Describe and Draw

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Fun. Refine verbal skills. Learn to listen. Focus together on a goal. Get to know each other.

Group Size


Photos or other pictures. - They may be relevant to the team, such as its building, snapshots of members at an event, an object they once created or donated together, etc. - Or they can be random, unrelated pictures. - They can be cut from magazines/newspapers; reproductions of famous artwork; or original artwork. - Consider maps of a relevant area; blueprints or diagrams of a proposed or existing building/office/outside area . . .

Drawing materials - paper, crayons, pencils. Tables or desks where a pair of people can sit near each other, with some space away from the other pairs.

Set Up

Divide into pairs. Designate one of each pair as A, the other as B.


Have all the A's sort through a stack of pictures and each select one. Do not show to partner. Have all the B's sort through a different stack of pictures and each select one. Do not show to partner.

In each pair: A describes the picture to B, detail by detail. On a blank piece of paper, B draws and colors a "reproduction,' without seeing the original. A cannot point to B's paper or give corrections or specific directions - she sticks to describing the picture she has. B cannot ask questions.

The leader specifies a stop time. Everyone can look at all the results. A and B in each pair switch roles, so everyone has a chance to draw.


Discuss the experience. Was it fun, frustrating, confusing, easy? How could the directions have been different for better drawing results? Are the resulting drawings true to the original, better, way off? Are there any lessons that can be gleaned for the team's regular activities?


See the Teampedia activity Back-2-Back Drawing. Use paint or other materials. Have the person drawing use their non-dominant hand only, or be blindfolded (This can take away some of the common complaint of "I can't draw" by making it even harder to control, and thus more humorous.) Have the person looking at the picture hold it upside down, so that lines and shapes can be described more "purely" which may elicit more accurate results (refer to the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain) See a YouTube video of a version of this activity,

Can you help make this activity better? Do you know an alternate way to lead this activity? Click "edit" above and help improve this site for everyone!