Drawing Instructions

Today I got drawing 23 instructions for drawing from the children at Our Lady of Lourdes:


1. Draw a circle in the middle of the page.

2. Put in a big spot in the middle of the circle.

3. Split the circle into three sections.

4. Make each section brighter and brighter.

5. Draw stars around your circle.

6. Rub your fingers around your circle to make a blurred outline.


1. Draw a spider in the middle of the page.

2. Using your finger smudge the spider out a bit.

3. Behind your spider draw a web


1.draw a swirl

2. Then draw a 2 shape with a swirl at the end of the 2

3. Draw a swirley line

4. draw a twister

5. Draw a dimond

6.draw a snowflake

7. draw a star

8. draw a river

9. Then smug it all with your fingers


1 Use lots of shading techniques

2 And lots of dark thick lines

3 And shading inside the dark lines

4 Draw shapes in shapes in places that feel suite

5 use lots of smudging and brushing


1. Draw a swirl

2. Draw a flower and make sure it is on top of the swirl.

3. Shade the flower into the swirl.

4. Draw tornadoes around the flower and smudge them.

5. Draw snowflakes around the flower too.


1. Draw a bubble (of any shade) with your name on it.

2. Do another one in a completely different shape and size, do as much

as you like.

3. At the end the piece will look like an inky underwater scene.

4. You can only use charcoal.

5. Do not x out any other bubble.

6. Your name can be any style.

7. Decorate the bubble with any pattern, still making sure the name is



1 You must draw shapes.

2 Then you can smug it to make it really dark and then you can make it


3 You can rub your fingers in Charcoal and do finger painting.


• Use charcoal to write your name

• Smudge it with your finger

• Draw a shape around it

• Put fingerprints in the background

• Add dots

• Shade the edges of the shape


1.Make a trunk shape and rub up and down

2. Draw a shape of a crown of a tree

3. In the middle make it really dark and getting lighter

4. And then smudge it really well

5. At the bottom of the tree draw big roots

6. They all have to be different shapes

7. Make it look 3D


1.Draw lots of squares .

2. Yellow , green , red , blue paint .

3.Put lots of paint on .

4. Mix them .

5. cut the squares that it looks like a square portal


1 Make some flowers and draw them at the top and shade

2 Do swirls and all over the bottom

3 Draw10 lines and rube the second one


• Draw a swirl in the middle of the page.

• After you did that draw a swirl square around it.

• Smudge the swirl in.

• Then draw little dots after you did that smudge in the dots.


1. Write your name

2. Draw a swirl and smudge it

3. Shade over the swirl [ dark from light ]

4. Draw dark dots over all over it

5. Draw small swirls around it

6. Draw dots and smudge them a bit

7. Draw a swirl and colour lightly over it

8. Colour in one of your fingers and print it all over your page

9. Shade from light to dark in different places on your page


1. Draw four swirls in each corner

2. Shade over them

3. Draw a tornado by shading

4. Make a big swirl in the middle of the page

5. Shade over it

6. Put the charcoal in a place and twist it

7. Put dots anywhere and use the top of the charcoal and rub them all


1. Draw four boxes.

2. Draw a spiral in the left top box and the left bottom box and after draw a

3. Shade all four of the spirals in.

4. Draw one straight line up and one line across from that.

5. Draw an x in the middle of the picture its self.

backwards spiral in the right hand top box and the right hand bottom box.


1. Get a piece of charcoal and draw bolts in each corner.

2. You then draw a right angle from the right and an obtuse angle from the left

3. Make sure their tips are touching.

4. Shade a line through the tips.

5. Draw a really dark line under the angles and smudge it.

6. Use the side of your piece of charcoal and shade a line through your previous



1.Draw a swirl in the middle of your page.

2.Shade your swirl to make your art work beautiful.

3.Shade with your finger.

4.make a shape on the page wherever you want.

5.Do carve lines like a storm.


You first get a piece of charcoal and shade all of your picture.

.Draw a swirl somewhere in the page .

.Then draw a big heart so you can draw more stuff in it .

 .Draw a smiley face in the heart .

 .Draw on your finger and press down on the paper like footprints .

 .Then smug it all .


1. Draw some swirls and smudge them a bit

2. Draw some dots some really dark and some really light

3. Write your signature in the middle and draw a shape around it the smudge around the


4. Draw a really dark circle

5. Draw a really light circle inside it

6. Draw a really light circle inside your really light one

7. Draw two more of the circle things somewhere else on the page


draw a small square in the middle of your page (really dark).

Draw another square outside the first one only a bit lighter.

Keep doing this until there is no more room.

Then draw a small star in the middle of the first square.

