DRAWING AND ITS UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE
Updated: Aug 12
This is an article “Drawing and its Universal Language” by Marc Primo Warren
Like most forms of art, drawing is one of the most appreciated styles that people can easily relate to. It enables us to think, visualize, and understand what we see through a series of lines, shades, shapes, and colors that are all integrated in one medium that brings out a complete picture. Many experts consider drawing a universal form of communication by how it can transcend culture and language and affect us in numerous ways, yet most people retire their interest in the art form at quite an early age.
There is absolute truth in the saying “pictures are worth a thousand words” and drawings definitely help prove a few points. We review a drawing’s scale and shape and understand the relationships between them and form a coherent structure. We also study how everything is put together to see if everything works out to complement each element and make sense of what we see. Upon appreciation of a work, we receive messages and process feedback which are all the very basic elements we need for linear communication.
To find out how drawings are designed to be a universal tool for communication, here are a few basic insights.
It doesn’t need words
Even without the use of words, drawings can effectively convey messages in how they are used as directional signs, branding, and symbols. Remember The Da Vinci Code? No matter what media they are set in, drawing is an effective way to send and receive messages without relying on language. It is such an important communication tool that we use them when we want to communicate with infants and is among the very first subjects taught in school and continued throughout the entire education process. Whatever academic course one takes in life, drawings are an essential part of every study. Be it associated with technology, engineering, or other technical fields, drawing as an art form is embedded within various curricula to help foster more effective ways to communicate.
It challenges us to think, analyze, and perform
Aside from being a good tool for communication, drawing also serves as a form of entertainment, play, and creative expression. Again, this can be most evident in how children engage in drawing activities at an early age as a way to present their creative potential and emotions. Drawings can help express their thoughts despite their limited abilities to articulate them with the use of language. A child’s drawings can also be a record of his development which can further help in molding cognitive and linguistic knowledge.
Some of the benefits that children can gain from drawing include enhancing their abilities to communicate, improving their motor skills, and refining their hand-eye coordination. All of these translate to how they manage and perform more complex tasks in art development like sculpting, color management, and shading techniques, among others, but only if the skill is progressed.
It helps with our wellbeing and development
For many people, drawing can also be a way to release emotions and relieve stress. It promotes confidence, helps in mastering new skills, and boosts our aspirations for recognition. The problem is that most people lose their interests in drawing by the age of nine when they see that they can no longer progress to more advanced skill levels.
However, graphicacy, or the use of drawing to assist in learning and record thought development, is somehow not as valued in elementary as language and numeracy, giving students the notion that drawing as a communication tool is less important than the other two. On the contrary, when students are guided through a series of developmental stages that enhance their drawing skills, their work also advances into more recognizable and realistic outputs, just as how schools teach grammar and math.
Anyone can refine their skills in drawing through the benefit of instruction. If we push ourselves to develop how we present art in a more realistic and coherent manner in terms of scale, proportion, and technique, we could have better advantages using it as a tool for communication, while also allowing the skills we’ve learned to be applied in our main field of study.