Category Archives: drawing

Op Art Inspired Line Drawing

I couldn’t resist sharing this amazing line drawing technique demonstrated by Ted Edinger on his website Art With Mr. E. The method is fairly simple for children to do, and the results are very effective at demonstrating the wonders of optical illusions. Continue reading


Filed under Art Movements, doodling, drawing, Op Art

Creature Camouflage

Camouflage occurs when animals are either hard to see, like a black panther lurking in the night looking for its prey, or when they blend in with their environment by resembling something else, like a stick insect looking like a twig. When animals are hard to see, it increases their chance of survival. Children can explore this idea by making some background patterns and a few creatures of their own. Continue reading


Filed under animals/creatures, Art and Nature, drawing

Doodling Lucy

They say Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds was inspired by a drawing John Lennon’s son made at school. There are also those who insist other things were on John’s mind when he wrote the lyrics, but the fact remains it’s a wonderful song. It was released in 1967 on the Beatle’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, which became the most successful selling album in the 1960’s. Its dream-like lyrics and powerful imagery makes it perfect for getting lost in some doodling.

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Filed under doodling, drawing, music

All Thumbs

Some people have the ability to use both hands with equal skill, and are referred to as ambidextrous. This occurs naturally in about 1 in every 100 people. Others teach themselves out of curiosity or necessity, following an injury or illness.

This clumsy challenge involves drawing with your non-dominant hand, and while it may leave you feeling somewhat ham-fisted and uncoordinated, it will also leave you thoroughly impressed by those who can do it all with both hands.

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Dubuffet’s painting below manages to be captivating, humourous and disturbing all at the same time. It also serves as inspiration for this project which is about exploring the face in a playful way. Formal proportions are set aside in favour of deliberate distortions, whimsical expressions and a simple desire to doodle faces.

Affluence by Jean Dubuffet, 1961. Image:

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Filed under doodling, drawing

Follow The Line

Follow The Line is a clever book by Laura Ljungkvist, which explores the idea of using one continuous line to make a drawing. Simply start at one end of the paper, illustrating whatever you like until you reach the other end. Just remember, no lifting or back tracking!  Shapes will be formed when lines overlap, which can then be filled in with colour at the end. You’ll need nothing more than a stack of paper, some markers and kids in need of something to do. Enjoy, have fun, and I bid you all a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and plenty of vices to see you through it!

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Paul Klee Project

Insula Dulcamara by Paul Klee, 1938.

The Swiss/German artist, Paul Klee, was born in 1879 and today would have been his birthday. He was a great admirer of children’s art, primitive art, and deeply influenced by music, which he studied for years. Klee’s work has been associated with many different styles including Expressionism, Surrealism and Abstraction, but he generally liked to work independently, coming up with his own interpretation of trends. This combination of skills and interests, coupled with his mastery of colour and experimentation with different media, made Klee’s work unique.

In this project, we will focus on Klee’s use of geometric forms, symbols and figures applied to dreamlike coloured backgrounds.

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Filed under drawing, Paul Klee

Self Portraits With A Twist

The illustrator and cartoonist Michael Mathias Prechtl made this poster for the G. Schirmer music store in New York, back in 1974. When I recently saw it in an old graphic design book, I realized it was time to spice up the traditional self portrait. If Beethoven could have his head exploding with women and music, children could also have things they enjoy tumbling out of their head. Imagine the possibilities.

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Mandalas, Sanskrit for circle, are concentric diagrams having spiritual significance in both the Buddhist and Hindu religions. They can be seen in the sacred art of both these traditions, and are used in meditation as a spiritual teaching tool and a way of focussing one’s attention. For children and adults alike, it’s a wonderful relaxing exercise in concentration, and it all begins with a dot.

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Filed under drawing, mandalas

3D Family Portrait

If you find your family a little bland and typical, why not add a good dose of quirkiness and create a fictional world with your family members in the starring roles! If there are days when you think your brother comes from another planet, your sister from the Addam’s Family, or your parents have stopped making sense, you’ve probably got lots of material to work with already.

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