A Decline in Drawing Ability?

Fava, Michelle (2020) A Decline in Drawing Ability? International Journal of Art & Design Education, 39 (2). pp. 319-332. ISSN 1476-8070

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/jade.12255


This research surveys changing attitudes to drawing pedagogy, in the context of digitisation, moves toward student‐centred learning in art & design higher education, and anecdotal reports of declining competence. Based on student, teacher and examiner’s experiences, it has been possible to gain insights into how drawing instruction has changed over the past generation. This article examines the attitudes, values and concerns of students and educators regarding drawing instruction. The study reveals that, in the UK, drawing skills are considered to be gradually declining, while traditional notions of skill are called into question. Drawing as a means of visual recording, representation and communication remains valued, although no longer essential as it once was; drawing to augment thought process is increasingly recognised as an integral skill which enables innovation. The latter is rarely ‘taught’ but relies on core competencies that many lecturers fear are being eroded. Increasing value is placed on drawing ‘as process’, as provision is moving towards individualised instruction requiring students to work independently. While new technologies are a factor, this article re‐frames the issue as an imbalance between creative outcomes and creative process, with a disparity between school and university levels. This article calls for a renewed emphasis on ‘drawing as process’ as preparation for university, and for further consideration of the core competencies underpinning the use of drawing as a tool of thought, and how these might be standardised.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: drawing, pedagogy, assessment, coursework, skill, education, art & design, drawing competency
Faculty: Faculty of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
Depositing User: Ian Walker
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2019 13:52
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2021 02:02
URI: https://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/704779

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