We draw in order to understand more about what we are looking at. When we draw, we literally see more of what we are looking at. The method of drawing that I teach crucially involves touch, in addition to looking. We gather a huge amount of information from an object when we explore it through touch, and this information becomes included in our drawing.
I teach, or rather enable the learning experience in a unique and dynamic way, with students having a good deal of enjoyment, while at the same time being very focussed. The outcome is real learning and growth and a sense of excitement and satisfaction.
Leonard Shapiro is an experienced drawing tutor and skilled workshop facilitator and enjoys facilitating learning, growth and development in others in the field of observational drawing. He has developed a specific method of drawing which significantly increases the observation and memorisation of the form of a 3-dimensional object. Put another way, the form of the object is observed more deeply and memorised through drawing it using this method. The drawing itself is testament to the degree to which the object has been observed and will contain the unique marks made by the drawer’s hand.
Leonard holds a Bachelor of Fine Art (BAFA Honours) degree from the University of Cape Town’s Michaelis School of Fine Art. He also holds a Bachelor of Social Science (BsocSc) degree from UCT, majoring in psychology and sociology.
“There is only one right way to learn to draw and that is a perfectly natural way. It has nothing to do with artifice or technique. It has nothing to do with aesthetics or conception. It has only to do with the act of correct observation, and by that I mean a physical contact with all sorts of objects through all the senses” – Kimon Nicolaïdes.
Leonard Shapiro offers professional drawing tuition on a group or individual basis – at your educational institution, your workplace or at the Lateral Leap tuition studio.
Individual tuition at the Lateral Leap drawing studio
Each individual’s drawing needs are assessed through a discussion in an initial meeting, and a drawing programme is worked out in order address these needs.
During each drawing session, close attention is given to the student. I am able to quickly detect where a student is ‘stuck’, and then devise a way to move the student forward.
I teach, or rather enable the learning experience in a unique and dynamic way, with students having a good deal of fun and enjoyment, while at the same time being very focussed. The outcome is real learning and growth and a sense of excitement and satisfaction.
Drawing tuition for medical observation – university medical school students
Anatomical drawing, observational object drawing, drawing while looking through the microscope, schematic drawing. Students literally see more of an anatomical object by drawing it using this method.
I teach a very specific type of drawing technique called ‘observational drawing’. In scientific terms, it can be referred to as ‘haptico-visual drawing’. The purpose of this drawing technique is the increased perceptual understanding (ie observation) and memorisation of the form of an object.
This method of drawing involves the multi-sensory observation and simultaneous drawing of a 3-dimensional object, onto a 2-dimensional surface.
This method of observation through drawing significantly increases the drawers’ perceptual understanding of the 3-dimensional form of the object they are drawing. As a consequence, the cognitive memorisation of the form of the object takes place. After observing an object through drawing in this way, the drawer-observer is able to retrieve this information directly from their memory without looking at the object. In other words, the form of the object has been accurately observed and memorised.
Group tuition is offered at the medical school as well as in the laboratory.
Individual tuition is offered at the Lateral Leap studio.
Drawing tuition for students at art and design institutions
Discover and understand observational drawing and combine your individual approach to drawing with the sobservational drawing approach.
Group tuition is offered at your educational institution.
Individual tuition is offered at the Lateral Leap studio.
Drawing tuition for first time drawers
Everyone without exception CAN draw…and draw well in a very short space of time, even if you have never drawn before! The idea that only an elite and ‘gifted’ few can draw is a fallacy.
Individual or group tuition is offered at the Lateral Leap studio.
Drawing tuition for experienced drawers
Old dogs can learn new tricks.
Individual tuition is offered at your studio or at the Lateral Leap studio.
Corporate drawing workshops
The primary function of this one day drawing workshop is for each participant to experience what it is like to do something that they never imagined they could do. This experience of surprise is unforgettable. It is very enabling…it enables one to go forward and continue to surprise oneself at one’s ability to discover new ways of accomplishing tasks in the workplace and in everyday life. This one day workshop is more about the participant’s experience of surprise at discovering their ability to draw, than about drawing itself.
Workshops are offered at your workplace or at a selected venue in your city.
What do people say about their drawing tuition and workshop experience?
A picture speaks louder than words
Please view Images of workshop participant’s drawings.
Why do I do this?
Many people hold a firm but entirely misguided belief that they simply cannot draw.
I run facilitated drawing workshops in which this belief is entirely upended and every individual’s potential and ability to draw is realised. The results are surprising and most of the participants are astounded by an ability that they never, ever thought that they had. This workshop sees people achieving results that they never thought that they were capable of.
Drawing is not something that is innate to an elite few. Every single person can draw! This one day Drawing Workshop is aimed at the so-called ‘beginner’ as well as people who have drawn previously – including artists and designers. I have successfully run numerous Drawing Workshops where the majority of the participants in the workshop had never drawn before.
This Drawing Workshop is aimed at anyone wishing to improve their ability to look at an object and draw it – with confidence. In this workshop, we discover how much more detail we can observe in an object we are looking at, and consequently draw the object with confidence. This is called conscious looking and the drawing method taught is called ‘structural drawing’.
It has been my experience that everyone without exception who has attended this workshop has discovered that they can draw. Each participant has surprised him or herself. Above all, this workshop is fun and invigorating.
