Visual Work and Thinking

"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." - Pablo Picasso

Visual practices can enrich our work. This page is a loosely organized overview of visual practices in two related contexts, graphic recording and graphic facilitation. If you are interested in more about the use of visual practices in facilitation, I'm building a related page here: Visual Facilitation Practices

What is Graphic Recording?

Graphic recording at its core is visually capturing what is happening in a group or presentation. It is part of a large set of visual practices which use images as part of group processes, which includes graphic facilitation, collaborative graphics work, etc. (To learn more, see It can be used as a literal recording or it can be used as a visual element of a specific group and/or facilitation process.

What is Graphic or Visual Facilitation?

Graphic or Visual Facilitation is the intentional use of visual practices, including drawing by an individual or by members of the group to support the group's process. Some of the intentions behind Visual Facilitation include:
  • the value of people creating a shared artifact of their work/learning/experience
  • the power of "making my mark"
  • using visuals as sense-making tools
  • using the negotiability of images to think together when words (written/spoken) may block us.

How others have described this set of practices

How does this relate to the larger set of thinking around visual thinking?

Practitioner Groups

Examples, Explanations


Graphic Recording/Facilitation Sites

Books about Visual Thinking and Graphic Facilitation

Research on Visual Thinking

Visual Thinking Web Tour

(a few sites with interesting visual aspects)

Visual Thinking Bloggers

Slide Decks on Visual Thinking/Practices

Viz Think Podcasts and Other Videos About Visual Thinking

Electronic Visual Work

Drawing Skills Sites

Sketchnotes as a Sub Practice

Icon and Image Collections and Examples

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Ted Talks for Practicing Graphic Recording:

Visual Thinking in Application

Visuals and Meetings

Visuals and Person Centered Planning

Events and Sessions about Visual Stuff

Graphic Recording and Graphic Facilitation Workshops

Artifacts from Past Sessions

Favorite Supplies and Tools


  • Water based markers, preferably with chisel tips, like Mr. Sketch unscented or if you have a bigger budget, Neuland (I love their Big Ones) or Charters markers from The Grove.
  • Tombo brush markers
  • Chalk or soft pastels like Faber-Castell soft pastels or Dick Blick's
  • Plastic to lay down for collecting chalk dust, ideally has painters tape attached (available in the USA - Easy Mask Tape and Drape)
  • Black sharpies (thick chisel or thin) for lettering
  • Grey tone markers for shadow work
  • Painters tape to put charts on walls without damaging wall surfaces
  • mat knife to cut large paper
  • Rolls of large paper
  • tissues for smearing chalk
  • pencil, pencil sharpener and eraser
  • white self stick address labels to cover over mistakes (boo boo labels)
  • ziplock bags to store pens (so they don't dry out)
  • Wax crayons
  • Oil Pastels (less flake, more mess than chalk)
  • Pan Pastels
  • Wax Crayons
  • Paper - I like 48 inch wide 20 lb signwriter bond. I buy it locally in Seattle at Artist and Craftsman supply or in Kelowna, British Columbia at CanCadd , contact: Jamie:1.800.605.3355 or Cell: 1.250.870.3668

Post Production Resources

Environmentally Friendly Foam Core (for portable walls)

How to make a portable wall

Sources of Offline Art Supplies

Online Tools


Group Online Visualization Software

iPad Drawing Apps