A support – A coloring matter – A tool
The first supports used were rock or clay walls, bones, ivory, shells, wood, leather, terracotta, metals and even human skin or sand. The coloring materials are earth and coal-based while the tools were the fingers of the hand, straws to spray the color or rudimentary brushes (feathers, tufts of fur, twigs with frayed tips); pieces of ore could also be directly used to scratch the rock. Both stone and metal tips were used to engrave the surfaces.
Support, coloring matter and tool distinguish the different types of technique.
The four “ways” in the Sixteenth Century
In 1587 Giovan Battista Armenini in his treatise De’ veri precetti della pittura indicates four different ways of proceeding in the execution of a drawing:
- With the lead stylus you start light on the white paper by gradually reinforcing the stroke, then take the pen (quill) and go over the drawing. Still with pen (quill), the hatching is done
- Like the previous one but the shadows are made by watercoloring with a brush. The initial strokes are reinforced with ink (1-3-2).
- Like the previous procedure but performed on tinted papers and completing the work with some light on the peaks. “Lights with lead white” (2-4-2).
- The drawing is made with red or black pencil on rough paper with little glue. Gradient hatch with small brush (1-2-1)
The four ways indicated by Armenini do not include the entire series of possible technical variations, an example is the cartoon of Saint Anne (2-4-1) by Leonardo da Vinci which does not fall into any of the four categories indicated.
- Preparatory studies (sketches, overall drawings, detail studies, models of the composition) – Preparatory drawing
- Drawings integrated into the work – underlying drawing
- Separate drawings (scientific or artistic)
Drawings integrated into the work – Article in preparation
K. Teissig, Le tecniche del disegno, Fratelli Melita Editori, 1991
L. Grassi, M. Pepe, Dizionario della critica d’arte, Utet, 1978
Claudio Paolini, Manfredi Faldi, Glossario delle tecniche artistiche e del restauro, Edizioni Palazzo Spinelli 2005
AA.VV., Le tecniche artistiche, a cura di C. Maltese, Milano, Mursia 1978
Giovan Battista Armenini, De’ veri precetti della pittura, Ravenna, 1586
Filippo Baldinucci, Vocabolario Toscano dell’arte del disegno, Firenze, Santi Franchi 1681
A. Petrioli Tofani, I materiali e le tecniche; in Il disegno, forme, tecniche, significati. Istituto Bancario San Paolo Torino, 1991
A. Petrioli Tofani, Raffaello a Firenze. Dipinti e disegni delle collezioni fiorentine, Electa 1984, pp.271-277
Bertelli, A. Gallone, M. Milazzo, M. Olivari, Il disegno nascosto dello Sposalizio, in Raffaello giovane e Città di Castello, Catalogo della mostra, Città di Castello, 1983, pp. 95-118
Gaspare De Fiore, I modelli di disegno, fabbri Editore 1984
Colin Eisler, La mano, il segno, disegni dei maestri dal XIV al XX secolo, Fratelli Fabbri Editori 1976