Virtual Life Drawing: an inclusive student drawing experience with alternative deliveries

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    A lightening-talk, part of the HEIR Inclusive Institutional Research Conference, 22-24 September 2021.

    How to solve the challenge of keeping life drawing active, engaged and inspired for art and design students during what became our, ‘lockdown’?

    Creating the virtual life room, a digital experience to relate as close to the real as possible. Inclusive of the social presence of propagating a drawing community.

    Methods: updating theoretical course design and piloted online critique groups, workshops, and teaching deliveries (MA Education Module, e-learning Pedagogy and Application), applying to a full academic year of online life drawing. Adjusting F2F life drawing to be interactive, socially constructive, closely aligned to the experience of F2F delivery with effective technology formats. Devised by a mixture of tutor guided and student-led initiatives. Referencing comprehensive subject disciplines, all degree levels and from national and international perspectives. Examples platforms: To Draw (De Montfort University and Drawing Projects UK); Freies Zeichnen (Mediadesign Hochschule Berlin); The Virtual Life Drawing Room (DJCAD, University of Dundee).

    Conclusions: students and staff sensibilities rising to the challenge lent to a community of practice (localised, national and international) that thrived. Interdisciplinary connections have forged, collaborations and work displays resulting, isolation and wider inclusion agendas being embraced. Pedagogical shifts with how we approach, deliver and share drawing practices are expanding. Integrating virtual life drawing with F2F teaching in the long term. Widening life drawing delivery to greater numbers, locations with blended means to learn and engage, sparking further inquisitive forms of social exchange. Developing to an inclusive, institutional culture that observes and learns, offering a drawing research network with scope for international partnerships.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationHEIR 2021
    Subtitle of host publicationInclusive Institutional Research
    Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
    PublisherUniversity of St Andrews
    Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2021


    • virtual drawing communities
    • life drawing
    • inclusive education
    • inclusive research
    • digital drawing experience
    • pedagogical approaches
    • pedagogical shifts
    • social drawing
    • educational values


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