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International Drawing Day 16th May

By The Arty Teacher - May 13, 2024

May 16th is International Drawing Day. It’s an opportunity for people all over the world to celebrate drawing.

Celebrating International Drawing Day in schools is important because it encourages creativity, self-expression, and cultural appreciation. Drawing helps students think creatively, solve problems visually, and communicate effectively. By dedicating a day to drawing, schools recognise its universal appeal and its ability to connect people across cultures. It also teaches students to respect diverse artistic styles and traditions. Ultimately, celebrating International Drawing Day helps students develop important skills and a global perspective needed for success in the modern world.

How to Celebrate International Drawing Day #DrawingDay

I’m pleased to have any excuse to raise the profile and importance of art in school. Here are some easy-to-implement ideas:

Drawing Day: On the 16th suspend all projects and get your students drawing. You could set up a still life or provide each class with a different object such as a pine cone, tree bark, seedpods or something that links with your current project.

Drawing Competition: Organise a drawing competition. This could be as simple as choosing a theme and providing paper and a deadline. This could be optional or you could set it as a homework task for every student so that the whole school takes part. You could provide prizes or certificates.

Drawing Workshops: Schedule drawing workshops in lesson or at lunchtime on the 16th where students can learn something new. Could you buy a medium they haven’t used before? Or invite in a guest artist?

Outdoor Sketching: Take your classes outside for a session of plein air drawing, allowing students to draw from life and nature.

Collaborative Artwork. There are many collaborative artworks on this website, or you could simply give each student the same size piece of paper where the display becomes the collaboration. What if you gave each student a parcel tag to draw on?

International Drawing Day

Art Exhibition: Arrange an art exhibition within the school that highlights excellent and creative drawings. You could invite students to vote on their favourites with categories such as ‘Most Skillful’, ‘Most Creative’, ‘Most Imaginative’ or ‘Most Creative Media’. You could provide prizes or certificates.

Guest Artist Visits: Invite a local artist to the classroom to share their experiences and expertise in drawing, inspiring students with real-world insights. Find artists who offer workshops in your country and area in my Artists in Schools database.

Drawing Journaling: Introduce journaling as a daily practice, encouraging students to document their thoughts, observations, and experiences through sketches.

Digital Drawing Activities: Incorporate digital drawing activities using tablets or computers, introducing students to digital art tools and techniques.

Drawing Challenges: To encourage experimentation and creativity, issue drawing challenges throughout the day, such as drawing with unconventional materials or drawing with their non-dominant hand.

What sort of drawing could you do?

Observational drawing, drawing from the imagination, doodling, portrait drawing, landscape drawing, still life drawing, figure drawing, cartooning, caricature drawing, technical drawing, illustration, fashion drawing, architectural drawing, scientific illustration, line or tone/value drawing, pen and ink drawing, charcoal or pastel drawing or drawing with a brush.

I’d love to see drawing that you do with your students in school to celebrate International Drawing Day. Please get in touch on my contact page which comes straight to my inbox. If you share your student creations on social media, use the hashtag #DrawingDay

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The Arty Teacher

Sarah Crowther is The Arty Teacher. She is a high school art teacher in the North West of England. She strives to share her enthusiasm for art by providing art teachers around the globe with high-quality resources and by sharing her expertise through this blog.

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