Big Draw – drawing changes lives

    Published: 27 September 2019

    Drawing in schools 2019


    Each year the Big Draw Festival stimulates creative juices all over the country and promotes the power of drawing. The theme for 2019 is ‘Drawn to life’. The Big Draw describes the festival as being ‘all about letting loose, embracing happy accidents, discovery, and most importantly having fun with those HBs!’. The Big Draw events are happening worldwide throughout the year with the festival taking place from 1 - 31 October.

    Why join The Big Draw festival?

    "The Big Draw is a superb focus for any school - allowing all subjects areas to appreciate the value of drawing and visual literacy and to support the use of transferable skills and knowledge. Drawing is a language that resonates with all subject areas. Drawing is communication that breaks through barriers. And, it helps us speak when words are not enough".


    Susan Coles, (The Big Draw Associate, Cultural Educational Consultant, Artist, school governor, former President of NSEAD)

    If you are a school looking for an opportunity to excite your children through drawing across the curriculum, then you can either take part in events around the country or host your own. On the Big Draw website, you can watch a video by Big Draw patron Sir Roger Penrose on how drawing can be used to develop maths and science!

    Children learn so much about their world through drawing what they observe and experiences that they have had. It stimulates their imagination, allows them to explore the mark making process and improves fine motor control.

    The Big Draw website is full of advice and information on how to register, a timeline of events, prizes, useful publications and much, much more.

    Big Draw believes in drawing to learn not learning to draw

    Whole school drawing opportunities

    The Book with a Hole




    If you are looking for a stimulus for the Big Draw then there are many picture books that can offer a way into drawing. One such book is The Book with a Hole by award winning author Herve Tullet.

    The book does indeed have a huge hole cut through the middle. This wonderful book is a way of seeing the space within a hole differently and offers endless opportunities to interact with it. Herve has illustrated this book with quirky black and white drawings. Herve’s holes including an open mouth, a porthole, an eye, a TV and so much more. Your children will love holding up the book and looking at what they can see through the hole or draw something on a piece of paper to be held up behind the hole or simply stick their head or an object in the hole…….endless possibilities can be found. The double page spreads also have prompts or questions such as ‘what is happening at the swimming pool?’

    Whole school opportunities for each class to take on a different media or technique

    (If viewing on a mobile, tilt device to landscape.)


    Year group Suggested activity
    YR create their own drawings around a hole cut in the middle of a large piece of paper

    create their own hole books to share with a friend


    2 draw in the space created by the hole using Herve’s illustrations as a stimulus
    3 experiment with hole punches of varying sizes to create multiple hole drawing opportunities

    create drawings by using a hole cut into thick card. The children use the hole as a template to draw in or create circular patterns as they move the template around on the paper

    5 create a drawing around their hole then photograph what can be seen through it by finding interesting things or people

    photograph holes in the environment and then do observational drawings of them

    Whole school

    an exhibition could then be mounted to show all the wonderful artwork created by the whole school


    There are a ‘hole’ lot of ideas that you can bring to life through drawing.

    Ruth Goodman - HfL Teaching and Learning Adviser.

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