Arts Activities

Non-Dominant Hand Drawing

An engaging activity that brings attention to our powers of observation: what we see and what we don’t, and what it takes to deepen our perception. This activity helps participants work through nervousness about drawing and teaches different ways to approach still life drawing.

time 30 mins


Paper and pencil, marker, or pastel.


  • Each person chooses an object in the room that they’d like to draw.
  • Then then have 5 minutes to draw it. 
  • On a 2nd piece of paper, they have 3 minutes to draw the object by memory.
  • On a 3rd piece of paper, they have 1 minute to draw the object without looking at the paper and without lifting their pencil from the page.
  • On a 4th sheet of paper, they have 3 minutes to draw the object, this time using their non-dominant hand.
  • Finally, on a 5th sheet of paper, they have 5 minutes to draw the object again using their dominant hand.
  • Discuss the process with the group.

Possible debrief questions:

  • What did you notice in the different stages?
  • What did you notice when you had to draw without looking?
  • What did you notice when you were drawing with your non-dominant hand?
  • What did you notice between the first drawing and the last?
  • How did your experience differ between the first and last drawings?
  • What did you notice about your thoughts?
  • How did your attention shift?
  • How did your perception of the object shift?

Facilitation tip: You can do this activity in nature to help people connect with the natural world.

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