would not be significant nor useful to my practise. One example is: Graphic designers use a lot of imagery especially when producing something informative like a poster. We have been taught that we must use images that is relatable to the words we are writing and in a sense communicates the idea/meaning in itself. Indexical drawing wouldn’t be useful nor appropriate because of it’s abstract quality; it wouldn’t relate to the text and could also confuse the person seeing the poster.


Author: ellenreiddesign

First year Graphic Communication student at Cardiff Metropolitan University.

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