Researching the Teaching of Drawing

Raymond M. Klein (Ed.)

by Amanda Burk (NSCAD Drawing Lab; Brock University), John Christie (Dalhousie University), Tim Fedak (Nova Scotia Museum; Dalhousie Graduate School), Raymond M. Klein (Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University), Geniva Liu (Directions Evidence and Policy Research Group, LLP), Bryan Maycock , Mathew Reichertz (NSCAD Drawing Lab), Jack Wong (NSCAD Drawing Lab)

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The book “Researching the Teaching of Drawing” summarizes the results of research collaborations between art educators and experimental psychologists using advanced eye tracking and digital drawing tools. The book includes several unique NSCAD Drawing Lab projects that explore the relationships between observing, drawing and expertise knowledge. The research examines aspects of observation drawing, such as the importance of central versus peripheral vision, the value of analysis and description, and impacts of dramatic light or use of erasing.
The book is rooted in a strong scholarly format that will be a valuable resource for future workers. The approaches and results will be of interest to a wide audience of education researchers and are likely to inspire others to examine the value of observation drawing outside of formal art education.
As visual literacy becomes increasingly important, how we teach and learn from observation drawing will be of broad value to educators. This is certain to be an important book for education researchers interested in exploring the nature and value of observation drawing.

Dr Tim Fedak
Curator of Geology,
Nova Scotia Museum

The Drawing Laboratory at NSCAD University was founded with funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada in 2005 as a collaboration between psychological scientists from Dalhousie and drawing instructors at NSAD. The Drawing Lab is thus a unique place where scientists and artists collaborate on interdisciplinary research about the complex intellectual and practical act of drawing from observation. By bringing the scientific method to bear on how drawing processes unfold, those involved seek to improve drawing education while furthering research on the cognitive processes involved in drawing. The chapters in this book describe that research. ‘Perceptual and Cognitive Processes in Drawing from Observation’ will hold much interest for drawing instructors and students, psychologists and neuroscientists with a specialism in art, as well as those with a general interest in art and science.

Authors of this volume are Amanda Burk, John Christie, Tim Fedak, Raymond Klein, Geniva Liu, Bryan Maycock, Mathew Reichertz and Jack Wong.



1. Prologue

2. Collaborating

3. Lighting

4. Describing

5. Masking and Filtering

6. Exploring

7. Erasing

8. Evaluating

9. Learning

10. Epilogue


Dr. Klein is an internationally recognized expert on human attention and its relation to eye movements. Although he is best known for his basic research, Dr. Klein has, since his first sabbatical at Bell Telephone Laboratories, regularly sought to apply his expertise in experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience to help solve real-world problems. His applied interests include attention deficits (in ADHD, autism, Parkinson’s patients, people with damage to the parietal lobe), the development of game-like tasks for repairing and assessing the networks of attention, safety (while driving, in the management of off-shore disasters, and pilot fatigue), and using eye monitoring to draw conclusions about attention in every-day activities (reading, looking at art and looking at money). His collaboration with NSCAD colleagues to establish the Drawing Lab is a particularly rewarding example of his interest in applying the methods of experimental design and his expertise in cognitive processes to real-world problems.

drawing, teaching, psychology, learning, vision, eye-monitoring, global/local, Gombrich, Livingstone, lighting, collaborating, describing, masking, filtering, digital drawing, erasing, evaluating, rating

See also

Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Researching the Teaching of Drawing





Number of pages


Physical size

234mm x 156mm


57 B&W and 19 Color

Publication date

August 2022