Weekend Links : Making Drawing Different

This week, I am sharing about non-traditional drawing prompts.  I have spent a lot of time with children, paper, and drawing tools, as many readers probably have as well.  Often, drawing becomes about what a child can or cannot represent, and it can be a frustrating experience to be in an environment where a child feels they cannot do something.  All of the links I am sharing this week are about making drawing a process-based exploration, rather than a product-based activity.  Any activity can make a product, but that does not need to be the focus.

There is a question at the end of this post that I hope might spark a discussion about process-based drawing with children.  I hope you'll share your thoughts.

Mathery has created an interactive exhibit where visitors are encouraged to draw everywhere with special crayons that have been shaped and molded just for the occasion.

"Pastello - Draw Act is a dedicated environment based around the re-imagination of traditional drawing tools and processes. The concept shifts perceptions and expectations about traditional materiality, media and the act of drawing itself. It is active, colourful, inspiring and fun. The objective of the space is to ask children tobreak out of their comfort zone and to become active protagonists in the physical act of drawing. Children will be prompted to draw in odd and quirky ways; through sport, performance and random bodily expression, using melted oil pastels as re-imagined drawing contraptions."

There are so many implications for everyday work with young children in this exhibit, but I am most intrigued by the environment.  I am especially interested in how they wordlessly communicate the intent of the exhibit.  The image of the crayon shoes, on feet, playfully waving in the air, communicates the "how" but not the "what".  Expressing that is challenging for many teachers who are trying to focus on process-based work.  This exhibit finds ways to explore visual communication, letting the space speak for itself.

(via swiss miss)

I am always interested in different prompts for art and exploration, and this post about remixing thrift store canvases caught my eye.  The application of something like this can either be quite open-ended, or very product-based, so everything depends on how much freedom the adults involved are ready to give the children!  But, with high-quality materials that truly work on the canvas and an adult who is not worried about what the product looks like, this could be an interesting experience for children.

 (via Tinkerlab)


I believe I shared this before, but the Segni Mossi workshops explore the intersection of visual art and movement with young children.  All of the children are engaged and expressive while they interact with the prompts. There is a playfulness that makes this very child-centered, and very process-based.  Although they are following directions and prompts, they have an incredible opportunity for expression, for making it their own.

These videos speak for themselves; there is also an active facebook page where the artists post about upcoming opportunities and Segni Mossi inspired activities happening around the globe.


How can we make drawing different in early learning environments?  What are the benefits of focusing on process over product?