Dr Michelle Fava

Junior Research Fellow, Drawing

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School:Cambridge School of Art

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Psychology , Education and teaching , Illustration, drawing and book art



Michelle is co-director of the Thinking through Drawing project, which hosts a symposium series and develops CPD for educators and researchers. Her PhD investigated cognitive aspects of drawing projects and she now offers workshops that apply cognitive principles to developing visual thinking skills.

Research interests

  • Visual literacy
  • Drawing and cognition
  • Pedagogy and arts integration
  • Skill and knowledge transfer

Michelle’s current research is investigating the changing place of drawing practice in higher education institutions (HEIs). She is also developing cross-curricular teacher training resources for promoting visual literacy in secondary schools.


  • BA (hons) Arts History and Practice, Anglia Ruskin University 2004
  • MA Contemporary Visual Arts, Falmouth University, 2005
  • PGCE, University of Central Lancashire, 2007
  • PhD Loughborough University, 2014

Selected recent publications

Kantrowitz, A., Fava, M. & Brew, A. (in press, 2017) Drawing Together Research and Pedagogy, Art Education, May 2017 issue: Rethinking Preservice Teacher Education.

Fava, M. (2014) Understanding drawing: a cognitive account of observational process. Doctoral Dissertation, Loughborough University.

Fava. M., Kantrowitz, A., Brew. A. (Eds.) (2014) ‘Drawing in STEAM’ special edition of TRACEY, the  online journal of drawing and visualisation.

Fava. M., Kantrowitz, A., Brew. A. (Eds.) (2013) Thinking through Drawing: Drawing in STEAM. 123 Draw.

Kantrowitz, A., Brew, A. & Fava, M. (2012) Thinking through Drawing: New Directions in Drawing & Cognition Research. Conference proceedings. Drawing Research Network.

Fava. M. ‘What makes a good drawing?’ In Farthing. S. (Ed.) The Good Drawing. UAL.

Kantrowitz, A., Brew. A., Fava. M. (Eds.) Thinking through Drawing: Practice into Knowledge. New  York: Teachers College.

Fava, M. ‘What is the role of observational drawing in contemporary art & design curricula?’ In  Norman, E. & Seery, N. (Eds.) Graphicacy & Modelling. IDATER.