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As a part of my teaching practice, through the blog Drawing Connections, I share with my students a variety of references from the field. Creativity, communication, invention, and design innovation are the broad thematic blog categories.

Entries in creative resources (10)


Woven Beauty Forms: Paper Weaving

This is a photo (by Kiyoshi Togashi) of a simple paper weaving technique, known as the 14th Gift, Woven Beauty Forms, developed by Friedrick Froebel, and pictured in Inventing Kindergarten, a book by Norman Brosterman.

Friedrich Froebel [1782-1852] is best known as the inventor of the kindergarten system, an educational method used a while ago to teach children between 3-7 years old. “Inventing Kindergarten is the first comprehensive book about the origin of kindergarten, a revolutionary educational program for children that was created in the 1930s by charismatic German educator Friedrich Froebel. Froebel’s kindergarten was the most successful system for teaching children about art, design, mathematics, and natural history ever devised. Kindergarten changed the world, and this book tells the story.” – Diane Ravitch, author of The Troubled Crusade: American Education 1945-1980, and former secretary, U.S. Department of Education. See, Inventing Kindergarten, by Norman Brosterman.

In the 1840s, Froebel designed a number of geometric toys, he called "gifts," as a part of his educational system, some of which include sets of blocks, stick work, rings, net drawing exercises, paper weaving, slat work, joined slats, paper interlacing, and peas work.

Upon close inspection, and with some investigation, it can be argued that Froebel’s work was incredibly influential and important to the worlds of art and architecture. As examples, upon becoming familiar with Froebel’s Gifts, see the works of any of the following artists and architects, then decide for yourself if there is a connection:
Wassily Kandinsky
Paul Klee
Frank Lloyd Wright
Piet Mondrian
Georges Braque
Le Corbusier
Josef Albers
Buckminster Fuller

See more patterns. Look at William Morris, famous designer in history. See a contemporary example of woven beauty forms in Peggy Dembicer’s work featured on Flicker and in a recent article in Make Magazine.

Froebel’s Gifts can be purchased today from a variety of sources,
Froebel USA being just one.

Check out the book, Inventing Kindergarten, by Norman Brosterman. Photograph by Kiyoshi Togashi.


Drawing and Painting Links

Discover twenty-three new additions to Drawing Connections in the Drawing and Painting Links section, found in the right-hand column of the blog.

Explore helpful resources, such as...
Art History Resources on the Web
Inspiration: Royal Academy of Arts Collection
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Reading Room
Louvre Museum
The British Museum Department of Prints and Drawings


The Invention of Drawing: An Artist Reveals Perspective

The Getty Museum has this wonderful drawing, The Invention of Drawing, which documents one method of drawing. Illustrated here is an artist tracing the shadow of her model. Notice how the drawing is a precise rendering, done in two-point perspective. A single flame provides the light source for all of the shadows. The drawing contains a full range of values, from lightest lights to darkest darks. The horizon line, or eye level, is low, almost, if not exactly where the pencil touches the wall. Perspective lines are dramatically featured in the wall-mounted shelf, the lines of the furniture, and the stone wall grid.

Perspective drawing is a method of representing the appearance of objects, places, architecture and even people. Parallel lines are represented as converging, which gives the illustion of distance. There are many valuable sources to which one can refer in order to understand perspective. The following link is one good example that covers the basics of linear perspective.

Image information:
The Invention of Drawing (recto); Sketch of Lower Leg Bones of Human Skeleton (verso)
Joseph-Benoît Suvée
Belgian, about 1791
Black and white chalk on brown paper (recto); graphite (verso)_21 1/2 x 14 in.


Drawing Research

The Drawing Research Network is a loose affiliation of individuals and institutions who are involved in some way with drawing research, for example via professional practice, education or the promotion of drawing. Some participants are based in universities and colleges of art and design with established teaching and/or research profiles in drawing. Other participants have an interest in, for example, drawing therapy, the cross-curricular role of drawing in schools or digital drawing. Some participants simply have an interest in drawings and the drawing process which might include in making, thinking about and communicating on drawing. Individuals and institutions use the Network to communicate news, to explore possibilities for cooperation in drawing research, to formulate collaborative projects and to share outputs. Membership of the Network is free. Drawing Research Network or,
Note: If this link does not work, try pasting the URL into the address bar or do a Google search based on "drawing research."


