View Full Version : can a technically simple drawing/sketch be evocative?

11 November 2003, 03:10 PM
Hi everyone, I'm new in the forum, my name's Indra Aziz. I'm really interested in this evocative topic. and I want to know you're opinion whether a very simple sketch can be as evocative as a high tech work?

I linked one example of my idea of a simple sketch (I hope this is okay)

thanks :)

11 November 2003, 10:31 AM
It depends on the scribble, but i think that a simple drawing can be evocative as well. just look at what cartoonists do for newspapers, their work is in black/white and often very simply drawn but it still can make you laugh/think/etc.

About your scribble: i think its portrays a group quite well, i just wonder why the second guy looks so bored, there seems to be something wrong with him which makes him look that way, but that doesnt show from the drawing. But maybe you meant to make a contrast, a unhappy individual in a happy group.

Hope this helps :)
Jawine :)

11 November 2003, 10:50 PM
yea I agree with jawine. FOr a scetch to be succesfull (evocative) I think it needs a core, a major joke or something. it also can contain irony and such (b&w in the newspapers) , but setting a mood is very hard.

What exactly are you trying to achieve?

11 November 2003, 05:25 PM
can drawings be evocative? absoultely!

is this one? no

i dont know what the overall mood even is and it would seem to me that the entire goal of an "evocative" drawing is to communicate a particular emotion - that doesnt mean that this is a "bad" drawing, just that it isnt evocative, thats all


11 November 2003, 11:58 PM
Sure, simple sketches can be evocative - most storyboard sketches are quickly done and have to carry a ton of information about lighting, mood, etc...and that can all be done with just a pencil and the appropriate distribution of light/dark values.

This drawing isn't evocative because of various things. It's not just that narrative element - it's the line quality (caught in some strange in-between-state - not really loose enough to be sketchy and not polished enough to be finished). Gestural lines give drawings a manic energy, controlled lines give them a sense of calm.

This drawing is also not particularly evocative because of the flat overall treatment of the image, and possibly the purely frontal viewpoint and static, too-symmetrical composition. The way space is broken up works on the viewer's subconscious - making him/her feel restful, excited, uneasy.....check into some books on the psychology of composition - it's interesting stuff!

Anyway, these are all fundamental things that convey mood and mood is what evokes emotion in the viewer....

11 November 2003, 10:10 PM
Simple drawings can be very strong evocatively BUT each line counts and the artist has to understand a whole lot to pull it off. Also simplistic and minimal are not the same thing. you need to work on understanding white-space better and keep honing your skills. also you need to understand how color and composition create mood and finally, conveying something emotional is not "safe". there should feel a bit raw and exposed. there's nothing particularly raw and exposed about 4 people on a bench heh.

An idea of what I mean:
if you wanted to portray the black-haired kid as feeling isolated, you could actually fade him out, make the bench and background seen through him as if he's not quite there. Instead of having everyone looking at him, have everyone looking at each other like they aren't aware he's there. if he's the center, I would have him in an active position, like if he's trying to get someone to see him, and not just have him sitting there like he's moping. even then, I would say avoid the "poor me" type pics. The subject matter should count emotionally, and someone feeling sorry for themselves doesn't do it.

11 November 2003, 03:28 AM
wow thanks very much people, I got many things from your replies! I'm beginning to understand this evocative thing, really interesting.

okay so does anyone have an example of evocative sketch that can be displayed here? or maybe I'll just make a new one to discuss.

11 November 2003, 09:18 AM
If you need an example of evocative pictures just look at the topmost sticky thread or just go here :)
Evocative article (


12 December 2003, 12:11 AM
I've always thought that the line drawings over at ( were quite powerful.

For anyone not familiar with the site, people send in phrases, and the guy interprets them with drawings. Some are serious, some silly.

12 December 2003, 07:40 AM
Kathe Kollwitz is an amazing artist that was able to capture a lot of emotion in her sketches. For example:$Record?4915&=list&=51&=kollwitz&=And&=55&=0&=keywords&=Yes&=&=&=&=Yes&=&=f$Record?54211&=list&=51&=kollwitz&=And&=52&=0&=keywords&=Yes&=&=&=&=Yes&=&=f

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