Next draw 4 lines diagonally from that star (getting lighter going across the page).

Spin the charcoal in the first and second square until you can’t .


• draw a circle and then put a spot of charcoal in the middle

• after that cut the corners

• then with the corners colour them in then in charcoal patterns

• Glue them back on your work .


• Draw a football shade, half the football into two pieces into a circle draw a line.

• Up down the middle and through the middle in the whole piece.

• Now draw another circle outside of the other circle.

• Rub in the charcoal onto the page.


• Draw swirls

• Draw designs

• Draw patterns

• Sign your name

• Draw shapes

• Glue in more patterns like sticky shapes

• Cut your design out and stick it in a different way

• Out line your work after your done to make it stand out

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data doldrums and charcoal joy

We had a short session this morning where children showed their charcoal drawings and talked about the instructions they created for making them. I was able to hear and see tantalising snippets between audio/visual freezes

We have got the over and out down to a tee

The children have done work with copying images and redrawing on top of these in their editions, I would so love to be in the classroom looking at this stuff n the flesh. There are some nice ideas coming through collageing ‘real’ material over reproduction – here is the most frustrating kind of information gap…I want to see this stuff to make the jump to the next level – or sideways

I have asked each student to send me an instruction, which I will attempt to follow – that’s 29 individual drawings – and send back digitally including my new instruction  which each originator will draw on top and resend – the magnificent Mr. Doyle has agreed to the abduction of the school printer for our plan…

I also sent an instruction – using charcoal to fill a page with black and rub a hole any size, any shape, anywhere on the surface…


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virtually not there

Well today’s session was very much in the dark, we couldn’t get into a virtual classroom at all.

I asked the children to use charcoal. This is the first time they used it.

Teacher Tony asked children to touch smell, taste the charcaol talked about what is is where it comes from…asked children to divide paper and conduct tests in each section making notes about how they made different marks.

It will be good to really explore the materiality of the charcoal and paper – wood product to wood product – to practice thinking about materiality in their future work with instructions. They are going to try the editions of instructions to see how it works. I really would like to keep this really open to invent solutions thinking about materiality and processes in order to follow adopt,adapt instructions in the creation of an artpiece.

I am dying to see the photos from today’s session.

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prep for penultimate session

Self generating drawings:

Last week’s session looking at Cesara Pietroiusti’s untitled Drawing no. 039″

Ideas of (de)generation, corruption in repetition

accumulation and erasure

More Recipes for Drawing

In tomorrow’s session I am planning to go monochrome

Walking a line: exploring Paul Klee’s taking a line for a walk

Drawing Recipe no. 3

Taking a line for a walk

  • fat marker
  • biro
  • A4 paper

start at top right corner
touch the fat marker down onto the paper
draw a line from right to left until you reach the other side of the paper
hold the marker here, still touching the paper
close your eyes
draw a line from left to right, parallel to the line you have just drawn,
keep going till you reach the edge of the paper
open your eyes
**draw a line from right to left parallel to the line above it
keep going till you reach the other side
hold the marker here, still touching the edge of the paper
close your eyes
draw a line parallel to the line above
keep going till you reach the other side
hold the marker on the edge of the page
open your eyes

repeat from ** until you reach the bottom of the page.

I used a fat black marker, you would get very different results using charcoal, can you predict how?

drawing and writing  – left to right
back and forth –  forward and reverse
(remember drawing the circles – starting by  radiating in/radiating out or changing how the ripples “grow”)
seeing and believing – eyes open eyes closed
parallel lines
how ‘full’ is your paper? Is there more black or more white on it?
look at each other’s work, are there different results? – describe
Choose a different medium  – charcoal/biro
Make another drawing on top using a different medium (layering)
Make another drawing on top orient the paper the other way (weaving)
Try on different sizes of paper – hand – wrist – arm – body

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session 7

We worked with an adaptation of Cesara Pietroiusti’s “untitled Drawing”

– first of all checking what we understood from the original instructions and responses:


I made a version so each child had a copy:


Lot’s of interesting ideas came up

I asked: “How does it feel to eliminate someone’s name and have one’s name ‘eliminated’ ”

“it’s like monopoly where you take over someone’s place and make it your own”

“I own the original paper – the one I started – I retrieved my drawing from the person it was passed on to and re-wrote my name on top again”

“I can prove it’s my drawing because I can see all of the changes that were made since the start”

“Traces ?” – “Yes you can trace back to the first person”

“I crossed out all of the instructions, because it is my drawing”



Some ways of eliminating of a signature:


ideas eliminated elliminateCutout

The pictures above are blurry screenshots in the lowere picture my signature has been cut out and another signature stuck on (much like a comic book plank nailed to a door) There is a hole and a repair. Luca’s band aid.

