WCA Drawing Lab 2: Without looking at the paper


Peer Workshop Martin Wharmby 8/11/13 10.00 am


I’m interested in exploring the idea of drawing from life without at any time looking at the paper. In other words removing a sense generally considered essential for creating a 2D image. By removing this sense the brain cannot ‘interfere’ with the drawing in the way that can so often inhibit the artist. With practice the ‘letting go’ will maybe allow an intuitive skill to emerge that can be subservient to the normal visual checking that is generally considered essential. I feel the experiment will not really be effective unless looking throughout the drawing process is ‘banned’ so will provide a ‘no-look’ hood (made by me) for each student.



‘No look’ hood


Project 1. (duration 60 mins) Using the ‘no-look’ hoods each student to draw the still life (set up by me) Some correct A3 size paper will be available. Soft pencils, charcoal or felt tip pens. Drawings will then be revealed and discussed. Repeat project exactly to see if in any way the first drawing ‘informs’ the second drawing.

1 minute drawings (from memory) of items suggested by Martin:


Blind drawing of plant:


Tape all drawings on the wall and discuss.


Coffee break!


Project 2 (duration 30 mins) Repeat above exercise but using mirror create self portrait using the ’no-look’ hood. Any drawing or painting medium can be used.


Project 3. (duration 30 mins) Repeat either exercise (the still life or the portrait) without the ‘no look’ hood combining looking and no looking as required.

Tape all work to wall and discuss.


Materials to bring to the workshop

A3 paper/cartridge/watercolour

Masking Tape

Normal mark making materials, pencils, crayons, felt tip,

Watercolour paints

Poster paints

Jars for water if paint used.

(Probably best not to use oils or acrylics)

A mirror for self portrait




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