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Early History of Technical Drawing

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A technical drawing shows a precise scale representation of an object or set of objects for a specific purpose. Engineers, contractors, plumbers, electricians, landscape architects, inventors and others use technical drawings to build the object detailed in the plan.


From 1400 to 1600, technical drawing began emerging. Filippo Brunelleschi began incorporating linear perspective in his paintings about 1425, which gave his successors the ability to depict mechanical devices for the first time in a realistic manner.

Da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) is considered to be one of the first graphic artists. By combining his scientific interest with his artistic ability, he was able to merge visual art with science and invention.

Three-Dimensional Perspective

It was recognized in the Renaissance period that objects would appear smaller as the distance from the observer increased. Technical artists in this period almost always incorporated three-dimensional perspective in their drawings.

Perfecting the Technique

Raphael Sanzio (1483-1520) perfected the technique of three-dimensional perspective while studying architecture. He was able to translate the two-dimensional image that the eye creates into the three-dimensional image that the brain interprets onto paper.

Light Reflection

An important aspect of technical drawing was mastered during the Renaissance period when the illusion of three dimensions as viewed through light's reflection began being used. Dutch painter Jan Van Eyck was just one painter who perfected this technique.


About the Author

Aaron Reynolds is a freelance writer out of Colorado. Reynolds has a degree in communication media and various work published in newspaper, magazine, and online print media. Reynolds has worked for SchoolSports Magazine, The Old Berthoud Recorder,, and