Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746 - 1827) was a Swiss education reformer during the golden age when "drawing was a civilized thing to do, like reading and writing." He believed that "lines, curves and angles that make up forms and objects could be read like an alphabet of sense impressions." 

While on a walk with my children I noticed the sidewalk crumbling under my feet. How interesting the cracks were, and what great variety of shapes and sizes. I snapped some photos of the sidewalk and thought I'll need these someday. The lines, curves, and angles created by the cracked surface immediately invites us to find the hidden picture. 

When my students are staring at the wall (and not because they are creating a stored observation of it) with no ideas of what to do draw I break out my sidewalk patterns and tell them to find their inspiration hidden in the cracks. 

The Workout

It's your turn to find YOUR drawing hidden in the cracks. This workout is quite fun and simple. Click on the sidewalk pattern to download and print the PDF. Turn the paper around in all directions and look. Wait for the image to reveal itself. Sometimes it will be small or fill the entire page. There may even be more than one image. With a dark pencil (4B, or 6B) or marker, start working with the cracks to create your drawing. Add shading, color or whatever your drawing needs to be brought to life. As you really start to find the object, animal, place or person, look for some reference photos to take your drawing's details to the next level!

Check out these excellent examples from Carla SonheimHer book, Imaginary Animals, is an superb resource for drawing creative animals. 

Share your results on Instagram using #drawfithiddeninthecracks


  • Hidden in the Cracks ThinkSheet (download PDF here)
  • Pencils (2B +)
  • Sharpie Markers
  • Colored Pencils