These can often start life as just a sketch - a rapidly executed freehand drawing serving one of two purposes: it might record something that the artist sees, or it might record or develop an idea for later use.

A small amount of graphite is released onto the two dimensional medium, leaving a visible mark. The most common support for drawing is paper, although other materials, such as cardboard, plastic, leather, canvas and board may be used.

The medium has been a popular and fundamental means of public expression throughout human history. It is one of the simplest and most efficient means of communicating visual ideas.