Professor Stephen Farthing

Professor Stephen Farthing is the Rootstein Hopkins Chair of Drawing at University of the Arts London.

Farthing’s research into drawing focuses on trying to establish: a viable definition and taxonomy of drawing, and a more complete understanding of drawing as an aspect of general literacy. All with a view towards designing ways of teaching drawing that have currency today.

Currently, his research focuses on what he describes as Basic Method Drawing in particular the drawings of the Indigenous people of the Great Plains of North America, drawings made after first contact by preliterate societies and the drawings of pre- school children.

At a more public level, he has worked with Aston Villa FC exploring links between sports skills and drawing, and with the British Museum and Tate Gallery, London, to develop projects that use historical drawing collections as a means of assessing the value of redrawing in developing drawing skills. His most recent output is Drawing Explained a 20 minute film made with Gareth Johnson.

Beyond the pedagogical outcomes of his research Farthing uses his research into drawing to inform his creative output as an artist painter.

Publications include:

Farthing, Stephen and Davey, Peter (2009) The sketchbooks of Nicholas Grimshaw.; Farthing, Stephen and McKenzie, Janet (2014) The Drawn Word: Drawing, Literacy and Communication; Farthing, Stephen and Chorpening, Kelly and Wiggins, Colin (2012) The Good Drawing.; Farthing, Stephen and Webb-Ingall, Edward (2013) Derek Jarman’s sketchbooks.Farthing, Stephen and Webb-Ingall, Edward (2013); Farthing, Stephen and McKenzie, Janet (2014) The Drawn Word: “Even if I write my name I am drawing”.

Derek Jarman's Sketchbooks, Farthing, Stephen and Webb-Ingall, Edward 
The Drawn Word, Farthing, Stephen and McKenzie, Janet