On The Spot Drawing: Workshop by Teacher Menghua

“Drawing makes you see things clearer, and clearer, and clearer still. The image is passing through you in a physiological way, into your brain, into your memory – where it stays – it’s transmitted by your hands.” — Martin GayfordA Bigger Message: Conversations with David Hockney

In recent weeks, I conducted on-the-spot drawing workshops with our PPC students. Drawing on the spot within a limited timeframe is not easy: it requires a lot of effort, confidence and intense observation.
Workshop participants with expressions of concentration and focus.
In the workshops, each student interpreted the forms within the compositions and tried their best to transmit to their hands what they observed. Each line that they drew, thin or thick, was used to express the qualities of the objects before them.
I enjoyed teaching these sessions despite the “stress” I felt trying to push each student to look more intensely, to achieve higher level of details with their lines. Part of the enjoyment comes from seeing their improvement. Each drawing builds from the last and gets better each time.


A convincing drawing has many qualities; correct proportions, sensitive line quality, well placed tonality, and more. Each of the student’s works strives hard to achieve these qualities. Here I will show some drawings from the workshops, and share what I enjoy most in each work.


A. This drawing is well balanced and able to capture the characteristic of each subject.
B. I enjoyed the “ backview” of this composition. What attracts me is the sensitiveness of the wash.
C. This is a brave work, I can see the determination in each stroke.
D. This is a good angle to draw from; it brings out the best in each subject matter.
E. The blue wash enhances the light and shadow of this still life composition so well, and the asymmetrically balanced composition increases the beauty of this work.

Being able to observationally draw something that’s in front of you is an art skill that is both most fundamental and most difficult to master. If our students spend time practicing drawing on the spot, they will be well on their way to becoming accomplished artists.

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