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Graphics

133 artworks, 57 artists
Graphics (gr. γρᾰ́φω — write) is a kind of visual art that is based on a contrasting picture, and the expressive means are lines, strokes, dots, spots and their tonal shades. At the same time, the space on which the image is applied, the background of the paper, or, as the artist Vladimir Favorsky said, “the air of the white sheet” is of great importance. As a rule, graphics are executed in one colour, however, the use of several colours is allowed, which is an auxiliary way to add expressiveness to a work. This style is characterized by clarity, conventionality, laconicism and conciseness of the image.

The earliest graphic drawings are rock paintings of the Upper Paleolithic, which our ancestors created 40 thousand years ago. Much later, the Egyptians used graphic schemes and inscriptions on papyri in the construction of the pyramids. In ancient Greece, graphics were used to prove geometric theorems. Until the end of the 19th century, this term denoted printing techniques — lithography, monotype, and various types of engravings.

Graphics can be of two types — drawing and printed graphics. Drawing is a single unique instance of artwork. But printed graphics are created on the basis of a cliché made by the master, and they have a circulation character (linocut, woodcut, etching, etc.) Deprived of numerous details, such works convey the artist’s main idea expressively, clearly and conditionally in a way.

Graphic drawing is executed in pencil on paper in most cases. Even in this simple combination, an artist has a wide choice. Paper can have a variety of textures and colour shades that accentuate the pattern, making it more expressive. In turn, an ordinary graphite pencil with a different softness gives an artist the opportunity to use different thickness and brightness of the line, stroke, tone. To work in the graphic technique, black charcoal pencils, pencils based on coloured pigments (sanguine, chalk), gel and ball pens are also used.

Other popular graphic materials include charcoal and ink, which are applied with a variety of nibs (steel, feather, reed) or brushes. Artists work on dry or wet paper. Especially interesting are the techniques of Chinese artists who have achieved high level of excellence with dry and wet brushes, varying the quality of paper and its natural shades.

The main expressive tool of the graphic art is the line, the diversity and expressiveness of which is achieved through the materials, as well as the emotional state of an artist. This technique demonstrates the direct relationship of the artist to the object, expresses momentary feelings and energy. In graphics, artists create artworks of the most diverse genres. Everything is available in graphics: portrait and still lifeveduta and animalism. It is very interesting and instructive to observe a graphic drawing arising here and now under the artist’s pencil.

One of the areas where graphics can be applied is book illustration. In the old days, these were handwritten single copies decorated with graphic drawings, miniatures and ornaments. With the invention of mechanical printing techniques, graphic techniques such as lithography and engraving began to be used to design mass editions of books. Lubok and posters are the examples of the widespread use of the technology in art.
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