‘Drawing is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence.’ Henri Matisse (1869 – 1954)

20190416_193716While taking my group sessions for placement in an addictions unit where art therapy is part of the client’s programme. I have observed that all the materials on offer

  • paints
  • chalks
  • pencils
  • glue
  • feathers
  • collage
  • oil pastels
  • crayons
  • charcoal

20190416_221440Almost every client has chosen dry materials most have shied away from using wet materials. I wonder why this is?

Definition of drawing

a picture or diagram made with a pencil, pen, or crayon rather than paint.
“a series of charcoal drawings on white paper”
words related to drawing sketchpictureillustrationrepresentationportrayaldelineationdepictioncompositionstudydiagramoutlinedesignplanartist’s impression, tracing

Drawing can depict actions and record the wanderings of imagination.

Drawing materials are controllable and have predictable results. is this why my clients like to use this form of media in the therapy session. Chalk and oil pastels tend to be more fluid materials (more easily manipulated), while materials such as colored pencils tend to be more restrictive (more controlled)

20190416_221719What types of drawing are there?

  • doodling
  • tattoos
  • embroidery
  • digital drawing
  • drawing in mood
  • drawing in sand
  • drawing on a steamed window
  • drawing on paper

What can we draw on?

  • body
  • fabric
  • paper
  • walls
  • furniture
  • plastic
  • windows
  • mirrors
  • ornaments
  • ground
  • beach
  • wood
  • metal
  • ceramic

What can we use to draw with?

  • pencil
  • pen
  • oil pastel
  • chalk
  • our hands
  • sticks
  • needle and thread
  • our feet
  • charcoal
  • crayons
  • markers
  • sewing machine
  • carving tools
  • nature

Drawing can be:- 

  • controlled
  • expressive
  • detailed
  • abstract
  • layered
  • erased
  • can be large or small
  • Illustrated
  • animated

What is considered drawing?

Drawing materials are any materials that can be incorporated into the making of two-dimensional artwork. These materials consist of, but are not limited to, pencils, markers, charcoal, oil pastels, chalk pastels, and crayons (Rubin, 1984).

Well, its essential mark makes drawing is putting you mark down in a permanent state. It is thought that drawing materials can be found anywhere and is any material that can make a mark.

20190416_193550-1When do we start to draw?

We can draw before we can talk when we are children. It can be used as a form of communication.

human beings in almost every culture have made art for many thousands of years and that, together with the making of objects, drawing is the oldest and perhaps the most fundamental form of visual art. It seems that mark making is a natural consequence of the innate predisposition of humans to use hands (Dissanayake 2000). 

What are the benefits of drawing?

  • It can help develop our ideas
  • form of meditation
  • helps us express our internal experiences
  • help us slow down and pay attention to what we have down if we take the time to really look at our work
  • helps us develop our observation
  • a form of communication without a word

The written language developed from drawings

What drawing do we do in the world? what do we leave behind? what were our 1st marks in this world?

Drawing can give our inner world a vocal ability and skill that does not determine our sense of expression. So a scribble is an expression off ourselves……….. go ahead and try it do a scribble feeling:-

  • happy
  • sad
  • angry
  • lost

I bet they all look and feel a little different you most likely used the same material different ways to get each effect eg holding pen lightly, tightly, pressing hard, soft your movement may have been different. this is a simple form of expressing ourselves.

this takes me on to say that drawing involves movement we can me tight constrained confined closed small gestures while doing a drawing draw into it or we can be free-flowing large movement almost like a dance.

Drawing is open to all no matter what skill set a person has its fast its fun and you can achieve a positive effect in a short period of time.

Drawing materials are often associated with childhood (Rubin, 1984). Materials such as markers and crayons are materials that children often use throughout the course of childhood development. Does using these materials bring my clients back to their childhood. Or are they starting where they left off?

I started with this presentation wondering why all my clients choose to draw wondering why they don’t use the other material on offer and I end with.

Everyone in this world draws no matter age social status, race, religion or culture we have all drawn sometime in our life’s some longer ago than other but drawing can connect us to tell a story that we cant with words.

So I am ending this with the thought that I need to admire each drawing more and see it more as an extension of the clients and not just a drawing there work is part of them and piece of the jigsaw into there life drawing could be a concrete realization of intangible inner thoughts.


Im not sure I have completely answered my questions but I have developed new insight into drawing and how I will view it for myself and for my clients. 20190416_193912-1.jpg




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