Workshop 3 – Drawing making – Making drawing with Claude Heath

Ben Nevis, 2003

Claude HeathBen Nevis, 2003Acrylic inks on triacetate film



Workshop with Claude Heath + Jack Southern as part of Drawing making – Making drawing

‘When we are making drawings, we must learn to use ‘what we know’ selectively and only when it helps us to communicate a clearer understanding of what it is we are attempting to describe in the drawing’. Taken from a chapter of the book Drawing Projects entitled ‘concepts and percepts’.  

In describing the process of deciding to make a series of drawings by touching objects while wearing a blindfold, and simultaneously making marks in response to felt sensations, artist Claude Heath noted, ‘The issue was how I was to draw without being compromised by anything that I might have already known about these objects’. In drawing from touch, Heath is able to lose the labels of language, and can avoid relapsing into drawing what he knows the visual qualities of an object to be, making unpredictable and unorthodox marks in response to haptic sensations.

Heath is able to ‘mix chance and order in a way that allows neither to dominate’.

Through various practical drawing exercises, this workshop will focus on mark making and the discovery of a broad and varied drawing vocabulary emerging from focused methods of drawing what we see, feel or fleetingly experience, as apposed to what we know. Central, will be the notion that drawing and thinking are closely connected and a concentrated attention to the process of their duality can result in sensitivity and subtlety of mark through being what Heath describes as ‘inside the drawing process’. Through discussing the works Heath will show in the gallery, we will also extend our drawing investigations into making drawn responses to the spatial relationships and dynamics of movement, gesture, human interaction and communication. 

*Please note, lunch is not provided and participants will need to bring to the workshop a range of pencils (e.g. HB through to 8B), coloring pencils and a pair of scissors.