#mm: drawing portraits – an unusual starting exercise


  • For loosening up the initial situation 
  • For forming teams 
  • For starting group work 

After a very short welcome, all participants receive a DIN A4 sheet, a writing pad and a marker. On the bottom side of the sheet, their own name (first name and surname) is written down, then each participant looks for a partner. The sheets are exchanged. Task: Draw a portrait of your partner with this thick felt pen. This is actually an unreasonable demand, but in this initial situation no one will object. On the contrary: everyone starts talking, everyone laughs, a relaxed atmosphere is created. 

What to do with the portraits? If the A4 sheets are different colours, you can form groups with the portraits, look for similarities and then introduce yourself. These groups can also do a first job, collect previous knowledge and/or expectations. They can meet again and again during the event to give feedback, solve transfer tasks, etc. 

Like most unusual methods for initial situations, drawing portraits lives from economical use. If you have to draw portraits several times in half a year at the beginning, you develop an allergy quite quickly. 

Read the original article in German.

Translation: Astrid Donaubauer

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