Drawing Wind


J is all about natural disasters. It started with tornadoes, and has now moved to hurricanes. Tornadoes were easy for him to illustrate, which he did often. But lately as he tries to show a hurricane, he becomes frustrated. “I can’t draw the wind.”

We sat down together and talked about what wind is and what it looks like. We took turns blowing on each other, and into the air. Then, J seemed confident as he picked up a marker to give it a shot.


First, he drew a tree. He then covered it with lines that represented the wind. At first he laughed and said the tree was covered in wind, but his smile quickly dissipated into a look of frustration. “But I can’t see the tree through the wind.”


J drew more trees with wind, this time making a swirling action over the trees. “This is how S (his brother) makes wind, but I don’t like hiding the trees.”

We then spent some time talking about how we know there is wind, and what leaves look like when there is wind.


“A leaf looks like…a bridge.” J drew his leaf, then sat and looked at it for quite some time before saying, “I like this leaf but it doesn’t have wind in it. I have to represent wind in a different way but I don’t know how.”

I asked J to show me using his body what happens to a leaf when there is wind, and he twisted his arm around. We both took turns looking like twisty, windy leaves, before he grabbed a new sheet of paper.


This time, J made the trunk of the tree twisty, as our arms were. He had a huge smile and seemed rather satisfied with this depiction of wind. “But I want to have a human in the hurricane.”

J drew a human and stared angrily at it, stating he can’t see wind. M was playing nearby and joined us stating, ‘Well, I can see the wind.” After a few questions, she admitted, “Well I can’t see the wind, but I can feel it on my face.”

The three of us talked about how we can feel wind on our face, in our hair, and on objects around us.

I asked M how J could draw that feeling on paper. She said, “That’s easy, just draw lines and circles.”


This is when J drew hair on his human, then added lines and circles to the hair – making the hair look like it was blowing in the wind.


J handed me all of his photos, and asked me to put them on the wall for him, “So we can see the wind.”


“Creating a new theory is not like destroying an old barn and erecting a skyscraper in it’s place. It is rather like climbing a mountain and gaining new and wider views, discovering unexpected connections between our starting points and its rich environment.” – Albert Einstein


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