What Are Some Non Traditional Drawing Tools?


Try going beyond the usual pencils, pen and charcoal when creating a drawing. Sticks, sponges and string make unique marks on paper. Pouring techniques allow you to produce richly layered applications of ink or fluid media in the style of Jackson Pollock. The definition of drawing is broad; you have plenty of latitude to find and use alternative tools and interesting techniques for your drawing projects.


  • Dip sticks in ink and use them as drawing tools for a distinct, craggy mark. The line is hard to control, so you won't be able to draw long lines. This technique is good, however, for natural-looking hatch marks that have personality.


  • Try dipping string in ink or another fluid medium to make sweeping, curving lines. Vary the length of the string to suit the length of the line you want. Place the paper on a flat surface or tack it to a wall and then drop the string onto the paper or whip it across the paper. Using many of these lines will build up a unique textural quality that is hard to create with more controlled methods.


  • An inked sponge creates interesting textures and shading in your drawing. The natural porosity of the sponge, along with its highly complex surface, will create marks that would take a long time to mimic with charcoal. Use a natural sponge (available at art stores and decorative painting supply shops) rather than a rectangular household sponge for the best effect.


  • For an unpredictable and interesting effect, try dripping paint onto the drawing surface. Punch some holes in the bottom of the can with a nail and fill it with ink or another fluid media. Then swirl the liquid onto a piece of paper laid flat on the floor. Open and close the holes by plugging them with your fingers (use a latex glove if you wish). Vary the height of the can to change the thickness of the line and the degree of spatter to produce an explosive effect.

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  • Photo Credit Stick on the sea image by Brod"ayaga from Fotolia.com
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