Draw, Pardner!

Drawing on End Rolls of Newsprint

One of our first art activities is drawing with pencils or crayons. You may remember drawing objects when you were very young, and perhaps you even gave them names. If you were to look at those same pictures today, they would probably look like scribbles! At the time, however, those marks were as real and important to you as any made by a famous artist.

As you get older, you expect more from yourself. You probably wish you could make your drawings "look real" or more three-dimensional. Mark Kistler is an art educator who specializes in teaching kids how to draw. Perhaps you've read his books or seen his television show on the Public Broadcasting System. He also has a Web page where he'll show you how to draw in 3-D. Have fun visiting Mark Kistler's Imagination Station!

You will need:

How to:

Your local newspaper can provide a free or inexpensive source of drawing paper in the form of newsprint remnants. Rather than throw away the end rolls, the printer may give them to you or sell them at a very reasonable price. While there isn't enough paper left on these rolls for his use, there will be many feet remaining that can be used for drawing or other art activities. By obtaining paper this way, you'll save money. In addition, by using preconsumer waste paper as art materials, you'll help conserve landfill space and natural resources.

A newsprint end roll measures about two feet wide, and the length varies, depending on when it was removed from the press. Leave it on the tube and cut it as needed, or you may cut it into smaller pieces and store it flat. Some standard sizes for art paper are 9"x12", 12"x18", and 18"x24". Use the straight edge and scissors to measure and cut the paper. If you use a paper cutter, have an adult trim the paper to size.

Tips and Tricks:

Newsprint end rolls are great for making very large drawings or murals. Also, use remnants in printmaking and for designing your own wrapping paper.

Make a newsprint sketch pad by attaching many sheets of paper to a cardboard backing with a bulldog clip. These clips are available at office supply and discount stores.

Save the cardboard core on which the newsprint is rolled for a craft project or take it to your recycling center.

"Shadows and Lace"
colored pencil drawing by Marilyn J. Brackney

© 1997 Marilyn J. Brackney (updated 2018)

Volume 5 No. 3

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