Drawing is one of the earliest forms of human expression. It refers to images made up of lines, and like watercolours (described later in this article) has its origins in cave paintings and early carvings.
Sketches were important during the Renaissance in capturing ideas and for preparatory work. Yet as an independent art form, it wasn’t really until the rise of Romanticism in the 19th Century that it gained its own prominence. The romantics in wanting to capture fleeting emotions and imagery found sketching the perfect way of capturing fragile and momentary moments.
Alongside the Romantics, the production of pencils which began in the 19th Century, and the rise of foreign tours particularly for the middle classes, led to more people carrying sketchbooks and gave the medium greater presence as its own art form. We have some examples of these touring artists including John Munnings and Karl Wood, who used the medium whilst travelling the country capturing watermills and windmills.