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Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Concept drawings - abstract ideas that help you think and describe what you are thinking

Better late than never? a delayed blog about some visual devices that might help with your journals.

Concept drawings are an idea from Rudolph Arnheim in Visual Thinking (1969) .

The main premise is using abstract ideas without using recognised visual cliches - so you can't use a skull and dagger for the concept of 'death'. Depicting 'ideas' is really the key to 20th century art when representing life was a task usurped by the camera. You can use lines, arrows, patterns, shapes.

So we did 2 ideas - the first from Arnheim... the idea of growth - see example below

and the idea of 'inquiry' see example below

This is a way you can come closer to what you are thinking and expand the concept words into what they mean for you... so after you do a drawing - describe what it means...

Let me know if you might use these in your journals.

I note Daisuke is using a lot of visual image to describe and do diagrams about his work.


  1. Having read blogs on concept drawings and then trying my own, it is so interesting to see how different they all are!.. however they all do seem to have the 'confusion/unclear' stage and eventually reach a final point. The ones for 'growth' I can compare with my own and that is how I see my own inquiry going.

  2. As I like to plan and brainstorm before I write my journal this blog about concept drawings has really helped me. Its interesting to see the growing in steps idea. I will use this within my work as I feel the size in circles can make me reflect on how and why I grew to understand more.

    The inquiry map idea looks like it would be beneficial to me too. However I do feel with this style that I would need to put key words in each path so when reflecting I know my reasons of getting to where I am now.

  3. I really like these drawings of concepts and have tried some of my own. I feel they would benefit me in my own work helping me to visualise ideas better. I too would have to label them to help myself remember what and why when later coming back to them.