What participants say about their workshop experience...
“I really enjoyed the day. I’ve had the opportunity to do both the physical workshop and now the online version and I have to say I enjoyed both equally. Leonard’s methods took me, a seasoned artist of 50 years, into new exciting places and I feel like I learned so much” - Paul Carney, NSEAD registered Art & Design Education Consultant.
“Brilliantly paced workshop, a hugely valuable an enlightening day. Thank you. I enjoyed the opening lecture looking at approaches to drawing by Auerbach and Giacometti, to explorative gestural mark making before haptic drawings with objects. Thank you for such a high quality of teaching, lovely dialogue with the group, and i appreciated the individual support. It has been invaluable to learn in a small group too - having direct feedback from you Leonard as we drew was really insightful as it revealed pattering or pushed my marks into new places. Observing the responses from others and testing and trying approaches as we went. For me, it has been wonderful to learn how much visual and tactile information is absorbed by the body and the gaze, even before i begin making a mark or attempting to describe an object on the page. Looking back at the drawings across the day, I see such a huge arc of learning, thank you for guiding us through such a process” - Liz Atkin, Visual Artist and Creative Practitioner.
“My previous anatomical training had always focused on the straightforward identification and naming of structures. This course challenged me to look at familiar items in a naïve way, consider the relationship between what I could see and what I could touch, and to ignore what I thought I knew. By following this process, I was able to develop a more intuitive understanding of anatomical features and the relationship between structures, creating a wider foundation for my existing knowledge. Leonard’s energy and enthusiasm was vital to this process. A really interesting course for any anatomist to undertake’’ - Charlie James, University of East Anglia, Norwich Medical School.
“The three-day haptic drawing workshop that I attended at the Anatomy Department of Newcastle University run by Leonard was excellent. He taught us all how to spend time exploring three-dimensional objects and anatomical specimens through vision and touch. This allowed us to really engage with the material and to hone our observational skills and, consequently, to develop our understanding of anatomical form. The classes were small and informal and Leonard encouraged us all to share our work and experience, and to learn from each other. The collegiate atmosphere in the class created a very positive learning environment. I would thoroughly recommend Leonard’s haptic drawing course and am planning on using the techniques and skills learnt there in future anatomy teaching and learning exercises” - Fay Penrose, Veterinary and Comparative Anatomist, University of Liverpool School of Veterinary Science.
"When I started the workshop with Leonard I was a little apprehensive as to what to expect – not being an artist and really wanting my end product to look like the 'real thing'. Over the three days of the course, Leonard managed to change my view of observing and drawing and what I should be trying to achieve, ensuring that at the end of the course I had fully explored the anatomy of the bones and had learnt a lot by making marks on paper rather than trying to reproduce the item. Even at the end of the course I don’t think I appreciated how much I had learnt during the three days. It was only later when I needed to draw on a thorough knowledge of the anatomy of the inside of the skull that I realised how much I had learnt by following Leonard’s methods. If you want to really learn about anatomy, or consolidate your knowledge then these courses are an excellent way to do that" – Janet Philp, Biomedical Sciences University of Edinburgh.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop. My existence centers around conscious perfection, the need to be aware and to focus and concentrate in order to do well and, although these skills were necessary in the drawing lessons as well, they were exercised differently. I found this very refreshing. I learned the importance of being free in creative expression; that letting go and letting be is sometimes the best possible way to unleash your best work. I learned how to embrace the imperfections. From a more practical perspective, I didn't completely know how to draw dimension or proportions and the course helped me develop those skills without undermining my intuition or style. Plus Leonard was an enjoyable, kind teacher who challenged whilst encouraging. Plus the tea and interesting conversation during breaks were a welcomed bonus. All-in-all, I thoroughly enjoyed both lessons and developing a new skill were a treat that I will cherish. Warmest regards and many, many thanks for the opportunity” - Siphosethu Ngcongolo, Medical Student, University of Cape Town.
