It's often interesting to see how your marks change depending on the drawing material you choose. I even notice how my handwriting changes if I'm not using my favorite pen. Artists sometimes purposefully interrupt their normal methods of drawing to work through creative blocks or free up their marks. Henri Matisse drew the Stations of the Cross with the aid of a bamboo pole in the interior of the Chapelle de Rosaire at Venice. I imagine this technique allowed him to simultaneously step away from his work to see the whole composition while maintaining his fluid line. Read the blog post Toss out your Pencils! for more information about what inspired this workout.

The Workout

Tape a piece of charcoal or any material that will make a dark mark to the end of a long stick or sturdy wooden dowel. Tape your paper onto a wall or drawing board. SLOWLY begin drawing. Try creating only organic shapes and different types of lines. Allow your body to move, you don’t need to stay in one stationary position. After gaining confidence choose a subject to draw from observation: A face, a pet, a friend, or a chair are great subjects to start with! Experiment with brushes or other materials secured to the end of the stick as confidence grows!

Share your results on Instagram using #drawfitmatisse


  • Long wooden dowel or sturdy stick
  • Charcoal
  • Tape
  • 12” x 18” (or larger) Paper