From the late 1930s, Zbigniew Dłubak studied, on his own, various issues of the visual arts, drawing and painting in particular. He made sketches in pencil, charcoal and watercolour, practicing perspective and light-and-shadow. The themes were classic: landscape, still life, female nude. In the years 1939-1941, Dłubak created his drawings while working as technician for the clandestine "Strzały" periodical published by the Spartacus Union of Polish Youth. Following a hiatus in clandestine activity (summer 1941 – February 1942), Dłubak’s drawings are again made peripherally to his political work. In spring 1942, he joined the Polish Workers’ Party and his flat became the party’s central printshop, where he mimeographed "Trybuna Wolności" and "Trybuna Chłopska".
The surreal drawings, filled with abstract, geometric motifs, were made either around 1948 or around 1955. They show references to Dłubak’s photographic work of the era; particularly the series of abstractions and compositions illustrating Pablo Neruda’s The Magellan Heart (ca. 1948), as well as canvases from the War series: "Prisoner" (1956), "Dying Boughs" (1956), "Shadow of a Man" (1957).
The series of pen-and-ink portraits dated 1954 coincided with the publication of the how-to book Portrait Photography. In the small volume, Dłubak explained the technical rudiments of portrait-making – from posing the model, through composition planning, down to the aperture and exposure parameters. At the same tine, he was studying the portrait representation in drawing. Among the works from the 1950s is a sketch for the oil painting "Portrait of an Old Woman" (1955), as well as portraits of Urszula Dłubak and Henryk Stażewski.
Among the sketches from the 1960s can be recognized preliminary sketches for the painting series "Ammonites" (1957-1963), "Anthropoliths" (1963-65) and "Movens" (1965-1973). The repetitiveness of the motifs and compositions attest to their preparatory, working-basis character, aimed at finding the right arrangement of lines and colours, which would later be transposed onto canvas. Some of the abstract sketches were made in pencil or pen and ink, others in watercolours or using a colour marker.