Drawing has to be one of the simplest and cheapest activities to occupy children. A pencil and piece of paper is all that is needed to create new worlds, treasure maps or gruesome monsters! And of course, it’s not just the kids who should embrace drawing. Any age can feel the benefits that drawing offers us, from aiding concentration and improving your memory skills, to being a wonderful act of self-care, as it helps us de-stress and express ourselves.
We know it can be hard to get started, so our Learning and Participation team have come up with five great ways to take the pressure off and make drawing lots of fun. These are activities you can do on a visit to the Walker, Lady Lever or Sudley House, but we know that’s not possible for everybody at the moment, so they are also adaptable to do from home. The most important thing is none of it needs to be perfect. There is no right or wrong way when it comes to creating any type of art. Embrace your own unique artistic style and let the creative juices flow! And if you’re feeling brave enough share your work and don’t forget to tag us – we'd LOVE to see them.
Create a creature
The history of art is full of animals and interesting creatures, often inspired by Greek and Roman mythology.
Make your own fantastic beast by folding a piece of paper in half or 3 sections. As you explore the collection draw part of the different animals you find in each of the sections. So, it could be a cat head in the first, a pig’s body in the second and chicken legs in the third! When you open the paper you’ll reveal a brand new creature!
If you’re doing this at home perhaps you could find different animals in books. This is a lovely activity to do on your own or invite someone to join. You can draw the head of an animal, fold it over so your friend can’t see and ask them to draw the body and swap the paper back to finish the feet. Now think of a name for your new mythical creature.
Line them up
Take a close look at the paintings on display. The closer you get the more you see these wonderful artworks are often made up from a collection of squiggles and lines! Have someone else draw a random line or squiggle anywhere on the paper and the challenge is to create something awesome with it! Could a wiggle become a wigwam? A line become labyrinth?
Find a painting or object in the gallery and draw it. Can your family find it? If you’re at home choose an object in any of the rooms in your house and time them for extra pressure! Top tip: When drawing from real life it’s important to keep looking at the object you are drawing.
As Straight as a Line
Beware this sounds very simple but it’s harder than you think. Can you copy any artwork only using straight lines? This is a brilliant way to make you look carefully, think about your line-making, and spatial awareness. When you get bored of lines try it with geometric shapes instead.
A useful way to unlock the creative side of your brain is to try and look at the world differently and this could be just the way to do it. Choose an artwork and try to draw it upside down. It’s a bit like patting your head and rubbing your belly. Try not to think too hard about it!