Approaches to drawing

Materials and tools of drawing

Focusing on materials and tools gives children opportunities to:

  • Enjoy the excitement of experimenting with mark-making
  • Become aware of the expressive effects they can create with a variety of drawing media and learn to use them with confidence
  • Enjoy the immediacy of drawing media to explore the visual world, to communicate their understanding of what they see and imagine, to clarify ideas and to design and invent

Drawing materials and tools would include:

  • A variety of pencils (2B, 4B and 6B, for example, as well as charcoal and coloured pencils)
  • Crayons
  • Pastels
  • Chalks
  • Markers
  • Inks
  • Paints

Paper could include newsprint, sugar paper, computer paper, cartridge, recycled paper and greaseproof paper which is particularly suitable for rubbings. Fine-grain paper is more suitable for drawing with graphite pencils or coloured pencils, and medium grain is suitable for drawing with pastels, crayons and coloured chalks. Materials and tools are chosen to suit the activity and the level of experience of the children.Less experienced children should start with free experiments on cheap paper, discussing the marks that emerge: thick, thin, rounded, sharp, fuzzy, light or dark. The kinds of shapes that emerge could be discussed in the same way: long, short, thin, fat, straight-edged or curvy. Their geometric aspects should not be unduly emphasised, and younger children could be encouraged to make arm or larger body movements and rhythms to help them experience and understand the concepts of shape and space.

Some drawing materials and tools should be chosen specially for their varied textures, and a growing interest in pattern should be encouraged by helping the children to discover the effects of repeated marks, lines and shapes.