Participants are invited to bring with either a cooking implement or tool from their home. Participants are guided through a number of drawing exercises involving the object they have brought with them.
I also design customised drawing programmes which can be provided on an individual or on a group workshop basis. The drawing programme caters to a learner’s specific needs. These drawing programmes can be provided on an individual or on a group workshop basis. After a consultation with the learner(s), their challenge is identified and a drawing workshop programme is designed in order to address these challenges. Throughout the drawing programme, the learner is monitored and assisted in overcoming the areas in their drawing process where they get ‘stuck’. This is done by offering the learner an appropriate exercise to take them forward.
Observational drawing. Object drawing.
This involves guiding the student through a process designed to enable them to look at an object and draw it accurately. This does not mean that they will render a ‘copy’ of the object, but rather that they will draw the object as they have understood its structure.
It is for this reason that botanical drawings of a flower are made rather than photographs taken of it. More reliable visual information of the structure and details of the flower can be captured through drawing than through a photograph of it. The same can be said for anatomical drawings; more detail of the structure and details of an upper-limb can be gained through a drawing, rather than from a photograph.
Medical application of drawing: Understanding the form and structure of an anatomical part
“Let someone say of a doctor that he really knows his physiology or anatomy, that he is dynamic – these are real compliments; but if you say he is an observer, a man who really knows how to see, this is perhaps the greatest compliment one can make” – Jean-Martin Charcot.
The goal of teaching drawing to medical students of anatomy is two-fold: 1) to enable the student to understand what she or he is actually looking at, viz. the 3-dimentional structure of a body part and 2) to be able to render a convincing drawing of the body part. These two goals are linked. In teaching anatomical students to understand the shape and detail (the structure) of any anatomical part, I invite them to first feel the object with their eyes closed and only then to look at it and draw it. The reason for feeling the object (such as a vertebra) is to get the information into the memory of the brain. The tips of our fingers contain millions of neural endings and by feeling the object with our fingers, we gain a good sense of its physical shape.
The student becomes aware of undulations, contours and textural details that they were previously unaware of, even though they were looking directly at the object. By ‘looking’ at an object with both the eyes AND the fingers, by exploring the object and gathering information about the object with both the eyes and fingertips, the student gains a vastly more informed picture of the object. As such she or he is able to render a more accurately informed drawing of the object.
After accumulating structural, physical information about the object through drawing it, the student then draws the object while looking at it.
The results are that the student both understands the structure of the object and is able to draw it. In fact, the structure of the object is learned and understood by means of the drawing process.
Corporate Drawing Workshop
The primary function of this one day Corporate Drawing Workshop is for each participant to experience what it is like to do something that they never imagined they could do. This experience of surprise is unforgettable. It is very enabling…it enables one to go forward and continue to surprise oneself at one’s ability to discover new ways of accomplishing everyday as well as new tasks in the workplace and in everyday life.
In essence then, this workshop is more about the participant’s experience of surprise at discovering their ability to draw, than about drawing itself.
The means by which I facilitate this process of surprise in the workshop participants is through enabling them to draw an object. So many people imagine that only artists have the ability to draw and that the ability to draw is something that only the ‘gifted’ are born with. This is completely untrue! I have conducted this workshop many, many times and each participant has discovered that they can draw in a way that they never imagined. This comes as a great surprise to them.
In this one day workshop, I invite everyone to bring either a cooking implement from their kitchen drawer, or a tool from their tool box. All other drawing materials (graphite pencils, charcoal, and paper) are provided.
“The benefit of individual and collective creative thinking and creative doing in the workplace is obvious. While macroeconomists have long argued the link between innovation and GDP growth, the effect of creativity on the productivity of individuals and teams of executives is beginning to be understood. Increasingly, research is isolating the contributors and inhibitors of individual innovation and their effect on labour. Lateral Leap is a creative boot camp for executives. This one day workshop helps users to unearth their innate ability to be creative. This has links to the workplace, as individual creativity cannot be compartmentalised. People who uncover their creative potential will untether their capacity to creatively overcome obstacles in the workplace. Creativity is proactive, and a process of discovery. This has productivity-enhancement benefits as aggressive problem solving leads to streamlined workflow” – Neil Horne.
I have formulated a one day drawing workshop, specifically designed to ignite the fundamental ability of each participant to realise their potential to think laterally and be creative in every sphere of daily life – from plotting a spread-sheet to frying an egg.
Participants discover their innate and fundamental creative abilities. In these workshops, each participant will surprise themselves by achieving results that they initially thought were completely beyond their ability to achieve. This workshop will expand on each participant’s ability to think and act creatively in all aspects of their daily life; at work, at home and at play. The result is that participants experience a renewed confidence and this confidence has obvious benefits on thinking and directed productivity in the workplace. In this drawing workshop, each participant is invited to bring a household tool or cooking implement to the workshop. A number of guided exercises enable the participant to discover abilities and achieve results that will excite and surprise them.
Corporate Drawing Workshop Location
This workshop is held at the Imbizo 2 Room, Mandela Rhodes Place at the corner of Wale and Burg Streets, Cape Town. Parking in Mandela Rhodes Place will be reserved for participants.
The Drawing Workshop takes place over one full day (9am – 4pm). All of the materials that will be used by the participants are provided and morning tea and lunch are catered for. Catering in Cape Town is by Tina Bester of Queen of Tarts.