“I entered this experience willing and open to learn to deviate from my traditional, hyper-realistic drawing style. I have never been able to properly tap into another, freer drawing style successfully. While slightly apprehensive at times, I took your advance and unorthodox techniques to heart, and I embraced every challenge you put forward. Using these tools, combined with the freedom in the last session especially, I feel like I have really come into my own technique. I am comfortable and confident with my new drawing technique, and it has allowed me to improve my memory skills regarding the objects we drew. Furthermore, this technique has also taught me to draw better under time constraints, and to be more relaxed about my work. I am still surprised by the results I produced, and I have taken the experience to be a complete success. Thank you for pushing me when I needed assistance and giving me the tools to draw in a new way!” - Graham Taschner, Medical Student, University of Cape Town.
“Prior knowledge of the muscle groups of the body, as well as the direction in which they flow really aided me in establishing a solid structure for my drawings. I appreciated that all the skills we had learnt in the other sessions were clearly valuable in this exercise - it was very evident in the results. I was very relaxed as well and I think that was as a result of the longer amount of time we got to execute the drawings. I also felt there was less pressure. Overall I very much enjoyed the challenge” - Didintle Tsitsi, Medical Student, University of Cape Town.
“Thank you so much for running this workshop with us! It really was a wonderful experience. I didn't take art for matric but it was something that I strongly considered. Now in varsity I jumped at the opportunity of learning how to draw and on top of that being able to integrate the skills I learnt into my medical degree. At the beginning of the workshop it was sometimes hard to understand where we were going and what the exercises where trying to achieve, but now having done session 5 I can now see the benefit of having drawn millions of hammer heads. It was a journey that we needed to experience and it was important that we didn't miss out any steps in the process” - Jessica Koen, Medical Student, University of Cape Town.
“It was very helpful for me as someone who has never drawn before. The space he created was very non-threatening for novices. I liked the discipline of having to look at one object for the two days as he encouraged us to really look - and one could feel and see one’s progress. The way the course was structured using different mediums, was great for a first time drawer. Thank you! Well worth attending and would certainly attend another” - Shannon Dowdall
“It feels like I haven’t stopped and given my attention to something so completely and so happily for a very long time. It has been extremely refreshing and hugely beneficial for me to take these new ideas (of how to teach drawing without resorting to ‘mechanical’ formulae) to the classroom. Thank you.” - Sandy Wegener
“The workshop changed my way of seeing and drawing by focusing more on looking at and understanding the structure of the object, rather than focusing on a 'finished' drawing. I thoroughly enjoyed these two evenings of drawing: the simple instruction and the freedom to express made a huge impact on my way of seeing and drawing. Thank you Leonard” - Carla Orkin
“I love Leonard’s approach to his drawing lesson. I have had several drawing lessons in the past and I find pencil drawing lessons can be rather dull. Leonard has pushed me to be a lot more free in my approach to art and to “see” more in everyday life. I have enjoyed the group participation and I spend most of my days as an artist working on my own. Each of Leonard’s lessons have been fun, exciting and challenging to “break out” of my very tight mindset. I feel that I am able to draw more freely and with a much more “expanded vision” of where I want to take my art. Leonard is truly passionate in what he does and passes his ‘energy’ on to his students. Thank you for the most interesting and knowledgeable lecturer” - Shannon Philips
“I really enjoyed coming to Leonard Shapiro’s drawing course. The different exercises and mediums with which we worked were surprising and fun. Leonard has a very attentive and pleasant manner. He has a knack for engaging everyone and making everyone feel relaxed. I think this is partly because he doesn’t brandish any jargon. He simply tells you what to do and allows you to get on with it. I will definitely come to any creative class again” - Zelia Simpson
“I have learnt that I need to connect with an object with more than just one sense, to allow a complete and detailed expression of it. Everyone can draw, but it’s just a matter of letting the connection of the eye and the hand take charge, uninterrupted” - Errol Samuels
“It has been a great workshop. It helped me to change my mindset and be more daring and bold. Leonard has a great way of teaching and making one get in touch with one’s innate abilities. The workshop taught me to be much more aware of everything around me and to see more three dimensionally. I hope there will be similar workshops” - Lynn Farrell
