Partner-Guided Mirror

Students work with a partner to create collaborative mirrored drawings in silence. This incredible exercise focuses students on teamwork, non-verbal communication, creative direction and expression.


This activity was conducted in studioFive at MGSE as part of our Master of Teaching course.


  • Drawing as embodied experience
  • Body/Space relationships
  • Emotional connection and response
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Collaboration

Skills and Techniques

  • Drawing
  • Abstraction
  • Hand motor control


  • A2/A1 cartridge paper
  • Black and white pastels/crayons


Students sit across the table from their partner and are each given a sheet of paper to tape down in front of them.

With a black pastel in one hand and a white pastel in the other, students look directly at their partner and begin drawing synchronised drawings together. Students are encouraged to not talk and not look at the drawings they are creating, but to concentrate on maintaining a collaborative process with their partner.

Spend five to ten minutes on the drawings, depending on how long it takes students to become comfortable with the process. Multiple drawings can be completed and partnerships can be changed to vary the activity.

Art Connections

This exercise grounds students in collaborative embodied drawing. It allows students to explore how they work with their peers, using techniques they may not have previously considered. Elements of the Personal and Social Capability curriculum can be introduced and discussed throughout this lesson.

VCD Connections

This exercise can be used as a way of understanding the many ways in which communication can be achieved. It can be used as a starting point for students exploring graphic design communications, particularly in the ways that non-textual elements can be used within designs.

Related Artists

Next Steps

Following lessons can extend these concepts by:

  • Students can swap works and continue the exercise in new colours over the top.
  • Students can work in their pairs to create sculptural works based on their collaborative pieces.
  • The main elements emerging from the process can be used as a starting point for a page-layout grid.