Doing Drawing

Drawing in an HIV/AIDS Context

Drawing remains a very broad art method, and so may be approached in many ways. As the tools required to make a drawing are so basic, it is a good idea to explore other art forms and materials that may be incorporated into a drawing.


    ✓ Materials required for drawing are, for the most part, simple to use, inexpensive, and accessible
    ✓ Most communities are familiar with drawing, and so will be more likely to open up to the idea
    ✓ Youth may be highly inclined to draw for it allows them complete artistic freedom of expression
    ✓ Drawings are an evocative manner of shedding light on HIV/AIDS issues, especially when combined with other forms of art


    x Due to its basic simplicity, drawing may be viewed as a rudimentary form of art, making lack of interest an obstacle
    x Many feel that they “can’t draw”, or that they have no artistic ability, and may therefore be unwilling to try

*TIP* Having a wide variety of materials, as well as examples of drawings to show to participants, may help to heighten audience participation and enthusiasm.

Materials for Drawing

There are countless materials that can be used for drawing, which may be purchased from any craft supplies shop. Materials vary in cost, but are, for the most part, easy on the pocket. Some materials work best when paired with others, but this all depends on the participant’s ideas and wishes.

Pencil drawing: To create a pencil drawing, all that is required is a pencil and a sheet of paper. For most communities, these materials are easy to come by and are inexpensive. Pencil drawings are straightforward, as they require minimal assistance when presented to a large group.
Pencil crayon: Pencil crayons are another form of pencil drawing, using coloured pencils to add a little excitement to the drawing.
Pens and Markers: Pens and markers use coloured inks to mark a page, and tend to be more vibrant than pencil drawings.
India Ink: India ink is a thick, black ink that requires a specialized pen in order to make the drawing. The final product results in a vivid image, and can be made more beautiful when paired with watercolour paints.
Crayon: Crayon is a waxed-based tool, often used by young children. Keep in mind that water-resistant wax can be paired with watercolours to produce an animated effect.
Pastel Crayon: Pastels are an oil-based crayon that can be blended with one another to create an array of lively colours and realistic effects.

Organizing a Drawing Seminar

Although drawing is often perceived as a solitary activity, there are ways in which the art may be approached so as to maximize its social aspects. Creating a social environment when carrying out seminars or workshops related to HIV/AIDS allows for a chance to discuss and bond while drawing, as well as to look to one another for advice, ideas, and encouragement. Here are a few ideas for establishing a sociable atmosphere:

  • Lay out one very large sheet of paper (purchasable from any craft supplies store), upon which all participants may draw and contribute.
  • Have participants begin their own drawings, and then switch with other participants to complete the drawing.
  • Keep art supplies in one central area, so that participants will have the chance to mingle while fetching their desired tools.

Things to Remember:


Where will the seminar be located? Public places are ideal, for they draw attention to the issue at hand and spur the interest of onlookers. It is also important to be aware of the set up of the location. Large tables with plenty of room for multiple people to work at once will make for a light and friendly atmosphere, as participants will be able to socialize with one another. Community centers, libraries, or schools may lend out such equipment as tables and chairs, but picnic benches provided in public parks can be useful as well. A few ideas for suitable locations include:

  • Public parks
  • Community Centers
  • Schools
  • Public Museums
  • Libraries

*REMEMBER* When working in a public place, be sure to have the appropriate permission from the proprietor of the desired setting.

Before, During, and After the Drawing Seminar

Before the Seminar

Before the date of the drawing seminar, decide on the desired level of audience participation. How many people are expected to attend? Who will attend? How will they receive word of the event? Some ideas for publicizing the seminar:

  • Distribute posters around the neighborhood/city to make known the purpose and details of the occasion
  • Contact friends and family, and enlist their help for attracting participants
  • Get in touch with community leaders and teachers who may be able to announce the event to great numbers of people and youth

During the Seminar

While leading the drawing seminar, it is a great opportunity to connect with the participants and make clear the purpose of the event. It is also a prime time to document the event so as to lengthen the lifespan of the awareness brought to HIV/AIDS issues. Some ideas for documenting the event:

  • Photographing participants as they draw and socialize
  • Allowing for participant feedback through the use of a guestbook
  • Notifying local radio or television stations of the event may prompt media interest

After the Seminar

Once the drawing seminar is finished, any documentation of the event may be posted on the Internet, or displayed within the community through the use of community centers, libraries, or schools. Likewise, the art created through the seminar may be donated to community centers, libraries, schools, or shelters. Museums and art galleries may also be interested in displaying the art.

Incorporating Multiple Art Methodologies
Blending various art forms can have a powerful impact on the project at hand, as well as enhance the final product. Some art forms that can be incorporated with drawing include:

  • Comics
  • Collage Art
  • Painting
  • Narrative Writing (for illustrating)

World Wide Web: Information on Existing HIV/AIDS & Drawing Resources

AIDS Action (1987-2006). Retrieved July 2007, from

Brick Bats: UNICEF Children’s Rights Comic (n.d.). Retrieved July 2007, from

Children as Community Researchers (March 2001), Retrieved August 2007, from

International Visual Methodologies for Social Change Project (n.d.), Retrieved August 2007, from

Drawing and Social Change Bibliography

AIDS Action (1987-2006) Retrieved July 2007, from

International Visual Methodologies for Social Change Project (n.d.), Retrieved August 2007, from

World Comics (2005), Retrieved July 2007, from