"It’s been a very freeing experience, allowing me to step out of my set ways. The interaction with others in the workshop has also been wonderful. We’ve shared ideas and contacts and the atmosphere in the workshop is very positive and encouraging. Leonard is a wonderful facilitator and is able to motivate you and help you discover your own talents.” - Elaine Thomas
“This workshop challenged my ideas of what drawing is. I learned to look more carefully at an object. I learned a technique of holding a pencil which allows me more freedom of movement rather that a controlled finger and wrist movement. Drawing is more in the eye than in the hand. Relax, enjoy, see and feel” - Nomthandazo Vutula
“The workshop made me think about the act of drawing in a different way – to draw what one feels rather than what one sees. To get the structure onto the page by feeling it onto the page. Thanks for a fun, different experience! Lovely to think about using a pencil in a radically different way” - David Kalisky
“I’m so glad that I joined this workshop. I have thoroughly enjoyed this drawing experience. Leonard’s method of teaching is inspiring and motivating. I have experienced and learned a drawing method which I have not had from any of my drawing classes previously” - James Musoke-Lule
“I felt that the drawing course has really brought my drawing skills much to the fore. In the past I was not very confident about how to draw the form of an object but Leonard really made this look simple and this feature showed up through my drawing. Also, dealing with a new medium of the charcoal drawing was quite new to me. Working as a team was very exciting because here we had to introduce 3 different patterns and make a new pattern together. The process was very fascinating to me. My co-ordinating skills really showed here. Also, to listen and learn and feed off other people makes for a so much better and unique pattern or design. Leonard’s workshop really works because in my work I really need to push the envelope and this workshop has brought back more confidence to me” - Edward Luddick
“If you want to see with your eyes fully, you need to use your hands as well” - Jim Baigrie
“It was an amazing experience! Learning to let go and trust in yourself was something new. What I enjoyed most was using the charcoal and eraser in combination. I have definitely learned a new skill and my passion for art has been re-ignited. Thank you so much” - Andre Links
“Since I’ve started doing this drawing course I’ve learned that if you draw you don’t have to be really serious and ‘accurate’. Just by looking at your object you can just keep your eyes on the object and trust yourself that what you put on paper is right without looking at the paper all the time. The other thing I learned is that you don’t have to start of being accurate and you can correct all the things you’ve missed the first time. I also learned that by drawing faster without thinking too much you can catch the object accurately” - Francois Korver
“This workshop was really amazing!! It has changed the way I draw completely. I really am so inspired to get back into drawing. It will also make me start to teach art differently. Thank you for this! I would do it again anytime!” - Natasha Roux
It has been extremely nice to draw again! Completely engaged myself with trying to recreate this object on paper. I loved the feeling of being able to get quite a descriptive image of the pliers in such a short space of time. The quick gestural drawings I particularly enjoyed. If I had sat down and tried to draw the pliers from scratch, that would have been my previous idea of drawing. But it is a whole process of understanding the form of the object! “I’ve learnt so much and it was a relaxing, enriching way to spend my time. I certainly want to draw more in the future!” - Fergus Wegener
“In addition to being fun and relaxing, Leonard’s course has given me a different view on drawing – one which transcends ‘normal’ ideas and embraces thinking in ‘squiggly’ lines. It’s great to lose control and just let go. The content was great, environment and tools were fantastic, as was the training” - Tammy Evans
“In May 2017 I attended Leonard’s 3 day Observation and Drawing Workshop at the Anatomy Department of Newcastle University (UK). I am a painter who has an interest in Anatomy and Drawing and I am currently studying for a MFA in Contextualised Practice. I sent Leonard an email explaining that: "I am writing my dissertation for my Masters, and I have been thinking a lot about your work. It has affected the way that I am approaching and thinking about my drawing practice: from the idea that a material object exists in space/time all at once relating to your instruction to draw it all at once, to the importance of touch to understanding form, and to the importance of the spaces within to developing an understanding of the human body”. Leonard’s anatomy drawing workshop was really interesting and thought provoking, but importantly also an awful lot of fun!” - Joanne Macdonald, Gray’s School of Art Aberdeen, Scotland.
“What a fantastic, eye-opening experience! I learned valuable techniques that I shall carry with me throughout my artistic career. Thank you Leonard for expanding my artistic consciousness!” - Nicette Dos Santos
“I really benefitted from this course. In future I will look at an object with different eyes” - Robert Brand