ART SPARK 1 Talking teaching: Drawing

Why Draw?

  • where do children draw?
  • what do they learn through drawing?
Quick sketches capture impressions and ideas

Drawing can be done anywhere – at home, at school or in a public place. These children are making quick sketches of some vegetables while on a visit to Borough Market. Here the emphasis is on quickly capturing the essence of what is in front of them. It is an impressionistic drawing. They are learning to respond and record.

concentration and contemplation

Drawing focuses and holds children's attention. It encourages observation and develops perceptual skills, enabling them to understand what they are looking at. These children have spent an hour looking carefully at the sculpture. Their drawing captures feelings, thoughts and imaginings. This type of drawing takes time and children should be encouraged to concentrate quietly and purposefully. It helps them remember and recall the experience.


This boy is absorbed in looking at the shell. The drawing is a trace of this experience. It can act as a prompt to recall not only the object, but also the feelings and the memories of that afternoon in the museum. The act of drawing will ensure that these will last a long time.

comparing notes

Children learn from each other. It is important to make time for them to see each other's work and to talk about it. Teachers can help children discuss their work by providing a framework of questions that focus on different aspects of their drawing. This helps to develop their ability evaluate, make judgements and use evidence.

  • FORM: Do the marks describe the subject well? How?
  • CONTENT: What does the drawing show? How?
  • PROCESS: How was the drawing done?
responding to context

This girl is also responding to context, but she is not doing an observational drawing. She is doing a drawing which echoes the form of the painted lines in the playground relying on her memory and imagination. She has been given permission to play.

using drawing as notes for development

These children are using observational drawings of trees, made earlier, to prompt this large imaginative group drawing of a forest. This develops their skills of interpretation and co-operation. A key feature of this activity is related to the change of scale. This involves radically different ways of making marks and reading them. Once again it involves making decisions and sharing judgements.


Where do children draw? Children can draw anywhere and everywhere. Drawing is a way of interacting with their environment and capturing the moment.

What do they learn through drawing? They learn to understand; to imagine to communicate. They learn to respond, observe and remember, to evaluate, to play and work together.

This was made by Eileen Adams and Dan China to explore the use of Adobe Spark Pages as a vehicle for professional sharing for art and design education in primary and secondary schools. It tests the proposition that there needs to be new ways for teacher communities to share practice easily and quickly. For the record this took about two hours but we were inventing the text. If we knew what we were doing at the outset it would have been quicker.

Created By
Eileen Adams


All images shared by permission of The Big Draw.

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