What Is Drawing?

Drawing is both an activity and an outcome. The act of drawing is more than a vehicle for relaxation, and more than a technical skill…

The first thing we need to do as a teacher or facilitator might not be to “teach” skills, but instead to expand what drawing is and can be. Drawing is an exciting, dynamic subject, and it embraces lots of different skills, activities, intentions and outcomes.

So, your first task as an educator, is to open your OWN mind as to what drawing might be, and in doing so develop your own relationship to drawing. Visit, research, read, watch, and take part – what is drawing to you?

And then remember; every pupil will have their own experience of drawing, their own preferences, their own likes, dislikes. All valid. And your job is to feed that experience.

Then, when you begin to plan WHAT to teach and HOW to teach it, keep that “openness of experience” in mind. Make sure you don’t inadvertently close down what drawing is, and in doing so exclude or alienate some pupils. Just concentrating on technical skills like shading is an example of closing down the pupil’s experience of drawing, and in doing so you will lose some children along the way.

So, the answer to “What is Drawing?”

Drawing is an exploration of marks on a surface, made by a person, with different intentions. Don’t be fearful of drawing – instead enjoy and embrace drawing in all its creative glory.
What is Drawing, Image by Tobi Meuwissen for AccessArt


This is a sample of a resource created by UK Charity AccessArt. We have over 1100 resources to help develop and inspire your creative thinking, practice and teaching.

AccessArt welcomes artists, educators, teachers and parents both in the UK and overseas.

We believe everyone has the right to be creative and by working together and sharing ideas we can enable everyone to reach their creative potential.

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