The purpose of the Drawing Badge is to learn new art techniques to apply to future drawings. Your troop members can use the skills they learned to give service to others, like in art workshops, babysitting, or giving gifts. If you are trying to incorporate more drawing into your troop meetings, keep reading below to find out the six best ways to earn a Junior Drawing Badge!
“I sometimes think there is nothing so delightful as drawing.”— Vincent van Gogh
Below are a few ideas to get you started.
Start With A Warm-Up
The only way you can improve your drawing skills is by consistently practicing and conducting warm-ups. You’d be surprised by how much beginning with a five-minute sketch session can help! First, have your troop draw different things on paper, for example spirals like shown below, or ten lines on their sketch paper, ranging from straight to curly. Then, have them retrace each line ten times, aiming to get as close to the original as possible.
This practice helps steady the hand and create more fluidity and confidence while drawing. You can also try retracing various shapes like circles and triangles since they show up often in art. The best part of filling a book with warm-up sketches is that they will have physical proof of their improvement and can look back on it over time.
Use Different Mediums
The type of material you use can drastically change the look and feel of your piece. A still-life drawing is completely different when done in ballpoint pen versus charcoal versus crayon. Encourage your troop members to experiment with various tools and styles until they find the ones that they enjoy the most. You can find complete drawing kits for under $15, which give you nearly every medium your girls might need when starting drawing!
Try drawing the same item three different ways, using a new method every time. For example, if you love pastels, change your drawing medium by outlining one with sharpies, blending with water on another, and finally using cardboard instead of paper. You can easily create unique works just by altering one medium or material each time.
Learn New Techniques
Your art will only ever be as good as your technique–the more styles you learn, the better you will be able to draw! Have your girls study and practice standard drawing techniques like scribbling, crosshatching, stippling and more.
- Scribbling is precisely as it sounds, where you just let your pencil flow across the page in random motions.
- Crosshatching, you intersect lines in a grid pattern to create depth and shading.
- Stippling uses small dots. In these methods, the closer the lines and dots are to each other, the darker the shadow will be.
If you have no art experience yourself, you can use a guidebook like this one to inform yourself of the techniques before the meeting. Teach your troop one of these techniques and have them create a drawing using only one at a time. They should fill their sketchbook with attempts at the various styles until they feel comfortable using each one. The goal is to incorporate the different techniques they learned and draw in a unique art style that fits their personality and favored medium.
Perspective is one of the essential aspects of art, as it separates the pros from the amateurs. Learning how to incorporate perspective into your drawing properly will help elevate it and make it seem more life-like. 2D graphics are flat and boring–get your troop members to draw things at an angle or even a birds-eye view. Teach them about utilizing the horizon line to demonstrate items that are closer or further away.
You can assign still-life items and have them draw the objects from various distances, draw the room they’re sitting in, or draw a thing as if they were looking up at it from below. A fun way to change how you see your artwork is not to look at it once while drawing! Have your girls look only at their still-life objects and try sketching them without looking down at their paper. This method can help their concept of perspective and space while also resulting in a cool and unique piece.
If your girls are not sure what perspective means start with a tutorial to learn more about perspective using this video below.
The Drawing Badge is not just about only capturing still-life objects, though. While sketching an apple can help you practice new techniques, it doesn’t let your imagination soar. Make sure you assign drawings that allow for their creativity and personality to shine through! If you read a short story together, have them draw the characters as they see them in their imagination or create an entirely original character themselves.
Although paper is the cheapest and easiest option, consider teaching them about graphic and digital design, too! You can download a drawing or editing program on any tablet and let them take turns using it. Have them create logos for the troop, edit their scanned pictures, or create cartoons.
Create A Portfolio
Once your troop has created enough artwork, have them put it together in a portfolio. You can utilize this opportunity to teach them curatorial skills and learn how the order of contents can change the feel of a portfolio. Flow is essential for art, whether as a music album, fashion runway show, or art collection. You can use a simple folder or scrapbook to showcase their artwork or have them create a presentation on a poster board.
What to Do After They’ve Earned the Badge?
The best part of earning a drawing badge is showing it off to friends and family! Your girls have spent a lot of their time learning new techniques and putting together a portfolio, so why not have a small art gallery opening to showcase their works? You can keep it small and hold it at your next meeting or go big and even ask your local library or youth center to showcase it to the public!
Remember to take some time to discuss this badge with your girls and ask them what they can do with it. How can you give service with the drawing badge? How will it inspire you and others to become better people? Drawing is a fun hobby that they can share with others and learn to practice living positive values.