Artists often use drawings to develop their ideas. Henry Moore used drawing to work out how to transform the shapes of objects that inspired him into the strange and beautiful shapes for his sculptures

This is what Henry Moore said about drawing:

My drawings are done mainly as a help towards making sculpture…as a way of sorting out ideas and developing them

In Henry Moore’s imagination, rocks and stones became people. Can you see the shapes of rocks and stones in this drawing?

Henry Moore OM, CH, 'Standing Figures' 1940
Henry Moore OM, CH
Standing Figures 1940
Wax, coloured pencil, ink and watercolour on paper
support: 264 x 181 mm
frame: 490 x 400 x 17 mm
Purchased 1940© The Henry Moore Foundation. This image must not be reproduced or altered without prior consent from the Henry Moore Foundation.

Inside and out

In this drawing Henry Moore seems to be working out the shape and structure for a sculpture that has two different things happening: an outside shape and also a more complicated inside shape (which he draws using thick black lines).

Henry Moore OM, CH
Drawing 1935
Chalk, charcoal and wash on paper
support: 343 x 419 mm
frame: 460 x 550 x 20 mm
Purchased 1959© The Henry Moore Foundation. This image must not be reproduced or altered without prior consent from the Henry Moore Foundation.

From the 1930s, Henry Moore began to make sculptures that explored both the inside and outside of objects. You can see examples of some of these sculptures in the pictures below. The sculptures are quite complicated, but by using drawing he could work out his ideas and how he could make the sculptures work, before actually creating them.

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  • Henry Moore OM, CH, 'Upright Internal/External Form' 1952-3
    Henry Moore OM, CH
    Upright Internal/External Form 1952-3
    Plaster
    object: 1956 x 679 x 692 mm, 295 kg
    Presented by the artist 1978© The Henry Moore Foundation. This image must not be reproduced or altered without prior consent from the Henry Moore Foundation.
  • Henry Moore OM, CH, 'Helmet Head No 4: Interior - Exterior' 1963
    Henry Moore OM, CH
    Helmet Head No 4: Interior - Exterior 1963
    Bronze
    object: 552 x 346 x 391 mm
    Presented by the artist 1978© The Henry Moore Foundation. This image must not be reproduced or altered without prior consent from the Henry Moore Foundation.
  • Henry Moore OM, CH, 'Helmet Head No. 1' 1950
    Henry Moore OM, CH
    Helmet Head No. 1 1950
    Bronze
    object: 400 x 355 x 300 mm
    Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1960© The Henry Moore Foundation. This image must not be reproduced or altered without prior consent from the Henry Moore Foundation.