Drawing, Understanding & Memory

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Learning Objects (10)

Direct Access Links:

Why People Believe They Can’t Draw (TED)
How to Learn to Draw (EnvatoTuts)
How Drawing Helps You Think (TED)
Drawing in Class (TED)
Thinking Through Drawing with Andrea Kantrowitz EdD (TED)
Margaret Neill – Artist – Paintings & Drawings, Brooklyn NY (Artist)
William Holton (Artist)
Jane Fine (Artist)
The Science of Drawing and Memory (Edutopia)
How to Draw to Remember More (TED)


Most people think they can’t draw, but drawing is a powerful tool for learning, cognition, understanding and memory recall. You don’t have to be good at it – it only has to be good enough for your intended purposes. Some people find it helpful to recall what they have learned by taking notes – not only because they can consult the notes later but the act of writing them is a further enhancement to understanding and recall. Drawing works in a similar way and some researchers suggest it is an even more powerful tool than written notes.


Let’s Learn to Draw! Anyone Can

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Why People Believe They Can’t Draw

Most people think they can’t draw, but communications expert Graham Shaw isn’t buying it. In this fun, instructional talk, he demonstrates how a few adjustments to your drawing technique (and your attitude) can leave you with an effective new presentation tool as well as an outlet for your creativity.

Graham Shaw specialises in the art of communication and has helped thousands of people to make important presentations. He is perhaps best known for his use of fast cartoon drawings to communicate ideas and is the author of ‘The Art of Business Communication.’

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How to Learn to Draw

“How to Learn to Draw” is a theory based series in which Monika Zagrobelna guides you through the mechanics of learning how to draw. The link above is the first of a series of four posts that can be found here.


Drawing Helps You Think & Understand

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How Drawing Helps You Think

You don’t have to be an artist to draw!  Ralph Ammer shows how drawing your thoughts can be a powerful tool for improving your thinking, creativity and communication. He wants you to believe in your drawing abilities, and provides numerous exercises to help you get started.

Ralph Ammer is a professor at the Munich University of Applied Sciences and teaches biophilic design, which aims to create life-friendly objects, images, and services based on nature.

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Drawing in Class

Rachel Smith discusses how  visual note-taking opens the door for students to use their imaginations in an activity that is often passive. It helps students create a personal visual memory aide – connecting the information and the picture in the student’s mind. Visual note-taking, also called graphic visualization, is more than just doodling. It is a way to synthesize information; carve out the most important points and use images to convey the message simply and effectively. Rachel, a consultant and professional graphic recorder, outlines the three steps necessary to learn how to use visual note-taking.


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Thinking Through Drawing with Andrea Kantrowitz EdD

Drawing, gesture and thinking are intrinsically tied together in our brains. Andrea brings us through some neuroscience and art practices to show that the two are more linked that we imagine. Drawing as a tool of thought is related to embodied and situated cognition, visual perception, thinking with our hands and analogic reasoning.

Andrea Kantrowitz EdD., is an artist, researcher, and educator, and has published, lectured and given workshops internationally on drawing and cognition. Her own artwork is represented by Kenise Barnes Fine Art.

Margaret Neill – Artist – Paintings & Drawings, Brooklyn NY

Studied and cited by Andrea Kantrowitz , in the above Ted Talk, Margaret Neill’s work as doing “site-specific work, responding in the moment to what’s happening in a particular space.” In one review of her work, Neill was credited with doing much more than “reinterpreting the appearances of the natural world.” Instead she “invents analogies for the visceral and optical sensations accompanying its experiences.”

William Holton

Studied and cited by Andrea Kantrowitz, William Holton describes his work as “an exploration of complex systems in nature, and the dynamic interplay of structure and contingency that makes up the universe.” He begins with spirals as a basic unit of configuration and uses compressed air to create and move small currents of paint. Holton further describes his technique as follows: “I yield control to my materials so that these basic units become force fields, drawing energy within themselves like a vortex and radiating it outward. As they bump up against one another, and overlap, they create interference patterns and complex interstitial spaces. These vibrate in a dynamic interplay in which nothing is static, where ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ spaces shift in relation to one another in the shifting light.”

Jane Fine

Jane Fine, yet another artist studied and cited by Andrea Kantrowitz, is a graduate of Harvard University (magna cum laude) and a recipient of numerous grants. Initially a math major at Harvard, Fine achieved a bachelor of arts degree in Environmental Studies and a master from Tufts University. Fine has exhibited nationally and internationally for more than 20 years, been reviewed in The New York Times, The New Yorker, New York and Art in America among other periodicals.

Jane Fine describes her work as: “[L]ocated on the border between figuration and abstraction, my paintings are raucous battlefields. The specific nature of each piece is determined by a mash-up of painterly technique including vigorous brushwork, delicate marker lines, areas of flat color, and glossy pours of multi-colored acrylic paint, using a technique of my own invention.”

Drawing Improves Your Memory

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The Science of Drawing and Memory

Want to remember something? Draw it. Its long been known that drawing something helps a person to remember it. A new study shows that drawing is superior to activities such as reading or writing because it forces us to process information in multiple ways: visually, kinesthetically, and semantically. Researchers have found that drawing is a powerful memory tool – nearly doubling recall.


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How to Draw to Remember More

How to draw to remember more! Graham Shaw teaches how to draw pictures that make learning memorable in presentations. He is author of ‘The Art of Business Communication’, shortlisted for the ‘CMI Management Book of the Year 2016’ and spoke at TEDx Hull in 2015.


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Ontology Tags Arts & Entertainment: (1) Authorship & Composition – Learning through Art (2) Performing Arts – Talent Hurdles | Health & Health Services: Decoding the Human Body – Nuances of the Mind

Search Terms Authenticity: Producing & Revising – (1) Execute Multiple Drafts (2) Portfolio or Presentation Board | Media Produced: Physical Drawings & Fine Arts – (1) Illustration (2) Product Drawing or Sketch | Challenging Problems: (1) Questions – (a) Express the Intangible Visually (b) Reveal the World (2) Physical World – Numbers & Shapes (3) Of the Mind – (a) Intelligence & Learning (b) State of Mind | Achieved Literacy Skills: Project & Work – Learn & Develop Expertise | Intended Learning Outcomes: (1) Creativity – Design or Create (2) Communication – Engage Creatively (3) Critical Thinking – (a) Assemble Parts of a Whole (b) Solve Problems Innovatively | Success Skills & Depth of Knowledge: (1) Cognitive Demand – (a) Comprehending & Understanding (b) Creating (2) Learning Styles & Intelligences – (a) Bodily & Kinesthetic (b) Visual & Spatial (3) Assessment Structures & Resources – (a) Journals (b) Portfolios | CTEs & Disciplines: (1) Arts & Entertainment (2) Authorship & Composition (3) Education & Training (4) Art Studies (5) Nonverbal Communication (6) Speech Communication & Translation (7) Creative Writing