Discover our collection of drawings for sale or available to rent. We have hand-selected some of the most exciting contemporary artists inspired by London to showcase in our online art gallery. Take a look at our selection of London drawings and browse figurative drawings of London.
Drawing as an art form is typically defined as the use of line to make an image, however it can also incorporate the use of colour and shading. Throughout the history of art, artists often create preparatory drawings for sculpture, architecture or painting. It has also been used as a way of training artists to become skilled in the art of representing form, scale and light and shadow.
Tannaz Oroumchi creates beautifully intricate and detailed drawings of London. Her images have the appearance of a map of the city from a birds-eye view. Yet, when one looks closely her lines convey only vague and abstracted shapes that overlap and push up against one another. This interpretation of the city, as Oroumchi states, forces ‘form into different kinds of seemingly endless relationships’, that in turn, affect our understanding of the city and its embedded structures.
The earliest drawings can be found in prehistoric caves, where images of animals and humans were used to record events before the invention of written language.
In Ancient Egypt, drawings were engraved onto the walls of tombs. Egyptian hieroglyphs were also used as the formal writing system. Hieroglyphs combined logographic, syllabic and alphabetic elements to create a pictographic language.
Drawing became particularly popular during the Renaissance. Paper was becoming more widely accessible and drawing became an essential part of an artist’s training. Drawings focused on representing form accurately and realistically and were often used as preparation for much larger murals.
At the beginning of the 1800s, pencils were invented, which quickly became the preferred drawing tool. Artists such as Francisco Goya created very expressive drawings and Edgar Degas experimented with various drawing techniques, such as oil on paper, pastel and crayon, to create his famous scenes of everyday life, such as of ballerinas or horse races.
Artists have often drawn cities to create maps or to record the ever-evolving cityscape. Drawings of London demonstrate changing trends in architecture and the rapid growth and urbanisation of the city. The London skyline is made up of old and new buildings that are jumbled together around the River Thames and which sprawls far and wide into the suburbs. Today you often see street artists drawing the city, attempting to capture its unique energy and iconic symbols.
Find out more in our Guide To Drawings.