Drawing Hacks and Techniques

Drawing Hacks and Techniques
Drawing Hacks and Techniques

My kids love drawing, especially expressing themselves with color. So I was thinking the other day, which craft ideas and drawing techniques, would keep them occupied for the whole of the school holidays.

Drawing tricks that actually work with children? I have found that the following drawing techniques really capture children's attention and interest. Don't be afraid to experiment with different materials as children of a young age, love to make a mess and express themselves.

Drawing Hacks That Work

The following article will outline 11 great drawing techniques to develop at home with your children. They all use basic materials and equipment which can be found or sourced at home.

Wax Crayon Resist

What is the crayon resist technique? Children really enjoy using colorful materials and the wax resist is perfect way to inspire their enthusiasm for drawing and a love of materials.

For this technique you need a flat work area to work on, paper, colorful wax crayons, black poster paint with detergent, water container, paint brush and cocktail sticks to draw with.

Apply wax crayons to the surface of the paper. A good way to achieve this is to draw simple, colorful patterns ensuring you cover the whole of the page.

The  next stage is to paint black watercolor or poster paint over the wax crayon, again ensuring that you cover the whole page. Allow to dry for an hour.

Once the paint has dried, begin to use a sharp drawing tool such as a cocktail stick or a compass to draw fine lines onto the surface of the dry paint. Colorful marks will begin to appear, young children especially love this versatile technique.

Make a Zetagational Tile

How to make a zentangel tile?  Zentangel patterns are great fun!  Children love to draw simple patterns in black. The visual contrast of black on white, makes this is a simple and effective way to create some great drawings.

For this technique you will need, 10 pieces of paper cut  9- 10 cms squared, a set black marker pen. I recommend more than as they have a tendency to run out.

Encourage your children to draw abstract repetitive patterns and shapes, remembering that each individual tile does not have an up or down.

Drawing with Colored Shaving Foam

So how do you draw with paint and foam? Firstly, this technique is great for creating random patterns which can be worked into when dry.

You will need some old shaving foam and color ink or paint. Dispense some foam onto a mixing palette and add ink. Use a palette knife or brush to mix them both together, apply onto paper and allow it to dry.

Allow to mix to set and wipe away. The combination of foam and ink will create a beautiful color surface which can be used to create simple drawings onto

Ink and Water

How to draw with ink and  water. This is another interesting way of creating interesting results with a simple drawing method. Adding ink to a wet surface can result in some usual range of surface effects when the ink bleeds into the wet water. This stain the surface of the paper which can be further manipulated with a fine drawing tool such as a fountain pen or a fine brush.

This method can be taken a stage further with a dryer or moving the paper around when it is wet.

Continuous Line Drawings with Felt Tip Pen

Continuous line drawings. This is a relatively simple technique that can be used to create an instant drawing using a continuous line. Remember to keep the pen on the paper and eyes off the paper whilst you draw your subject.

You will need colored pens and paper to create drawings using this method.

Tea Dyeing and Coffee Staining Hacks

How to use tea dyeing and coffee staining to create drawings.  This method can be used to quickly and instantly create random shapes onto paper, which can be worked into when dry. This is a great way to create interesting surfaces onto different qualities of paper.

You can use a small sponge to create instant effects onto drawing paper, which when dry can be manipulated into different drawing at a later stage.

Drawing Eyes with Watercolors

Children love to draw eyes. Children also love to watch others drawing ideas. Begin with a simple tutorial showing them how to draw basic shapes and progressively adding more detail and shadow.

This is a good way to use watercolors by progressively adding darker tones and applying finer details.

Drawing with Colored String.

How do you draw with colored string. Fill two separate pots of brightly colored poster paint. They can be different shapes of the same color to create a harmonious color range.

Cut to separate lengths of string, and place into the paint, allowing the paint to soak into the string. Make sure that you leave some of the string hanging outside of the pot, this will allow you to easily pull the string out of the paint when you are ready.

When ready, place the string onto a plain piece of folded white paper. Closed to paper and pull the string to create beautiful random patterns, which can be displayed at a later stage.

Fingerprint Drawing

Fingerprints are a fun and simple method of creating patterns with your children. Simply pour some paint into a bowl or saucer and allow your child to dip the fingers into the paint. Encourage them to make repetitive patterns onto the paper which, when dry can be enhanced and drawn onto.

Drawing with Sand

Drawing with sand is great fun for kids. If you have access to color sandbox, you can use this to great affect at home, when combining it with a lightbox. Simply pour the sand onto a clear piece of plastic and draw into the sand with a pencil or paint brush.

Alternatively, you can create shapes by pressing objects into the sand. You can achieve amazing results by placing the sand onto a lightbox and allowing the light to shine through the sand. Remember to take a digital photograph, so you can  keep your work for prosperity! This is a simple technique which your children will certainly enjoy.

Drawing with a Straw

How to draw with a drinking straw? Using colored inks or watercolors blow the liquid out of the straw onto plain white paper. This will quickly create bubbles onto the paper which children love to create. You can use a variety of color  to create different patterns on the paper. Place to one side and allow to dry.

Once the drawing has dried, you can work into the patterns and create interesting patterns

How to Develop Creative ideas for Drawing?

Drawing Hacks
Drawing Hacks

Inspiration is can be an issue for some artists, but drawing is an effective way to both explore the world around us and generate ideas. Remember when you are seeking inspiration for artwork, ideas will only be generated if you are willing to look for them. Here are my main suggestions if you are looking to find creative ideas for drawing.

  • Go for a walk. If you are stuck for ideas and cannot think of anything to draw. Simply go for a walk in your local park, in the city, or in the countryside. You can use a small sketchbook to record ideas that take your interest. Or alternatively, use a digital camera to take back to your studio area.
  • Make an inspiration wall. This is a method that I have noticed many successful artists use to develop ideas and as a visual reference point for further artwork. You can achieve this quite simply, by setting aside space on a wall or a display area. Anything which you find visually interesting can be displayed here. Look for varied examples of drawing, composition, and color which grab your attention
  • Look at different artists' work. This is a good way to generate ideas for artwork that you personally interested in. If there is a particular artist you have an affinity towards and admire. You and interpret their techniques and ideas as a way of creating totally original artwork.


Ian Walsh is the creator and author of improvedrawing.com and an Art teacher based in Merseyside in the United Kingdom. He holds a BA in Fine Art and a PGCE in teaching Art and Design. He has been teaching Art for over 24 Years in different parts of the UK. When not teaching Ian spending his time developing this website and creating content for the improvedrawing channel.

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Drawing Hacks & Techniques