programming, drawing, photograpy etc.

If you have ever wondered about Leonardo da Vinci, and whether he was really an accomplished artist an inventor. Or you might have wondered what he was like or what was his process. A few years ago, da Vinci’s notebook was made available online by the British library. You can browse the document here - The British Library MS Viewer ( I doubt you will be able to understand the text - as it is in Italian and his left-handed mirror writing😀. Yes, you got that right!

But what you can do is look at the illustrations, which are numerous. Almost every one of the 570 pages has illustrations. This is one thing you should certainly take away from his process. Sometimes in notetaking text is important, and sometimes pictures are. But together they make a powerful combination.

Here’s a page from the notebook. When people share samples from this notebook, they usually share the neat diagrams and pages with perfect margins and beautiful handwriting.

But DaVinci also doodled 😎. Mixing text and graphics in notes, building and testing ideas. It’s tempting to look at the finished work of a great artist and assume that all their work is of the same quality. However when artists are discovering they make many small and large pieces trying out different things and not taking them to the highest finished quality they can produce.

Two pages from da Vinci's notebook with some illustrations of devices

And here’s another page 81r, which has these illustrations of some sort of device…

One page from da Vinci's notebook with illustrations of a device

I hope this sounds interesting enough that you feel like learning more about DaVinci and other famous artists of yesteryears.

If you want to learn more about DaVinci in particular - I had read this book which came out a few years ago and it was a very good read - Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson.

Have a great day, and happy arting,

Abhishek (art noob)

15/01/2022 - few minor edits