The Lost Art of Drawing

By Michael Graves

Michael Graves (1934–2015), Beach House, New Jersey, 1979. Pen, ink and gouache on white trace, 682 × 682 mm. DMC 2294.

I personally like to draw on translucent … tracing paper, which allows me to layer one drawing on top of another, building on what I’ve drawn before, and again, creating a personal, emotional connection with the work.

With both of these types of drawings [the referential sketch and the preparatory study], there is a certain joy in their creation, which comes from the interaction between the mind and the hand. Our physical and mental interactions with drawings are formative acts. In a handmade drawing, whether on an electronic tablet or on paper, there are intonations, traces of intentions and speculation.

This is not unlike the way a musician might intone a note or how a riff in jazz would be understood subliminally and put a smile on your face.

Excerpted from ‘Architecture and the Lost Art of Drawing’, New York Times, 2012