Mean keen drawing machine


I’ve drawn to the point of exhaustion today, all in preparation for the 160 kids who will be descending on Leeds Museum on 1 October to take part in the Big Draw.

The Big Draw is organised by the Campaign for Drawing and is all about getting people having fun and getting creative through drawing. It’s been running since 2000 and over 200,000 people in 15 countries – and Leeds!

Freelance creative and educator Clare Price and Anthony Haddon from Blah Blah Blah Theatre Company were our workshop leaders for the day and they really got our creative juices flowing and our critical thinking caps on. The activities were a mix of warm ups, group working, and creativity, they included:

  • Introducing ourselves to the group
  • Folding a large pieces of paper in three, drawing a head, then passing it on for the next person to draw the torso of a fairy tale character, before passing it on again to draw the legs of an animal
  • Passing a clap around the group, changing its direction or flinging it across the circle
  • Passing objects around the circle and miming out a new use for them
  • Drawing your favourite mimed item (the plastic cup as a beard was a fav amongst the group)
  • Everyone sitting on ground along a long roll of paper, putting the pen on the paper, and without looking at it again drawing whatever is conducted by the person standing at the end of the paper
  • Finding a shape or character in the free drawing and working it up into a more obvious drawing
  • Working in a group to write a short story about each of the characters we created
  • Working in pairs to draw a plastic animal using a pen with a ruler attached so we both controlled one end
  • Working with each other, add clothes, text, and a name for the character
  • Make an illustrated book – we each got a little wrapped present which we drew on page, we opened it and drew our little animal on page two, we then drew a close up on page three, on pages four and five it was our animal in a setting, on six and seven was our animal in the same setting with the animal our neighbour had, and on the final double page spread it was about finishing the story
  • The front and back cover was a repeat pattern from a theme inside
  • Making physical freeze frame picture based on a word

The Big Draw is being held at the perfect time for Leeds Museum as they are hosting an exhibition of Anthony Browne‘s work. A former Leeds College of Art student, Anthony is now an internationally acclaimed writer and illustrator of very popular children’s books. He was Children’s Laurette 2009 to 2011 and has over 40 titles to his name.

We spent some time in the exhibition enjoying the works on display and the games and dress-up clothes. We then gathered in the kitchen in the exhibition and talked about the works – recurring themes and motifs, drawing style, and story telling.

Lots of the exercises we had done during the day picked up on Anthony’s interests and it was really nice to have this connection. I’m really looking forward to hearing his talk during the event.

Unfortunately I had to leave early and missed the last session where we got into groups and planned the 30 minute workshop we would be delivering on the day. All the training in the morning has me primed for the day and I’m hoping I can slot in and support the group I’m assigned on the day.


2 thoughts on “Mean keen drawing machine

  1. Pingback: The Big Draw | KJG that's me

  2. Pingback: Would I like to work in a primary school? | KJG that's me

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