Approaches to drawing

Starting points for drawing

Children need some form of stimulus as a starting point for drawing activities. These could include:

  • Working from experience and imagination
  • Focusing on drawing materials and tools
  • Working from observation and curiosity

Drawing activities based on children’s experiences, real or imagined, give them opportunities to:

  • Discover drawing as a way of communicating
  • Invent and develop their graphic symbols for the human figure, animals and a wide variety of observed objects
  • Show in a variety of ways how figures and objects relate to each other in space and with increasingly worked out contexts
  • Explore pattern and texture as ways of developing a drawing further
  • Use drawing to create and express imaginative worlds

The subject matter is all-important with children at infant level, and the more relevant it is to their experience and understanding the more inventive and expressive their drawings are likely to be. They will enjoy drawing simple themes such as ‘myself’, ‘my pet’, ‘my favourite toy’ or ‘my house’.

A strong element of make-believe is involved as pre-school children name their scribble-pictures, and this should be respected, as it continues in the play life of their pictures: for example, that great big curve means that the car sped around the corner. Mark-making typically develops from these scribble pictures to more controlled shapes that relate to the world they know. Their drawings are a personal code for what they want to express visually.