Sketchbooks! Drawing the Drawing Materials

Part 4: Drawing the Drawing Materials << back to "Sketchbooks!" course page

This exercise will really help you think creatively about how you use different medium to make drawings. The sketchbook is the perfect place for this exploration to take place. Have fun and see how far you can push it!

Step 1. Collecting the “Drawing Materials”

Go on a trip around the house or classroom and gather together as many “drawing materials” as you can find. You’ll start by collecting the obvious ones: different kinds of pens, pencils, markers, paints, chalks, pastels etc – whatever you happen to have in the house.

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And then look even harder, and collect other things which will can be used to make a mark: a candle will produce a waxy mark which will resist paint, a piece of grass can be rubbed on paper to produce green, a flower petal to produce yellow. You can even make your own paint by mixing soil or coffee or tea with water. Gather your drawing “ingredients”!

Step 2. Start with the Obvious

Your challenge is to make drawings of the drawing materials, using the drawing materials! 

Choose a sketchbook page (again you don’t have to work chronologically). Start with just one drawing material, and make a drawing of that material, using that material.

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For example, make a sketch of a marker pen, drawn with a marker pen!

And a handwriting pen drawn with a handwriting pen.

Work at different scales, and on different pages, choosing whichever drawing materials appeal.

Step 2. Combine 2 Materials Together

Choose two materials and make a drawing of them using both materials, for example, an oil pastel and a pencil.

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Step 3. Explore How the 2 Materials Might Work Together

In this step, you will stop drawing the “object” (or drawing material) and instead just make marks with the materials. For example, try using the pencil over oil pastel. How’s that? Now try using the pastel over the pencil. How’s that different? Which do you like best? Make notes along side your experiments. 

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Decide if you prefer working from observation (that is drawing what you see), or making more abstract marks without a form. Or both. Whichever you prefer, keep exploring and let the pages of your sketchbook fill with colour, marks, different media, and notes. 

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Remember you can post images of your sketchbook work on Instagram Tag @accessartorguk #accessartsketchbook

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