Learning to Draw with “Echo Drawing”

Learning to Draw with Echo Drawing

Draw­ing is a vital skill for becom­ing visual com­mu­ni­ca­tors at home, at school, and at work. This is not about hav­ing nat­ural tal­ent or artis­tic abil­ity.… any­one can learn to draw! Draw­ing is all about look­ing care­fully at things and see­ing the rela­tion­ships between lines and shapes, and gra­da­tions of light and dark. We call this “learn­ing to see like an artist”. 

“Echo Draw­ing” is an activ­ity that helps develop obser­va­tion and draw­ing skills so that any­one can learn to “see like an artist”. Through copy­ing a series of designs from sim­ple to com­plex, stu­dents begin to notice visual details and rela­tion­ships that they pre­vi­ously took for granted. In the process, they also learn to look more obser­vantly at the world all around them.

This activ­ity was inspired by the “dupli­ca­tion exer­cise” in Mona Brookes’ clas­sic, “Draw­ing with Chil­dren”. You can cre­ate your own ver­sion of a dupli­ca­tion exer­cise, or visit Teach Kids Art on Teach­ers Pay Teach­ers to down­load my 8 page pdf, fea­tur­ing a more detailed expla­na­tion, lots of help­ful tips, and hand-drawn designs that range from “eas­i­est” to “most challenging”.

Like any­thing worth learn­ing, the skills of care­ful obser­va­tion and eye-hand coor­di­na­tion improve with prac­tice! In addi­tion to the four prac­tice pages included, you’ll also find an extra page of blank boxes which enables teach­ers to cre­ate more exer­cises at what­ever level they want. Stu­dents also enjoy using this page to cre­ate their own designs to exchange with their friends! 

Echo Draw­ing is great as a stand-alone draw­ing les­son or as an activ­ity for stu­dents to pull out when they fin­ish other work. You can find my “Learn­ing to Draw with Echo Draw­ing” pdf on Teach­ers Pay Teachers.

Echo Drawing on TpT

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6 Responses to Learning to Draw with “Echo Drawing”

  1. LJ July 6, 2014 at 12:34 am #

    Great idea!

  2. Kim Hyman July 6, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

    I’ve done this with first grade stu­dents for years and devel­oped my pages after read­ing “Draw­ing with Chil­dren” myself. It always amazes me how quiet my young stu­dents become as they con­cen­trate on this process. Some take to it very quickly and oth­ers strug­gle a bit more but it is a ter­rific process and intro­duc­tion to train­ing stu­dents to develop their eye.
    Kim Hyman recently posted..Today I met Kristy PattersonMy Profile

    • Cheryl Trowbridge July 7, 2014 at 10:35 am #

      I agree, Kim… this is a totally engag­ing activ­ity for young stu­dents… and even adults! I like to do a form of this by mak­ing quick “echo-sketches” of ran­dom designs that catch my eye. Another rea­son to keep a sketch­book and pencil/pen handy at all times!

  3. Almost Unschoolers July 11, 2014 at 6:13 pm #

    I like the idea of teach­ing chil­dren to “see like an artist” — great activ­ity!
    Almost Unschool­ers recently posted..Sum­mer Fun 2014 — Side­walk Chalk Scrib­ble ArtMy Profile

  4. Art Mom July 21, 2014 at 11:35 pm #

    Great idea to get those lit­tle ones draw­ing.
    Art Mom recently posted..Draw­ing For Kids… A Doctor’s PerspectiveMy Profile

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