Introductory Essay

 “Drawing is still basically the same as it has been since prehistoric times. It brings man and the world together. It lives through magic.”

 Keith Haring 

“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but it took me a lifetime to learn to draw like a child.”

  Pablo Picasso 


Since mankind took its first steps, it felt the need to draw, to capture on a surface, at first the cave wall, the cave paintings or, more precisely, the cave drawings. Mankind’s imperious need to transfer to the material the images that were bubbling in his mind, sometimes faithful representations of reality, such as the Bison of Altamira; at other times, symbolic representations of abstract thought, was imposed.

Where there was a smut, a piece of plaster or any other object or substance capable of staining a surface, there was a human drawing. We have all felt that strong impulse, which leads us to transfer our thoughts, our concerns, our deepest fears to drawing.

Drawing is at the origin of symbolic thought, it is the first step towards the symbol, the first step towards writing, “the root of everything”, as Van Gogh said.

It is also the origin and root of artistic expression, I remember an exhibition of old drawings at the Artur Ramon Gallery in Barcelona whose title has always accompanied me, “Root of Art”.

We cannot imagine a painter without a basic training in drawing. As Dalí used to say “Start by learning to draw and paint like the old masters. After that, you can do what you like, everyone will respect you”. In sculpture, in architecture, in design, drawing is the basis of everything.

The childhood of all of us can be summarized in our drawings. When we are children and we are not yet dominated by the fears and complexes that the passage of life leaves us, we draw with total freedom, only a few continue to do so throughout life, perfect the technique and make it an art.


Ricardo Ostalé