Drawing as a Research Method in the Process of Art History Studies [PDF]

Austra Avotina
University of Latvia, Latvia

Abstract: Drawing as a research method in the process of art history studies can help to expand and deepen knowledge about several components of the art content: the form, material, structure, technology, individual means, contextual meaning and place. Hand drawing stimulates the imagination, enhances wellbeing, sharpens the mind and trains the hand. It improves visual literacy and increases visual competence. This method acts as a source of discoveries and additional evidence of exclusive values. A historically significant part of the studies was copying, which nowadays has turned into a sea of easily perceptible (external, superficial) appropriations and creates an impression of quality (created by unique primary sources), but which is false and superficial. The aim of this study and the fundamental idea that has also evoked the questions of this research is that drawing is a research method that activates creativity and allows the implementation of successfully original ideas in the process of art history studies. Drawing as research method is significant in all levels of education because using effective independent learning strategies and methods is even more topical for the student than the pupil.
This article analyses 1254 drawings from a cohort of 38 second-year art students in the study of Art History (3 ECTS, no individual persons are involved in the research, nor are the personal data of individuals used). They are evaluated from the perspective of learning outcomes, including six criteria in the evaluation rubric divided into three methodology groups: imagery method of expression, imitation method of expression and discovery learning method. The study applies the qualitative-empirical research method. The results suggest that drawings from important (in art history) and qualitative (through open access collections in virtual space) examples form a link of innovative qualitative benefits from the knowledge phase of short-term memory to the cognitive phase and long-term memory with deep personal motivation.
Keywords: art history, copying, drawing, remote learning, visual literacy.


In: Human, Technologies and Quality of Education, 2021 = Cilvēks, tehnoloģijas un izglītības kvalitāte, 2021
Rīga, University of Latvia, 2021. 1148 p. Ed. L. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-18-735-3