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Activity Idea: Back to Back Drawing (Quick Tip)

Need: pencils, paper, sketching surface

Break your group into pairs before you take them into your chosen gallery. Identify one member of each group that will be willing to draw and the other who will be a “describer”. Place each pair at a painting–try to organize it so that the drawers don’t get a good look at the painting. The describer will face the painting (can be seated on a gallery stool or the floor) and the drawer will sit back-to back with the describer so that they face away from the painting. The describer will do their best to describe the contents and composition of the painting while the drawer attempts to recreate the painting based on the description. The drawer can ask questions for clarification but cannot look at the painting. After a few minutes, allow the drawer to turn around and see the paintings. You may opt to have people switch roles after a few minutes too. As a large group, have describers and drawers talk about their experiences. What parts of the paintings were easy to describe/draw? What was more challenging? How did you have to communicate as a pair to do this?