Why Drawing is so Important to Admissions Counselors at the Top Art Programs

Drawing is the basis of all other types of art, that’s why it’s so important to learn for your Art Portfolio.

A drawing is created from lines or tones created with a drawing instrument such as a graphite pencil, pen, charcoal, colored pencil or pastel on paper. 

There are different types of drawing, ranging from representational to abstracted, fantasical or symbolic and any combination of these styles of drawing. 

Realistic drawing captures what we see with our eyes in reality, and drawing that accurately onto a two-dimensional surface. It represents the three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional surface using line, shape, value, texture, space, and form.

Admissions Counselors of the top Art Programs value your ability to visually reproduce objects, the people around you and your surroundings through drawing. Learning how to draw realistically from life, which is called observational drawing, is important to Admissions Counselors because it is the foundation for all other types of art making.

Because of this, Admissions Counselors for the top Art Programs want to see evidence that you are able to draw from life. 

Ashcan Art Student Example

Fantastical drawing gives your dreams visual form, it is often referred to as Fantastical Realism, or Magic Realism. This way of drawing often portrays mystical, mythical or folkloric subjects or events. Usually the style is representational, rather than abstract.

Ashcan Art Student Example

Expressive drawing is another way to draw, drawing this way communicates more emotional mark making that captures movement and energy, feelings, memories, or even the spiritual realm.  With Expressive Drawing as well, Admissions Counselors are happy to see examples of this kind of drawing  in your Art Portfolio, if they also see evidence that you are able to skillfully draw representationally. 

Ashcan Art Student Example

Ideally, by the time you submit an Art Portfolio for Admissions Counselors to review,  your Art Portfolio will include two or more of these types of drawing.

Your drawings in your Art Portfolio should tell Admissions Counselors stories, educate them about who you are, inspire them, entertain them, and inform them. You can convey drama, feelings, or even relate history and places.

Ashcan Art Student Example

At Ashcan we encourage our students to become absorbed in the process of drawing, and to come to know your subjects and places through truly seeing them. This enhances your creativity and memory, and increases your communication skills.

Drawing is a great way to give your unique concepts, thoughts, attitudes, emotions, and vision visual form, and drawing offers the widest possible scope for the expression of artistic intentions.

Ashcan Art Student Example

You can sign up now for our Online Drawing Courses!


We are excited to expand our hands-on experience through our new online art courses. Our mission is to deliver engaging, flexible, and accessible art education to you across the globe, empowering you to explore their creative potential and refine your artistic skills at your own pace. By leveraging the power of technology, we strive to make art education inclusive and adaptable to the needs of each individual learner. Our diverse range of expertly designed online courses not only inspires personal artistic growth but also fosters connections with a vibrant, global artistic community. email us: infomanhattan@ashcanart.com for more information

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email us: infomanhattan@ashcanart.com

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