In this extract from The Secrets of Drawing: All in the Mind (episode 3)  Art critic, Andrew Graham-Dixon touches briefly on  underdrawing . Using drawing as my main tool and central in my process, I found this extract of the series particularly interesting and I’ve not read or found much on celebrated underdrawings. Here, Graham-Dixon informs us that during World War Two, an American fire bomb was dropped in Pizza, just missing the tower but landing on the nearby chapel. As a result, the lead roof melted, dripped down the walls damaging the 14th century frescos. But that wasn’t the end for the frescos as they now hang and are celebrated in a shoddy condition in the anti-chamber of the chapel. However, what became more astonishing and spectacular by pure fortuity, was that from the resulting blast, the frescos now reveal beautiful, detailed underdrawings made by Francesco De Triano. Probably one of the first instances where drawings reveal that order of raw consciousness, thinking and planning.  This made me consider what other hidden treasures could be found under great works of art? The extract concludes with a very engaging experiment conducted by John Tchalenko, Head of Drawing & Cognition at an educational institute I’ve become familiar with over the past three years, Camberwell University of Arts in London.

Extract times: 12:00-24:33 or a better idea would be to engage in the whole thing! It’s a cracking documentary.