Drawing machines

Drawing machines: new mark-making

Technology has always been a part of making art from the discovery of graphite for drawing in the 19th century to the computer drawing tablets in the 21st century.  This is an art and engineering/sculpture project! Enjoy…


Each drawing you make is undeniably you – it’s like signing your name

Write your signature on a piece of scrap paper.   Now write your signature another 10 times, each time changing it slightly so by the 10th time it looks like someone else’s signature.

This is you playing with changing your identity.  Can you now change the way you draw to express a different YOU?


Inspiration for this challenge comes from the artist Rebecca Horn.  Read this short article here >

The challenge is to make as many different drawing machines to make as many kinds of marks that are as different to your normal drawing style as possible.

Here’s some ideas:

Body-adapted drawing machines;

  • Try taping pencils or crayons to your fingers.
  • Hold pencils between your toes, or in your mouth.  
  • Tape pencils to your elbows
  • Tie a headband round your head (like a 1970’s tennis player!) and wedge pencils or charcoal sticks around, and draw with your head

Object-adapted drawing machines;

  • Stick short pencils or crayons into an orange with the points sticking out.  Roll this around a piece of paper.
  • Cover a tennis ball with masking tape with charcoal pieces wedged in.  Roll this around a piece of paper.
  • Hang a string from a door lintel with a crayon tied to the end just touching the floor.  Each time you walk through the door swing the string to make marks on a piece of paper.
  • Grab the electronic whisk from the kitchen and tape pencil to the whisk heads.  Try drawing with this!

These are just some ideas to get you imaginations working.  Draw whatever you wish.

Have fun. 

Drawing machines
Drawing machines
Drawing machines