Approaches to drawing

The purpose of drawing

Drawing is a fundamental activity that is concerned with visual expression and communication. It contributes much to learning through the process of intensive looking, selecting and organising visual material. It is an immediate and direct means of making a visual response to the world that is personal and unique. In drawing we represent in one set of materials what exists in a different set. Drawing can be used for different purposes which fit into four main categories.

  • As a means of recording – personal statements from first hand observation. In this work children need to be encouraged to spend as much time looking as drawing.
  • As analysis – isolating certain elements, texture, pattern etc. and focusing attention on them e.g. tonal patterns on shells.
  • As expression – a personal response to things seen, heard, or imaginary events – poetry, dance, music, drams etc. can lead to expressive drawing.
  • As communication – when drawing is used to pass on specific information to another person e.g. signs, cartoons, maps etc.

Each of these approaches to drawing will involve children in the use of lines, tones, colours, textures, pattern and shapes working with a range of drawing media on a variety of surfaces.