Hand drawing, like so many other endeavors of the hand (family farming, hand craftsmanship, etc.) is on the endangered list. It has fallen victim to the cult of the machine. Why would anyone draw, or farm, or build by hand when they can do it by machine?
I write this from an Umbrian hill town in Italy - Todi - on the banks of the Tiber River which courses, about 100 kilometer south, through the center of Rome. Todi is one of the best examples of an Italian hill town, uncompromised by the work of machines.
Todi is built of stone - the buildings, the streets, the city walls. As one who has made an occupation out of building, the effort involved in quarrying, hauling (up hill), and laying millions of tons of stone is beyond comprehension. But starting nearly 3,000 years ago - first with the Umbrians, then the Etruscans, then the Romans, and then the inhabitants of the Middle Ages - they crafted a small city on a hill that nothing other than siege, tremor, wind, and water can diminish.
What does this have to do with hand drawing? The best answer is that hand drawing is analogous to hand building. A walk through an intact ancient city reveals the analogy.
Our buildings start as hand drawings. The hand seems to know some things about design that the mouse and keyboard do not. The hand has a secret pact with the mind. If the hand makes the effort to express form through drawing, the mind agrees to participate with fullness of vision and feeling. As the medieval builder laid stones, there was a spontaneity and proportional sensitivity that enchants the passerby a thousand years later.
There’s one other small consideration humbly suggested: In the process of making stuff - either by hand or by machine - it seems another making is at play. That is the making of the human mind. We think we’re making stuff. Perhaps the reverse is also true - making stuff is making us. The obsession with making things by machine has perhaps resulted in more than a lot of machine-made stuff. One might consider that it has resulted in the mechanization of the human mind. If spontaneity, fluidity, creativity are desired human traits, the hand might have something to teach.