Drawn to Drawing at Summer Camp

“One must always draw, draw with the eyes, when one cannot draw with a pencil. “—Balthus

The Drawn to Drawing week of summer camp at the de Young was very exciting! Read on to learn about the master artists’ experience (8–9 year olds).

Drawn to Drawing introduced the young artists to new materials, new ways of defining what a drawing is and new ways of looking at the museum’s collection.

The artists were captivated by different materials and tools. Each artist had a sketchbook, which over time with new additions and explorations, told a story about their art making experience during the week.

Summer camper drawing


Each day the artists thought about a question, or questions, that connected their art making process to the different galleries in the museum.

  • What can lines do?
  • What are the similarities between artists and scientists?
  • How do I see?
  • How do artists extend their ideas?
  • Who am I?
  • How do artists reflect?

During the week, the artists worked with ink, vine charcoal, compressed charcoal, white charcoal, bamboo pens, Sharpies and china markers.

Artist drawing at summer camp

How do artists make choices about what materials to use?

The artists drew in the tower, in the galleries and outside in the green space around the museum. They filled their sketchbooks and portfolios with brainstorms, imagery, reflections and interpretations.

artists drawing in tower

The young artists drew from life using plant specimens, drew from their own selves, learning about contour line self-portraits and printmaking. The artists also captured objects from the galleries on different types of paper using a variety of drawing tools.

plant specimen drawing

The sketchbook housed ideas and photos that supported what the young artists were thinking about during the week.

pulling a print at summer camp

Pulling a print is a physical process. The artists drew into Styrofoam, and after inking the plate, they printed on black paper.

The artists looked and looked again, honing their observation skills.

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