Drawing in aphasia therapy has been used predominately as a substitution for speech or to augment communication when other modalities are non-functional. The value of drawing as a route for facilitating verbal expression has not been a focus of prior research. We compared the usefulness of drawing and writing as compensatory strategies for improving naming in individuals with aphasia. Activation patterns of writing and drawing in healthy adults were examined using fMRI. Clinical results suggest that drawing facilitated naming whereas writing diminished accurate naming responses, and that drawing quality is not relevant to this facilitatory effect. Functional MRI findings revealed strong bi-hemispheric activation of semantic and phonological networks while drawing that may support our clinical findings.