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My dissertation was titled: Roles of drawing relating to Claes Oldenburg, Christo and Sol LeWitt.

“Drawing is fundamental to and the core of the artists’ and designers’ work. It is the means by which artists learn to see and understand the world in the first place. Later, drawing becomes their primary method of research, designing, and communicating ideas to others. The simple materials required allow freedom, spontaneity, and the possibility of immediate and catalyst for the most artists’ and designers’ ideas and work”. (Micklewright, 2005, p.6). 

Through my dissertation I was exploring how drawing plays an important part for most artists through their practice. One of the biggest ways in which it does this is through planning. By doing preparatory drawings the artists can begin to see what a final piece will look like and also will allow them to easily communicate an idea. This often links to their sketchbooks as this is normally a place where people who do art store drawings which are almost like practice runs before a final piece.

The idea of drawing being a way to plan links to my personal practice perfectly. Some of the pieces I do are more spontaneous and so some don’t have any plans beforehand, but I often test techniques and layout in my sketchbook before doing a large version of it. This means I can decide things like what composition will work best for the particular art work, what size, and what medium would be best to use. As I am becoming more and more interested in sign writing and looking into it as a possible profession after university, this way of using drawing will help me greatly. Hand lettering needs a lot of planning before hand so that the letters all fit onto the space allowed and also that the font is correct and the layout of words works aesthetically. It is also a big part of being able to communicate with your buyers as they can get an idea of what you plan to do and then put their own input into the design stage before going ahead and painting a sign.

I chose to look at Claes Oldenburg as part of my dissertation as he did work based on the everyday and so I first looked at him for my studio practice. The main piece I focused upon was his sculpture Spoonbridge and Cherry (1985-8) as he had many preparatory drawings for this piece. Another way in which he used drawing was for documentation as there are drawings he has done of his sculpture after the piece was made, including View of Spoonbridge and Cherry, with Sailboat and Skater (1988).


Oldenburg, Claes (1985-1988) Spoonbridge and Cherry,


Oldenburg, Claes (1988) View of Spoonbridge and Cherry, with Sailboat and Skater, [pastel, paper collage on paper] 33.5 x 20 inches



Micklewright, K. (2005) Drawing; mastering the language of visual expression. London: Laurence King.