Lisa Pumpelly Van Sant
Pencil, 1981
Richard Feynman

"I wanted very much to learn to draw, for a reason that I kept to myself: I wanted to convey an emotion I have about the beauty of the world. It's difficult to describe because it's an emotion. It's analogous to the feeling one has in religion that has to do with a god that controls everything in the universe." —Richard Feynman
Richard Feynman started drawing when he was 44 years old. It began as a challenge with artist friend, Jirayr Zorthian after many arguments over Science and Art. Feynman knew nothing about art and Zorthian nothing about science, so Feynman suggested that they exchange lessons in each other's disciplines on alternating Sundays. Zorthian agreed and said that he'd teach him how to draw.

Zorthian was a good teacher and Feynman practiced intently, rising to the challenges of what he thought would be an impossible task. He especially enjoyed drawing portraits and female nudes. You can see an array of Feynman drawings at museumsyndicate.com including portraits of Hans Bethe and Paul Dirac. Rufus (below) is a rare exception.

Eventually, someone suggested that Feynman put a price on his drawings to sell them.
"So I decided to sell my drawings. However, I didn't want people to buy my drawings because the professor of physics isn't supposed to be able to draw, isn't that wonderful, so I made up a false name. My friend Dudley Wright suggested "Au Fait," which means "It is done" in French. I spelled it O-f-e-y, which turned out to be a name the blacks used for "whitey." But afer all, I was whitey, so it was all right." 
These quotes come from the chapter "But Is It Art?" in Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character).The first part of this chapter is largely about learning and teaching. Naturally, Feynman shares brilliant insights about both, especially as he describes his first life drawing teacher at the Pasadena Art Museum.
"I noticed that the teacher didn't tell people much (the only thing he told me was my picture was too small on the page). Instead, he tried to inspire us to experiment with new approaches. I thought of how we teach physics: We have so many techniques—so many mathematical methods—that we never stop telling the students how to do things. On the other hand, the drawing teacher is afraid to tell you anything. If your lines are very heavy, the teacher can't say, "Your lines are too heavy." because some artist has figured out a way of making great pictures using heavy lines. The teacher doesn't want to push you in some particular direction. So the drawing teacher has this problem of communicating how to draw by osmosis and not by instruction, while the physics teacher has the problem of always teaching techniques, rather than the spirit, of how to go about solving physical problems."
Not all drawing teachers follow this method but I, for one, think it's the best.

Michelle Feynman compiled a book of her father's drawings and paintings with reminiscences by Ralph Leighton, Walter Askin, Jirayr Zorthian and Tom Van Sant, a forward by Albert Hibbs and her own Preface The Art of Richard P. Feynman: Images by a Curious Character.

Before he ever started drawing, Feynman developed a pictorial language for theoretical physicists known as Feynman Diagrams. Feynman painted his van with these diagrams, pictured below with himself surrounded by family.

Visit Basic Feynman.