I like the mixing of mediums, and the decision Luca made to leave the border of the floating shadow printed around the picture box for my signature on the word document and the hole he has cut inside this.

I would love to see what happens next to this drawing.

Ideas of original  and ownwership came up,

We looked at Robert Rauschenberg’s “Erased de Kooning Drawing”


Ideas of collaboration

Ideas of control

Next Classroom experiment:

Thinking about Editions, the significance of the number 039 on Cesara Pietroiusti’s “untitled Drawing”


– the originator can produce a limited amount of copies for distribution and keep the original Real drawing/set of instructions for herself/himself.

The person who alters the original can then make a limited amount of copies and distribute them as his/her own work and so on.


Here is drawing 44 from Cesara Pietroiusti’s Wide Open School Workshop



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artist reflections

I was amazed to see the amount of work Mr Doyle’s class had been doing. There were multiples of of everything, inspired from fractals and geometry – paintings and sculptures all about pattern, scale, tones and colour, rhythm and repetition. Impressive. Children had looked at Mondrian and Bridget Reilly and experimented with primary colours and outline, in the process they had found random forms in their palettes. They had made colourful textured pieces from folded, bent and concertina-ed paper  spilling out of paper folded boxes and hanging pieces looking like Mardi Gras costumes, the classroom was an  explosion of colour and creativity.

In our last few sessions together I would like to concentrate on instructions to keep the process really open ended, allowing instructions devised by the children to self generate ideas from the children. And Mr. Doyle likes the idea of a recipe for a drawing. Taking a lead from Sol le Witt it will be fun to develop ideas for making drawings collaboratively and individually, paying careful attention to material properties and pushing ideas to the limit….

I would like the children to make drawings (in pencil or charcoal or pen and ink for now, keeping colour out of it) from the pipe cleaner and straw sculptures to develop these ideas to think about how something ‘behaves’ while drawing, we have built up quite complex forms orginating from fairly random instructions, incorporating ideas from responses, re-making in another material, thinking about material properties and further drawing will involve a further response to this making, a thread of enquiry is being developed, at each stage sharing ideas and then going it alone….how far can we take it?

An aside:

In another project (separate from ours but may have links), Mr Doyle is working on ideas to paint a mural on a wall in the yard. We talked about doing a painting based on an adaptation of Sol le Witt’s instructions….. this is one le Witt painting Mr Doyle has picked out:

Wall drawing 1136 - Sol le Witt
Wall drawing 1136 – Sol le Witt

Working backwards – I think this drawing is not the product of a set of le Witt’s instructions – it would be quite a challenge to devise instructions for Wall Drawing 1136. I think it might be quite an exacting task to complete and see the result.

Mr Doyle also talked  about an artist, Holton Rower, who pours paint over stacks of stuff, allowing it to pool at the base then pouring a smaller amount of another colour on top to create radiating patterns. This sounds like an exciting set of instructions – literally with quite a flow, and potentially fun and do-able…(gravity defies this project for a a wall…or maybe there is a way… thinking about materials for exteriors and changing things from horizontal to vertical)

untitled - Holten Rower
untitled – Holten Rower


Untitled 2010 Acrylic on Plywood
Acrylic on Plywood






here’s a video showing a pour:


more about colour




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Children’s Reflections

Children when making instructions were quite ambitious…building time machines and portals were part of the equation…. children tested instructions and passed them on to another group (at the start of the day we had played Chinese Whispers, incredibly there was very little corruption – this is a class of good listeners) Children made drawings by following the instructions given by each group, there was plenty of room for interpretation.

After making the drawings we looked at the work and described it- and found that many of the drawings described time or growth in one way or another..  there was ‘the onion’ – a stone in water creating ripples, the rings of a tree (which were drawn going in and spreading out – as one artist put it, ‘going backwards and forwards in time’), hypnotic circles, peas in a pod, frog spawn, a pyramid that was also a cape, a triangle that contained a town, (and diamonds – treasure), the idea of shelter, repetition, numbers, hopscotch, footsteps and stepping stones, a journey.

After lunch children reflected again on the morning’s activities and also on ideas we had been looking at from Richard Serra’s action list – making drawings in a different material we described the quality of straws and pipe-cleaners:

soft pointy bendy, straight, plastic, furry and actions: twist, bend, flatten, bundle…

children made drawing with these materials

then turned the drawings into sculptures, trying to make them stand













a pod? or a gem from the cape/pyramid drawing…?











potato with ketchup in pan



















More pods and collections





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