The Intention of Drawing

Edward hill talks about three levels of Intention of Drawing in reference to Loris Covinth’s Self portrait crayon drawing. An intense probing of one’s own image. A testing of a particular interplay of shapes, lines and tones; and the ritual of participation in the wondrous act of drawing itself.

( pg 75, Recording the stream of consciousness: a practice-led study of serial drawing, Joe Graham thesis, The School of the Arts, English & Drama. Loughborough University, UK)

I will use this to compare and better understand my own drawing process. For this I am using this series of Drawings done where I try to experience a moment of the recent past, a trip I took to Dahanu, a small town for the weekend.

Edward Hill refers to the sum of all these as the Artistic Intention of the Drawing.

sketch 1, a 4 size, ink on paper

The first drawing expresses, captures a moment of remembering an umbrella seller in Dahanu. I wish to redraw it as it does not fully capture the essence of the moment.

sketch 2, a 4 size, ink on paper

In this second attempt, I remember how i was pulling away from him and not standing in front of him. Our eyes locked as I was passing him by. And in the first drawing, this was not there. I am not trying to illustrate something from my memory as exactly how it happened but wanting to record an experience and through this experiencing this experience.

sketch 3, a 4 size, ink on paper

In this attempt, I again try the same. I want everything to come out right in the flow of the drawing. I don’t want to get caught up in drawing each umbrella and i remember he had many to sell. So i want that bulk of things. And then i remember, he had the umbrella because it was hot and sunny. So he was in a shade. So i am keen on getting the sun light, or that heat of the day through lines. I want that tension. I ideate at this stage. Because the drawing failed. I ideate and draw into it. I create another expression of his face.

sketch 4, a 4 size, ink on paper

In this one, again, after a point when i reach to the point of drawing myself in the Right and when the figure drawing does not come out the way I want it, I again let go and start to ideate into it. For me, now it has become a rough sketch. Now I am more free into it.

sketch 5, a 4 size, ink on paper

In this attempt, I again try to get the elements right, the umbrella seller, the umbrellas and me walking away and seeing him in a shade of the umbrella and the sun light. The work starts to fail, and head into the category of a rough sketch. As the sunlight does not come out right, nor do the umbrellas. I am in that tension of having the correct representation or the presence of the umbrella and the sun light.

sketch 6, a 4 size, ink on paper

by this sketch, I am low on energy. I change the shape of the umbrella. I sense disinterest in drawing any further.

sketch 7, a 4 size, ink on paper

Its also a time where I want to conclude it and post a drawing on Social media. I start with the sun and build up the scorching sunlight of that moment. I exclude the umbrella seller and draw myself out chocking in the heat. At this point I can feel the heat of that moment of walking in the afternoon. I can feel the mask on my face as part of the covid restrictions. This is as close I will get today of having an experience through the drawing.


I feel that the intensity of how we play with the line, or different lines, or what a line can do occurs with the effect I wanted, and the feeling I got while drawing it out. It is happening as one draws. This is the intention of Playing with lines, forms, shapes, tones.

In regards to the intense probing, in this case of the elements which i was exploring, the sun light, the umbrella seller, and me come together in bits and pieces in few of them and in the last one i am able to feel satisfied with the lines for the sun light. It builds up that experience, that moment of the memory that I would enjoy looking back at this work.

For the wondrous act of drawing itself, I feel the sketchbook as a place to draw out options, variations or knowing that this is still in continuity, that I am still thinking of other elements which are not part of the work, keeps the flow going. I could add it as the wondrous act of drawing in a sketchbook.

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