30 Drawing Reference Books for Artists, Designers and Anyone Who Wants to Learn How-To Draw

Not so long ago, in Victorian times (1837-1901), the “drawing room” referred to a place for comfortable, relaxed entertaining. The expression is still used in Britain, and in France, the term is “salon,” in the U.S., the equivalent is “living room.” For artists, the drawing room is not confined to one environment, although the studio may be where much of the work is accomplished, it is everywhere the artist is. Drawing happens anywhere, anytime.

Drawing is an empowering life tool accessible to anyone who cares to use it. Perception, communication, persuasion, innovation and invention – drawing develops these skills, which are transferable to any profession or subject.

“If you can draw, even a little bit, you can express all kinds of ideas that might otherwise be lost - delights, frustrations, whatever torments you or pleases you.” – David Hockney

“In the design process, drawing is the act of thought.” – Richard MacCormac

“Drawings are an invaluable aid to my mathematical thinking and an essential ingredient of most of my mathematical expositions.” – Sir Roger Penrose

“I use drawing as an extension of my brain. It is the ones done with spontaneity that give me most pleasure and help crystalise an idea.” – Terence Conran

Learning to draw can be likened to learning a language. It requires exposure, observation, exploration and practice. Learn to draw. Expose your mind to the variety of methods, tools, techniques and forms of drawing. Visit an art museum and observe how artists use drawing. Read books about drawing. Experiment with drawing by trying it out, emulating different styles, using a variety of drawing materials. Make drawing a part of your routine. Make room for drawing.

A German proverb says, “Whoever cares to learn will always find a teacher.” Books are a great place to start. The following is an alphabetical list of recommended books relating to drawing for architecture, animation, exhibit design, fine art, industrial design, and interior design.

1. Drawing in Early Renaissance Italy: Revised Edition
2. Drawing Now: Eight Propositions
3. The Art of Robots
4. Classical Drawing Atelier: A Contemporary Guide to Traditional Studio Practice
5. Art of Drawing

6. Design Drawing
7. Drawing: A Creative Process
8. Drawing and Perceiving: Life Drawing for Students of Architecture and Design
9. Vitamin D: New Perspectives in Drawing
10. Keys to Drawing with Imagination: Strategies and Exercises for Gaining Confidence and Enhancing Your Creativity

11. Color Drawing: Design Drawing Skills and Techniques for Architects, Landscape Architects, and Interior Designers
12. Drawing Lessons from the Great Masters: 100 Great Drawings Analyzed, Figure Drawing Fundamentals Defined
13. Rapid Viz : A New Method for the Rapid Visualization of Ideas
14. Drawing From The Modern
15. Experimental Drawing

16. Drawing Shortcuts: Developing Quick Drawing Skills Using Today's Technology
17. Drawing and Designing with Confidence: A Step-by-Step Guide
18. Freehand Perspective for Designers: Including Shadow-Casting and Entourage
19. Force: Dynamic Life Drawing for Animators
20. Syd Mead's Sentury

21. Basic Perspective Drawing: A Visual Approach
22. Perspective Drawing and Applications
23. Perspective for Interior Designers
24. Drawing: A Contemporary Approach
25. Rendering in Mixed Media

26. From Ordinary To Extraordinary: Art & Design Problem Solving
27. Basic Visual Concepts And Principles For Artists, Architects And Designers
28. The Animator's Workbook: Step-By-Step Techniques of Drawn Animation
29. Life Drawing: A Journey to Self-Expression
30. Design Principles and Problems

Do you have a recommendation? Please share!

Image Reference: "Inconveniences of a Crowded Drawing Room", famous caricature by George Cruikshank, May 6th 1818.