The term drawing is applied to works that vary greatly in technique. It has been understood in different ways at different times and is difficult to define. During the Renaissance the term 'disegno' implied drawing both as a technique to be distinguished from colouring and also as the creative idea made visible in the preliminary sketch.
The Shorter Oxford Dictionary defines drawing as: 'the formation of a line by drawing some tracing instrument from point to point of a surface; representation by lines; delineation as distinguished from painting...the arrangement of lines which determine form.'
Despite this insistence on the formation of line and the implied lack of colour, few would deny that a work formed by dots or shading or wholly in line but in a range of colours is a drawing.The following drawings, made in different ways, have been selected to help define and also to stretch the boundaries of what drawing is. They vary in the medium used, which includes metal-point, graphite, charcoal, ink, and chalk. Some fulfill the strict dictionary definition of drawing, others do not.
Were this world an endless plain, and by sailing eastward we could for ever reach new distances