Article Type Making Art Together Making Art Together Categories Bookmaking Drawing Theory and Resources

The Bigger Picture!

Brittany (Wazi) Waseleski

This winter in the studio we have been inspired by the playful, graphic, and punchy book designs of Seymour Chwast. After exploring several of Chwast’s books it was evident that his approach to book-making experiments heavily with page orientation and expecting the unexpected. Looking at Limerickricks, Tall City, Wide Country, and Where’s My Cat?, we were excited about the concept of an expanding image that could reveal and conceal a surprise. We loved how dynamic this project was and how easy it is to replicate at home. All you need is paper, your choice of mark making tools (in the studio we stuck to markers, colored pencils, and pens) and your imagination! 

Drawing table set up. Mark making tools in baskets (pens, markers and colored pencils) folded and unfolded drawings being worked on, picture book alongside

Making an Expanded Drawing 

First, choose the size you want the fully expanded image to be. With some experimentation we decided our paper would be no larger than 12 inches. We then cut the paper down to 6x12 inches so that when we folded the paper in half, we would have a square sheet of paper that would expand to a long rectangle when unfolded.  

Guests jumped right into this art project, some playing with orientation while others crafted more surprises by creating additional folds! Guests loved the element of surprise and the opportunity to express humor in this format. Delighted laughter from all ages could be heard throughout the studio.  

We made sure to have a variety of examples both from guests, our studio team, and from books we love. If anyone was feeling stumped about where to begin, we shared visual examples through table signage and samples to provide a spark of inspiration.  

Simply start by creating a drawing over the fold. Then, once the drawing is blocked out or even completed, unfold the paper to reveal – ah! - blank space! Now is the time to go ahead and fill in that blank space with a surprise or extension of the drawing.   

The results were magical, humorous, and wacky!  

Reflections on Paper  

In the studio we are often asked for a classic big ol’ piece of white paper. We try to work with the materials that we have out on the studio floor to both provide an equitable experience for guests and to encourage creative problem-solving. We felt it was about time to fold (no pun intended) in a creative drawing project within the studio space and wanted to offer a concept that allowed ample big sheets of paper!    

At first, we wanted to give visitors a large sheet of paper that, when unfolded, cut to 9x18 inches. We found the size to be a bit overwhelming and the final drawings were floppy on our display wall. We then tried VERY tiny samples (about 3x6 inches). We test ran them and found they did not allow people a decent amount of time or space to create their art. We were beginning to feel like Goldilocks! With some team feedback and evaluation, we landed on a happy “just right” size of 6x12 inches, which fits perfectly into our display wall and is much more manageable for us and our artists. 

We enjoyed this creative drawing project in the Art Studio and hope with its playful and accessible nature that you feel inspired to try it out at home or school! 


Brittany (Wazi) Waseleski

Art Educator at The Carle since 2023, Wazi is passionate about fostering community exploration, play, and curiosity through the arts.

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